First impressions are incredibly important, especially when you are trying to convince potential customers to choose your company over your competitors. We always put our best foot forward during job interviews, and your homepage needs to be able to do the same during “interviews” that occur each time a new person visits it. Serving as the virtual front door to your company, your homepage is the face of your business and is primarily responsible for keeping the traffic on your website.

You have an average of seven seconds to capture a potential customer’s attention with your website’s homepage. In these seven seconds, your website has to make a good impression. After all, in these seven seconds, the viewers critique everything they see and decide whether or not they like you and if they’re going to do business with you. This means it is more important than ever for your homepage to engage viewers with content that both provides information and sets the tone for what your business is all about. If a visitor to your homepage is turned off by design, layout, or navigation, it can cause them to sign off of your site with the opinion that it does not offer them what they are looking for.

For those of you that are having a hard time figuring out how to optimize your homepage, our staff at Charley Grey has compiled this helpful guide about the four features your homepage should have. Let’s get started!

Headline

Within a matter of seconds, your homepage needs to be able to communicate who your business is and what it has to offer. It should tell your visitors exactly what you do with a clear, memorable headline, followed by a 2-3 sentence subheadline elaborating on those details. People from all walks of life will visit your website, so you will want a headline with a broad appeal while still being clear and direct.

Your headline should offer targeted and concise text that helps the user quickly understand what your business can do for them. If people don’t know what your company does, who you provide services to, and how it does this best, they are likely to move on to another site to find what they need. Headlines and subheadlines are not places to use filler content. Cut out any fluff in this text and keep it short and simple. Your headline should be placed somewhere near the top of the homepage where it will be quickly noticed.

Navigation

Another important part of a successful homepage is navigation. A website’s navigation is like its map; it gives viewers an overview of what they can find on the website as well as how to locate specific information they’re searching for. Your website’s navigation should be intuitive, straightforward, and easy to use. When you have new visitors to the site, you want them to be able to find the information they want and need without getting lost or confused.

We suggest organizing your navigation to reflect your buyers’ behaviors, so put your most popular pages on top! If your website has a lot of content and pages, a search box might be necessary to input with the navigation. Place your navigation and search bar within the header to provide a clear guide to all of your other pages. For most effective navigation, be sure all of your pages are titled correctly.

Calls to Action

Now that you’ve piqued the interest of your website visitors, now the purpose of your homepage is to drive them deeper into your website, especially toward the pages where they can buy your products or services. A call to action (CTA) is a way to pull your visitors into the interior pages and begin the selling cycle. When it is clear what action you want viewers to take next, they will spend more time on your website and learn more about your business.

Your CTAs should represent the direct goals of your website and should be displayed as visually striking buttons or links, ideally in a color that stands out from the rest of the page. You want to keep your CTAs brief – no more than five words – while also making them intriguing; you don’t want to confuse potential customers, but you do want to draw them in. We suggest using action words in your CTAs so that they sound like commands, while also highlighting the value of following through with the CTA. Common examples of CTAs are “Sign Up,” “Make an Appointment,” or “Try It for Free.”

Social Proof

Another easy way to direct new customers to your homepage is through testimonials and customer reviews. Known as social proof, this customer feedback will prove to new visitors that your company knows what it’s doing. Success stories and testimonials are a great way to reinforce positive first impressions. Research shows that 79% of web users trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from their family and friends. Social proof is a powerful tool to build trust with potential customers and lets people know they can trust you.

Here at Charley Grey, we are passionate about helping people optimize their homepages for easy, enjoyable user experiences. For more information about how Charley Grey can help you improve your business’s website, visit our website today.