When you’re starting or growing a business, there are 8,928 things to consider (approximately) … and it can be super-overwhelming. But get your homepage right, and you’ll be well on the way to small (or big!) business success.
In a recent Masterclass Online, brand expert, graphic designer and Squarespace guru Joanne Tapodi shared a stack of insights, including how to create an on-brand homepage that converts. In case you missed it – or were too busy munching on your sandwich to take notes – here’s what every small-business homepage should have:
1. On-brand images
Did you know that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual? Images are the first thing visitors notice, so they should be awesome and on-brand. Joanne suggests getting personal – include images of you and your workplace (don’t be shy; people want to see the people behind the brand), using images that tell a story and that are brand specific, and being brand consistent – scatter images of a similar look and feel throughout your site. A video on your homepage can also be a great way to get traction.
2. An engaging elevator pitch
Users only spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a site’s written content, so having a solid intro is vital. Keep copy simple, clear, to the point, and short and sweet, while also injecting your brand’s personality. Think of your homepage intro as your elevator pitch, says Joanne: appeal to your customer’s pain points and explain how you’ll solve the problem for them. Be real and authentic – conversational copy will help your audience connect with you – and include SEO-friendly headlines to attract attention.
3. Cracking CTAs
For all you biz newbies, that’s a call-to-action button. A whopping 70% of small-business websites don’t have a CTA on their homepage, says Joanne, which is a big ol’ mistake. Once you’ve introduced yourself to your visitors, you want to lead them on a journey through your website and push them to areas of interest. CTAs could include your service offerings, lead to your About page, or simply be a ‘contact’ button so they can get in touch with you. Use your most vital CTAs first – there should be no more than four on homepage.
4. Smashing social proof
44.7% of women feel that customer reviews are their biggest influence in deciding to make a purchase from a specific brand, so including testimonials on your website is a sure-fire way to build trust. Other ways to include social proof could be links to any media about your brand or a featured article on an external blog.
5. Your Insta feed
Don’t hide behind your logo – people want to connect with you. In 2021, it isn’t enough to be a brand, you need to be a storyteller, and Instagram is a superb tool to do just that. Including your Instagram feed on your homepage can be an insight into your daily business journey, creating a more personal experience with your audience. Plus, you can provide them with up-to-date content, and your feed can even act as a portfolio to showcase what you do.
6. A bangin’ blog section
Nope, 2008 didn’t call … blogging is still a great way to connect with your customers, give information, share stories and build trust in your brand and expertise. Including a section on your homepage relating to your featured blogs can build on that connection, and sharing your blog articles to social-media streams such as Facebook and LinkedIn will help with your reach and draw people to your website. If you’re not a writer, it doesn’t have to be hugely wordy – try splashing your blog with beautiful, on-brand images.
7. Newsletter signup
Building your mailing list is key to creating direct communication with an audience that already knows your brand: your warm audience. Newsletters also tend to have a higher conversion rate than social media. Include a newsletter sign-up as a popup and static section on your homepage (your footer, for example). Or, says Joanne, try an announcement bar at the top of your website – it’s subtler than a pop-up, which a lot of us tend to close instantly (check out Joanne’s homepage for an example). Most importantly, make your audience an offer they can’t refuse – something compelling and worthwhile to make them subscribe, like a free guide they can download, a discount on your product or services, a quiz or a competition.
This Masterclass was made possible thanks to our friends at Squarespace. To take your online presence to the next level, Squarespace is giving you 20% off your first purchase of any product or service. Click here to redeem*.
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