Your homepage is arguably one of the most important pages on your website. It’s the first thing a potential customer sees and the biggest driver of traffic to your site. It only takes 50 ms (that’s 0.05 seconds) for a user to form a first impression of your site, so if you’re not putting your best foot forward you could easily be losing customers.
So how do you design an effective homepage that is compelling to your audience? If you have ever taken a high school language arts class you have probably heard of Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion; logos, pathos, and ethos. Typically used in character development, these persuasive elements hold true when speaking about web design.
- Logos: refers to the logic, the words, and the reasons in your argument.
- Ethos: refers to your character, ethics, and your believability. Increasing your credibility increases the likelihood that listeners will accept your arguments and take action on your recommendations.
- Pathos: refers to the emotional aspect of your argument. People are more likely to take action when they feel an emotional connection to something.
Below are six elements that your homepage should have and how you can incorporate the three elements of persuasion for an effective and compelling message.
Your headline may be the only piece of information a potential customer reads. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. No pressure! So how do you communicate to your audience in such a short sentence why your business is worth their time? Rather than writing your headline for everyone that may visit your site KISSmetrics recommends writing your headline to target the 20% of those people that are most likely to be happy with your product because if you try to please everyone you will end up pleasing no one. Campos Coffee demonstrates a headline that is informative, and emotionally appealing to a specific group of people.
Who You Are
Your homepage should include a section that explains your company values, services, and what sets your business apart from competitors. This is your chance to emotionally appeal to the reader, Pathos, and provide context to how your brand is the best choice, Logos. This can be done by implementing these key items:
- Pain Points: specific problems that prospective customers of your business are experiencing
- Benefits: how does your product or service solve the pain points of your audience
- Unique Value Proposition: a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition.
- Branding: brand consistency should be clear on your homepage. This can be done by having a professional logo, strong brand messaging, great design aesthetics, etc.
Cloudflare clearly demonstrates the ability to effectively communicate who they are and the benefits of using their solutions.
According to Brain Rules, when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. People are visual so incorporating professional and unique imagery helps to support your selling points. La Boucherie Restaurant exhibits a video on their homepage that flips through various images of their dining experience.
According to a 2013 B2B Content Marketing Trends Report, 89% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials and case studies to be the most effective content marketing tactics.
Your customer may not be ready to commit to whatever it is you’re offering, but a resource center, blogs, eBooks, freebies, etc. will provide them with value and help to move them through your sales funnel. Adding credibility markers to your homepage fulfills the Ethos portion of the persuasive elements.
Zoom has multiple credibility markers on their homepage. Below is an example of how they use reviews to support the credibility of their product.
Contact information should be clear and easy to find on your homepage. This can come in many different forms depending on what is the best solution for your business:
- Phone number
- Social media icons and links
- Email address
- Contact Form
- Address with map
Blue Apron has multiple contact methods for their audience to use listed directly on their homepage including; social media, phone number, and links to the help center.
You’ve designed a beautiful homepage with compelling content. Now what? It is important that you provide the reader with the next step, a call to action. The goal of your homepage is to entice visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them further along in your sales funnel. CTA’s should be visually compelling and standout amongst the rest of the content. The image below is an example of a CTA button on AT&T’s homepage encouraging customers to preorder the new Galaxy Note10.
Want to see if your homepage is built for conversions? Download this 44-Point Website Conversion Checklist to see if your website hits the mark.
Missing some items on the checklist? Kevin Brown Design can help you redesign your website to promote amazing user experience and improve conversion rates. Get in touch today for a free consultation.