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8 Elements you Should Put on the Homepage of Your Business Website - ep. 8

Updated: Jun 17


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Hey there!


Today we are talking about 8 elements you should put on the homepage of your website. When it comes to web design it's definitely hard to figure out what should go on each page so today we are going to focus on the homepage so that we can create a website that really works for you and is strategic and intentional. So if you are in the DIY stage of your website or maybe it's time to update your website this is the perfect podcast for you. Let's dive in.


Before we talk about what to put on your homepage we should talk the goal of your homepage. When people come to the homepage of your website they need to know that they are in the right place. After determining they are on the right website the big goal for your homepage is for them to go out and explore the rest of website. Read your about page, check out your services, maybe your portfolio then your contact page.


The following tips will help you make an intentional homepage so you can make your website work for you.



1. Your logo.


I always design the header of a website the same way every time unless the client asks otherwise. I have the logo on the left and the menu to the right and I do this intentionally.


Culturally, especially in the western world, we read left to right so by putting the logo on the left-hand side it naturally gets more gazes and is the ultimate place for brand recall.


According to the Nielson Norman Group, "Users are 89% more likely to remember logos shown in the traditional top-left position than logos placed on the right."


When it comes to web design placing your logo on the left-hand side of your website along with a traditional menu that runs across the top of the site is something that shouldn't be changed just to try and be different or creative. Does this mean that you shouldn't have your logo centered or a hamburger menu instead of a traditional menu? No, but if you want to have a website that to do converts to the best of it's ability I would keep the menu simple and with the logo on the left and then have the menu across the top of the page.


Make sure your logo is not too big or too small. You don't want it to grab too much attention since the logo itself isn't the most important thing on your website. But you also don't want it to be so small that you can't read the words. This is where a 'text only' logo variation can come in handy especially if you have a busy logo with a lot of details.



2. State who you are and what you do in the above the fold section.


The above the fold section of your website is the 1st thing visitors will see on your website.


An easy way to explain the above the fold section is by comparing it to a newspaper.


When you see the newspaper rack at the store the top part of the newspaper is the only part that is seen and it always contains the headline. The headline, along with an eye-catching image is what influences you to pick up the newspaper and read it.


The same goes for your website. The headline...or in this your value proposition statement, is the first thing they will read and will help them decide if they are one in the right place, and two if you can help them.


A value proposition statement highlights what makes you different from your competitors. It's normally based on how customers define your value.


A good way to write your Value proposition statement for your above the fold statement is "We help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z)"


Here's an example that I found on HelpScout.com

Your local coffee shops statement may be:


"We help our local customers to feel good and do good by fueling them up with artisanal coffee in a community-focused space."


My value proposition statement might be:

"We help businesses find their unique brand style by creating designs based on their target market for maximum conversions."


I recommend taking the time to create a good value proposition statement since first impressions can make or break your website.


Something that might help you write your value proposition statement is to think of the benefits for what you're trying to sell instead of the features. So pretty much sell the feeling, which is the benefit, instead of the features.


For example, if you are a photographer instead of saying: 'We help families capture special moments by taking photos' You could say 'We help families feel more connected by preserving lifelong memories'


You're a photographer people know that you are going to take photos of them. Instead, share the kind of experience they will have by choosing you as their photographer. If you're able to share that experience on your value proposition statement then it will already help you stick out from everyone else.


Here are some prompts that can help you write your proposition statement. Who is your target market? What problems do they have? What are their pain points? How will your services improve their life?



3. Intentional above the fold image/hero image


The 1st photo or video that people see on your website is going to be the image or video on your above the fold. This photo is super important when it comes to 1st impressions.


If possible I would use a professional image that was taken during a brand photo shoot instead of a stock image but I know depending on what stage you are in your business a stock image could be the best option.


I would stay away from using a photo from your phone unless it is high quality with proper lighting and pixel count, so it doesn't show up grainy or blurry.


When choosing you're above the fold photo make sure that it's relevant to your business. For example, if you are a hairstylist don't just use a headshot of yourself. Though it might be a professional photo it has nothing to do with the services you are offering. Instead, it would be better to use a photograph of you cutting hair or maybe you styling a client's hair with the main focus of the photograph being the back of your client's head and you styling their hair in the background. This way the viewer gets a sense of what you look like, your studio, and how you style hair all in one image. They can imagine themselves sitting in your chair.


If you sell a product don't just post an image of the product against a plain background. Use a photo of the product in action. So for example, if you sell candles don't just post an image of the candle against a white background, have the candle on a mantelpiece lit up with maybe a photo next to it along with some homey knickknacks.



4. Sections that link to your main pages


People visit your website so they can find the information they need. Your home page is not the place to go into total detail about your services. You want your homepage to be a quick taste that leads to a page that talks more in detail. Think of your homepage as navigation for your website. It's like a funnel to the most important parts of your website.


Keep the copy for each section minimal but strategic. Remember it's a quick taste, you don't need to sell them on the homepage you want to entice them to browse to other parts of your website. Pro tip make sure to provide some keywords that you want to rank for to help your SEO or Search engine optimization. This will help you organically show up in the search results on Google.



5. Reviews or social proof


Having reviews on your website is going to be highly beneficial for your customer's journey.


It's like when you're shopping for something on Amazon and you go straight to the reviews. Reading about other people's experiences is a big part of the buying experience. You want to know if it's worth the investment.


It's the same for your services or products. You need to give proof to your customers that you are in fact legit and can give a positive experience.


You can copy and paste or screenshot your reviews straight from Google or screenshot the praises you get in your emails or DMs. Don't be afraid to ask for reviews from your clients, don't just expect them to give you a review, but if they do you're doing a wonderful job! The way I added reviews on my website is one quote at a time on a single section. Or you can add a gallery of reviews where they can scroll left and right.


You don't have to post every single review. No one's going to read all of it. I would take the best 1 or 2 reviews and put them on your home page. If you want a dedicated page for all of your reviews that's fine too! But I wouldn't recommend putting all of them on your home page. Remember your home page is just a quick taste to lead someone to the rest of your site.



6. High-quality Photos


Photos can make or break the first impression of your website. I think people highly underestimate the impact that photos make on their website.


If you're using images from your phone make sure that the photos are crisp and are not pixelated.


What's best is if you're able to invest in a brand photoshoot. This way your photos can match your branding. You do this by wearing your color palette and having the photo style match your brand style. For example, if your brand's style is light and airy you wouldn't want dark and moody brand photos. But if you're not at that stage in your business just yet where you can invest in professional photography stock or self-taken photos are totally an okay starting point



7. Call to actions


We did talk about this in the last episode so this isn't a stranger to us. A quick recap is that calls to action are a simple way to drive sales and get the visitor to accomplish the goal you set out for them. I know you've definitely seen them when going on a website or even at the end of someone's Instagram caption. It can go something like, treat yourself today, book now, or what do you think? Comment below.


I would add a call to action on every section of your home page if possible. So on your above the fold have the button be your call to action. It can say, learn more about brand design.


You're about me section button can say learn more about me, or get to know me. Or the end of your about me snippet can say find out more about me. You can even combine the two ideas, have a call to action at the end of your paragraph and then another call to action as a button. So at the end of your paragraph say, "you deserve to pamper yourself" then the button underneath can say "spoil yourself".



8. Examples of your work


No need you put up your whole portfolio but choose maybe 3 to 6 pieces of your BEST work or products that you want to showcase on the homepage. This should only be your best work or the best sellers if you have a product-based business. This way people can see what kind of work you do and they can have a taste of your style or what you sell before they dive deeper into your website.


And there you have it 7 things you should put on the homepage of your business website. Again they are: 1. Your logo.

2. State who you are and what you do in the above the fold section.

3. Intentional above the fold image/hero image

4. Sections that link to your main pages

5. Reviews or social proof

6. High-quality Photos

7. Call to actions

8. Examples of your work


Your website is such as an important aspect of your business. Adding these elements can help your website tremendously. Remember that you can always tweak your website when something isn't working as well as you thought. Test out different hero images, headlines, and button copy. But be sure to wait at least 1 month so you can truly gauge if there's a problem or not. I am also in the process of creative website templates that have all of these elements and more to get you started on the right foot! Head over to www.zsquaredstudio.com/webtemplates to learn more.


Thanks for listening I hope to see you next time. Happy Designing!

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