The homepage is one of the most important pages of a website. It’s the virtual shop window to your business, welcoming potential and existing patients to your practice. It needs to quickly tell visitors, and search engines, what you are all about.
Your homepage is likely to be the page that visitors see first, especially when searching general terms such as ‘Dentist [location]’. It is also the page of your site that online directories, other websites and suppliers will link to. Because of this, the homepage is likely to gain the most traffic and new visitors.
It’s also the page search engines see first. They use the homepage to get an idea of what and who your website is all about, and the keywords you should be ranking for.
So, it is essential to optimise the homepage for both user experience and for SEO purposes.
Here are my tips for creating an effective homepage:
Make sure your brand and logo are clearly visible. Use images to display what you do and clear headings and text to reinforce your message.
Use imagery and wording that reflects the type of patient you want to attract.
Mobile users have overtaken desktop, so make sure your website looks great on all platforms. If you haven’t already, you need to make your website mobile responsive. Having a homepage that is difficult to navigate or read when viewing on a mobile will result in high bounce rates and missed opportunities for new patients!
Include clear call to actions – this tells website visitors what they should be doing on each page. Using call to actions that link through to other pages also helps direct visitors to the most relevant page for them. For example, by including buttons such as ‘make an enquiry’, or banners that promote a particular treatment. This not only helps reduce the bounce rate, it will also help users navigate the site and gather more information, encouraging them to contact you.
The homepage should be easy to use and navigate. It acts as the central hub of the site, so having a clear navigation menu is essential. Try to group your treatments into sections to avoid an overcrowded and cluttered menu. This also reduces the number of options you give website visitors, helping to avoid confusion and guiding them easily through the website.
Include a short about us section (no longer than a few sentences), and clear concise snippets of information. Web visitors need to be able to quickly digest all the information on the page to avoid them getting bored and overwhelmed.
The homepage should target just one or two of your most important and general keywords. A homepage won’t rank for more specific treatment terms, instead, it should be used as a platform to show off your specialisms and direct potential visitors to pages that offer more information.
Even simple changes can improve your homepage for both user experience and search engine visibility. Keep them simple, clear and well balanced, and you’ll be in for success.