Efforts to generate more leads and encourage conversion will hit a wall at some point. This is when you begin seeing that not a lot of people are signing up or engaging with your website, and you start noticing that your sales have either plateaued or declined. This is bad news if your goal is growth for your business every quarter. So what do you do? You brainstorm new campaigns to run which will hopefully bring back the vigor and excitement your website once had.
Sometimes it is not the campaigns, though, but the website itself. Your homepage is the first thing your existing and potential audience sees. If it looks outdated, aesthetically unpleasant, and difficult to navigate, then that is most likely one of the things contributing to your website’s poor performance.
To ensure that your homepage is making the right first impression, let us explore the crucial elements it should have.
The importance of having a well-designed homepage
Before a website design revamps, you must understand why you are doing it first so it can guide you on your aesthetic and usability decisions.
Your homepage receives the most traffic on your website. Think of it as your business’ virtual front desk. It must contain all the pertinent information a visitor needs like which page should they go to check out your product, where the Purchase button is, and a brief introduction about what you are offering them.
Note that your homepage must be able to:
- Entice visitors to check out your products/services
- Provide a clear direction so they can check out the other pages
- Inform them about the benefits of purchasing from you
- Converting and turning them into loyal customers
- Encouraging them to share the word
While investing time and money into optimization efforts and into your products/services is good, neglecting your homepage may be detrimental to your online presence and your sales. Yes, the homepage is not necessarily where visitors convert the most, but remember that this is supposed to be your best foot forward. You would not want them to turn them away because it looks messy and confusing.
Elements your homepage must have
Establish your value proposition
As soon as your website loads, the first thing your visitor sees must be your value proposition. On your hero banner, you can have at least three catchy headlines highlighting what your business can do for visitors, with sub-headlines that can briefly explain what it is you offer. You can put a Read More right below the headlines and sub-headlines so that there is a clear path going from the homepage to their intended page where they can learn more.
Use high-quality images
Try to avoid using cheesy stock photos for your webpage. Most people are more visual, and thanks to VSCO and Photoshop, they know what a badly taken and edited photo looks like. If you cannot set up your own photoshoot, you can always look for high-quality stock photos from websites like unsplash.com.
Avoid lengthy copy
You have landing pages where you can expound on the key benefits of being their business of choice. Avoid writing long-form, brick-paragraph copies that are hard to read and even more complicated to understand. Be brief with your copy, make it at least 300 words for the whole page already. An example would be dividing the copy into an introduction which can have 150 words and three teasers which can have 50 words each.
Testimonials show potential customers that you are a credible and trusted brand. Show quotes coming from your repeat, satisfied customers as proof that you do deliver on your promise. It is more effective if you can include a photo and a name under these testimonials, with permission from your customers of course.
The key to a navigable website is to keep it simple and clutter-free. As soon as your website loads, a visitor must immediately know which page to go to, which button to click, and which information is relevant to them. Note that online users want to get what they want fast. If your website loads slowly and if it is too complex to navigate, they will not bother anymore.
You may also use your customer’s behavior when they visit your website. If you find that a certain landing page is getting the most views, like a blog page or the product page, you might want to make it easier for users to go to these pages by highlighting it on the home page.
Choose the right fonts and colors
Harsh colors and bad fonts will definitely make your text harder to read, apart from making your website look low-grade. The common tip is to choose at least two colors or hues that pop out of the page (like red, blue, green, etc.) and combine them with neutral colors (like white or grey). In this way, the eyes are given time to rest from loud colors.
In terms of font, you must test the font on your webpage if they are readable across all devices. Some fonts tend to look smaller when they are viewed on mobile; if this is the case, change it immediately.
Put your contact information
At the foot of the home page, links to other pages in the website can be found there, divided into helpful categories like Blog, Products, etc. Besides these links, you can also put the icons for your social media pages and your contact information (like an email address for inquiries, phone number, and office location).
Once you get a website design to revamp, make sure you have all of these elements and watch as it improves visits, leads, and conversion.