Your Home Page is Key
Today I want to talk with you about the eight absolutely critical elements that need to be on your homepage for it to convert. We do audits on websites all the time and we’ve been studying, and building websites for a long time and we see that there are a lot of websites that are just not optimized to convert.
As we’ve taken a look at with some of the other videos we’ve created, a good design is absolutely an element of value and it builds trust out here in the sort of digital realm where we live. What’s happened in the last 20 years is that a lot of trust has been lost because we used to do transactions you know, belly to belly, you know handshake and now we do a lot of stuff online.
Why Is Trust So Important?
Well most of us have been burned some way or another by companies that just couldn’t get it done didn’t represent themselves well, and so we’re all looking for who we can trust and good design creates trust. It’s pretty well understood now what the elements of a homepage are that convey that trust, and that makes someone want to do business with you.
Taking A Deeper Look At These Elements
Start With The Menu
Number one is that your site has a top menu. On that top menu, it’s gonna be your logo, that’s going to be at the far left you’re gonna have basic navigation.
We recommend not more than about four elements on that navigation.
Sometimes you see six, or eight we recommend really not a not more than four.
Then we’re going to have the primary call to action. We want this to be offset, with an offset color so it contrasts with the rest of the site and it really jumps off the page. That’s gonna be at the top right and it really ideally should be the farthest right element in the navigation.
Okay, number two is we’re gonna have a headline and a sub-headline. We want that headline to be clear, concise, and really create clarity of what your offer is. Nothing too fancy, nothing too clever, and then below that we’re gonna have a sub-headline.
Number three is you want your primary call to action again, so there’s gonna be the primary call to action at the top right of the navigation (the furthest right) and then below the headline, we’re gonna have that primary call to action again.
Sell The Dreams
Number four is the hero shot.
The hero shot is a big beautiful photo of your client getting what they want.
This hero shot can be confusing for people a lot of businesses, they think the hero shot should be themselves like maybe the hero shot for rocket science or our company should be me or our team.
Well, that’s not what it should be.
How To Take a Proper Hero Shot
The hero shot should be you receiving the benefit or the client receiving the benefit of the product, so this can kind of be abstract because it’s not even necessarily them using the product sometimes. It’s someone just smiling and really having a lot of joy especially for a product like a financial product or something that’s more difficult to convey. We want to the hero shot to be your client just after they receive the benefit of using your product
Maybe that means that they’re happier, they’re safer, they look better they’re wealthier, they’re more attractive – whatever they get from your product, that image of them receiving that, that should be what your hero shot is.
Show People How You Work
Number five is how it works so this would be the steps or the features (and benefits.) Maybe a video walkthrough, or a demo of your products.
A lot of the reason why we go to a homepage is that we want to know how a product works, we want to know what are the steps involved? What do I have to do? And so you’ll notice it down below we’ve got a how it works section on our homepage.
Part of the use of a homepage is to inform someone how to do it or how to use your product. Someone wants to know how to do that they don’t want to just pick up the phone and call you and say how does it work.
Make a Visual
We want to have like an example that might be like a kind of a tree where someone walks down through the steps 1, 2, 3, 4, but we want to have some section on the home page that tells them how it works.
Define Your Target Customer
Number 6 is who it’s for.
This is going to be a section on your home page, and this helps clients understand what your products are about and it helps them take the action that you want them to take. We want a section on your home page that is who it’s for, and we will align the avatars of the different types of customers with use cases of them using it.
Looking At An Example
Recently we built a website for a company that sells pizza stones, thousands and thousands of pizza stones. On the front of that website, we created a “who it’s for” section, and who it’s for is busy moms and dads who want to grill.
Now, if a busy mom shows up on the site she can actually click on that box or that card on the front of the site and it will take her to a page that shows more about what she would be interested in, and if a dad who wants to grill hops on the site he can click on his section and go to the page where it tells how to grill with the pizza stone.
These are two different avatars, they’ve got two different uses, and we will present the use case for who it’s for- kind of split them apart and give them a place to go so that they can say “oh, this section is for me.”
We want to tell who it’s for on the home page of your site.
First Impressions Are Everything
Number seven is we want some kind of trust bar. These would be potentially customer logos, testimonials, or customer stories.
It’s pretty easy to put customer logos in a bar across the site, so that would be people that you’ve worked with in the past. Get permission from them first but go ahead and put their logos in a trust bar on the site.
Testimonials Say a Lot
It’s also a great section to have testimonials, we really recommend testimonial videos. We found they’re great for conversions, and really help people to believe that your product can do what you say it can do.
Lastly is the footer
Now, the footer is like extended navigation.
This is where we put all of the stuff that didn’t fit up in the top navigation.
These may be different pages of your site, they may be sections of your site, it may also be a section for your favorites or your most commonly used blog posts.
If you have cornerstone content, what really brings people to your site, ideally that would be in the footer navigation so there’s not a blog, and then they go to the blog and then they can find that actually put that very most used content in the footer itself.
Put a link right to it, it should ideally be not more than one click away from the homepage.
Make Your Information Accessible
A footer is also a place where you want to put company information. We always want to put what we call a “NAP” down there, that’s name address phone number. It needs to be consistent across the site, but a footer is a place where we want to have that NAP.
All of those things are going to go in the footer, so the footer is a great place to have plenty of links.
Find Your Perfect Balance
Those are the eight elements of a high converting homepage. You want to make sure that each of these elements is there, and you want to make sure that there’s not a whole lot more than that there.
These are really the pieces that science, and that a ton of data has proved are really the elements that need to be there for high conversions.
My name is Mark Lamberth, CEO of Rokket Science.
Thank you very much for taking a look at this video