Your Homepage is often the first page on your website that prospective clients will see. Does it shout, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”? Because that’s its job. Just like a newsboy shouting on the street corner in days of old, your homepage has a very important job — grab the reader’s attention and do it quickly. In fact, according to many SEO, digital marketing and analytics companies, you have just 8 seconds to attract the attention of your website visitor.
You read that right — 8 seconds.
To make a great first impression and merit a reader’s attention beyond 8 seconds, the following 5 elements need to be in place – and preferably above the fold – on your homepage.
Above the fold? Yes, back in the day, when print newspapers were all the rage, the best editors knew that their most valuable space was above the fold on the front page.
To this day, the rule remains the same; only the names have changed. The newspaper is now a website, and everybody has one. The front page is your website’s homepage, and content placed above the fold means that readers can see them without having to scroll down.
The 5 must-have homepage elements are:
A Great Headline – Another element that goes back to the days of old, headlines that sold newspapers were big enough and bold enough to catch the attention of pedestrians passing by the newsstand. And the headline said just enough to make them want to stop, read, and even purchase the newspaper.
In today’s vernacular, your headline is just one of thousands that readers scan as they’re scrolling down the Google search results page. It needs to be bold enough to catch the reader’s attention so they’ll click on the link to your site. And on your homepage, your headline needs to pique your reader’s curiosity – to make them want to know just a little bit more. If it does this well, you just might win that 8 second battle.
A Call to Action – Put simply, this element tells the reader what you want them to do next.
- “Request a free consultation.”
- “Enter your email to request information.”
- “Click this button to chat with someone right now.”
This is such a simple element that many websites miss it altogether or they put it at the bottom of the page. But by placing it front and center, your reader knows immediately what their next step should be. And even if they don’t act on their first visit to your site (most don’t), each time they come back, they are more likely to do what you’ve requested.
Simple Navigation – While your homepage is key to introducing readers to your business, a well-developed website will have sections just like the newspaper. But the days when Saturday mornings were spent reading the press are long gone. If visitors can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for on your website, they will be off to find it somewhere else. The solution is a simple and intuitive navigation system that is generally the same on every page of your site as it is on your homepage.
Contact Info – Give your prospects what they want, and they’ll want to do business with you. Make it super easy for them to make that decision by placing your contact information where it is easy to find. If you’re a brick and mortar business, your address (with a link to a map with gps directions) and your phone number (in case there are questions) should be prominently displayed on your homepage.
Eye-catching Design – At Valorous Circle, we believe this might be the most important element of not just your homepage but your entire website. With millions of sites to choose from, today’s readers expect so much more than black & white newsprint and color comic strips on Sunday. A creative, cohesive, and eye-catching design that effectively communicates your brand is one of the strongest marketing assets your business can have.
When was the last time you looked at your homepage? Do you have all 5 of these elements above the fold? If not, give Valorous Circle a call. We can make your homepage shout, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”