When someone walks into a new restaurant, there are certain things they want to see.
Is the restaurant clean? Are the employees pleasant and professional looking?
First impressions matter. If the first thing customers see turn them away, it doesn’t matter how good the food is. The same is true for ecommerce sites.
The front page design of a website will either bring customers in or turn them away. A great SEO plan only produces results if the front page impresses visitors.
Here are six elements every e-commerce front page needs to incorporate for success.
1. Keep It Simple
There’s only so much information the brain can handle at once.
One of, if not the, biggest mistake people make is treating their front page as a dumping ground.
This thought is understandable. There’s no guarantee that a visitor will explore the site, so why not give them everything they need to know right away?
The problem is that too much information frustrates users and drive them away.
Websites have to take it slow; it’s a marathon, not a race. Hold the customer’s hand a little, make them dinner. Light some candles before pursuing the big sale.
Keep the information on the main page to a minimum. If they want to know more about a company, visitors will go to the “about” page.
E-commerce front page design should focus on what matters: who the company is and what they offer.
2. Easy Navigation
Keeping it simple extends beyond the layout of the page: it should be easy for customers to find what they want. As a general rule of thumb, webmasters should use the page they’ve designed.
Take the role of a visitor and look for specific items. If it takes more than two clicks to get somewhere, it’s time for to rethink the navigation of a page.
No one likes to hunt for what they are looking for unless it’s Easter or a scavenger adventure on vacation. E-commerce sites should bring in money, not entertain search and find enthusiasts.
Place navigation bars on top of the homepage that lead to products and information about the company.
3. Lead With Featured Items
There is a good chance that a visitor to an e-commerce page is there because of a marketing campaign.
If they visit a page after clicking the link “view more” while reading about information on USB hidden spy cameras, that product needs to be on the front page.
The idea of buying that product is fresh on their mind; why make them search for it?
Featured items on the front page produce results. A front page design that is in concert with marketing drives sales and leads to future purchases.
This element, along with all the others on this list, follows a simple principle: Give the people what they want.
4. Front Page Design Improves Branding
If there were a survey of 100 business people that asked for a definition of branding, there would be 100 different answers.
There is a simple way to answer that question though: Branding shows who a company is.
A company’s brand is its story, simplified into an easy to digest logo or phrase.
That’s it. No M.B.A required to understand how branding works.
A good front page design builds a brand. The logo or phrase will be on top of the webpage for everyone to see.
If a brand presents itself as a fun way to shop, the layout of the page should reflect that with bright colors and playful features. For a more serious brand, the colors will be bold and the page straight-forward.
Visitors should have an idea of what the company’s identity is within ten seconds of looking at the front page. If they can’t pinpoint it right away, it’s time for a new front page design.
5. Use Video
Video might have killed the radio star, but it saved the e-commerce front page.
It’s becoming the main search medium for the internet. As Google continues to improve Youtube services, the trend will gain more momentum.
Placing a quick two-minute video on the homepage with information about the company builds trust with visitors. It humanizes an e-commerce company and adds personality to a lifeless screen.
Featured items with video reviews attached is another way to build sales. Visitors are more willing to buy something when they can see it in action. This approach takes the guessing out of the transaction.
6. Make It Mobile Friendly
A webpage that isn’t mobile-friendly will fail. This statement might sound a bit alarmist, but here are the facts:
- In 2015, Google made a change to their algorithm known as “mobilegeddon.” This change punishes websites that aren’t mobile friendly.
- 78% of local mobile searches result in sales. That’s a lot of money let walk to competitors.
- Mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches, and the gap between the two will grow.
The combination of these three factors has serious implications. Without a mobile-friendly front page design e-commerce companies will lose customers. They will also be harder to find in search results.
Think a website can succeed under those conditions?
Mobile optimization isn’t as hard as it seems and keeps the money flowing in. Most websites only need to make minor changes.
A mobile front page design should have all the elements listed above and an easy checkout. Signing up with Paypal gives customers another way to pay and adds extra security to the transaction.
A Website Is More Than Just The Front Page
Every page on an e-commerce website should have one goal: Making money.
To accomplish that goal, companies need a plan that mixes marketing, SEO, and layout. Put that mix into a pan, bake it at 350, and turn it into a money-making pie.
For help with front page design, SEO principles, or niche marketing, check out other articles on this blog for tips and tricks from the pros.
Get a free SEO audit report too! It only takes a few seconds and can help any website improve their customer outreach.