You’ve gone through the anxiety of choosing a template for your WordPress or Squarespace website, and finally installed the damn thing on your domain (oh, the headaches). Now it’s time to make your Home page shine. This is the very first thing people are going to see, after all, and it’s also the deal breaker in terms of whether they stay or click away.
Here are 8 elements that go into an amazing Home page…
Just like a blog post has to have an attention-grabbing headline, your Home page needs one too. A Hero image paired with a statement. This statement might be your tagline, or just two or three words that make people think, Oh, that’s clever! and carry on scrolling down the page.
Example: I played off of the “But First, Coffee” meme and placed But First… Content on the header image.
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To Theme, Or Not To Theme
I’m not talking about the template you just installed, but the theme that you want to have running through your site so that everything ties together.
A strong theme helps keep the brand story and your overall positioning consistent.
And by positioning, of course I mean how you want to be positioned in your target customer’s mind. That being said, before you choose a theme you must know how you want that person to feel when they land on your Home page.
Example: When I first set out to create freshpresse.co, I wanted to go with this whole wanderlusty vibe. Since I have traveled a lot and now live in Italy, I just figured that would fly. And maybe it would have, but when I actually did the research into who my perfect client was, I was inspired to use a cool coffee shop theme that connected more dots for her. IE. Walking into a beautiful environment to meet me and get sh*t done!
Poor quality images are a major buzz kill. And this kills me when I see it happening because big, beautiful, FREE, high quality images are all over the internet.
First, know what your ideal customers like to look at.
Second, download images that fit the bill from my favourite resource www.pexels.com.
Bold, Engaging Headlines
Let’s face it, the way people read has changed dramatically in the last few years. We humans are bombarded with so much content on a daily basis that we’ve become skimmers to survive the attack. It’s the reason savvy bloggers have updated the structure of their posts to include several sub-headings that break up their story into an easy read. It’s also the reason you see lots of people using the PS. at the bottom of their email marketing campaigns to reiterate the most important message/link.
You’ll need at least two call-to-actions. These are things that encourage visitors to engage with you and learn more about what you do. As far as placement of these CTAs, see how I’ve done it and also have a look around on other sites for inspiration.
See what I did there 😉
I think up to three testimonials are about right for a Home page. If you’ve only got one that’s cool. As long as it’s a really good reference then don’t sweat it. I have a few testimonials from clients on my Work With Me pages, but selected just one for my Home page. If you are just starting out and don’t have any, well, you do… Ask a teacher, coach, co-worker, or your former boss who was so sad to see you go. Just make sure they speak to your core skills, and not your amazing sense of style (unless you’re promoting your services as a personal stylist, of course). Dig around a bit and you will find one or two gems.
Can’t stress this enough. Your words and images must have space to breathe. Nothing f*$ks with visual flow more than cramming too much information on one page.
A Note About Social
I know how tempting it is to want to add all those cute social media icons on the Home page. But think about that for a second and you’ll understand why the trend is to avoid doing so. It’s simple logic, really. You’ve worked hard to get people to visit your .com, so WHY THE HECK do you want them to leave? Social media links can be real distraction from the goal of getting people to pay attention to your message and what you have to offer. I reco saving the social stuff for your contact page and the blog section. If you simply must have your social media links, be sure to set them to ‘open in a new tab/window’ so people don’t completely hop off your site (as you.com will still be open in another tab) – because Facebook amnesia is real. Or you can do what I did here and use a plug-in to show your latest Instagram posts. By showing your latest and greatest, people aren’t so much inclined to click away.
Let me know how you brought the WOW to your website in the comments below.
If you’re in need of a homepage overhaul, but don’t have time to DIY, then book a call and we’ll get it done in an hour!