Must-haves for your website homepage
While you may find many different layouts and designs for websites across the internet, you’ll notice that the best, at least as far as usability is concerned, all have a number of features that are easy to find. Once you have these elements in place, the rest of your website will fall into place.
Don't fall into the trap of wanting to be different to stand out... because what you will end up with is someone coming to your website and leaving just as fast, as they can't find what they are looking for and it doesn't instantly feel comfortable so they leave. This is because people use the internet on a daily basis now and have a hunger for speed, so if they have to think then they will leave.
Basic company information
When a potential customer arrives at your website for the first time, the most obvious points they need to know are who you are and what you do. These are normally found in a logo that showcases your brand name and either an image or slogan related to your industry. Internet users look to the top left of a site for this information.
Once a visitor knows a little about you, he needs to know why he should give you his business. A little bit of information about why you stand out from your competitors, about the services you can offer and about how good you are at what you do – most effective in terms of guarantees, client testimonials (logos), awards you have won to even just a tick box list of why they should want to do business with you – can go a long way to swaying shoppers. Offering these benefits in an easy-to-read manner, standing out in a predominant position 'above the fold' (not down the bottom of your website, where they need to scroll down to see it) is important to their effectiveness.
The text on your homepage is where your visitors will get their first impression of you. Not only should this be free of errors as well as informative, it should also be easy to scan (use headings and sub-headings) and have a clear point – so finish it with a call to action so your user knows what to do next.
Relevant images and links
Many visitors to your site will be looking for a quick solution, and therefore won't want to read too much. Having suitable images will help highlight what they need to know, and having links to the most important pages both in your navigation menu, in images and throughout your copy can help them get to where they want to be more quickly.
Calls to Action
Every website needs to acheive something for your business... it is not there to just look good. So make sure you put whatever you want the visitor to do clearly within the layout of the home pages design, and in content eg. quote now, buy now, call now, enquire now. And make them stand out in the design vs blending in.
Back up capturing of details
9 out of 10 people that land on your website, even though they are warm prospects (otherwise they wouldnt be looking for your business) don't take action the first time. So to help stay top of mind, build up the relationship, encourage them to take the next step - you need to find a way to capture at least their first name or email address. Eg. download a free report, join a VIP club, enter a competition etc.
Often the main reason to visit your website is to find out how to get in touch with you or how to find your store or business location. Often this sort of information will be on your ‘Contact’ or ‘About us’ page, but having a phone number top right in around your header and links to your social media pages in prominent locations on your homepage can help people immensely.
Then finally, the internet is evolving at such a speed that you need to keep refreshing your website so it looks up to date as the perception of an out of date website gives the same impression of your business. If you have a Bloomtools website we keep the technology behind the scenes up to date for you with the latest and greatest, saving you from needing to replace your website every couple of years to keep up to date.