Any web designer worth their salt knows that your homepage is the first thing your potential customers will see. Now, you have probably heard this many times before, but it bears repeating. Because frankly, if your homepage is not doing its best, you could be losing much business. So, if you’re wondering how to generate more leads from your website, it’s a good idea to start with your homepage!

Let’s look at a specific vertical and the most common mistakes. In this case, we will be looking at a wedding planning business. Here are the most common mistakes and how to fix them:

Web Designer Mistake #1 – Lacks Sufficient Info

This one sound like a no-brainer. As a local SEO company in Houston, we often come across wedding businesses that make visitors fish around for the info they want. Trust us, that’s the last thing a bride or groom wants to do!

As the first thing your visitors will see, your homepage should answer WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, and HOW TO CONTACT YOU—all in less than a few seconds.

Make sure to have your email address, phone number, mailing address, and social media links on your homepage.

It’s an even better idea to include this information on the footer of your entire website.

Web designer computer screen with arrow showing mistakes

With this information in the footer, your visitors can access your contact info everywhere they go. Plus, this is also helpful in getting your business listed in the local search results because it makes it easier for local customers to find you.

Your web designer needs to use well-written content to communicate what you do effectively. Help your visitors know they have come to the right place. Use high-quality images (no stock photos, please!), short and compelling taglines, and jargon-free language to communicate the unique benefits of your business. Photos and videos will pique the interests of your visitors and encourage them to explore further.

Mistake #2 – Flash

A Flash animated intro with audio running in the background may seem like a cool idea to impress visitors. The truth is, you run the risk of annoying those who may not want to spend any extra time before they can access your homepage.

Flash not only tests your visitors’ patience but can also do more severe damage to your website’s performance. For instance, on a website based entirely around Flash, the homepage has visuals in place of text. And, since search engines cannot read it, you lose all SEO value (no matter how good it looks). Plus, Flash does not work on iOS, and it’s not mobile-friendly.

Ditch Flash for HTML5. While HTML5 does most of the things that Flash can, it’s ‘readable’ by search engines. Because Google likes websites that work well on mobile, you should remove Flash and focus on getting your site mobile-optimized.

Also, Google now counts site speed as a ranking factor. Therefore, you should focus on delivering the fastest desktop and mobile-friendly experience. Test your website’s speed by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Mistake #3 – Not Location Optimized

When couples start researching potential wedding planners, they are looking for someone local. For instance, if a bride or groom has been looking for a wedding planner, they are most likely to type “wedding planners in [city/region].” Therefore, not including your main keywords, along with your location, will hurt your search rankings.

Mistake #4 – Not Proving What You’re Saying

In other words, your homepage is not credible enough.

You are trying to promote your business, so it’s only natural that you’d talk about its positives. Therefore, it is perfectly honest to show what others are saying about you. Because this is what a bride-to-be wants to see, right? So add real testimonials or snippets from thank you letters from previous clients. You will come off as more credible by showing off the great experience others have had with your product or service.

You could even include photos or videos of happy customers endorsing your business. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you could display some of your best wedding shots on your homepage. Visitors may feel inspired and ask you to recreate something similar for them. If you have more testimonials to show, create a CTA (call to action) button, asking visitors to “see more” and leading them to a separate testimonials page.

Web Designer Mistake #5 – Too Much Going On

Some businesses try to cram as many elements as they can into every square inch of their homepage. After all, it would be best if you grabbed the attention of your visitors. And, what better way to do so than to put tons of videos, images, blinking mail icons, or flashing banners and buttons, right? Wrong! A homepage that’s too cluttered makes your site look wholly outdated and slows it down. But the worst part is, it confuses your visitors and prompts them to turn their back and run.

Instead, opt for a clean design and layout that provides creative use of white space. While images, videos, and buttons can enhance the user experience, going overboard with them will have the opposite effect. But remember, it’s necessary to place them strategically throughout your website. Simultaneously, this ‘less is more’ approach doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. The right web design will make your homepage look minimalist yet stunning. Therefore, improving its navigation and usability. Which always has a positive impact on your conversions and sales.

If you’ve spotted any of these mistakes on your homepage, you should fix them right away. Or, you can call our local web designer team at ProEngage Local for a free website consultation.