Some people compare their websites to a welcome mat for their business. I don't know about you, but my welcome mat doesn't really do anything besides collects dirt and leaves – pretty much the opposite of what I want my website to do. I think of my homepage more as a cocktail party (fun, right?). It's where people wander up to when they're interested and want to know more about you. They're there to get the scoop. They are warming up to you and the idea of working with you. So, it's crucial that their first experience is a good one. Your homepage – what they see when they land on your website – really counts.
People decide whether they like your website or not in as little as 0.05 seconds.
Crazy, right? It's highly important to include the right information, not MORE information, to be sure you get them hanging out at least slightly longer than that .05.
If someone is immediately turned off by your site, they won't absorb a drop of your information... and you've got some important stuff to say!
This moment is the tipping point where you can begin converting your "cocktail party goers" into clients and customers.
Here are the 5 essential features you need on your homepage.
1. A headline and hook.
You want the RIGHT copy, not MORE copy. In your hero space, include a clear headline and hook.
Your headline will tell people about your offering – what it is, who it's for, and what problem it solves.
The hook is benefits-driven – what they can expect when they work with you or purchase your product.
2. A call-to-action.
This generally comes right after the headline and hook. It's the next actionable step the user should take.
People want to know exactly what to do when they get to your homepage. We thrive when told the clear next step.
It should relate directly to the headline and hook. Think instant gratification.
Examples: "Book your consult call" or "Sign up for my free guide".
3. More about you.
People are so over brands and so into people. We're naturally curious and instinctually want to know more about the people that were interacting with. We want to meet the people behind the brand.
You can capitalize on this by sharing a little information about yourself – include a photo of yourself (I know, I know) and a short bio (nothing too in-depth, but enough so that they’ve got an idea who you are and feel connected to you).
This will jumpstart the like know trust cycle.
4. Social proof.
This one is key – and so many people miss it.
People want to work with people who they can trust, who they know they will get results from, because others have too. Offering social proof eases people's nerves.
For me, this is the first thing I look for on the website when I’m considering making an investment.
Even for a pair of yoga pants, I want to read a review before I make the purchase. I don't care about what the brand is saying about their pants, I want to know what my peers are saying about their pants.
Social proof can come in the form of testimonials, a list of publications you've been published in, accolades, or pull quotes.
5. An opt-in form.
This when they give you their email address in exchange for a valuable freebie (ex. PDF guide, downloadable video tutorial, checklist, etc.).
The bottom line: when people go to your website, you want to be getting their information. They're a warm audience, meaning that there already interested in you and slightly familiar with your services. They've taken the time to go to your website, so they're already somewhat invested. You want to know more about them.
If going to your website is having happy hour with someone, converting them to your email list is inviting them over for Thanksgiving Dinner. It's the ultimate.
This is where the real connections happen – these are your people, this is your tribe, invest in them.
- Headline and hook that are benefits-driven
- A call-to-action
- About you
- Social proof
- Opt-in form
Take a look at your website... do you have all these things? What are you missing? What are you stuck on? Let me know in the comments.