Successful Sites: Homepage Edition
Chances are, whether or not you spend hours on the internet every day like us, you've seen some pretty incredible websites. But what makes them so impressionable? Studies show (and analytics prove!) that you have roughly three seconds to "wow" a viewer or they'll scram from your site quicker than your internet speed, leaving you a far-less-than-impressive bounce rate and without a conversion. So how can you leave a great first impression on your viewers in just three seconds? You got it. An outstanding homepage.
But we aren't just talking about great design. It actually takes several integrated strategies to make your homepage successful. But don't you worry, we're laying those down for you.
Set Your Goals
For most people, whether selling products or offering services, a website takes the place of a 24/7 sales team. You'll want to identify content that optimizes your website's ability to promote your products and services using your brand's voice in way that appeals to your target audience. You'll want to offer information about your brand, answer questions, promote your most important products and services, and include calls to action.
Have Audience Awareness
Many assume that a homepage is simply a landing page and does not function as more than a pretty page that introduces their company. However, if you have only three seconds to pull a viewer in, you're going to want to reframe that idea and put the viewer first. In fact, your audience should be at the forefront of every decision you make for your website. At the end of the day, they're the ones that make your website, and inevitably your business, successful. Find out more on how to target audience in our Audience Analysis blog.
Content is Crucial
Taking an all-about-the-user approach to content, the first thing you should consider is that your homepage needs to read well to your audience. Your copy should be straight-forward, but unique and action-provoking, completely rid of any confusing jargon. Website copy should assist the design in allowing the viewer to a) easily navigate the site and b) to encourage conversions through product sale or contact with your business via online form, phone call, or visitation.
The most important copy should exist "above the fold," or the area visible before scrolling, and should include your primary call to action, applying a logical (and very necessary) hierarchical structure to your content. Though there's a lot to think about when considering web copy, don't let it hinder you from letting your brand personality shine through. This will keep your brand relatable and personable, qualities audiences love and can positively affect conversion rates.
Let the Design Shine
When it comes to design, you definitely want to attract the user, but you also want to showcase your brand personality, colors, and style. Theoretically, a less-is-more approach is always a win. White space, or empty space, allows your viewer's eyes a place to rest, which is necessary if you want them to read or process anything on your website. Similar to your content, you'll want to use the design to call your viewers to action and appropriately attract the viewer "above the fold." Additionally, you'll want the design to make your site easily navigable for the user. Design elements such as boxes, borders, grids, and other geometrical sectioning applies visual hierarchy, supplementing the informational hierarchy for optimal readability for the user.
You'll also want your website design to be responsive on mobile devices. More and more users are accessing websites on-the-go using mobile devices, making it very important to have a website that is usable and readable when scaled down on a smaller screen. This ensures that every effort you've made to appeal to users and encourage conversions is made available to every user that visits your site.
Take SEO Seriously
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves strategically taking opportunities to ensure that your website is seen when your business or important keywords that would lead to your business (such as individual services or products you offer) when searched by a user on major search engines like Google and Bing. There are several things you can include on your homepage to help SEO, such as:
- a clear, recognizable logo in the top left of the website
- clear calls to action
- a structured menu
- social sharing
- a keyword-rich metadescription
- contact details
All Hands on Deck
Running a business is a tough job. Add in what it takes to properly manage a full marketing strategy across multiple platforms and you're asking for the impossible. That's where we come in. We understand what it takes to run a business and the importance of company budgets. But we also understand digital marketing, which gives us the opportunity to consider your brand, develop a marketing strategy, build a stunning custom website, and ensure your online success, relieving you of 'the impossible' on your albeit long list of job responsibilities.
Need a hand? Give us a call! We'll be happy to help.
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