7 elements to create an effective homepage

7 Elements of a Crazy Effective Homepage

Creating an effective homepage is simple: Use these 7 elements and… that’s it!

You are smart. Hard-working. Creative.

You are tough enough to run your own business.

But when it comes to your homepage, you black out. Freeze. Become color blind.

You use thousands of colorful images and buttons threatening your visitors with an epileptic stroke.

You use red font on an orange background.

You put all possible crap in never-ending paragraphs in the main section of your homepage refusing to tell people what it is that you do unless they scroll for 5 miles and use a magnifying glass to read the fine print in the footer afterwards.

And then you wonder why your website isn’t getting you any clients!

This changes now.

7 Elements of a Crazy Effective Homepage

You only need these 7 elements to create an effective homepage.

7 Elements to Create an Effective Homepage [Infographic]

Feel free to use this image on your site!

Element #1. Call to Action

Decide on one main thing you’d like people who visit your homepage do. Create a visually prominent button they can’t possibly miss.

Call to action examples:

  • Get in touch
  • Find out more
  • Book a free session
  • Grab this free ebook
  • Sign up (for a free course)
  • Sign up (for updates)

Element #2. Who Are You? What Do You Do?

Your visitors must be able to immediately tell who you are and what you do. How else they are supposed to decide whether your services & products are something they need?

Make sure your homepage sends a clear message: Use descriptive website tagline and be specific and clear about your area of expertise.

Examples:

  • Becky White, Wedding Photography
  • Mark Olson, B2B Blogger and Copywriter

Element #3. Why Should They Care?

Even your best friend won’t hire you if he doesn’t understand why she needs your services. Give your visitors a strong reason to care about what you have to offer by highlighting the benefits.

Examples:

  • Grow your audience with smart content marketing.
  • Your Virtual Assistant: Do what you love. I’ll take care of the rest.

Element #4. Your Photo

They say it’s better one time to see than 100 times to hear. Show your visitors that you are nice and likable human being. This will help them get to know, like and trust you faster.

Element #5. Clear Navigation

What if your visitors are not ready to follow that call to action just yet and want to learn more about you first? Clear and intuitive navigation will encourage them to find out more about your work.

Examples of clear navigation labels:

  • About
  • Services
  • Portfolio
  • Blog
  • Courses
  • Books
  • Contact
  • Search

Element #6. Social Proof

Nothing makes your visitors trust you faster than rock-solid social proof. Include anything that boosts your credibility as soon as possible on your homepage.

Examples of social proof:

  • Testimonials
  • Client logos
  • Awards
  • Certifications
  • “As seen on…”

Note: Nobody reads “Testimonials” page. Include testimonials where they are relevant in context, for example right after your value proposition on your homepage.

Element #7. Smart Footer

You cannot possibly read the mind of every visitor and offer her all the things she could be looking for on your homepage. But you can use your footer to place important links and information to catch her before she decides to leave your website.

Examples of things to put in your footer:

  • Logo
  • Privacy policy
  • Copyright
  • Navigation
  • Social icons
  • Postal address
  • Phone number
  • Email sign-up
  • Search box
  • Latest articles

That’s a long list to remember! Grab this website review checklist that has all the components of a successful website at one glance.

What Else Can You Put on Your Homepage?

These are the 7 crucial elements of a crazy effective homepage that you can’t miss. But you can surely put more things on your homepage to help your readers get to know, like and trust you faster, and/or feature selected product and services.

More things to put on your homepage:

  • Personal introduction
  • Selected services
  • Freebies
  • Books
  • Courses
  • Featured posts
  • Featured videos

What can you do right now?

Look at your homepage. Does it have all these elements? Make sure to add what’s missing. To make it effective is indeed that simple.

If you want to go beyond these 7 points or find out what’s missing on other pages of your website this interactive website review checklist will help.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Struggles?

I know running a business website is messy. You have to juggle so many balls at once that it’s easy to get stressed and lose perspective.

What’s that one main issue with your website that gives you the worst headache? Let me know in the comments. I always reply.

P.S.

I also created a slide deck from this post. Check it out:

5 thoughts on “7 Elements of a Crazy Effective Homepage

  1. Hey Gill,

    Great post.

    First of all, if someone puts red font on an orange background, I’m never going back to that site again because I’m not straining my eyesight.

    I think element 3 is really important. If you can’t prove to them why they should care and what you can ultimately do for them, they won’t even consider you.

    – Andrew

    1. Hey Andrew. Thanks! 🙂 Because the majority of the articles I read are about website optimization, it’s easy to get used to the neat websites that look & work great (I’m guessing for you it’s the same). But the truth is, there are a lot of people out there who are really good doing their business, but are, to put it mildly, less good in deciding what works and what doesn’t on a website. I’m still surprised by the things I see on clients’ websites 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This was a great post.

    Getting the messaging right is tough but crucial.

    I’m not the biggest fan of copywriting. I seem to write much better for clients and other people and waffle complete nonsense for my own site and content. I tend to to just keep writing words until I can’t see through the font fog anymore.

    Time to strip it back to basics I think. Thanks for the great tips

    – Dan

    1. Hi Dan. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      “Not seeing through the font fog”. Exactly. It’s more difficult to write copy for yourself. Because you know the subject too well, your brain fills in the blanks making you think your copy is clear, when in fact it’s not.

      Glad you found these tips helpful.

      1. This is so true. Sometimes I fill in so many of the gaps that I miss the core point of the message “that it gets these kinds of results” or “achieves this thing more easily” etc.

        Getting a different perspective can definitely help in these situations.

        I think people forget how important the actual copy is. From my experience, it’s usually the main reason why people bounce (besides really terrible UX)

        – Dan

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