The homepage of any eCommerce site will always be one of the most important pages on your website. It’s like the front cover of your product catalogue, where you have one chance to show the range and depth of your product offering and entice users into taking a shopping journey. So here’s our guide to getting the basics right. Following these basic requirements could fundamentally change your online return on investment.
1. SEO Page Title
The Title of the homepage is the thing that shows when you hover over the tab in your internet browser (Google Chrome for example). The page title is set in the Content Management System, for example in WordPress it will most likely sit within the SEO plugin: Yoast.
It’s importance is actually more about what Google will display in the search engine results page (often called the SERP, Search Engine Results Page). Best practice would say that the page title should include topics that relate to the page being indexed. The mistake often made on the homepage is that brand often just say who they are, so a title like this one:
brandx.com | Home Page
What Google prefers is more information about what the page is about, so if BrandX sells kitchenware, a better SEO homepage title would be:
Kitchenware | Utensils & Cookware | BrandX
Put simply, make sure that your title leads with what products you are selling at a broad category level.
2. Domain Name : Index Page
It’s still a myth that the domain name counts as being content (or SEO related), for example, if you sell Kitchenware and your brand is called : Art Cuisine and your domain name is www.art-cuisine.com, that’s fine. Having a domain like: www.kitchenware.com has no real beneficial impact on your relevance to Google. So don’t obsess about your domain name, rather obsess about the content on the pages of your website. Content and depth of content is what users and Google are looking for.
3. Site Search
Obvious but often forgotten especially on mobile pages, make the search function is always a visible item of the header of the website. Make sure you can finger tap to open the search function with ease. And make sure the text entry and display is nice and large for mobile usage. Ideally, keep the search function on the header of every page of the website.
4. Shopping Cart
As point 3. Just make sure it’s always visible and clear with a marker to count the number of items added by the user to the cart.
5. Promo or Hero Slider
All brands need a “promotional space” to feature the current best deals or promotions. This is nearly always in the form of a slider. Just make sure that the slider has obvious markers of how to move left and right, don’t assume a user will swipe their fingers to move through the content (or frames). In addition, show the user how many frames are contained in the slider. Make any clickable links really obvious, through the use of strong call to action iconography.
6. SEO Primary Heading & Site Short Description
The homepage also needs some content to give signals to both the users and Google about what you sell at a very high level. If you sell Kitchenware then say so and give some indication of what categories of kitchenware. If you are worried about showing too much content then you can make use of a Read More reveal function.
7. Department (Category) SEO Name
Give some thought to the titles of each “Department” that you show on your homepage. If your “department” says: spoons maybe say what type of spoons, for example, Kitchen Spoons, don’t go crazy though, keep it short and to the point, so that the user can quickly scan and see all the departments on offer.
8. SEO Secondary Heading & Supporting Description
Despite having made some high-level descriptions in point 6, do make use of the space below the department listings to say a little more about the range of products or key departments on your site. Just don’t fall into the trap of trying to describe everything. Take the top two or three departments only and expand on what products you sell.
9. Email Subscription
People do still want to subscribe to special offers and news. And people expect to still see this on the homepage. The only point here is to make sure that you ask for just the right amount of information, the more you ask the fewer people will fill in and submit the details.
10. Key Utility Footer Links
This is really important to surface all the aspects that users will need at their fingertips. People will want to be able to quickly access their profile and/or account and be able to quickly see and find options related to deliveries, returns and refunds.
12. Social Media Follows
Simple icons linking out to all your social media channels. Make sure you add exit site tracking in your analytics so that you can measure how many people are utilising the links.
12. Security & Payment Statement
Don’t assume a site being SSL with a security certificate is enough, tell people the site is secure with a padlock icon and explain which payment options are supported.
13. Chat With Us
The homepage is a place where people most expect to see a prominent chat function. Just make sure it is easily accessible on mobile view. But also ensure it’s enabled on all pages of the site. Try not to pass people off to self-service FAQs, this has been cited as one of the most annoying user experiences, chat means chat.
Article Author : Simon Lloyd