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    6 things that every homepage should have

  • January 27, 2018
  • Website Design

    Like it or not, people make snap judgments about people they interact with, and websites are no different.

    Did you know that it takes a mere 0.05 seconds for a user to form an opinion about your website. Whether they've landed on your site via social media or Google search, your website visitor decides in a nano-second if they are going to stay or bounce.

    To keep visitors navigating through your site for as long as possible, make sure to include these six elements in your web design.

    1. Address technical requirements

    There are a lot of moving parts that go into the web development process. Technical aspects of web design include ensuring that you have the following items:

    • Clear Navigation: One of the elements that makes or breaks a user's experience on your site is the navigation. Make sure that your navigation is logical and intuitive. Think through if a collapsible (hamburger) menu or open menu is a better solution for your site. Look at the order of the navigation items and determine if that is the way a user will logically progress through them once they arrive at your site.
    • Identity: Place your logo in the top header and the identity information at the bottom of the homepage. Your visitors may need to recall whose site they just landed on (you'd be surprised at how often visitors land on websites and then halfway through browsing forget the name of the company they Googled to get there!) Make sure your logo at the top is hyperlinked to your homepage.
    • Social Media Links: Your social media buttons should be readily visible, either at the top or the bottom of the homepage. Getting visitors connected to you on social media helps provide a variety of channels to promote your business, which in turn, generates more followers.

    • Contact Information: Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you by asking your web designer and developer to create a "Contact Us" page with detailed information such as phone number, email address, mailing address, etc.

    2. Write Attention-Grabbing, but Succinct Headlines

    Create headlines that describe the desirable benefits of your products or services. Think about what different pain points your product or service resolves, how your main benefits differentiate you from your competitors, and if your prospect would prioritize this benefit over others. Your headlines should ideally be between 5-8 words, and definitely no longer than 13 words.

    3. Include proof points

    Proof points are elements that inspire trust in the mind of the consumer. A prospect needs to know that he won't waste his money when doing business with you. A proof point demonstrates to the prospect that you have helped other clients succeed and they were pleased with the experience.

    There are a variety of proof points you can use, but the most effective ones are:

    • Testimonials
    • The logos of the clients you've served
    • Infographics outlining how you've helped customers/companies Awards

    4. Images

    We, humans, are visual creatures. Our brain is hardwired to react to visual stimuli faster than text or sound. In fact, studies have shown that we process visual information 60.000 times faster than other types of stimuli.

    A professional looking web design with a consistent visual strategy helps you build trust with visitors. Using low-quality or generic stock imagery is not a good strategy, so take the time to invest in your image strategy. Where possible, use images customised to your brand. If professional, customised photography is not possible on your budget, then explore unique, high-quality stock imagery that reinforces your brand.

    5. Resources

    Most small business owners assume that their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are enough to boost their online presence. Recognizing that blogging plays a vital role in capturing and engaging potential customers will help your overall marketing strategy. Blogs generate traffic to your website, create meaningful relationships with your prospects, and help you become an authority in your industry.

    Another great way you can build a relationship with the prospects that are not ready to convert is by offering them helpful resources such as whitepapers, eBooks, and cheat sheets.

    6. Create compelling calls to action

    According to one study, nearly 70% of small businesses websites don't include a call-to-action (CTA). CTAs are the easiest way to convert a visitor to a prospective client.

    Try to be as specific as possible in your CTA. Think about the action you want them to take and tell them to: "Subscribe," "Buy," "Download for free," etc.

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