A simple strategy for a killer homepage: 6 essential tips
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
A good homepage is like good art. There are tried and true principles to build from (which we'll talk about here in a minute) and infinite space for creativity. Also, it's incredibly subjective, so... good luck.
The 6 tips below will require you to get familiar with hierarchy. Hierarchy can be expressed a variety of ways – such as formatting, design decisions, or messaging – but in this case, we'll be talking about hierarchy of homepage strategy.
1. Know Me
If your homepage does one thing, it should make the following super clear: who you are, who you help, and why the heck they should care. Things to keep in mind:
This should happen above the fold.
For your header and subhead, try applying a creative expression of your value prop or brand promise.
Gut check – are you talking just about yourself or are you making it easy for them to feel like you're talking to them? (Second person "you" language or empathatic messaging can go a long way.)
You also want to make it clear what they should do next. The CTA above the fold is arguably the most important CTA on your website. Your job is to help sherpa them to the next step.
Which is to BUY BUY BUY, right?
Wrong. (But we totally understand and appreciate your enthusiasm.)
Most likely, they're not going to buy from you unless you've taken them through all of the following steps. (But even still, when they're ready to buy, you want to make that process as simple and frictionless as possible.)
2. Like Me
Just because it's clear how you could help them, doesn't mean they'd want to do business with you. Now, there are tons of ways your homepage can work hard for you here.
What do you look and feel like? Are you modern? Cool? Trustworthy in their space? Your branding – and how you apply it – makes a super strong impression. Invest in it.
What do you sound like? Approachable? Knowledgable? Someone they'd love to have a beer with?
What do you stand for? Does that resonate with their core values or beliefs?
Do other people like you? This is called social proof. Hence, all of the logo farms:
3. Trust Me
We've all had our hearts broken before. Just because you know someone and like them, doesn't mean they deserve your trust.
Real, long-lasting trust is built over time. But, you need to build trust as fast as possible before they bounce from your website. So, what do you do?
On a homepage, trust is built in a variety of ways:
The logo farm – yep, it works here, too
Testimonials or case studies – this allows a prospective buyer to take someone else's word for it (not yours) or see evidence of past success
Awards and accolades
Differentiating experience or expertise – "Over 10 million served" or one of your other RTBs. In our case, we added this:
4. Try Me
If you're a SaaS company, you live and breathe this step. It's your moment to invite someone into a demo. Or to try the product out for free with your freemium model. (You'll upcharge them later.)
But, what if you don't sell SaaS? What if you sell... shoes?
If your customers can't go into a store and physically try them on, how could they digitally try them on?
If you're someone with tons of extra money, you could totally do something super rad with AI. But, odds are, that's not you.
That just means you'll have to think outside of the box. Pun absolutely intended.
What barriers exist to trial? Find out. This is so so so important.
What can you do to help people overcome these barriers? Free returns? A lifetime guarantee?
Can they try you vicariously? An unboxing video or customer review?
Can they try you at a smaller scale before they buy you at a larger scale?
5. Buy Me
Good God, the moment you've been waiting for. The purchase.
Your goal should be to make it easy for someone to purchase as fast and frictionless as possible.
Sell benefits or outcomes, not services, products, or things
Provide all the information they'll need, not too much and not too little
For services that require talking to a sales person, make that step as easy and exciting as possible:
6. Follow Me
Whether they bought from you or not, the invitation to stay involved with you is an important one. Your job, here, is to give them a reason to follow you once they leave this killer homepage.
Social: At minimum, make sure you have all of your social platforms linked in the footer of your page. And stop skimping on social. We know you are.
Email / Newsletter / SMS: Provide a compelling reason or value exchange that warrants them giving you their email or phone number.
Podcast or other high value content: Educate and entertain them. You're a media company now, remember?
Stay tuned for more titillating content, but in video and audio form. Follow us on LinkedIn to be "in the know." (Marketing jokes.)
Thanks for your time.