Once you’ve created your website’s home and about pages you can forget about them, right? Wrong! Here’s why they deserve your ongoing attention.
Why bother taking good care of your home and about pages?
As a rule, your home and about pages are those your visitors will click to the most frequently, the home page because it’s often where they land in the first place, directly from the search results, and your about page because people still like to find out more about a business before buying.
Plenty of people fiddle with their home and about pages regularly, which is great. It means your messaging stays up to date and you always sound fresh and current. On the other hand bitty editing and rewriting done at different times for different reasons can soon make your content sound disorganised and random. If you want to avoid a nasty case of nonsense-creep, it makes sense to carefully read them from scratch to make sure you haven’t lost the plot, lost the logic, lost clarity or completely obscured your message.
Dealing with simple neglect
You may have uploaded your home and about pages years ago and have’t tended to them since. You’d be surprised how many people get their website up and running then never bother to look at it again. Neglect is just as bad as nonsense creep, leaving your ‘shop window’ looking dusty and forgotten. Things change lightning fast online, and while your pages sounded brilliant x years ago, they can soon start to sound weird. If your home page still says ‘welcome to…’ at the top, you will sound very old-school indeed.
Reflecting your business accurately
Businesses change, too. You might have started off appealing to everyone and his dog, but experience has revealed your ideal target market is much tighter than that. As a result you might have changed your product line, services or tone of voice without making the relevant changes to your website or – worse – doing it in an ad hoc fashion. Stepping back and smelling the coffee lets you spot where things have got out of control or no longer work.
Repeating yourself across your home and about pages
Plenty of people get in a pickle when trying to differentiate their home and about pages. A great about page isn’t just a re-hash of the same stuff you’ve said on the home page. The word ‘about’ says it all. The about page is your chance to tell people about your business, about you personally, about your aims and goals, about your business culture, history and products, all in a way that supports trust and enables good buying decisions. You can be personal, intimate, funny, all that good stuff, in the pursuit of convincing people that you’re a reliable, suitable and reasonable organisation to buy from.
Over-egging your home page
It’s easy to over-egg your home page in an effort to make everything clear and not leave anything out. There’s no need to cover absolutely everything – this is where you give a succinct, elegant overview of what you do for your customers, covering the fine detail on deeper pages. On the home page you need to say just enough to persuade people to stick around, no more and no less.
Optimising keywords and meta data
Don’t be scared to throw away your current content and start from scratch. But DO remember to re-include the keywords you’ve mapped to each page, having first done some basic keyword research to check they’re still the best for the job. And bear in mind that your meta data for each page also deserves regular attention – fresh meta data can help you achieve better natural search visibility.
Fixing design nightmares
Written content is just part of the equation. Your design might have been compromised thanks to loads of fiddly little text changes, leaving it looking like a dog’s dinner. Cutting content back down to size should help restore your page design to something that appeals to people rather than turning them off.
Seeing the wood for the trees
You might have looked at your site so often that you can’t see the wood for the trees any more. A fresh pair of eyes works wonders. If your home and about pages are sub-standard, or you’d like expert advice about how to make the best of them, get in touch.