Your homepage is the online face of your company. With just a few seconds to capture the attention of website visitors, how can you know what to include and how to put it all together? We’ve compiled a list of ten things you should include on your website’s homepage to give you the answers and get you started.
The most important thing about your homepage is that your visitors will know exactly who you are. They shouldn’t have to study your products or search around on your page to find your business name. The first thing you should include on your homepage is your headline, a brief description of who you are or what you do.
Additionally, your headline should cause customers to take action. After reading your headline, they know who you are and what you provide and, hopefully, pursue your services. If you would use your headline in a conversation with a friend to describe your product or service, you’re on the right track.
Within just a few seconds, your visitors need to understand who you are and what you do. Your headline should be clear, simple, and front and center.
Sub-Headline or Introduction
Now that your headline has captured the attention of your homepage visitors, begin to answer more of their questions with a sub-headline. One important thing to keep in mind about your site visitors is that they aren’t going to spend time reading a lengthy description of your company. People don’t read; they scan.
Your sub-headline should be long enough to give a clearer picture of the value you can provide to your site guests, but it shouldn’t be paragraphs of information. Your sub-headline should boost clarity, not answer every question a patron might have. A few sentences introducing your business is a great way to elaborate on your product or services without losing the attention of your visitors.
Brand awareness is huge for every business whether you are a national brand or a startup, and your logo plays a big role in your brand recognition. You should include your logo on your homepage so when visitors come to your site, they immediately see your logo and associate your brand with a clean, easy to use site and valuable products or services.
But a logo isn’t positioned on your homepage solely for brand awareness. Your logo can be used as a link back to your homepage when visitors are on other parts of your site. Put your logo in your header so it’s always easy to find.
Calls to Action
Your site’s homepage is the gateway into all of the resources, products, and services you offer. Include call to action buttons in different places on your homepage to entice customers to dive more deeply into your site to “Learn More” or to “Order Now.”
Calls to Action can be linked to contact forms, subscription enrollment forms, or other pages within your website. These buttons allow you to tell your customers exactly what you want them to do (“Buy Now!”) and usher them into the buying cycle.
Customers are more likely to trust your brand if they see other users backing the credibility and quality of your business. Social proof in the form of customer testimonials or reviews help your customers build trust in you even if they’ve never heard of you before. Not only do testimonials confirm that your product is great, they often answer questions about your products that your site visitors didn’t know to ask.
Adding a name and photo to these testimonials puts a face with the words on the screen and is a great way to give yourself even more credibility.
Having high-quality photos on your site benefits you in two main ways: it boosts your credibility, and it gives customers a clear picture (literally) of what you provide. It’s your responsibility to provide customers with a full idea of what you do, and this can be accomplished with appealing high-resolution images.
We strongly recommend staying away from stock photos. Stock photos reek of insincerity. Even with just a glance, your site visitors will be able to tell how genuine you are. You wait to paint yourself in the best possible light, and with original, high-quality photos, you can do just that.
Fresh, Quality Content
If your user comes to your site, and you haven’t given them a reason to return, they won’t. You want to anticipate the needs of your website visitors and provide the answers they’re looking for right on your homepage.
You content needs to be original, well-written, and meet needs or answer questions. Think about your target audience, and write to them. Don’t use lofty jargon that people outside of your industry won’t understand. Your homepage shouldn’t be overrun with text, but the text that is there should be enjoyable to read and informative.
Additionally, new and well-written content is an SEO goldmine. Every detail of your homepage matters when you’re trying to attract people to your site and keep them coming back for more.
Your navigation bar is the first step from your homepage into the rest of your site. It should be easy to read and easy to use.
Your navigation bar should also make finding your different products and product categories easy for your user. It should also be designed in such a way that all of your categories are presented, giving site visitors a glimpse of your what you have to offer. This makes them aware of your services that they weren’t necessarily looking for.
Easy-to-Find Contact Information
If customers have questions while they’re on your site, you want to make your contact information easy to find. Most site visitors know to look near the bottom of your homepage for your information. Customers are more likely to trust your product, even if they don’t recognize your brand, if you provide contact information—like email, phone number, and address—and reply to them in a timely manner.
A collection of your work that can be showcased in a portfolio will be an excellent addition to your homepage. If your business offers services that can be presented through photographs, descriptions, and case studies, a portfolio can show customers what you provide in a clean, organized manner, and they don’t have to search through your site to find it.
Architectural firms, landscaping companies, and homebuilders are just a few of the many business that should include a portfolio on their homepages.
Now you have a better idea of the essentials for an appealing and useful homepage. By following our advice, you can give your site visitors a great user experience that will keep them coming back to you to meet their needs again and again.