So you decided to take the leap and start selling products on your own Shopify site. Congrats! You’ve uploaded your product catalog, added a few things to the homepage… but just don’t think it’s up to par yet. Trust me, I understand! There is a lot to consider and it can seem like a daunting task to even begin.
Luckily, Shopify makes it fairly easy to create a website that both looks good and includes the right elements to close the sale. If you put in the work to design it well, there’s so much opportunity for success. So let’s start with your homepage – below I’ve gathered 7 of the most common mistakes I see clients make, and outlined what you should do instead.
Mistake #1: No “about statement” on the homepage
A lot of my clients are so focused on the process of adding their products, designing their banners and trying to make their homepage look good that they forget to tell website visitors what exactly it is they do in the copy! This should be front and center on your homepage. People want to know (and quickly) what you are offering and whether it’s something they are looking for. If they are confused, you can be sure they won’t stick around very long!
Mistake #2: A very busy navigation bar
A lot of people want to put each collection of products up in the navigation bar to make sure people don’t miss it. But this leads to a confused, messy looking selection that people need to comb through just to find what they are looking for! You want your navigation to be simple and to the point. Instead, take advantage of Shopify’s easy nested menus to create dropdowns in your navigation that showcase all of your collections, and organize everything under simple headings – “Shop T-Shirts”, “About”, “Contact Us”, “Blog”.
Mistake #3: No Call To Action Buttons
Don’t forget your calls to action – on every page but especially your homepage! You need to guide visitors who land on your site to their next step, or they may never take it themselves. Maybe that’s finding out more on your About page (“Learn More”), asking a question on your Contact page (“Get In Touch”), or making a purchase from a Collection page (“Shop Now”). Shopify makes it super easy to add CTA’s by giving a button option in most sections.
Mistake #4: Grainy, unprofessional photos or a random mix that is not on brand
You want people to visit your website and immediately know what your brand is all about, and that you’re a professional business. Pixelated shots or photos that are all a different style will make your site look amatuer, and you want to gain potential customer’s trust! If you don’t have great photos to use (for banner images for example), consider spending time taking your own brand photos that tell a story and all look cohesive (even with your phone). Or go a step further and invest in a photographer for a brand shoot. If either of these choices just aren’t in the cards right now, try and narrow down to your best photos and make use of the free stock image library Shopify offers – you can find plenty of images that reflect your brand and add a polished touch.
Mistake #5: Not having an “offer”
Pull potential customers in with an offer of a coupon code with newsletter signup, a “free shipping on all products” statement, or the name and website of the charity you donate 5% of your profit to. Add it to your header, your announcement bar – someplace people will see it and get intrigued! Give people all the reasons they should buy from you right up front (and build your email list at the same time!).
Mistake #6: Unreadable text over your images
Make sure you can actually read that well crafted copy you created for your banners. If the photo is too light and you are using white text (or too dark with black text) it’s probably not very clear. Head to your theme editor and play with the image overlay opacity to help darken or lighten the images as needed, or play with the text placement instead.
Mistake #7: Not double checking how the design looks on mobile
We all know how important mobile is nowadays, so don’t you want to make sure the mobile version of your website looks great? Shopify makes it easy to check by clicking the different device views at the top of the editor. From here you can see how the site will look on desktop, mobile and tablets, and edit as needed!
Avoid these 7 common homepage mistakes, double check you have no misspellings and that all your links work, and you’ll have a professional, well branded Shopify homepage in no time!