First impressions are extremely important. You don’t want to spook your visitors the moment they come in the door. You only get one first impression, make it count. More often than not, this will be via your homepage, so let’s dress it up a bit.
1. Eye-catching copy
The first thing your website must do is tell visitors exactly what it is you do. It must be plain and simple to reassure the visitor that you can solve their exact problem and possibly even more. It needs to be the first thing they see, therefore kept above the fold. The four best ways to do this include use of a:
- Headline – This will always be at the head of at least your homepage. Make sure it clearly states what it is you do. For example, Alberon’s is “The software development and web design specialists”.
- Sub-headline – These can be considered just as important as normal headlines. However, not everyone uses them. They will detail exactly how you can help a site visitor and spark their interest in reading on.
- Copy – Relevant and interesting content outlining exactly what you do will enable users to navigate your website better. Of course, using keywords to improve SEO rankings is also handy. It is worth mentioning, the more copy the better. However, it should all be engaging and relevant to help your site visitors. You shouldn’t waffle anywhere, especially your homepage.
- Calls to action – This will get your visitor to the next stage of the sales funnel, and eventually guide them to the point of purchase where they become a client or customer. Only one line and a link to other relevant content or a contact page will be fine. Something like “discover more” or even “contact us”, in the right place, should do.
2. Projecting pictures
The images on your website are so important and must be included in your design strategy. Websites with captivating images could be getting up to 94% more traffic. They not only help you rank in search engines but offer an aesthetic visual aid. A visitor will spend longer on your website if it is easy on the eye and simple to navigate.
It is also important to note website images contribute to many social media clicks. When scrolling a generic feed your attractive, relevant image may just well earn you the click over someone else’s less useful content. If you need a helping hand choosing images, check out our other blogs.
3. Don’t leave skeletons in the closet
Show off your best assets. Answer questions before the visitor even knows to ask them. Make sure they are in an orderly fashion. Better yet, are featured in a cutting edge and interactive menu. The point is, be creative and eye-catching – of course, images will help too.
- Testimonials – There are many ways of incorporating testimonials, all of which are beneficial. Your homepage must be able to hook people and offering real-world accounts of your work is an effective way of doing that. After all, word of mouth marketing is a very effective tool. Adding names, or even images instils credibility. Of course, you’ll need permissions first.
- Case studies – Showcasing your past and present projects can be handy for several reasons. Firstly, by contributing keywords for those searching Google for projects similar to what they want. Secondly, by using them on your homepage, you are building trust from the word go. Depending on what stage of the sales funnel they may be in, it may sway the decision-making process and will generally raise engagement levels.
- Make sure all your content is relevant and up to date, especially if you publish blogs. Nothing dates a website more than ‘Hot News’ where the latest item is dated 2017!
4. Offer a glaring path
A well thought-out plan of the direction you’d like to guide site visitors to next will help. This is the start of the sales funnel. Moving your site visitors to the next stage of the funnel must be a well-designed process to peak interest and show them exactly how your business can help. You will always get the largest audience at the top of the funnel, which may be your homepage. It is important to guide them down the path you’d like, to requesting your product or services. However, you may also want to consider a newsletter sign up option on your homepage, as if they don’t take up your services immediately, this will be your front line of communication to them.
Eventually, some will end up at the neck of the funnel, when it is time to convert them into a real opportunity. This is where your most compelling call to action must be, usually with a ‘contact us’ form.
5. Change it up and track your progress
Tweaking your copy or changing a key image could just make the difference. If something isn’t working and you feel your website should be doing more, then make a change. Set a goal and track it. Tools such as Google Analytics will help show if goals are being reached and whether your changes are helping. It can show how often site users are leaving your homepage or other landing pages. Heatmaps will be able to show where users are dropping off, therefore your first port of call for changes.
Bear in mind not to overload a homepage with too much information or options to take. This could cause too much congestion and confusion, leading to no path being taken to the next stage at all.
See what others in a similar sector are doing, you may get ideas that will complement your landing pages very well, but it is important to be doing something different to your competition. Stay ahead of the game and boast a unique selling point (USP) which will solve problems potential clients didn’t know they had.
We have been working with clients for over 15 years, helping find ways in which they can develop their website to be able to generate more leads. If this is something you would like help with, please get in touch.