Your homepage is likely the first thing that people will see when they come to your website. It’s your first impression, so make it a good one.
Your homepage is a place to attract your ideal client and repel those who aren’t a good fit for your offering.
By establishing who you serve, upfront, you’ll remove any confusion and increase inquiries from those dreamy ideal clients. That is what we want from our websites!
We want more of those dreamy ideal clients and fewer inquiries from those that aren’t a great fit.
In order to do this, you’ll need to focus on three key elements.
“Great web design without functionality is like a sports car with no engine.” Paul Cookson
Establish a goal for your homepage
Ask yourself, what action do you want users to take on your site?
Use the prime real estate at the top of your homepage to drive people to take this action.
“I think it’s essential that the moment someone hits your website, it’s clearly communicated to them what the site is about and who it’s for. You can do this by putting a one-liner in the first panel of your homepage that says ‘We do _____ for _______ so they can have ______, _____, and _______.’” shares brand and web designer Tracy Raftl “if they don’t understand what your site is about within 5 seconds, they’ll leave.”
Let’s say you’re a nutritionist who helps busy moms get clear on how they can practically include wellness in their everyday lives. And, your number 1 website goal is to grow your email list with moms who fit this demographic.
You’ll want to create an enticing opt-in incentive that’s made just for your ideal client.
- 5 Smoothie Recipes for Busy Moms
- A Checklist of Practical Self-Care Activities for Busy Moms
Did you notice how I specified who the opt-in was for?
Doing this attracts the right people and repels those who aren’t a good fit. The goal is to get the right people on your list, not everyone.
Remember, whenever people head to your landing page, they’ll be guided through a very unique experience:
“The best way to think about incorporating user experience would be to think about how you can make it easy for your website visitors to find what they’re looking for or make a purchase.” shares Marci Angeles
“Put yourself in their shoes and go through their experience when trying to achieve different goals.” continues Angeles “Is it easy? Can you simplify it? Are there too many steps? Is something unclear or confusing? Is it seamless? The better the experience your visitor has, the happier they’ll be!”
Know your audience
“When it comes to websites, a common mistake especially for smaller businesses, is to want to build a website without any prior strategy or knowledge about their target audience.” — Ana Santos
Being clear about your target market and your business will truly help you understand how your website will solve your visitors’ problems.
Great web design can definitely increase conversions and improve sales, but in order to do so, you still need to market your business and gain website traffic.
“Just because you launch a site, doesn’t mean you’ll magically have thousands of new visitors.” shares web designer Marci Angeles “Many people make the mistake of thinking a new website will change everything when it’s just one part of a larger equation. So get clear on your target market, your website goals and don’t forget to actually market your business!”
In order to know how people will interact with your homepage, it’s essential to get real visitors to go live and explore it.
Ask friends and peers to head to your website and leave you some feedback from their experience as a way to refine your homepage.
“The biggest mistake I see businesses doing is skipping research when optimizing for conversions and user experience” shares UX consultant Ana Santos “It’s not possible to truly improve user experience without talking with real users.”
Include a photo of yourself
Building trust is imperative to running a successful personal brand. Including a photo of yourself on your homepage will help build that connection early on.
After all, it’s one of the first places a potential client is going to visit. If you’re not on the homepage it’s confusing and can even make you seem less trustworthy.
If you are the founder of your brand, you’re running a personal brand. So, your smiling face should ideally be the first visual someone sees on the page.
But as long as you have a picture towards the top of the page, you’ll build that connection quickly with your ideal client.
And connection = more client conversions.
Add a Testimonial or Two
Testimonials are a fantastic way to build trust with your website visitors and showcase the value of your services. They provide proof to your ideal client, that you helped someone with the exact same pain points that they have, right now.
The testimonials on your homepage should be your strongest, So focus on the results your clients achieved here.
They should show how your offering took someone from point A (where they were) to point B (the final result you delivered).
Testimonials are important.
However, since they don’t ask your ideal client to take any action, they aren’t the most important element that you’ll add to your homepage.
For this reason, I like to place 1–3 testimonials towards the bottom of the homepage. This will build trust and show how powerful working with you can be.
Keep things simple and take action
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I get it, it can be tempting to put anything and everything on your homepage so that you don’t miss something important.
This is especially true if you don’t have a plan in place. But this is actually a big mistake.
The reason being is that your homepage is a handshake. It’s your introduction to who you are and what you do. You want to invite users to learn more, not bombard them with anything and everything you’ve ever created.
Get back to the basics and focus on your goals.
What are the top three goals for your website?
Let’s say you want to grow your email list, promote your new nutrition course, and book consultation calls.
Your number one goal should be at the top and your secondary goals should be referenced in the next two sections on the page.
You can simply do this by creating a call to action: “create a clear call-to-action buttons that stand out from the design and direct people to what you most want them to do on the website (for example, book a consultation call, or opt-in to your email list)” shares Tracy Raftl.
By guiding users around strategically you’re creating an experience for your ideal client. You determine how you want someone to use your website and where you want them to go next. This puts you in control.
“Call-to-actions need to be strategic as they need to be aligned with your business goals but they also need to help the user achieve their own goals. This means that if you only take into account your business goals, you’ll be providing a frustrating experience to your users. ” adds Ana Santos “This happens often when for example, we have an invasive pop-up that is not connected to the user goals.”
Now you know exactly how to guide users to take the action you want them to on your homepage. It’s really about speaking to your ideal client, creating a plan, and building trust.
My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.