Happy New Year from Studio 7! As you have been compiling your business goals for 2016, a new website might be on that list. Maybe an entire site overhaul is not in the plans right away. If that’s the case, you might consider revamping your website’s homepage design. This can be a good alternative on its own, or as a bridge to a full site redesign.
I think of a homepage sort of like speed dating, in terms of what it needs to accomplish. You have a short window of time to get someone’s attention, make a strong first impression, and pique their interest enough to take a next step toward making a connection.
An effective homepage:
- tells what your business does within 3 seconds of arriving on the page
- explains how your business helps its customers
- turns visitors into leads by moving them beyond the homepage and deeper into the website
How is this accomplished? The most effective websites are based on a solid strategy, but here are the nuts and bolts of a homepage design that converts:
- Strong, simple copy: Headlines and sub-headlines should speak to your audience and quickly and clearly communicate what you do, who you are and how you’ll help them.
- Appealing graphics and imagery: Custom professional photography is hard to beat, but not always a realistic option. Here are some great sources for quality stock images.
- An easy user interface: Your homepage design should ease people to where you want them to go next on the site. A visitor should not have to think at all in order to find what they are looking for. That means a simple layout and easy-to-find (and use) navigation.
- Call-to-action: If you want something, you usually have to ask for it. The goal of your homepage is for visitors to connect with your business and move further into that sales funnel, so you need to give them a way to do that. Invite them to contact you, or offer a way to keep in touch (such as via an email newsletter) for people who aren’t ready for a direct conversation just yet.
- Offer something of value: This is another way to convert visitors to leads. Offer a whitepaper, e-book or “quick tips” guide in exchange for an email address. Once the offer and email address have been exchanged, you can follow up with a thank you as part of a drip marketing strategy to move prospects further into your sales funnel.
Some of the websites we’ve noticed that are doing things right on their homepages are Basecamp, FreshBooks, and Mint. Does your website’s homepage include any or all of the elements we’ve discussed? Anything missing from this list that you would add? Share your homepage wisdom in the comments!