Your homepage is often the first thing people land on when they find your company online. It needs to not only represent your brand but give people enough information to understand who you are and what you sell. All too often, homepages focus on looks instead of information. And while having an eye-catching layout is essential, you aren’t going to attract much business if people—and, more importantly, search engines—are unable to figure out what you sell.
Before I take you on a fantastic homepage journey, let’s take a quick detour to talk about cart sites for anyone new to the world of e-commerce.
Cart sites are a type of e-commerce website with a virtual shopping cart where people can “place” items for immediate purchase or to request a quote. These sites are typically used by distributors and manufacturers that offer physical products for sale. You’ll know you are on a cart site when you see a little shopping cart icon or a “view cart” or “my account” link in the upper corner of the website.
Make sense? Awesome. Let’s get started!
Follow the Navigation Road
Dorothy had to follow the yellow brick road to find the Wizard of Oz, just like users need to follow your navigation to find the information they need on your website. Instead of making them go through a dark forest filled with evil flying monkeys, you want them to have an easy and clear path to find the Wizard—or in the world of industrial B2B, your products.
Having a well laid out navigation is obviously critical here, but it’s also helpful to provide useful information that lets people know what they will find on your site. According to one study, the attention span of the average adult went down from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015. Yikes, that’s bad. The lesson here is that you need to draw site visitors in quickly, before they get bored and leave your site. So, what does it take to create the Emerald City of homepages?
Structuring Your Industrial Website Homepage to Sell and Tell
Think of the homepage of your e-commerce website as the prized toy you shouldn’t wait to bring to “show and tell” day in elementary school. You are proud of your company and the products you offer, and you need to demonstrate that by having an effective homepage that sells and tells.
Sell Your Company
No, no, not literally! What I mean is you need to sell people on why they should choose your company. What makes you unique, and why should someone choose you over one of your online competitors or going through a big box retailer? Sure, competition might not be as much of a concern if you sell niche products, but even then, you need to give people a good “why” to make them take action.
Let people know about the benefits of purchasing through your company, whether it’s expedited shipping or 24/7 product support. Tell the people what you (and your products) will do for them! Also, don’t forget to mention your ISO certifications and anything else that appeals to industrial customers. Certifications matter in the industrial world, especially if you are trying to target highly regulated industries like medical, military, and aerospace.
Tell People About Your Products
People are busy. Even if you have clear navigation filtered to specific product categories, you still need to give people an overview of what they can find on your site. Why? Because if people can’t figure out what you sell quickly and easily, they are going to leave your website.
At Ecreativeworks, we’re a big fan of adding products and services blurbs to your homepage. We’re not talking about long paragraphs here, just a few sentences about each of your primary navigation categories, so people know what you offer. That way, people get a snapshot view of all your products in one area. If they see something of interest, they’ll be prompted to make that next click.
Having product blurbs and headers saturated with the appropriate keywords is also crucial for SEO and will help increase your site’s ranking in search engines. There’s no need to go overboard here. Adding too many keywords (“keyword stuffing”) does more harm than good. It’s all about balance here, folks.
Homepage Spotlight: Kurt Industrial Products
Check out this example from Kurt’s homepage. We start with a brief overview of their company and capabilities, including a bulleted list with clickable links. For this website, we listed the different types of vises they sell. This allows someone searching for a specific workholding device to quickly find what they need without having to browse through the navigation or use the search box.
For people who choose to continue scrolling, we highlight a few featured products, then move into short, concise descriptions of each of their product categories. This gives site visitors who are unfamiliar with Kurt products a quick overview of everything they offer.
From here, site visitors can take one of two actions: Click on the blurb header to go to the product category page, or head to the navigation to see a breakdown of products under a specific category.
Remember how I mentioned the importance of SEO earlier? Notice that we optimized each header and product blurb with keywords that let search engines know what Kurt sells. A few we used to optimize this page are precision vises, vises, and workholding. Each of these keywords has high search volume, meaning people are regularly plugging these words into their search engine to find similar products. By sprinkling these words throughout the copy, we’re increasing the chance of Kurt’s website popping up in the first page of search results.
So, did it work? Take a look: I searched for “precision vises” and Kurt’s website appears as the first two results after the paid ads; the second result listed is their homepage. We call that an organic search win!
If you don’t want to highlight all your primary navigation categories, that’s completely fine. Choose your top product categories and feature those in your homepage blurbs. Remember, the key here is writing detailed, yet brief descriptions that include the right keywords.
Bring It Home with A Good Call-to-Action
Having a prominent call-to-action at the bottom of the page gives people that final prompt to act. You can choose a clickable “Contact Us” button, or a punchy header followed by a few sentences and a contact link. Either works fine! Don’t forget to give site visitors a final reminder of why they should choose your products.
There really is no place like home. Remember, the homepage is the face of your website—and your company. By telling people what you do and showcasing your product line in a clear and helpful manner, you’ll keep people engaged and increase the number of conversions.
The team at Ecreativeworks knows what it takes to create a user-friendly website that appeals to potential customers and helps you rank well in search engines. Send us a message to learn more about our eCommerce website solutions.
Written by Arianna Pittman, Copywriter at Ecreativeworks