Is My Website Homepage Good Enough?
You'll need more than just pretty website pages if you want your small business to be successful. Design certainly does matter, since, despite the saying, people do tend to judge a book by its cover. However, it's also essential to have meaningful content that includes a good SEO strategy. All of this begins with, you guessed it! Your website homepage.
If your homepage is lacking the right content, user experience, design, functionality, and SEO, you might be missing out on potential customers before even getting the chance to show them what your brand is all about. In this article, we'll be going over what makes an effective website homepage for small businesses. Does your homepage stack up? Let's find out!
Your Website as a Marketing Tool
Before we dive into what makes a good website homepage, you should know the purpose of your website. Your site is a great marketing tool. In fact, it plays several roles when it comes to marketing your business:
Your Website Should Tell a Story
You need to focus on storytelling if you want to address the needs of all of your visitors. Except, rather than telling a story about yourself, your story should be a reflection of what your target audience is telling themselves.
Your story will act as a mirror, showing your audience their problems and challenges. It will also tell them you know how to solve these problems. When your audience sees themselves in your story, they're more likely to trust that you have the experience to solve their problems.
From here, you can guide your audience through the customer journey and help them reach the right solution.
The best way to do all of this is to put yourself in your customer's shoes. Understand the actions they'd want to take, then create a clear path for them to do that on your website.
Your Website Helps You Build Trust
After someone clicks on the link to take them to your website, you need to work quickly to build their trust. The information you provide your visitors as well as how your website functions greatly influences how trustworthy someone will find your brand.
Your website needs to focus on educating and informing your visitors by teaching them how to recognize what their problems are. Once they know what their problem is, you need to provide them with information on how to solve it.
When Properly Optimized, Your Website Helps Your Business Get Found
Nearly half of all Google searches are centered around finding local information, so optimizing your website for search is crucial to ensuring you get found by your target audience.
Your Website Can Nurture Leads, Meaning Potentially More Customers
Did you know that 92% of customers won't make a purchase on their first visit to a website? Your website is more than just about selling your products or services; it's also about nurturing leads.
Focus on other conversions as well, such as capturing emails in exchange for promotions, eBooks, or whitepaper. This way, you can continue to lead prospective customers through the customer journey until they are ready to make a purchase.
Your website has many purposes, including helping people no matter where they are in the customer journey. Your website needs to have something specific for everyone, such as introductory info for people that are visiting your site for the first time, or shareable content for people who want to share your brand with their friends.
Now that you know the purposes a website serves, let's go over what goes into making a great website homepage!
1: Begin with a Promise
You'll want your promise to be featured clearly at the top of your homepage. The promise shows both new visitors and returning customers that you understand the problem they need solved, and you know what to do to fix it.
Check out this example from Kendall Title, a title insurance company whose team is comprised of fully licensed closing professionals specializing in Title Works and Settlement Services.
Their promise shows that they understand closings aren't always easy. They offer personalized attention and exceptional customer service to ensure a smooth closing for their clients. This is a smart and straightforward solution to a problem their audience might have.
2: Continue with a Sub Promise
Your sub promise will expand upon your main promise. It will provide your visitors with a factor of trust and some social proof that backs up the claim you are making. Basically, this sub promise shows your audience that you're not just talking yourself up, other people love your business too.
Here is an example from Professional Engineers, Inc.'s website homepage. It shows off some of the brands that work with them. This is a great way to create a sense of trust and credibility.
3: Provide Visitors with Social Proof
By adding testimonials to your homepage, you're proving that there are a bunch of other people out there that love and trust your business, and have gotten great results through the solutions you offer. Make sure you make your testimonials are a prominent part of your website homepage. Here is an example of testimonials from Everson's Karate:
And another example of testimonials from Whiskey Bayou Charters:
- Social Proof: What is it and How Do You Use it?
- Why and How to Use Google Customer Reviews
- Facebook Reviews Become Recommendations
- The Impact of Review Gating
4: Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Your CTA will provide visitors with a clear next step that you want them to take on your homepage. For many small businesses, it's best to limit your CTAs to one per page. If you provide your visitors with too many options, they may feel confused about which step to take and may end up doing nothing at all. Here are some examples:
CTA Example from The Summit Martial Arts (TSMA).
CTA Example from Soni Brendle.
CTA Example from Rock Bottom Charters.
5: Dive Deeper into the Problems You Solve and the Solutions You're Offering
Once you've grabbed the visitor's attention with your promise, you need to dive deeper into the types of problems your business solves. By clearly listing out the problems your business addresses, along with the key products and services you offer to fix these issues, you're allowing visitors to quickly and easily figure out whether your business has the right solution for them.
Also, when you feature your services on your homepage, you're giving that page a better chance at ranking higher on search engines for search terms related to your services.
Here is a list of services from FIT Engineering that clearly identifies who they are and what solutions they provide.
Here is another example, this time from Barbara Ondo Designs. She clearly lists out her services, so that prospective clients know if her solutions are right for them.
6: Utilize Visual Elements
It's no fun to find yourself on a website with just a wall of text on the homepage. Visual elements such as videos and still images can be used to help break up text blocks. They can also be used to help tell your story. As they say, "pictures are worth a thousand words!"
Did you know 2/3 of people actually prefer to learn about a new product or service through video? So, by including a variety of visual elements on your homepage, you're more likely to get your message across to more people. Here are some examples:
Visual Content Example from Warrior Krav Maga.
Visual Content Example from Stop At Nothing.
7: Guide Your Customers
Most businesses serve multiple different audiences and clients. If this is you, you need to make sure it's easy for every audience to know where to go to find the information they need on your website.
Hatchit has people who come to their site to create their own postings and sell their assets. Others come to buy or are looking for professional advice, resources, tools, and more. The company makes it easy for their different audiences to choose the right path for themselves right from the homepage.
8: Make Sure Your Contact Info is Easy to Find
You don't want people to visit your website and have a hard time finding your address or phone number. Not only is it frustrating for your visitors, but it hinders one of the most crucial purposes of your website, which is getting people to contact you.
You can include this information in the footer or add a little more personality to it, so visitors already get a friendly vibe from your team before trying to reach out to you. Here are some great examples:
Contact Info Example from Tropical Enclosures.
Contact Info Example from San Francisco Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
Contact Info Example from Palms Presbyterian Church.
9: Include a Resource Menu
Now that you have captured your audience's attention with a beautifully-designed homepage, they'll want to know more about your business. You can make it easy for them to do this by adding a menu at the bottom of your page that features essential resources. This should include everything from contact info, to content on your site, to social media links.
It's become pretty standard for businesses to put this information at the bottom of their homepage, so your audience will expect to see it there. Don't confuse them by hiding it somewhere else.
Resource Menu Example from Amaya Textiles.
Resource Menu Example from Caio Terra BJJ Academy Irving.
10: Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly!
More and more searches are being done on mobile devices, so if your website isn't optimized for mobile viewing, you're missing out on a lot of potential customers. Websites that are mobile-friendly look great and perform well on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Many consumers give up and leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. You'll also want to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly to rank higher on search engines such as Google.
If your website isn't responsive or quick to load, you may leave your would-be customers feeling frustrated and lose your standing in Google results.
Win Over New Customers
The elements above make it so your website homepage can help visitors understand your brand, what you do, and how you can solve their problems. When you include these elements on your homepage, it's sure to stand out and win over new customers!
Other Helpful Resources: