I would argue that your homepage is going to be the most important page on your website. This is because, for 99% of businesses, your homepage is going to be your most trafficked page. Most visitors, new and returning, will start at your homepage to get an idea of whether or not they are interested in your business. And unfortunately, you get SECONDS to capture that interest.
For this reason, your homepage needs to capture your viewer's attention, provide a sense of your brand, quickly describe what you do, and provide an action for visitors to take.
What are the top 4 things your need on your homepage in order to achieve this?
Strong Header Image + Tagline + Main CTA Button
Most websites are going to have between a 40-60% bounce rate. This means that 40-60% of website traffic is never going to visit any page other than the first page they land on. And for a sizeable portion (the argument is out on what percent but even the conservative articles say around 22%) of those individuals don’t scroll at all. This means that a large segment of your audience will only ever see the content that lives above the fold on your homepage (the portion of the screen that is shown before scrolling).
In order to make the most out of your homepage, you will want to catch a viewer's eye, tell them about you as concisely and as clearly as possible, while providing them with your ‘ideal’ call to action. We call this your Ideal CTA (catchy, we know).
Our equation is thus:
Header = Main image + H1 Tagline + 2-3 sentence descriptor + Ideal CTA button.
This equation allows you to get a bunch of info to the viewer efficiently.
Your Ideal CTA is whatever action you want customers or clients to do on your website. For a consumer app that would be ‘Download our App’ or ‘Join our Waitlist’. If you sell a product it would be ‘Shop Now’. If you are a b2b service provider that might be ‘Schedule a Consultation’ or ‘Contact our Team’.
That is the button you want at the very top of your homepage.
3-4 Clear Value Props
This is your 3-4 reasons as to why you exist and how you’re different. After you’ve briefly explained your product at the top of the homepage, you want to let readers know how you are going to solve their problem or make their life easier. You should be able to turn these value props into 3-5 word statements that clarify to your reader the value you bring to them.
Some common value props that you will see:
Save the Enviornment
Manage Tasks in one Place
All Natural Ingredients
Lower Quantity Orders
You get the idea.
These are the 3-4 takeaways you want the customer or client to leave your website understanding.
Services / Products
In addition to having a services or products page, be sure you include a highlevel overview of your services or products on your homepage. This should look like a clear title of each of your services with a brief 1-2 sentence descriptor of that service with a button linking to more information.
If you sell more than 6 products or services, simply bucket them into categories and talk about the categories on the homepage. The goal of your services and product section is to get customers to the proper page of your website to either learn more or buy.
HOT TIP: For consumer products, much of your homepage will be dedicated to the product section. Try sprinkling in your value props amongst your products as well as customer reviews and FAQs to connect your products to your core value props
Variety of CTAs + internal links throughout the page
One of the biggest missed opportunities we see on home pages is only offering one kind of CTA on the homepage. The issue with only offering one CTA is that customers and clients will come to the website at many different stages of the purchasing funnel.
Some website visitors are going to be learning about your business for the very first time and are just looking around. Some visitors will be returning knowing exactly what they are looking for. Others will have stumbled upon your website and have no idea how they go there. If you only offer one CTA, you are going to be missing out on a huge segment of your visitors.
When we talk to clients about the different CTAs they are going to include on their website, we ask them to think about the customer journey. Our goal is to create different mini steps for the customer to take to get them ready to click the Ideal CTA.
An example will help illustrate this point.
Imagine you are a service-based company and your Ideal CTA is to have them book a meeting on your calendar. For a brand new website visitor, only offering the option to schedule an appointment with your team is a tall order.
Instead, we want to offer website visitors an onramp to scheduling an appointment. This means that we are including CTAs that meet them where they are. We want to keep the first button the Ideal CTA, which in this case is ‘Book a Meeting’. Then we’ll include several buttons that link to the different services page to make it easy for visitors to explore the website. We’ll be sure to include a CTA that links to a contact/interested form which is a lower stake for many customers. Then, we’ll end the page with that Ideal CTA because hopefully by the time they reach the bottom of the homepage we’ve converted them. But if not, there will be a newsletter form on the homepage or embedded into the footer that will send them resources, tips, articles, etc, and provide you with ways to stay in touch.
Like our recommendations with websites overall, your homepage should be evolving. As you learn more about your customer, your core value props will change as will your Ideal CTA. If you want to dive even deeper into homepages, check out our 4-part series dedicated to them!
Interested in updating your website? Schedule a discovery meeting or contact us at email@example.com.
About The Author
Olivia Wisden is the Founder + CEO of UnderBelly Creative. She has worked with dozens of brands over the years ranging from city initiatives to product launches and beyond. When she’s not fan-girling over the design team’s illustrations she can probably be found reading a novel or attending a boxing class.