7 Secrets to a Perfect Homepage Design
- Wes McDowell
- October 4, 2018
If you’re watching this video, that probably means you are in charge of your business website — and very few pages are as important to a small business’ website, than their homepage.
Simply because it’s usually the entry point into your business, so if you want to make that good first impression and entice way more people to stick around on your site, rather than going for the back button, I’ll show you what you should include on your homepage to move people through your sales funnel or at least to move them to the proper landing page on your site.
That’s going to be the most important for them, making it more likely for them to convert into a customer. So the way you handle your homepage is really going to depend on what you offer as a business. So I’m going to go over when it makes sense to include, you know, some really persuasive content on your homepage itself or when it makes sense to more quickly funnel people to other areas on your site. And because I know how much it helps, I’m of course going to show examples along the way. So the first thing is if you sell multiple products or services that are of equal importance, the best thing you can probably do is just very quickly get your visitors to, you know, pick a lane and go to the page that’s going to be more likely to convert them. Take Carmax for example.
You know, there’s a clear headline that covers both services of buying and selling and two options and their goal is pretty clear here. It’s just to get you to go to their buyers area or the seller’s area where they can start selling you on the benefits of either of those choices, so this option works great if you have more than one product or service of equal importance, but what if you have multiple offerings were one is much more of a focus than the others and honestly you have some options, but I would start by asking how much more important is this core offering? Then the rest, if you’re a main offer is only slightly a main offer and not really head and shoulders above the rest. It might still make sense to funnel people to separate landing pages, a broken out for your individual products or services, but you might want to consider doing it more like ring.com.
Does it see how they put much more visual interest on their flagship product, which is their doorbell. You know, this way people know this is their main product, but they do still offer cameras and security systems and other things as well. But if you know that your main offering accounts for let’s say 80 percent of your business or more, you might just want to make your homepage mostly about that core service. For instance, if you were to sell fencing, decking and Gazebos, but you know that 80 percent of your business comes from just selling the fencing. You might want to lean into that. So when that great majority of people come into your site that you know are looking for the fence, they’re not going to be turned off by the fact that you appear to be too general and what you offer, you know, in that case, putting equal emphasis on all three services is likely going to turn off your bread and butter customers which account for most of your business.
So your best bet as a business that offers one main or core service is to just treat your homepage as the landing page for that product. Okay, so let’s just go over all the main elements that your homepage needs. Starting from the top down first. And this one is probably the most obvious on the list and that’s clear visible navigation. So ideally on a home page or any kind of landing page, you want to be able to tell a structured story from the top to the bottom, but every person that comes to your site is going to be a little different, meaning they’re going to have different things that interest them the most. So some people may be most interested in pricing. Some people might be interested in reading testimonials or FAQ. So the more you can make that information instantly accessible, the better chance you’re going to have of connecting with everybody.
So make sure it’s right at the top where it’s supposed to be, and always visible. Next, you want a strong hero section that instantly communicates what it is you do and how that benefits your customers. It should include a strong headline, subhead or that gives even more explanation and an image that’s visually represents the written text. So the goal here is just to make it 100 percent clear exactly what you do within three seconds and you want to use no industry jargon whatsoever. Using technical language may show off your expertise, but it does absolutely nothing to connect with your customers and it ends up often coming off way more about you than them, so it’s best to avoid it. Now, the big trend here used to be using an image slider with rotating images and headlines to accompany them, but they’ve done a lot of studies in the past few years.
They basically all said the same thing, that these are just really bad for conversions, so you’re better off just sticking with one image and one strong headline and message. Okay, next you’re going to want to call out the benefits of what you offer. Now, a big homepage trap I see a lot of businesses fall into is they want to go right into the features that, uh, that people will get with their service or product. But instead of talking right away about what your customer is going to get, you want to start communicating about what they’re going to get out of it. In other words, the benefits they get from the features. Think of this simply as the perks they get from working with you. What I usually like to do is come up with three main benefits, distill it down to three, and then just put her in a simple three column layout, name the benefit, give a short description and use an icon or an image to make it very visually clear to glance.
Remember, most people don’t so much. Rita page is they skim it, so visual cues are really important, so we’ve covered the benefits which really satisfies that emotional part of a buyer. And remember, most buyer behavior is actually motivated by emotion and only after they’ve decided on a product to some degree do they decide to back that decision up with logic. So next we’re going to play into that logic part of the brain and now it’s time to talk about the features. So include a little features section that shows exactly what they’re going to get. I like to put this into a simple bulleted list. Just list out what’s included and rather than list out every single thing which may be overwhelming for the average viewer, I had limited it to maybe 10 or so bullet points. Okay? Next is very important and that is social proof, so we live in a world that’s pretty run by reviews and testimonials.
You know, it’s pretty rare these days to ever buy anything online or go to a restaurant or even go to a movie without reading the reviews about it first, right? Well your website is no different, so you’re gonna need this on your homepage as well. So if you’re a service business, include a few testimonials or if you sell a product, you’re going to want to have a few product reviews right there on your homepage and rather than just written text, you’re definitely gonna want to include a real photo of the reviewer. It just helps it connect much more and people are more likely to believe it as being true if they can see the face attached to it. I know it came from a real person and I really recommend going one step further with this and actually getting at least one video testimonial or product review.
It just connects much more powerfully than written text even with that photo. So I really challenge you to go out and get at least one of those. Another way to use social proof to your advantage is through a plugin such as proof. This works great if your main call to action is to schedule an appointment or a consultation or to download a free piece of content. All you have to do is set it up and track. Every time someone completes that desire to action, then it captures it and displays it to other visitors. It basically shows people that others are taking action, which studies have shown can be a powerful psychological motivator. Silly as it may sound. And that leads me very nicely to my next point, which is your primary call to action. In other words, what is it you want your site visitors to do on your site?
Do you want them to call you, book a consultation buy an actual product? Whatever that action is, you want to make it ridiculously easy for them to do it, so put it in a really prominent location and style it as a button. The button should stand out from all other page elements. I even recommend not using the same button color anywhere else on the site. You can display it in multiple key areas on the page such as the bottom of each individual section, or make it constantly visible in a sticky navigation bar that stays at the top of the browser as you scroll down the page. Okay, so that’s your primary call to action. But if you’ve seen any of my other videos, you’ve probably already heard me say that only 10 to 20 percent of the people coming to your site today are ready to take that action.
So I highly recommend a secondary call to action that’s designed purely to get those other 80 to 90 percent of people onto your email list. Once they’re on that, you can stay in front of them, sending periodic emails to them over the course of time that it takes for them to decide if they want to work with you or one of your competitors. So the first thing you’re going to want to do is decide on a lead magnet idea, and I’ve got a video that I just made a. You can click up here for that, so once you’ve come up with what your lead magnet is going to be, you’re going to want to include a dedicated section to it lower down on your homepage. It should just be a really simple form encouraging them to give you their name, email address, possibly phone number in exchange for that lead magnet, and I actually recommend taking this a step further and including an exit intent pop up, which gives people one last chance to opt in when the browser can detect that someone’s and bouncing back up toward the back button.
Okay, so those are my main content and layout recommendations. But I do want to give you a few design tips as well. So we made design. Tip is you want to keep things visual with large images that illustrate the main concepts or at least enhance the feelings that you want people to associate with your brand. And generally speaking, images of people resonate best if it makes sense for your particular site. But be careful to stay away from obvious stock images. People hate those, so just choose them very carefully. And icons are great to emphasize benefits and features, so be sure to use icons and whenever you can, and I can’t stress this enough. Use plenty of white space. You short sentences, short paragraphs, bullet lists whenever possible headlines. Whenever there’s an important point or an important phrase you want to make sure people see, use bold.
It just really helps to break things up and it makes it page much more skimmable, which again is how you know he needed. 80 to 90 percent of people are actually going to consume your homepage. All right, now who want to hear from you? I want to know specifically of all the things we went over in this video, what are you most excited to bring to your own homepage? I want to know all about it in the comments below. And of course I’m just a comment away. So if you have any questions or anything you want to add to this conversation, go ahead and leave it below and I’ll read everything and answer whatever I can.
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