Are you over thinking your home page?

Since January 2017 Shopify merchants have been reveling in the ability to build awesome Shopify storefronts with the still very new Section editing capabilities of their themes.

We have 5 themes in the Shopify theme store and see a very high volume of users on a daily basis coming to us with all manner of questions about support, modifications and how to guides. We see everything from the super minimal to the powerhouse feel of multiple collections and products with image galleries screaming out for attention.

With all of the new editing capabilities we understand how a store owner can get carried away or feel at a loss as to how to execute a strong home page, this isn't a user guide for sections but more of a though process based on using what you need and not getting carried away. 

Stop over thinking it

You have mere seconds to win over a new customer, don't blow it all with un-original pop-ups... "No thanks I like paying full price" was fun the first few times we saw it but it's a bit generic nowadays as a refusal to sign up for something, don't be unoriginal.

We know many sit there looking at the leaders in their industry or their competition, it isn't all about out do-ing the other guy though. Break your home page up in to manageable sections by asking yourself some basic questions.

1. Where is my traffic coming from?

2. What are my strongest search terms?

3. What do I want people to click on the most?

4. What can I not be without and why?

We will address each of these in a way which we hope will help you to make the best decision based on your business. Remember to be honest as this will make a difference.

Balance the nice to haves with the what you needs to give your customers a more rewarding experience.

Where is my traffic coming from
This is quite simple, if you know your traffic is coming from social media and customers are landing on your home page add something tailored to that audience. Give a section of your image gallery to encourage likes, tweets and shares by running a give away or contest. Just because you are getting some traffic from social media doesn't mean you don't want more... Likes, pins, tweets and shares all encourage a much larger audience.

What are my strongest search terms
What do people search Google for to visit your site. If you sell umbrellas and your customers are searching for a specific brand or product then dedicate some space on your home to that brand or product... You have their interest, offer them a fast route to a purchase, you did the hard part of being found, don't let a prospect get away because they can't find what they were looking for.

What to I want people to click the most
This is different to what do I want people to do when they get here.. Obviously in an ecommerce site we want people to buy but what is the one thing that you have that your competitors don't, what can you offer and why should they buy from you.
Is your shipping free? Shout about it. Do you offer free no-hassle returns, Shout about that too. Think about what it is that you have that will bring customers to your most important product, collection or content and put it in front of them.

What can I not be without and why
I need it because I want my website to look like X - we get that one all the time... Many store owners are driven by what others have... I need my images to flip to the 2nd product when you hover on them... Great but watch your page speed load time double. 

Keep it simple, Stupid!

Just because someone else does it doesn't mean that you have to, there are plenty of pioneers out there who made a fortune in not following the masses, never forget that. There are enough "sites that look like" out there. Be original and lead from the front.

If you think on these lines you are working with a different perspective. Don't put a slideshow in just because you feel like it is needed. That slideshow has to serve a purpose for your store. Sure you can show all of your products on the home page even if you have a massive catalogue but watch your page speed suffer and your customers get lost in content.

Save the really big content pushes for when it is needed... Black Friday, New year Sales etc... there is a time and place for throwing massive amounts of data at your home page. Do Macy's put the entire store in their front windows? Entice first and deliver at each step, a  page with 10 easy to see items is much stronger than a page with 100 all fighting over the same 2 eyes. White space is a good thing, like oxygen between sentences. Keep it simple and monitor the results closely with Google analytics.

Let's talk about this

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