Do you know which page gets viewed the most on the average website? Yep, you guessed it – it’s the homepage. That’s not surprising when you consider:
1. It’s probably the oldest page on your site (and has therefore gathered the most inbound links and
2. Its URL is (or should be) heavily promoted across all your marketing channels both on and offline.
For most of your guests, your homepage is the ‘front door’ that leads to them finding out more about your resort, and that makes getting it right one of the most important tasks in online marketing.
A great homepage is straight-forward to use, great to look at and makes it easy for a visitor to find the information they’re looking for. It converts traffic into mailing list subscribers, Facebook fans and paying guests. And it does it all with minimal input from you.
No matter how long you’ve had your property’s website; it’s never too late to make it better. Take a look at 5 of the most common features found on the best homepages. Does your site’s measure up?
1) A Clear Value Proposition
Before anything else, an effective homepage needs to clearly lay out your property’s value proposition. This lets your visitors know exactly what you’re offering, and even more crucially, why they should care enough to stick around long enough to find out more.
A value proposition isn’t a slogan or a catchphrase; it’s exactly what it sounds like: a promise of value to be delivered. It tells your ideal guests, in a nutshell, why they should book with you over your competitors.
The more elements you can incorporate into your homepage that support your resort’s value proposition, the more effective it becomes at driving bookings.
2) Reader-Focused Content
The best web copy is written with the end reader in mind. By anticipating the typical questions a potential guest visiting your site will have, and directly addressing these questions in the content on your homepage, your value proposition shines through more clearly and your messaging is far more powerful.
3) Straight-Forward Navigation
A website’s navigation system adds further strength to the value proposition by guiding visitors to the pages they need to visit to find out more. It should be easy for visitors to see in a glance where they need to go next to have their questions answered in more detail. Without well designed navigation, your value proposition quickly loses power and clarity.
4) Effective Calls-to-Action
Your guests tend to land on your website because they want to do something- even if they’re not quite sure what it is yet. It’s up to your homepage to guide visitors to take the next step in their travel planning/research or booking process. Compelling calls-to-action help them do just that.
5) Intelligent Design
Finally, it’s time to talk about aesthetics. A great homepage should have elegant, eye-catching design to complement its carefully thought-out content. Intelligent design encompasses everything from graphic elements to leading the visitor’s eye to the most important areas of the page, choosing font type and everything in between. Get it right and your visitors are more likely to want to engage with your site further.
What do you think makes a great homepage? Let us know in the comments below!