When you know that a particular person is set to visit your home for the first time, you could be eager to pull out all the stops to ensure that your residence makes the right impression.
For example, in the hours before the invitee arrives, you might tidy up around the house and put away pots that were piled up in its kitchen sink.
So, why shouldn’t you take the same kind of diligent approach to looking after your website’s homepage? It’s likely to be the first part of your website many people see, so make sure it includes…
An offer above the fold
No, your website doesn’t have a literal ‘fold’, the word in this context is derived from where a newspaper is folded in half, leaving little more than the front page’s top story visible.
The offer you insert ‘above the fold’ of your website’s homepage should sum up, in one line, how your company would be able to benefit the reader. So, a swimwear retailer could go with something like ‘Your summer starts here’.
The objective is to tempt the visitor to scroll further down the page so that they can learn more about what your company could do for them.
A clear CTA (call to action)
Ultimately, you want people who visit your website to buy something from you. However, as it wouldn’t be ideal for you to come across as too pushy or ‘salesy’, you don’t necessarily have to mention buying in the CTA you ought to place prominently on the homepage.
In the case of the hypothetical swimwear company we mentioned earlier, the CTA could be along the lines of ‘Check out our new swimwear collection’.
Now, where exactly should you place the CTA? Since viewers of a website tend to scan it rather than read it from top to bottom, the CTA should — perhaps unsurprisingly — sit in a central position above the fold. If your brand’s logo is in the top left of the page, put another CTA in the top right.
Essentially, you want to send out the message that you can give the website viewer something they want. With the strategic use of images, you can convey that message succinctly but effectively.
Imagine how much more inclined you could be to buy from that swimwear seller if its website was resplendent in photos of people engaging in such fun activities as playing beach volleyball in a sunny setting or splashing about in a beautifully glistening ocean with palm trees in the background.
Summaries of your products or services
You don’t want to plonk massive chunks of text on a homepage, as doing so could put many people off wanting to read much of it at all. For this reason, while you can use that page to sum up various products or services you offer, you should reserve dense descriptions for other pages of the site.