Is it time to refresh your small business website design? A great starting point is your homepage as it serves as your company's virtual front door.
Research show that a homepage is the most visited page on a website and on average attracts more than 50 percent of all visitor traffic. Your homepage is THE landing page on your website, so you need to make sure that you optimize it properly to drive conversions.
The trouble is that your homepage is responsible for wearing several hats, from educating visitors to inviting conversions. Taking these elements into account with homepage website design will allow you to improve the performance of your website and increase your bottom line.
To create a homepage that functions for your business and aligns with your goals, here are 8 requirements to include in your design to ensure it functions well for end-users:
1. Captivating Headline
You have less than 3 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention. Skip the fluff and use your headline to tell your visitors what your website has to offer. Since this is the first headline on your website that your visitors will read, it's the most important website copy that you'll write.
Research shows that the top performing homepage headlines are between 6 and 12 words in length. Within these few words, your headline should incorporate what makes your business unique and how your website adds value to your target visitors.
To help you craft a winning homepage headline, ask yourself the following questions:
A sub headline is below your headline and tells a little more about what your business entails. While the goal of your headline is to grab your audience's attention, the sub headline is intended to reel them in.
Instead of using your sub headline to talk about yourself, focus on addressing a common pain point that your target audience is dealing with. Emphasize how your product or service will add value to your audience.
You've gotten your audience's attention with a captivating headline and made them want your product or service with your sub headline. Now it's time to close the deal by including a call-to-action on your homepage.
A call-to-action invites your visitors to dig deeper into your website and take a specific course of action. As a best practice, you'll want to include 2 to 3 calls-to-action on your homepage to help you capture visitors in different parts of your sales funnel.
4. Supporting Image
People crave visual imagery and are able to process this type of content 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, you need to include a supporting image on your homepage to grab your audience's attention and convey your message. Include an image (or even a short video) that shows what your business has to offer.
When choosing an image, use one that evokes emotion and inspires action. Stay away from cheesy stock photos.
5. Social Proof
Prospective customers want proof that you're a credible business, and there's no better way to show this than by offering customer testimonials. After all, today's consumers tend to trust online reviews just as much as a recommendation from a friend.
Instead of cluttering up your homepage with customer testimonials, include just a few brief quotes from customers and a link to your case studies page (if you choose to have one on your website). Offering a name and actual customer photos with the testimonials will help to make them even more credible.
6. Clear Navigation Path
Navigation has a crucial impact on the overall performance of your website, perhaps more than any other factor. Your goal should be to provide the optimal user experience for all visitors that arrive on your website. This means giving visitors a clear path to the various pages of your website from your homepage.
When you make it easy for visitors to find what they're looking for on your website, you'll experience a lower bounce rate. A low bounce rate signals to search engines that your website offers a positive user experience and adds value to visitors, which will help to boost your search ranking.
7. Content Offer
If you're a savvy business owner, your website includes a blog to attract traffic and position yourself as an authority. You'll also want to create premium content such as white papers and ebooks to dive more in-depth about relevant topics and provide value to your audience.
To help you generate even more leads from your homepage, be sure to include a content offer for your premium content. Your website visitors will need to supply you with their contact information to unlock the free content, which will help you to capture leads that are further in your sales funnel.
Approximately 96 percent of your visitors won't make a purchase upon their initial visit to your website. Instead, they're visiting your website to research your products and services. Including resources in homepage website design will help to educate your audience and point them in the direction to make a purchase. Providing links to relevant resources also helps to position your business as an authority in its industry and a place to go to gather information.
Of course, you'll also want to optimize your website design for mobile viewing. As far as your homepage website design goes, this means optimizing headlines, sub headlines, body-text copy, images, and more for users accessing your website from a mobile device.
As you begin the process of designing your homepage, be sure to include these 8 critical elements to achieve a website that produces results for your business.