4 Essential Elements Every Homepage Must Have

Posted by Murray Sye

on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 09:38 AM

You rarely get a second chance to make a great first impression. And in the marketing world, your homepage is likely going to be what your visitor sees first. And since your homepage serves as a entry point, it only makes sense that you focus on the details behind making this important page the best that it can be. But it takes more than a pretty 'web face' to attract leads and fill the sales funnel.

homepage-makeover.jpgAlthough a company homepage gets the most attention, I find it interesting that so many do such a poor job of generating leads or sales. In addition to crafting an attractive webpage, your homepage needs to meet its purpose and contain key elements that attract traffic, educate your visitors and convert browsers into buyers. So what are the essentials to every homepage?
1) Add value to your headline

Within the first 10-20 seconds, a website needs to answer, "What does this site have to offer me?" Connecting with your visitor starts with having a strong value proposition that's highly attractive to your targeted customer – one that answers their question "Why should I consider changing from my status quo?" Make sure you clearly state your value proposition and place it above the fold. You stand a much better chance of keeping your visitor engaged with a clear value proposition. Decide on what differentiates your brand from your competitors and turn your elevator pitch into words.

Additional resource: How to turn web visitors into customers with a value proposition

2) Create a compelling call-to-action
Changing the homepage can go a long way to improving visitor conversions. That's if you plant calls-to-action strategically on your homepage. Calls-to-action (CTAs) are one of the most critical of your inbound marketing tools. CTAs are what motivate and drive your visitors to take a desired action, usually to a landing page. They connect two of the most critical pieces in the lead generation process: incoming traffic and opportunities for converting these new visits into leads. In order to optimize your marketing efforts for maximum conversions, you need to make sure you include one or more calls-to-action on your homepage.

Additional resource: How to create action with your calls-to-action

3) Simple navigation
Have you heard of the KISS principle, "Keep it simple, stupid?" Simplicity should be a key goal in designing your website's navigation and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. With this in mind, it's important to adhere design and usability conventions. Make sure your navigation is visible at the top of the page, use precise and recognizable words and above all keep it simple. Poor navigation makes us think. Better navigation makes us think less. Great navigation is so obvious we don't have to think at all.

Additional resource: Small business inbound marketing starter kit
4) Make it visual
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Look at the popularity behind Pinterest and YouTube and Vine and so on. Marketers who are embracing visual content are seeing huge return in terms of, well, more readers, leads and customers. So, the message here is "let's get visual." Your website is making an impression on your visitor just as any other visual media would. The visitor in turn forms an opinion about your brand and your products from what they see. Making the visual impression you leave your visitor one of the most important components of your homepage elements.

Additional resource:  19 Reasons you should include visual content in your marketing (data)

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Flickr Photo Credit: by Symo0

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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