More 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the design of their website. You might think this is unfair because you’re a good woodworker or painter but haven’t learned how to design websites.
Some companies are so eager to get leads that they start with paid advertising, like Google Ads, and just throw up any old website. Maybe they have a couple pictures, some content, and their phone number. Problems arise when you get visitors to your site, but it isn’t ready to convert them to leads. And you’ve wasted a lot of money.
Over the last several months I’ve been doing audits of websites for companies in the wood industry – sawmills, woodworkers, and lumber sellers. Overall, their sites lack the structure and content to really tell their story and show what they do. And having a poor homepage is where they lose most of their visitors.
This article will show you the general structure of what should be on a home page so that people will continue to go to pages throughout the site and then get in touch with you. There is no magic formula, but I’ve seen companies significantly improve their lead generation by having a homepage that gives a good introduction to their company.
The hero section is the first things people will see when they come to your site. It needs to grab their attention and give them an initial introduction to what you do. It has a strong, relevant background and a gripping headline.
Don’t be vague or cutesy with your headline. Shoot for five or fewer words, and then expound on it a bit with your subtitle.
One of the things that frustrates me when I go to a website is going down the homepage and having no idea what the company is about. Lately I’ve been creating an introductory paragraph on the home page for my clients that gives a general idea of what the company does and who they like to help. For me, my introductory paragraph states that I concentrate on web design, local marketing, and branding for companies in the home services industry.
I like to do an abbreviated about us section near the top so visitors know more about the company. And then I’ll have a link to the about us page. In this section you can give a general overview of your company and a couple of reasons why they should investigate further – like your professional training, your years of experience, or the number of successful projects you’ve completed.
I’d like to introduce visitors to the main service categories or products that my client is trying to sell. And I’ll put these on the home page below the about us section. Normally, we’ll have a picture of that service and a short service description, plus a button linking to that service page.
I don’t try to do all the services my client offers — just the top 2-4 services or products. One good thing it does is provide an internal link on the page, which is good for search engine optimization. And it helps visitors to the site get to the main categories more quickly.
First Call to Action
Normally on the websites that I build I will have a section at the top of every page that has the contact email and phone number of the company. But it’s also a good idea to have calls to action in the middle of the pages, too. It doesn’t have to be very big, a phrase like, “Call us to talk about what you need,” and a phone number.
We’ll also have another call to action at the bottom of the page, plus the contact information within the footer. I normally set this section apart with a full width colored background with white text.
Good customer testimonials show proof that you are a legitimate company and have people who are pleased with your work. One or two testimonials would be a good start on the homepage and then you can include them throughout your site, too.
With WordPress, you can use a plugin connected to your Google Business Profile that automatically pulls in your testimonials. And you can use this plugin on other pages, too.
Another social proof is showing the different professional organizations you’re a part of. I have one client who was a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), so we put the logo up in this section. People like the idea of the BBB for recourse if something goes wrong.
Also, some companies like to display their Instagram feed. This allows visitors to see what you’re doing and get to know your personality. BTW, it’s not a bad idea to also put this on your About Us page, too. You can use a widget in WordPress to pull your Instagram feeds automatically.
Second Call to Action
All my websites are done in WordPress. I use global headers and footers, which means that they are the same on each page. What I like to do is have a larger call to action as part of the footer so each page how’s it good, strong call to action.
This call to action will normally have a picture as well as a headline and paragraph that encourages them to get in touch with my client. And I’ll include the phone number in this section two. And then I’ll have a button that links to the contact page.
So just to reiterate.
- Hero section that grabs a person’s attention
- Introductory paragraph to let people know immediately the general scope of your work
- About us section that gives a short introduction to your company
- Quick call to action with your phone number
- Main services/ products that link to the appropriate page
- Clear, quick call to action
- Social proof to show you can be trusted
- Second call to action that is more overt
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a magic formula. You can add other things if you feel they are appropriate. Having a good structure on your homepage can make your visitors’ experience on your site go more smoothly so they can find the information they are looking for.