More Than Just a Homepage
In the world of digital marketing, your website is the ultimate representation of your business. Think of it as your residence, where your homepage acts as your website’s “curb appeal” and an attractive entrance gives users a taste of who you are and what to expect when further navigating. Over the years, we have seen a variety of different homepage trends from long form, expansive homepages to succinct landing pages - but which works best for your business? We explore this below...
Creating Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy can be defined as the way in which we manipulate or arrange elements to reflect importance. Take a look at the image below and quickly rank each circle from most important to least important. My bet is you ordered the larger circles towards the top of the page first - this is visual hierarchy.
As you can see above, visual hierarchy can be accomplished in a few ways - from manipulation of color, size, position and more. However, what is so easily represented in circles can be much more difficult when actually defining the most important elements of a homepage - for this, we need to ask ourselves, where are my visitors coming from and what are they doing?
Following the Buyer Journey
Moz defines the buyer journey as “A framework that acknowledges a buyer’s progression through a research and decision process ultimately culminating in a purchase.” Moz breaks down the buyer journey into 3 steps, the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage. When we consider this lens, our homepage begins to take shape.
The Awareness Stage
Let’s start with the Awareness Stage. Here, buyers are showing symptoms of resolving an issue or opportunity and are actively beginning research to understand their problem. How should this translate to your website? Oftentimes this research starts with a simple Google search. Once a visitor lands on the primary content of your site, they have seconds to determine whether your homepage helps them further their quest by answering two main questions - “Where are you located?” and “What is your product or service?”. Once they receive this validation, their research can begin.
Make a powerful first impression with these Awareness Stage modules:
- Hero Image - Catch a visitor’s eye with full width, high res imagery that's relevant to your business
- About Us Module - Highlight your business’s most notable characteristics with a module that speaks to your craftsmanship or best-in-class products
The Consideration Stage
With this new found validation, our visitor has the confidence to continue down the page. Now he or she understands their problem or opportunity and knows that you have the capability to help. What’s next? Research. Our visitor has now entered the Consideration Stage. Here they want to understand who you are as a business and whether your solutions align with their goals. Accomplish this step in a variety of ways - appeal to their emotions by answering the visitor’s question of why they should work with you and then validate those emotions with relatable trust indicators like client testimonials. In this Consideration Phase, the visitor should feel a connection to your business and how their day-to-day can be improved through working with you.
Build trust with these helpful Consideration Stage modules:
- Client Testimonials - Show off first-hand remarks from your biggest advocates
- Blog Spotlights - Position yourself as a thought leader by showcasing industry related content
- Project Gallery - Woo potential clients with attractive project imagery
- Affiliations - Proudly display any professional credentials or memberships
The Decision Stage
Our visitor is now reaching the end of it’s buyer journey and consequently the end of your homepage. The only step left is the Decision Phase. In this stage, a visitor is narrowing down your set of solutions and ultimately wants to take next steps. The most important component of this portion of your homepage is to give the visitor a next action. This action could be a button directing them to a more detailed list of the solutions you offer or even a form offering a free consultation. As long as the visitor has somewhere to go, the journey continues and you are making strides towards success. With a carefully optimized homepage layout, conversion is on the horizon.
Help visitors take the next step with these decision stage modules:
- Solutions Spotlights: Highlight flagship solutions that take users to other pages on your website
- Gated Quote Estimate: Offer a free estimate in exchange for basic contact information
- Google Map: Provide information on where your office is located along with next steps for directions or scheduling an appointment