Make Your Homepage Work – You’ve got Less than 5 Seconds

A potential customer has reached your homepage. You’ve got about 5 seconds to capture their attention – that’s less time than it takes you to read this paragraph. Wow! That’s not long is it?

It’s true. If you don’t capture the attention of a visitor almost as soon as they reach your website, they’re statistically likely to leave. That means you’ll be sending them back to Google and potentially on to your competitors.

The First Focus Point

The first focus point for a visitor on your website will be your “hero” section. Some designers call it “above the fold” – the web “real estate” that people see when they first land on your site. This is the area that will have your big bold mission statement. 

You know the one… where you’re saying: “We do [hwat it is you do best] for [your target audience] who get [all these benefits]”. Except you say it in a much better way!

This first statement is the thing that will hook in a visitor. If you don’t grab their attention there, they are likely to go elsewhere. With nearly 2 billion websites in the world, the choice is huge! The ‘above the fold’ tells them if they’re in the right place and encourages them to explore further into your page. At this point you could use an image or video to further engage them. 

Finally there will be a clear Call To Action (CTA). This is the one thing that you want a visitor to do. Don’t give them a choice about what to do – make it clearly one thing. It could be to complete an enquiry form, go to a shop page, call you, make a booking or something else. One clear action that you want your visitors to take. Just one.

Home Page Content

After this initial section, you’ll then have more content on your homepage talking about your services or products, perhaps the ethos behind your brand.

The content on your homepage should be talking directly to your target audience. It’s really important to avoid using “I” or “we” too often. It may seem like your website is about you, but it’s actually about your customers. I wrote more about this here

You need to show them that they’re in the right place to solve their problems.

People will skim read through content before they decide to read further. There have been many studies done with eye movement detection software that show how people read a website.

Content on your homepage should have a clear descriptive headline and be obvious about what it is you do or sell. It’s smart to tell your story, with a focus around their needs that will take the reader on a journey as they scroll down your homepage and move them from looker to booker and browser to buyer.

Images and Video

You can use imagery to complement the content of your homepage. A lot of people will choose to use stock images for this. These are photographs that can be licensed for a reasonable fee. You can find a great list of resources here.

Just remember that stock images are not always best for grabbing the attention of a visitor. There’s nothing more boring than a bookkeeping website with a picture of a calculator or a laptop. 

Custom illustrations or videos can be more engaging for your visitors. They can tell a story in a way that is unique to your business.

Social Proof

Don’t forget to add social proof to your homepage. Reviews and testimonials from your customers are really important and they should be featured prominently. 

There’s no point putting them on a separate page, they need to be front and centre. You want to give people a reason to stay on your site, and social proof can do just that.

When you show potential customers that you’ve already got happy customers using your products or services, it helps to build trust. They can see that you’re delivering on your promises and that you’re likely a good fit to help them.

Social proof can be in text format and sometimes even in the form of a video.

Video is a little harder to encourage your clients to do, but if you’re able to get video testimonials, you’ll find that they are very powerful. It adds a great deal of authenticity when a site visitor can see a real human speaking.

Call to Action

Always remember to repeat your CTA at least once more. It’s the most important action that you want your visitors to take and the easiest way for them to engage with you. Giving them the opportunity to take that action more than once will encourage them some more – and let’s face it if they are skim readers, they may even have missed it the first time round.

Finally

Your homepage is the front door to your business. It needs to capture attention and let your visitors know that they’re in the right place and that you can help them solve the problem that brought them there in the first place.

Make sure your navigation menu is clear, don’t use fancy names for your Contact Us section or your shop, or people may not find you or be able to engage with you.

Don’t make the mistake of sending visitors to your competitors for free when they become disinterested in your site.

Get in Touch

If you’d like to talk about your homepage, I’d be happy to arrange a call with you where we can run through a Homepage Review. Click here to book a call and let’s make that happen.]

P.S.

Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.

Digital Marketing | Online Marketing | Web Designer | Website Devleoper | Victor Harbor | Willunga | McLaren Vale

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