10 Key Features your Homepage Should Include
Posted on 07/08/2019 at 09:00 AM
Your homepage is an essential tool for your business and often serves as the first impression to potential customers. Your site plays more than the role of a digital business card, in most cases, it acts as a gateway to your company. As a result, there are many important components of effective web design, like white space, font selection, color schemes, and layout, but the core of a website is its content, not its design. Within a matter of seconds, your homepage needs to introduce your product or service and entice visitors to explore your site further.
Keep reading to find out the 10 content features are vital to a successful homepage.
10. Your Logo
Your logo should be visible at the top of your website. It’s the core of your business’ branding and identity, after all. The logo is a tangible representation that encompasses your products or services and is a key piece for clients to recognize and connect with your brand. The logo on a website often doubles in functionality as a link to the homepage, so you want it to be in an obvious location within the header.
9. Meta Tags and Alternative Text
More than simply keywords, Meta Tags are small snippets of text that can describe the contents of a web page. Each page should have its own unique Meta Tags to be most effective. Nestled within the coding of the page, Meta Tags are not seen by the average user but are never missed by Google’s almighty, ever-evolving, and all-seeing algorithm. Google wants to make sure that the pages it recommends to users are full of quality content and properly placed Meta Tags are a fundamental way to help it do this! Also, be sure to include descriptive alternative text for images. This helps with website accessibility for users of screen readers and is another great SEO “hack”! Google shows preferential listing to websites that are ADA compliant!
8. Site Share Features
In today’s mobile world, customers are far more likely to reach out via social media than place a call to your company. Some experts suggest that most social users spend around 142 minutes of their daily internet use on social. For this reason, it’s important to make sure customers can share features they find interesting on your site with their social circle. Consider it free advertising! Social sharing features should be in the footer of your site at the very least, but also can be strategically placed on blogs and in other places you would like to have shared!
Straightforward and intuitive navigation is another must-have feature your website should include in the header. If your website is content heavy, a search box might be an asset to include here. The navigation menu should be easy to locate with items that make sense to new visitors. The navigation area is like a road map--it’s necessary to give visitors an overview of the content, as well as help them to locate the information they are looking for through the most efficient route. Descriptive and thorough navigation is also beneficial in reducing bounce rates, and all of this helps with Search Engine Optimization.
Within a matter of seconds, your website needs to communicate to visitors what you have to offer. A headline with sub-headline or paragraph text should provide a clear description of your business and what you do or offer. This is usually 2-3 sentences of powerful, memorable, and concise text that targets your viewers’ needs.
5. Call to Action
The goal of your website’s homepage is to pique the interest of visitors and prompt them to delve deeper into the pages of your website. A call to action (CTA) is one way to pull people into the interior pages, begin the selling cycle, or at least initiate direct contact. CTA areas or buttons can be linked to contact forms, subscription enrollment forms, or other pages within your website that provide more information. The easier and more intriguing you make it for the visitor to click this CTA, the better the chance they will invest time in browsing your website.
4. Social Proof
Providing testimonials or customer/client reviews is another powerful way to stimulate trust and establish your expertise. The social proof shows new visitors that you know what you’re doing and provides key insights to your product or service. Success stories are a great way to inspire a positive first impression. Video testimonials are even better. Sure, they require a bit more of an investment in time and resources, but the engagement can leave a much deeper impact!
3. Photos/Video Elements
To put it simply, people are visual. A photo or video of someone using your product or engaging with your service is better than a stationary photo of your product because the viewer can connect with it. Our brains are hardwired in such a way that our eyes are drawn to human faces and we empathize with the perceived emotion. Photos add a sense of credibility and integrity to a website. Seeing your product or service in action can take that credibility and integrity to the next level and has the added benefit of being “evergreen” when done properly!
2. Text Content
The language of your site matters. It is best to not only describe what you do but to connect it to why it matters to the visitor. Keep your content simple and easy to read and avoid industry jargon by being conscious of your target audience. Connecting with the visitor, using a brand-consistent voice, and convincing them about how they will benefit from you is essential for maintaining interest.
An informational footer is arguably as important as your header navigation. Once your visitor reaches the end of your homepage, this area should provide three features: contact information, links, and social media integration. Contact information encourages the visitor to get in contact with you. Links can be a helpful way to provide a mini-sitemap or encourage the user to check out interior pages. Providing links to social media accounts is a great way to encourage visitors to engage with your company on another medium. It also adds to your social proof and provides another method of connection and communication.
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