10 Sections Your Homepage Needs to Have
Your business’s homepage is normally the first thing potential customers see when they land on your site. It’s the gateway to the rest of your site and the reason that your potential customers will either continue to navigate through your site or leave and move onto a competitor.
So how do you make sure your customers actually stay on your site and how can you ensure they like and trust what they see. I’ve put together a fool proof guide of 10 sections every reputable homepage should have.
1: Contact details:
How many times have you been on a website and needed to contact the brand only to struggle to find any contact details? You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page or navigate multiple pages to get an email or contact number. Give your customers a clear way to contact you. There are 3 places you can’t go wrong placing your contact details.
A) 3 places to add your contact details
a. Either adding a clear link to your contact page in the navigation menu or adding your phone number and email to the top of the page is a must. Also don’t get to fancy with the wording. Contact/Hire Me, Our Details. Keep is simple and don’t over confuse your customers.
b. In the middle of the page. Either after your services section or after an offer. Somewhere where your customer will read something brilliant you wrote and think “I MUST CONTACT THESE GUYS RIGHT NOW”. Make it super easy and add a “contact us” or “click to call” button right there.
c. Footer. Once your potential customer has read all your wonderful information don’t make them scroll all the way back up to the top of the site to find your contact number. Add it directly into your footer. Let them use this convienent way to get in touch with you straight away.
2: Clear brand message (Headline)
Have you ever stumbled upon a website and thought “what on earth is this site about?”. Don’t let your site be THAT site. One of the first things your customer should read is what your business is about and what it can do for them. Same principle as the contact details, keep is simple and easy to understand.
If you are a plumber go for “Plumbing jobs for homes and businesses in Exeter”. Does what is says on the tin. Simple and easy to understand. Key tip is to not make it long and complicated. Try the mum/kid test. Write out your message and read it to your mum or a kid. Do they understand what your business is, if not, chances are others may not either.
3: Bright, in focus pictures
Nothing says amateur business more than out of focus, badly taken photos, cropped badly with bad lighting or blurry. Don’t be one of those sites. Either invest in a photographer to take some cool photos or take them yourself with the best camera you can get your hands on.
If you don’t have the time or the money there are great resources out there with tons of stock images. Amongst the standard paid for services like Shutterstock there are some fab free resources. The best 3 I’ve found are:
4: A Clear Call to Action
Make it super easy for your customers to navigate to where you want them to go. If you want them to contact you add a contact button right there, above the fold, visible when the site loads. If you want the customer to download something, have a clearly labelled section, again visible in the top half of your site, with easy instructions e.g “Download Here”.
Don’t make it overly complicated for your customers. The easier it is to complete the action you want them to the more likely they are going to do it.
5: Your promotions
Have an offer running or something on sale? Shout about it and let your customers know. A lot of promotions have a time limit so think about having a timer or something eye catching to show you only have a limited supply or time to purchase. FOMO is strong my friends! If your customer’s believe your awesome services or product is going to run out soon it could persuade them to buy.
So keep your promotions apparent and clearly visible. Don’t, however, go overboard and don’t compromise on design at all costs.
6: Succinct layout
A Succinct layout doesn’t have to mean boring. You don’t have to stick with the standard conventional layout but it does need to make sense. A navigation menu that customers can see and use easily, clear content, not to heavy on the text, bright clear photos.
One of the latest themes is a side scrolling website or one which using a hamburger menu (like you see on a mobile site) instead of a conventional navigation bar.
Have a play with the layout but don’t go to crazy and make sure it’s in keeping with your brand and services. Think about your ideal customer and ask, would they know how to use my site, would they get confused? If you’re not sure get one of them or a friend to use your site with NO guidance from you. If they figure it out pretty quickly I think you’re onto a winner! Whoop !
7: Working links
How irritating is it when you click on a link…and then buffer face ! Nothing happens! So you click again and nothing. I don’t know about you but man that’s annoying. Check, Test and then Check again that your links are all working.
Remember if you change your url on any page it can break links on other pages linked to that page. Broken links also go against your site with our friend Google, they will penalise you if your website has a bad user experience. So don’t lose traffic and rankings with something that can so easily be avoided.
8: Social Media Links
Never has a platform taken off so quickly other than Social Media. It is everywhere and no doubt your business had a number of social media profiles. Don’t forget to add these to your homepage and across your site.
You’re spending so much time building a following on these platforms so share and shout about it on your site. It will all help to build a cohesive brand.
9: Testimonials & Client Feedback:
No doubt you’ve got some brilliant feedback from clients, past and present. Add these to your homepage to show new and potential customer that other people and businesses trust you.
Trust and reputation is so key to building a business online. There’s nothing customers will trust more than another person, in a similar boat to them, not only working with you but happy to tell others about it.
They don’t have to be just boring text (like on my site .. yikes) I’ve seen some pretty cool ways of showing testimonials. Video’s are great if you can get them and have the time or how about an animated revolving slider showing your kickass reviews. Have fun with it but have them on your homepage along with anywhere else on the site your customers will spend a lot of time.
10: Blog Posts
What you don’t want is people to have a quick browse on your site and then leave. You want to make your site “sticky” (yes that’s a thing). So what is sticky? Well, a blog post will help people stick and stay on your site. It’s something that keeps the user on your site for longer. The longer they spend on your site the more resources they will consume and the more they will start to build an affinity with your business and your brand.
Now, don’t blog for the sake of blogging, create kickass content that your customer will be interested in reading. If you’re a painter how about some DIY tips or Colour Palettes. Something that will help show you are an industry expert and they can trust buying something from you.
Well those are my 10 sections that every homepage should have. Remember to have fun with it and stick to your brand guidelines and you can’t go wrong.
I’ve worked with clients who have great sites but their homepage is just a little messy. Through understanding their main objective, I updated and redesigned their homepage to be more succinct and geared towards their conversion goals. Within the first week of this clients changes the client received more requests for call backs than ever before.
If you believe your homepage could do with a revamp why not get in touch to see if I can help.