Your homepage is the first thing your prospective clients see. Make the impression count.
Every now and again I come across a marketing homepage that makes me feel all warm inside. These kinds of sites tend to share some common characteristics, such as a positioning statement, an emphasis on the benefits, and a clear call to action – not to mention a simple but beautiful design.
Since your homepage is the first thing most prospective clients see, your production values should be reflective of the kind of company you are. Executed properly, your homepage will accelerate your overall marketing strategy. If it’s missing any of the following elements, do not panic, but call your web designer immediately.
Your positioning statement is a boiled-down answer to the following question: “What do you do, Who do you do it for, and What do they get out of it?” New visitors will decide within seconds whether your site is relevant to them or not, so this statement should be front and centre, and it should be very clear.
Why you? The benefits of working with your company over your competition need to be emphasized. If you’re too shy to toot your own horn, let your customers do it for you: there’s no better credibility builder than a few well-placed testimonials. Don’t be afraid to edit them down, either (or ask your client to): these blurbs should be short, sweet, and to the point, demonstrating your integrity, value, and relevance.
Call to Action
On the Web, a call-to-action is any statement – usually in the form of a clickable button or link – that entices the visitor to “Work with us”, “Learn more”, “Request a call”, or take the next step in the conversion process. There should be at least one on your homepage.
A list of your products and services goes without saying, as does some basic contact information. Media mentions are great, if you’ve got them. Clear typography and a clean layout are always advisable. And I personally have a soft spot for buttons and icons.
Of course, this is just a blueprint – not a complete architectural diagram. What you choose to emphasize – and customize – depends on the nature of your business. And we haven’t even touched on content strategy, which for me requires a lot of restraint!