If you are in real estate, you know the value of a beautifully-staged home.
It is inviting. It isn’t cluttered. It gives people a picture of what could be.
Your home page of your website should be a little like a house staged for sale. There are elements that you can bring together to help it sell better.
Here are 7 features your website should have.
1. A clear description of who you serve and what you do for them.
How often have you been to a site and not been able to figure out what the business actually does? There are some vague ideas included. Or maybe you can narrow down the industry, but it is difficult to get the main point.
Don’t make your viewers hunt and peck to figure out what you do. (The truth is, most won’t).
There should be a short statement at the very top that is your “I help” statement, or something similar that is specific and clear.
2. High quality photos.
Especially for the hero image, which is often a large banner image across the top of a home page, it is crucial that this photo is high quality. It is the first thing that people see, and first impressions matter.
Make sure it is compelling, crisp, fits with your branding and has enough negative space for you to add a headline and text.
3. A call to action.
A call to action is basically a way to ask someone to do something. On a website, this usually is a button or a form. You are asking visitors to click that button or fill out that form.
You don’t want people to come to your homepage and then drop off. Give them a clear path to the next step. What is the goal you have for people who come to your site? While the ultimate goal might be for someone to book a service with you, first-time visitors often aren’t ready for that. You need some intermediary steps for them to take so they can get to know you better. This could be to book a free consult call, join your email list, or read your blog. Give them a path to that goal by telling them where to go next.
Make sure that your home page doesn’t have too many calls to action. When people have too many options, they get overwhelmed and don’t do anything. Keep your home page streamlined so that it funnels people into a certain direction. Think of your website as a path not a labyrinth.
4. A couple testimonials.
Social proof is invaluable. This is especially true if people are brand new to you. If they can see that others have worked with you and had success, they are more likely to take the next step.
Choose a few of your best testimonials to showcase on your site. This is one unique area that you can't really overdo. The more they see success in others, the more a website visitor can envision your service working for them.
5. Your logo.
This is an obvious one. But some businesses either skip it, or use the wrong file for their logo.
Make sure you are using a small png with a transparent background so that you don’t get a white box around your logo.
Don’t make it a focal point. A giant logo at the top of the page looks amatuer. It should be small but present.
It's customary to link your home page to your logo, so anyone can click on it to get back to your home page.
6. The benefits of what you do for your reader.
The home page isn’t the place to get into the nuts and bolts of your services. However, make sure it is clear what problem you solve for your potential client and what makes you different in your industry right away.
7. Clear navigation.
Above all, make your navigation clear and easy to use. It is tempting to use fancy fonts or unique features when it comes to listing your website’s pages at the top of your site. There’s a rule in user experience, which is the practice of making technology seamless and easy for the user, called Jacob’s law. It says that people prefer your site to work the same way as other sites they already know.
For this reason, I recommend a standard navigation bar across the top on desktop home pages. (Instead of a hamburger menu or a menu down the side.)
Your homepage is often the first place people will encounter your business. Research shows that people make judgments about you and your business within a fraction of a second. Take advantage of this space to make a lasting one.
A beautiful, functional home page is like a welcoming entryway for your business.
Unsure if your website is set up to get the best results? Download my website audit checklist.