Your homepage is your website’s virtual front door. If a new visitor doesn’t like what they see, their knee-jerk reaction is to hit the “back” button.
Let’s examine what it takes to pass the first impression test.
1) It clearly answers who you are, what you do and what solution you offer your visitor
Here’s a little secret that experienced web professionals and marketers know. People are looking for a solution to a problem when they visit a website. Whether your offering a service or selling a product, it’s imperative that your HOME page lets the viewer know that you can solve their problem.
Steven Krugg sums it up best in his best-selling book, Don’t Make Me Think: If visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.
2) Speak to your target audience using your Customer Persona as a model
A homepage needs to be narrowly focused; speaking to the right people in their language. The best homepages avoid “corporate gobbledygook,” and eliminate the fluff. The best way to know if you’re speaking to your target audience is by creating one or two “customer personas” sometimes known as “customer avatars.”
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. (Note: If you’re new to personas, start small! You can always develop more personas later if needed.)
3) Communicate your value proposition.
When a visitor arrives on your homepage, your goal is to compel them to stick around. Your homepage is the best place to highlight your value proposition to encourage viewers to remain on your website.
A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. You might include a synopsis of your work with similar customers as proof and demonstration of your capability.
4) Optimize for multiple devices.
Your homepage must be easy to navigate, with no “flashy” objects to get in the way of browsing. Nix the flash banners, animations and anything that is unnecessary for getting your message across clearly and simply. Your entire site should be mobile optimized which is incredibly important in today’s mobile world.
5) Include calls-to-action (CTAs).
Use primary and secondary calls-to-action to direct visitors to the next logical step. Examples include “Free Trial,” “Schedule a Demo,” “Buy Now,” or “Learn More.”
The goal of the homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them further down the funnel. A call to action turns your homepage into a sales-or lead-generation tool.
6) Always changing.
The best homepages aren’t always static. Some of them, like Whitehouse.gov, are constantly changing to reflect the needs, problems, and questions of their visitors.
7) Employ great overall design.
A well-designed page is important to building trust, communicating value, and navigating visitors to the next step. You’ll notice that our home page effectively uses layout, CTA placement, whitespace, colors, fonts, and other supporting elements.
Does your website pass the “first impression” test?
Contact us for a free evaluation of your homepage by following the steps below:
- Complete the form on our Get Started
- In the Section: Anything else we need to know? Enter: Video review
- We’ll email your video evaluation within 2-business days.