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Rich Brown

Rich Brown

11 Essential Ingredients to a Website Home Page

You’ve done it yourself – visited the website of a company you are looking to do business with and after only a few seconds you’re thinking, “Mmmm, definitely not what I was looking for. This just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.” Perhaps there was a time you visited another site and it clicked right away. It left you feeling good, thinking about how you could create a partnership with this company and looking for the contact page. Think back to why you reacted to each of those pages the way you did. What was it about them that triggered those emotions and feelings and caused you to respond?

We believe it’s easier than you think to create all the positive vibes and draw people to stay on YOUR website.

Having a clear and functional home page will make a world of difference. In the modern age of technology and digital awareness, companies are competing for web user’s attention, so it is essential to make your home page stand out from the crowd. Research shows that you have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of a potential customer, having an enticing home page is all about getting your customer’s attention and holding it long enough to get them to look around.

Here are the 11 essential ingredients for your website home page.

1. Clear Navigation

The content that sits at the highest point on your page should be your navigation bar. You don’t want to confuse your potential customers with odd jargon or clever labels, you just need to keep it simple with your website’s most important touchpoints. You can put a more detailed site navigation in your footer, but more on that later.

Within your navigation bar, you should have your company phone number as a clear touchpoint for your customers to contact you. Put it in the top right-hand corner, most people will look there first.

2. Clarity Statement

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT statement of your entire website. This is where the 10 seconds to hook a potential customer comes into play with words. It should summarise in a few words what your company does and what your main value is.  A simple statement will draw people in. When a visitor to your site can see at a glance what you do and if you’re someone they would want to do business with, it’s more likely they will want to stay on your website longer.

If you feel that the clarity statement isn’t enough, you can include an optional substatement. Most of your site’s visitors will read your main statement but not move on to a substatement so it’s not really necessary but could help you bulk out your site if need be.

3. Call to Action

An important element above the fold is your Call to Action. {Above the fold is the area web designers refer to as anything that is visible with no further scrolling required.} A call to action can be in the form of a simple button or a form fill. Either way, it should be simple. It needs to feel like it’s an easy thing to do and that you are not asking too much from your customer in this initial contact.

4. Hero Image

Brand, vibe, and appeal are all good words to think about when it comes to your hero image. We’ve talked about the content above the fold now let’s talk a little bit about the design. This is where your customer will land when they visit your website. Make sure it is visually appealing and reflects your company’s tone/brand.

The hero image should inspire an emotional response, be sure to make it feel welcoming and inviting. Adding a video to your background showing off your business and your employees is a good way to do this. Think about the value you are wanting most to portray about your company. Use that value to help you decide what your hero image should be. Avoid cheesy stock images, don’t forget most of your customers will be looking to build a relationship with YOU, stock images won’t help show you off to them.

Home page wireframe

5. Outline Your Products or Services

We’re done now with ‘above the fold’ and we’re moving on to ‘below the fold’ (this is when the web user starts the scroll) and the bulk of your home pages content. You should start by simply outlining your products or services. This is where you’ll give a quick overview about how you can help your customers.

Don’t forget to provide links in this section that will take your customer to the relevant pages of your website so they can easily find more in-depth content. You want to make sure you grab their attention with some catchy headlines, graphics, and important information.

6. Secondary Call to Action

When your products and services are clearly explained, this is the time to put a secondary call to action. You could offer your customer the opportunity to download a relevant PDF, watch a video, or attend a webinar. Try to think of something that isn’t a big commitment for your customer but is still interesting enough for them to want to find out more about your company. It also helps if this Call to Action is a free service – everyone loves free stuff!

Vintage 'Stories Matter' Typewriter

7. Social Proof

When a customer visits your website, they don’t just want to know what you have to say about your company, but what other people say about it as well. Now is the time to put some customer testimonials or case studies that show proof about the work you do. Your potential customer wants to see how amazing you are so show it off!

8. Point of Difference

Next, it’s time to think about what makes your company stand out from your competitors. Outline these differences in short points that show why people should choose your service over your competitors.  It could be because you are a locally run business, or because you offer a unique service that no one else does. If you do this extra bit of research and show it off on your home page you may just find your company getting the edge over your competitor’s web pages.

Place another call to action in this section for easy access to your contact details. This section is important for your potential customer, they want to do business with someone who can find a unique solution to their unique problem.

9. Further Information about Products and Services

You’ve done extremely well to entice your customer to scroll this far down. It’s time to give them more information about the products or services you provide. They want to make sure your company is right for them, so more detailed information about what you are offering them is what they’ll be looking for next. This is your chance to go into more detail and show off all you can provide.

10.  Features and Benefits

In this section of your home page you might like to further list the features of your business and how this will benefit your customer. Again, this is a great place to add focus links to other pages of your website so your potential customer can easily navigate through to the area that interests them the most.

With a simple infographic display you can show areas your business is expert at and give a little detail as to how that expertise will benefit them.

11. Footer

Of course, you finish your home page up with the footer! Think of this as your website’s junk drawer. This is where you put all the things that you don’t want to clutter up your main content. Put your contact details, links to social media, your Google reviews rating, ABN, and a more detailed outline of your website’s navigation here. You don’t want to overfill your top navigation bar with endless links so put your less important links in the footer, so your customer can still find it if they need it.

Now you have all the ingredients for an amazing and engaging home page. There’s no hard and fast rule that says your home page should be in exactly in this format, if another formula works better for your business that’s great! This wireframe has worked well for us and all the elements are here for you to design as you wish.

If you would like to learn more about your 10 seconds to ‘catch’ a web users attention check out this article written by our founder, James. It might give you some more ideas about how you can make your home page somewhere your customers want to stay.

At TheOnlineCo. we are all about putting people first. We want to help our clients to find their point of difference, a unique brand and find engaging ways to connect with your customers. If you need help with creating your new home page, design, development, or content, then reach out to the team at TheOnlineCo. and we will be more than happy to chat!

Rich Brown
Rich Brown

Rich is one of the smartest dudes around here – he is our SEO Strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is a learner, he enjoys figuring out how to make things work and is tenacious about getting your SEO sorted. Rich has this ability to implement SEO strategies that help our clients rank for their designated keywords. He is thorough, methodical and highly skilled.

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