Every Effective Home Page Needs Certain Elements
Your website’s home page is like the central hub for your website. The success of the rest of your website depends on the effectiveness of your home page. If you have a terrible layout or a confusing message, or it is difficult to find information, it’s likely that no one will go further than that page. Let’s take a look at a few essential elements that every effective home page needs.
Eye Catching Images
Have you ever came to a website where the imagery was generic or bland. Low resolution and grainy images will kill the success of your website. There really is no excuse for bad images, with all of the free high-resolution stock photography websites available now, like Pixabay, Unsplash, Death to Stock Photo, and dozens of others.
Key Points (That Lead to other pages on the site)
On your home page, you should have sections that build interest for your main topics. Whether you’re selling products, web design services, or providing key information, there should be a section, or lead in, for each main topic. This will lead interested people to the areas of your site where they can find what they are looking for. You can’t assume that people are going to click through all of your main menu items.
A Definitive call to action
People need to know what you want them to do. If you want them to give you an email address in exchange for an in depth PDF, then create a call-to-action for that. If you want people to register for a free webinar, where you can sell them products or services, there should definitely be a call-to-action for that. Whatever you do, make it stand out!
The best practice is to put the contact information in the header or footer of every page. People shouldn’t struggle to find how to get in contact with you. That one issue could be killing your conversions. With content management systems like WordPress being so prevalent, it’s easy to apply your contact information on every page. Also, make your phone number tappable for mobile users. If they are on a smart phone, it can be tough to remember your number and dial it in while they are driving or in transit. Make it quick and easy for them.
Even if your contact information is on every page, be sure to still have a dedicated contact page to make it easy for users to find that information, and additional information, like a map for directions, and a contact form to be able to send you a message.
Lead capture (via popup or embedded form)
Lead capture is essential to the growth of every business. You should have a way for users to enter their information, so you can contact them later. Gather their email address. If you need to call them, collect their phone number so you can reach them and close the sale.
Special offer (like a popup)
If you sell products, one of the easiest way to get people to view your products is to mention a deal, a coupon, or a sale. People never want to miss out on an opportunity to save money on something they want. Also, popups work well (even though people say they hate them) for gathering email addresses before someone leaves. If you provided quality information and tried to be helpful, a majority of the time they will sign up to receive email updates.
Contrasting elements(colors, or alternating flat, then patterns or imagery)
One thing that makes it tough for visitors to enjoy a site is when a site’s content all runs together. You have to break things up and make it more digestible. It’s less intimidating when you see a paragraph here, and a paragraph there, with images and other content, like video mixed in. That’s why blocks, or cards, have become so popular in web design. People like a mix of content.
A video (if possible)
People love videos! They are engaging, and they get to see you in person. It adds a sense of personal connection and trust that you aren’t just some faceless entity that just wants to take their money. Most people will watch your video, which increases the time spent on your site, lowering your bounce rate.
Trust is essential for any business. No one wants to be the first to do something, when it comes to buying a product or service. If you have testimonials from trustworthy, satisfied clients, it makes it much easier to convert your visitors into buyers. Most happy customers are happy to provide recommendations when you’ve done a good job for them. You don’t have to display all of your client testimonials. Simply stick with the top three, with a button that leads to a page with the rest of them. Feeling apprehensive about asking for a testimonial from your clients? You shouldn’t! Kissmetrics had this to say about testimonials:
Some business owners feel awkward asking for testimonials, but we have found that people are extremely helpful here.
For instance, you may receive a nice email after providing good support to a customer who says something like: “Love your product and support! It’s made a huge difference in our company.” If so, simply reply and say: “I’m so glad to hear that! We are getting ready to update our website and would love to feature a quote from you. We could even link to your company so that you could get an inbound link and extra traffic to your website.”
Client Logos (or recent projects or products)
The trust factor should be one of your top priorities. Just like testimonials, client logos can go a long way in boosting trust with new visitors. If you have clients of note, such as local businesses that other will recognize, those are the perfect types of client logos to display on your site. Some might call it name dropping, but it works.
I also included a great infographic from HubSpot to help you understand effective home page elements visually.
The elements above might not all work for your specific site. You may have to pick and choose, depending on your particular niche, but most of them are applicable to a majority of businesses. Remember, anything that you can do to build trust, pique interest, and build rapport will have a direct impact on whether they explore the rest of your site. It all starts with an effective home page.
Also published on Medium.