Essential Elements Every Homepage Should Have
If you’re thinking about redesigning your site or are unsure how to produce more leads from your site, then often, a great way to do this is to start with the landing page you call Homepage.
Your Homepage is seen as the virtual front door to your business and is often the first point of contact responsible for pulling in the bulk of your site’s traffic. Despite its importance, a lot of companies simply don’t optimize it correctly.
A Homepage needs to be a lot of things to a lot of people and as such, needs to be designed to be ‘multi-purpose’ or ‘multi-functional’, incorporating a number of elements that attract, educate, invite, persuade, or anything else that fulfills its purpose.
What a Website Homepage Should Comprise
In less than three seconds, visitors to a site should know what that corporation has to offer. A headline need only be a few words, but they have to be some of the most important few words on your whole site.
Keep the headline vigorous and brief. Securely Share, Sync, and Collaborate with Dropbox is a great example. Unpretentious, yet strong, and takes less than 3 seconds to work out what Dropbox is there for.
A sub-headline should complement this by extending a similarly pithy depiction of what it is that you do or what your business has sold. This can be done most efficiently by targeting a common Pain Point, something your merchandise or service answers.
Podio’s example is a good one. Try the customisable work management solution leaders trust and employees love working on. It targets some ordinary pain points assuring people that its product is customisable, trustworthy, and enjoyable to work with.
The primary intent of your Home page should be to induce site visitors to burrow into your site. Calls-to-action, between 2 and 3, above the fold, put people on the right track into different stages of the buying cycle, these CTAs should be striking visually, in a contrasting colour from your homepage, although in keeping with your design overall. Keep the copy short, five words or less, Sign Up, Make an Appointment, or Try for Free compelling visitors to click on your CTA. Uber has some good principal CTAs that target different audiences, such as, Become a Driver aimed at prospective drivers, as well as Sign Up for prospective customers.
Most of the information we receive is visual. When using images or video choose those which capture an emotion and produce action.
Freddie von Chimpenheimer, the cartoon mascot of MailChimp, has been described as a friendly mascot who; “welcomes users and makes them feel at home.” Mirroring perfectly the brand’s ethos of simplicity and informality, without making the whole website look jokey.
Social proof is a powerful indicator of trust, and customers have become more informed over time, they can now know an enormous amount about your business without even speaking to a salesperson. Your service or product could well be the best in the universe, and it’s fine to say that but more people will believe it when they hear it from someone else too. Hence the term social proof.
Include a few quotes on your Home page, linking to them to case studies if you use them, include a name or image to lend testimonials authority.
Design and content are crucial to your business and could be the make or break between a bounce and a conversion. To reduce your bounce rate, give people a strong path they can follow from your homepage and on into your site. Ensure the menu used to aid navigation is clearly visible and the links are in a well-defined hierarchy.
What a Website Homepage Should Comprise
To help create further leads, introduce a fantastic content offer on your Home page, such as a demos or trials, an eBook, or a contest. People who are not quite ready to buy, may readily download an offer, or give them something free first.
Have a contingency plan which includes the use of secondary CTAs offering further conversion prospects for visitors who may not be drawn in through your primary business interest. Secondary CTAs offer a divergent path for people who just might be ready for a high-commitment sale. But remember, they still must appeal to differing audiences, and be placed below the fold. These calls to action will reward their perseverance.
As well as any benefits, your Home page must feature some of your key assets, giving visitors more of an insight into what services or products your business deals in. The copy, as always must not be dense but easy to read and digest. There are many examples of leading organisations that use features matrices such as price comparison, threat matrix, resource matrix etc.
A lot of visitors to your site won’t yet be ready to purchase anything. Site visitors may only be for more information (Step Forward Homes for example has resources, information and a blog on shared home ownership; not everyone is going to buy a house the first time they visit a site) so you should include a resource link, where people can find targeted information relevant to their needs. This will keep them on your site for longer, and help you establish Social Proof and enhance your credibility.
As well as testimonials and links to tales of consumer success, honours or awards will also inspire brand confidence and create a great first impression. If your business is a Michelin starred acclaimed café tell everyone if you were voted best newcomer in the field, shout it from the rooftops. Let your site visitors know about your achievements. This also works in the same way as social proof, giving your organisation further credibility.
Optimise For Mobile
An inadequate mobile presence can make your business look amateurish and not in sync with the modern user.
Mobile optimised sites have been enhanced for SEO with changes to Google’s algorithms, so if you’re either tuning your Home or restructuring it entirely, make sure it is fully optimised (this includes all of the features listed above). Remember, create a fantastic user experience for the growing number browsing the internet on mobile devices.
57% of users stated that they wouldn’t recommend a business to anyone with a poorly-designed mobile site. (socPub)
Find out how your business can benefit from having Verb Marketing design your websites by following this link.