Key Questions Your Homepage Should Answer


Recently I delivered a workshop for the Chamber of Commerce in La Creuse, in France. I was discussing web strategy and all the elements which go in to a successful website.

La Creuse is a semi-rural area, and that was reflected in the mix of businesses in the room. Many were in the tourism sector, some were artists, and some crafts people.

The common thread was that they all wanted to improve their websites. Everyone was eager to learn and to share their experiences.


We started the workshop by discussing the process we use at Glass Mountains to design websites. The aim was to shed some light on the activities that take place (audience research, sitemaps, wireframes etc), explaining the hard work that has to go in before something appears in a web browser. Why do this? To help the audience take a few steps back & revisit what they are trying to achieve online in the first place.


Later on in the session we reviewed some of the attendee’s websites, to see what changes could be introduced based on what we had learnt so far.

Most of the websites we looked at failed at offering answers to basic questions such as:

  • Who are we?
  • What services/products do we offer?
  • Who do these services/products benefit? (and how)
  • Why should people trust us?
  • How people can find / contact us?
  • What action do we want people to take next?

And this is a big, big issue.

It’s one thing buying a cheap (but pretty looking) WordPress theme. It’s another thing entirely to create an online presence which can effectively convert casual website visitors into paying customers.

The Basics

The ultimate irony is this: for many businesses, if your homepage succinctly answers these key questions, it does not really matter what your website looks like.

I’ll say that again:

For many businesses, as long as you succinctly answer these basic questions, it doesn’t matter* what your website looks like.

Now that may sound mad. Especially coming from a company which actually designs websites: but hear me out.

Many sites are let down by the content / messaging – not the design.

Get the content & messaging spot on – and you’re well on your way to online success. And once you’ve got that right, design & brand can make a massive difference to your chances of online success. But it can only do so when a lot of hard work has already been put in – process is the key.

Is your website answering these key questions? If not, we can help.

Please get in touch it you have any comments or questions, would like to book a workshop, or a website review.

(*Some businesses are more sensitive to poor graphic design than others. If you’re a web design agency and your website looks threadbare, then that’s a show stopping problem. But, if you’re, say, a plumber, then maybe it won’t harm you as much – that’s not to say that a plumber can’t benefit from better design though).

Tags: , ,
No Comments

Leave a Reply