Most of the time when someone lands on your website, the person lands on your homepage.
It is by far the highest visited page on your site.
So make sure it counts!
There are a few basic principles for website homepages that if followed will result in higher conversions and a homepage that actually works FOR YOU!
The goal of your homepage is to let your visitors know they are in the right place, you can solve their problem, and they should click a button (or link) and keep reading.
Your homepage should give them enough information to keep them on your website and then take action.
Here are 7 key elements of a GREAT website homepage!
1. Immediately lets your visitor know they are in the right place
A quick scan of the headline and additional text tells the visitor right away they are in the right place and your business can help them specifically.
When someone gets to your website, you have less than 5 seconds to let them know they have found the answer to their problems and you have the solution.
Be sure your headline and cover image immediately let people know, with a quick glance, that this is the right place for them and they should keep reading, find out more, and click a button.
Your website should pass the “5-Second Test”.
In less than 5 seconds, without scrolling, your website visitor should know what you do, who you help, and what they are supposed to do next.
2. Qualifies your prospects– tells the visitor exactly WHO you help
It doesn’t do you any good to get appointments and emails from people you can’t help or who will not be a good fit to work with you.
Be specific about who it is you help.
For example, if you are a “women’s empowerment coach”, tell me what type of clients you work with.
Do you work with divorced women over 40 who are ready to get back into the dating world?
Or do you work with women who feel like they have put aside their own dreams for years and are now ready to reach their own goals?
Do you work with empty nester moms who want to start their own business and need a little help?
Notice the difference in the audiences.
Make sure your homepage tells visitors the exact person you work with. This way, your website visitor knows right away if you can help them, and you know that those that schedule an appointment with you or get on your email list are qualified prospects.
Telling people exactly WHO you work with will qualify your prospects for you so you don’t waste time with those you can’t help.
3. Information is easy to find very quickly.
People don’t have a lot of patience.
They want to find information fast and don’t want to have to search around for it. Either you can help them, or not. And if not, they will move on to the next website and keep looking.
Make your homepage easy to navigate, meaning your menu should be at the top, easy to find, easy to understand, and intuitive.
Think about a restaurant menu when you go out to eat.
They are usually laid out the same way… appetizers, salads, main course, drinks, desserts.
You don’t ever have to think about where to look to decide what you want. You don’t have to hunt around for information, you know exactly where to find it.
The same is true for your website navigation menu.
Don’t try to be creative, put it where people are used to looking for it… at the top!
Use menu items that are easy to understand and people are used to looking for (about, services or work with me, courses, contact.)
There is an element of trust that is built when your website is intuitive and information is easy to find very quickly.
4. Includes a clear call to action
One of the main purposes of your website is to get visitors to DO something… book an appointment with you, buy a product, sign up for a course, download your free thing, etc.
You have to tell people what they are supposed to DO when they get to your website.
Just giving them a bunch of information doesn’t do anyone any good, tell your website visitors exactly what they are supposed to do next.
Your homepage should direct prospects to the next step in the process.
They get to your site, read about who you help and think, “yes, that’s me!”. Now, what are they supposed to DO? What is the next step?
Use your homepage to guide your visitors to the next step with a very clear “Call to Action”. Make it simple. Make it very obvious. Make it easy to do.
5. Provides social proof
One of the biggest fears people have is that they will make the wrong decision and waste their time or money (or both).
Reviews and testimonials are a very important part of building trust, and should be right on your homepage.
Your service could be the most amazing thing out there, but if other people don’t say it, your website visitors may not believe it.
In today’s world, savvy buyers read reviews and they want to know that other people have gotten results from working with you.
There is something very powerful in reading what other people say about you and your service. They provide the “proof” that what you offer is legitimate and that your website visitor will be making a good buying decision to work with you.
6. Collects email addresses
Not everyone who gets to your homepage is ready to buy or make an appointment with you.
But you don’t want to lose those leads either. You should have a way to collect an email address from every person who arrives on your homepage.
This can be done by giving away valuable content, usually called a “lead magnet” or “freebie”.
It is estimated that almost 70% of people will leave your website without purchasing anything. This can be for many reasons including they are just browsing, they aren’t ready to buy yet, they are doing research, or they don’t trust you yet.
An easy way to start to gain trust with your website visitors is to give them something of value, something that will actually help them, for free in exchange for their email address.
Then you use these email addresses to nurture that lead, let them get to know you, teach them about your business and eventually lead them to becoming a paid client.
Your homepage should have several places someone can give you their email address and continue to learn more about your business. This is a great way to grow your business as you don’t lose those leads from visitors just leaving your site without doing anything.
7. Loads in less than 2 seconds and looks good on mobile
Let’s face it, in today’s world people want things fast. They don’t want to have to wait for anything.
If your website homepage takes longer than 2 seconds to load, most people will click away and look elsewhere.
There are a few things you can do to make your homepage load faster including using good hosting (I recommend Siteground), making your images as small as possible and using a caching plugin (if you use WordPress).
You also want to make sure your homepage looks good on mobile. The latest statistic shows that over 62% of all website traffic comes from people using their phone.
You want a homepage that loads quickly and looks good on a mobile device.
Creating a homepage that actually works for you
The homepage of your website is often the first impression people have of your business and the window that draws them in to find out more.
Before deciding to work with you, click a button or make an appointment, your website visitors will take a look at your homepage, decide if you can help them and if what you offer will benefit them.
Using the 7 key elements of a great homepage you have a better chance of converting visitors, growing your email list, and finding people who are qualified to work with you.
Be sure to download the High-Converting Homepage Template and learn exactly what to put where on your homepage so your website actually works FOR YOU.
Plus, get additional bonus templates for your about and services pages as well as a headline cheat sheet.
If you’re ready to build your website and want a little guidance along the way, register for the “Done Right Website Academy” and get a website you LOVE, that costs less than $15/month, and that actually grows your business!