How to create an awesome Homepage that Wows

You website homepage is one of the most important pages of your website. It’s likely to have the most people landing on it, has to tell those people what is it you do and how you can help them so they’ll hang around and directs your website visitors to where they need to go. Make sure you put your best foot forward with these tips to create a homepage that wows! | www.jessicahainesdesign.com
 

It can be argued that your website homepage is the most important page of your website. After all, it’s the place people are most likely to land on your website and its the virtual front door to your business. You want to put your best foot forward and make a great first impression, since visitors will only take 5 seconds to decide if they want to find out more.

Your homepage is basically a “best of” overview of your website, and it should show what you do and how you can help. It needs to grab your visitors attention, and let your potential clients know straight away how you can help them. Not only that, it works to direct viewers to the areas of your website that you want them to go so they build up trust, and it should encourage action, such as signing up for your mailing list or making a purchase.

 

Let’s create a homepage that wows!

We’ll start with some tips to keep in mind when you are writing the content for your homepage:

  • You’re homepage should be easy to scan so that the most important parts of the page stand out. Some ways you can do this include:

    • Using headings and subheadings

    • Use lists and bullet points instead of paragraphs

    • Stick with short sentences for the body text and use a larger font (14-18px is a good size)

  • The top of the page is most likely to be seen and read, so keep important info there. The area that first loads before scrolling is most likely to catch someone’s attention and get them to take action, so make sure this tells your visitor what you do and how you can help them, plus has your most important call to action clearly on display

  • Once you’ve written the content for your page, go back and cut out as much fluff as possible. Your homepage should be short and to the point! Think of the most important things people need to read and cut out everything else

  • Since you homepage sets the tone for your whole website, it should be on brand. Stick with consistent fonts, colors and messaging throughout

  • Keep your ideal client in mind when writing, and write TO that person using the language they use. Using words that address them directly will help build a stronger connection with that person. Some examples are “let’s work together to build you an amazing brand” or “get your free checklist”

  • If you have a lot of content on your homepage, break it into clear sections to keep the details easy to read so your website visitors can easily find what they are after. This will keep the page from looking cluttered. In Squarespace, an index page is a great way to do this

  • To encourage visitors to take action, use calls to action throughout the page. If they stand out, they will be more effective, so make them buttons or links in a contrasting color to your text

 

What to include on your Homepage

Now you know how to make your homepage easy to read and navigate, you should think about what you need to include on it. What you include will help your website to stand out, helps build trust and will entice your website visitors to stay on your website for longer. The below ideas give a great starting point, but remember to think about what will work best for your business.

A killer Tagline:

You want to grab your viewers attention straight away by letting them know what you do, who you serve and how you can help. Keep your tagline short and to the point, and avoid technical language or jargon - it should be something that a stranger could understand instantly. It’s a good idea to make your tagline a larger font so it stands out and is super easy to read (at least 22px is good). If you want help writing a killer tagline, this post will walk you through the steps to craft your own tagline and you can even get a free workbook to help you write it.

 

Primary Call-to-Action (CTA)

What is the number 1 thing you want someone to do on your website? You want to include this as a call to action directly below your tagline. It should stand out, so using a button in a contrasting color with action oriented words will help entice action. Words such as “sign up”, “schedule a call” or “try it now” are a good place to start.

 

Images or Videos

Photos can make or break your website! You want to make sure your images are high quality, reflect your brand, capture emotion and encourage action. If you plan on placing anything on top of them, like text or buttons, make sure there is enough white space so that the text and buttons can stand out. If you’re not sure what images to use, this post will help you choose the perfect photos for your website.

Video content is growing in popularity as well, so using a short intro video explaining how you can help and why you’re the best at what you do can really engage your website visitors and build connection. If you want to include a video, make sure it’s less than 2-3 minutes and that it’s interesting so they don’t get bored.

Your Services

Make sure you viewer can easily find what it is that you offer, but you can skip the full sales pitch. You want to keep this section short and easy to read. Outline the benefits someone gets from working with you and who your service is for, then add a call to action to your sales page where the visitor can find out more.

 

Your Portfolio

If you have a portfolio of work, such as a photographer, makeup artist, graphic designer or cake decorator, why not showcase some of your best pieces on your homepage? It will show your visitors what you do, and if they like what they see, they’ll be more likely to want to work with you. You don’t need to include everything you’ve ever created, just 3-6 of your favourite projects will work great! Add a link to a portfolio page if you want to show off more details.

 

Social Proof

People trust recommendations from others, so include testimonials to build up trust for your visitors. People don’t always believe how good you are unless they hear it from someone else! Stick to a few of your best reviews that are relevant to what you do, and make sure you include a photo and name whenever possible to add credibility. You could also use case studies, industry awards and recognition you’ve received or places you’ve been featured as social proof as well.

 

An Email Opt-in (preferably with an enticing offer for people to sign up)

Only about 3% of people that visit your website will be ready to purchase, and a further 7% will be open to the idea of making a purchase. You still want to capture any leads you can from the other 90% of people visiting your website, so you can build trust over time. That way, when they are ready to buy in the future, they will turn to you since they already know and like you.

Building an email list is a great way to collect leads. Most people won’t sign up for a newsletter though, so it helps to offer something that you’re dream client will be interested enough to trade their email address for. This could be an ebook, checklist, workbook or discount code, or anything your ideal client would consider valuable. My checklist, The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Squarespace, is an example.

 

A Mini About Section

People buy from people, so you can help build a connection with your website visitors by including a mini about section with a photo. It reminds them of who you are, shows off your personality and helps you stand out to them. Plus, photos are more likely to be remembered than words, so this will help you stick in their minds!

 

Valuable Content

If you blog, share videos or have a podcast, your homepage should showcase it. You can include a selection of your most popular posts, or show your most recent posts if you prefer. In Squarespace, you can do this easily by including a summary block.

Having your content on display will establish you as an expert at what you do, gives your visitors a reason to come back to your website and keeps them hanging around longer learning from you, meaning they’re more likely to see your opt-in offers and sign up for your list.

 

An amazing Footer

Website footers are often underutilized even though they work really hard. Your footer shows on every page of your website so its very likely to be seen, and is a great way to keep someone around if they haven’t been able to find what they are after. Your footer will often include contact details, your social media links, your website legals, other pages not in your main navigation, a search bar and so much more! I’ve shared some easy tips for an awesome website footer here to give you some ideas of how to make the most of this space.

 

There you have it, tips to help your homepage stand out, and some great ideas for what to include to really make sure your homepage wows your website visitors so they keep looking around! Let me know in the comments what updates you’re going to make to your homepage to really make it stand out!

 

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