Homepage Necessities for Success
Communications have changed so much over the years, in more recent history, newspapers and magazines were the option for printed marketing and advertising. Advertisers wanted their business name to be on the front page or above the fold because passers-by could see it at a glance without purchasing a paper. The same is true for any media site.
According to websitebuilderexpert.com, the average time spent on a web page across multiple industries is 53 seconds. Your website’s homepage has less than one minute to grab the attention of the viewer. This is why the impression on your web page above the fold is so vital.
Your Homepage is Prime Real Estate
Considering the above statistic, misunderstanding the value of your homepage is a mistake you can’t afford to make. Your goal should be for users to become engaged with you and there is a limited amount of time to make that happen before they navigate to other sites.
Statistically, about 50% of traffic will be directed to your home page from a search engine. The Beacon Way suggests three things you should focus on for a successful web page visit.
3 Tried and True Tips for Homepage Success!
- Clear and Effective Communication of Your Unique Selling Position
Your welcome page is your main page. As such, this needs to say what you do and what services you offer. Beyond that, what makes you good at what you do, or what makes you unique at it?
Pretty pictures, sleek designs, and even your logo might draw in site visitors, but adding specific website content that tells your story is a fabulous opportunity to keep them from bouncing off your page. The story should be succinct, clear, and quickly communicated.
Additionally, pulling out what is unique to you can take some thought and it’s a worthy investment. Consider enlisting the help of friends, family, and trusted clients when crafting your home page story.
- Establish Credibility
Secondly, The Beacon Way advises that you establish credibility. In prior episodes, we have talked a lot about how your target audience wants to know, like, and trust you. Social proof is the gateway to that trust relationship that means so much to your business.
Social proof is the content that grabs the attention of visitors when they are asking, “Do they really do what they say they do?”. Case studies, testimonials, videos, and even reviews help establish trust just by the visit to your webpage.
- Remove Barriers
Third, we at Beacon advise that you remove any barriers, tell people what you do, and what they can expect from you when they engage you for services. Don’t make the experience complicated for your visitors.
As we talked about in Episode 12 of The Beacon Way, what your website’s homepage communicates to your audience is their first impression of you. If it’s difficult to navigate, you’ve most likely lost them and if they proceed then they must really want to buy from you.
The more you guide a potential client on your homepage, the happier they will be because they won’t have to think about where to click next, you’ve already done that for them.
For example, Apple is a prime company that thinks intuitively when it comes to the navigation of its web pages. This is because they’ve thought through where site visitors want to go and what they want to do on their site.
Again, The Beacon Way recommends that you think through a site visitor’s experience and remove as many barriers as possible from not only your main homepage but from your service pages — and from any landing page on your website.
Providing a clear navigation bar, an arrow, a CTA (Call To Action), or another pathway that shows examples of where to go next from the home screen may seem like a basic concept. But it’s extremely effective.
SEO Content: It’s Not Just About a Blog Post
Below the fold of your homepage can be a little more challenging. This is where the consideration of UX (user experience) continues. Your site visitors will vary in demographic and personality — but it is possible to appeal to these varied differences.
Visual stop points are also important for your homepage. These stopping points provide an opportunity for the next steps and CTAs but also, continue to grab and hold the attention of your visitors.
At Beacon, we use a lot of visual blocks when we are adding content. Visual blocks allow for those all-important visual stopping points that fulfill the SEO requirements of Google for your page to rank well, regardless of how many visitors scroll down to that point on your page.
Icons, videos, and infographics are all great items to display on your homepage because of their visual appeal with the added bonus of breaking up the SEO content — leading to a more pleasing user experience.
CTA | The Call-To-Action Advantage
One consistent and effective technique we believe every website should have are clear calls to action. A CTA is a prompt for your visitors to take immediate action. The CTA should be concise and appealing, spurring a connection. Whatever the next step is that you want them to take intuitively to connect with you.
CTA’s can come into play on your website in a variety of ways, such as providing links to the blog page of a website containing full articles, connecting via phone, form, or even a download. Different personalities will be prompted to use different CTAs so having many may seem repetitive. However, the goal of your website is to connect the visitors to your sales funnel, and without clear CTAs, they are more likely to bounce off than connect.
Consider CTAs like your website’s sales assistant, always available to make the process easy for your visitors and ready to capture their information so you can continue to grow your relationship with them.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know! CTAs Are Here to Help
Visual pathways help establish credibility with your visitors and they are more likely to contact you if they know, like, and trust you. We love the statement, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Don’t assume that your visitors know the information that you have to present to them or that they know how to contact you when they’re ready to learn more. Your default web page has done its job effectively when they want to reach out to you for the service you offer, make it easy on them, help them by facilitating giving them the answers to questions they came to ask, and helping them contact you.
You want to be that person who is meeting their needs so they don’t bounce to another site that will.
The About Page | Web-Based Relationship Building
The About page is a good example of a page that can be confusing to many people. How personal should you get, should your staff be featured, and how to effectively tell your story in a captivating and more in-depth way, are all questions we address with The Beacon Way.
The About page will vary from industry to industry. No matter your industry, the About page is your relationship-building page.
Often, this is the second stop by your website visitors, because they want to know who they’re doing business with. In this day and age where electronic introductions happen all day long, the About page is your virtual handshake. It’s another opportunity to show your visitor what type of relationship you will have outside of the services you provide.
Your About page opens the conversation to who you are and how you’ll conduct yourself with potential clients. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we make a lot of decisions based on if we feel comfortable with someone or not. That decision drives whether we’ll let them in or walk away.
In many industries, comfortability and trust are all you have to open the door for services, like therapy, for example. Your site visitor may have had a friend or current client refer them to you and if you don’t strike them as someone they can let in, they will find someone else who does.
Transactional About pages will go through the history of the company and staff and stop there. The Beacon Way encourages you to be ultra-transparent with the people who are interacting with you on your website.
For Beacon, we chose to share our backstory and even talk on our other pages about why we’ve chosen certain industries to niche into. Being transparent is more than a buzzword to us, it’s one of our values and we strive to live it authentically.
The mental health industry is also one of our favorite niche markets and we are very proud to work within it. We love to communicate why this industry matters to us on top of who we are as a company in an endeavor to create a more transparent relationship with our clients.
This goes back to your brand, who you are, and what you want to represent to the world. For more information on brand messaging, check out episodes 8 -11 of The Beacon Way podcast on Brand Messaging.
Your Story Has Value and Makes Connections
One of the joys of The Beacon Way is to encourage our clients to share information on who they are with their target market. In our sales meetings, they share with us who they are and they tell us their story, it connects us to them and provides tremendous insight into how we can best serve them.
Hearing our clients tell us about how proud they are and of their accomplishments, helps us craft, not only a solid marketing strategy but share who they are as a brand and what they want to represent to the world.
Leadership, Staff, and Transparency: It’s All Connected
The Beacon Way also encourages clients to showcase the founders and owners as well as their staff. By keeping your staff shrouded or in the dark, it can unconsciously communicate that you aren’t comfortable with them.
We recommend that you showcase your staff, within reason, through pictures and testimonials on your website pages to support your company culture. Positive experiences by your staff with you as an owner really go a long way to client trust. Remember, as we keep quoting BNI’s Ivan Misner, your clients want to know, like, and trust you.
The more you put out there, the more you’re going to attract the right people.
Introducing your staff to your visitors on your About page can help ease anxiety and nervousness that some may have when approaching your industry. Dentistry, for example, is an industry that causes a lot of anxiety for people. If they can connect on a personal level with some members of the staff, the anxiety starts to fade and they are more likely to connect with you.
In addition, the virtual introduction to your staff serves to connect visitors with a familiar face. Thus, they’ve connected with their story, and recognize who to look for when they come into the office, which begins instant trust. And trust can be the trigger to picking you over another business just by creating an avenue of connection through transparency.
Communicate Confidence: Advantages to Staff on Your Web Pages
Do you believe in your staff and do you want to inspire confidence in them with your clients? We, at Beacon, believe that by introducing them on your site, you will do just that. This personalizes them on a whole new level. Visitors will not only learn who they are but you can use it as a pathway to their client journey.
The new Beacon Media + Marketing site not only shows who are staff are, but it also helps our clients know who will be helping them along the way. From the Sales team to Account Management, even all the way to Accounting — if there is a possible client touchpoint within Beacon, we want you to know who you are interacting with.
Breaking barriers to conflict can be a benefit as well. We cannot deny that collections and billing disputes are a part of every industry. And believe it or not, humanizing your bookkeeper can go a long way in both client relations and getting paid on time.
No matter what your decision is on your About page, your website has to communicate clearly who you are and what you do. Trust starts on your homepage! Reach out to Beacon Media + Marketing today to learn more.