Five ingredients for a successful homepage

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The homepage is your virtual front door, which is why you should treat is as one of the most web pages on your site. If a visitor lands on your homepage and they don’t like what they see, their first reaction is to hit the “back” button and go to your competitors’ sites instead.

So, how do you create a winning homepage that not only keeps visitors on your site but also converts them into paying customers? There are no silver bullet solutions to building the perfect homepage, however there are some best practices that you can follow to ensure yours is built for success.

1. Compelling value-proposition

If you’re a famous brand like Amazon, you can probably get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do. But if you’re not, then you’ll need to clearly answer basic questions like “Who we are”, “What we do”, and “How we can help you (the visitor)”. This will help visitors decide if you have what they’re looking for.

Steven Krugg sums it up best in his best-selling book, Don’t Make Me Think: “If visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.”

Here’s a good example from Telerik, a company that offers solutions for mobile app development:

Telerik

The homepage is the best place to nail your value proposition and quickly convince people that they’ve come to the right place. So, spend some time on creating a powerful tagline that succinctly explains the benefits of using your business, and why visitors should choose to stay on your website and not navigate to your competitors’.

2. Contact information

Want prospects to call you, to visit your location or to book a consultation? Don’t make them dig for your contact information. You don’t want to lose a potential customer over something so trivial. Make your contact information easy to find by putting it on your homepage where they can see it. Add your phone number, your email address and your location right at the top of your homepage so they know how to reach you.

This will also reassure them that you’re a genuine company and that you’re happy with assist them and quickly address any questions or concerns that they may have.

Check out this site as a good example:

aspect

The contact information is right at the top of the page. Plus, they offer three options to get in touch: you can call them, book online or add your phone number so they can call you.

3. Straightforward navigation

Having navigation on your homepage is a no brainer, but you need to ensure that your navigation is intuitive. That means that it should be easy to understand so that visitors will know exactly where they will be directed when they click a certain link in the menu. Apart from providing content, your navigation should also provide a clear route to where potential customers might want to go.

In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. Place a simple, clear navigation at the top of the page that leads to your most important pages.

Here’s an example from cranberryblueweddings.co.uk:

cranberry

4. Trust signals

Whether it’s customer testimonials, awards, ratings, links to your social media accounts, videos presenting your team or your office, there are lots of trust builders that you can add to your homepage, even if you’re a new business just getting started.

You could even add security seals, free shipping or money-back guarantees to improve your credibility and increase levels of trust. Don’t neglect these trust signals as they’re crucial in reassuring your potential customers know that they should be confident in choosing you.

Check out this example from Freshbooks, an online invoicing software:

freshbooks

They’ve included testimonials from customers, ratings as well as reviews from authority magazines.

5. Clear call to action

Every homepage should include a strong call to action (CTA) that directs visitors to the next logical step. Whether it’s “Schedule a demo”, “Buy now” or “Sign up for a free trial”, your CTA needs to be compelling enough to convince visitors to dig deeper into your website and move further down the funnel.

A CTA tells prospects what to do next so they don’t get lost or confused. So, make sure yours is highly visible and clear on their next step should be. It’s the only way to turn your homepage into a lead-generation engine.

Want to see an example? Here is one from Lexoo, a lawyer comparison platform:

lexoo

The call to action is simple, straight to the point and compelling.

Your turn now

Your homepage is most often the first page visitors land on, which is why it’s crucial to get it right. If it’s confusing, difficult to navigate and lacks important information, you’ll lose potential sales.

What do you think is the most important element to have on a homepage? Let us know in a comment below.

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Alex Domainmonster.com

Author: Alex Domainmonster.com

Alexandra blogs about domain names, online marketing and website optimisation. She loves it when you jump in the conversation by commenting on her posts.

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