Unless they’re coming in from one of your amazing blog posts (you do have a blog, right?), your home page will be the first impression your future client or customer gets of you. It may be the only time they ever look at your business. You don’t want them to run screaming off into the distance. You want them to, you know, stick around and eventually maybe even buy your stuff or hire you. Here are some tips from a leading web design agency in Los Angeles, for designing a home page that generates leads.
Make It Professional
The first step to designing a home page that generates leads is to make sure it looks professional. I’m sure you already know that you don’t want a website that looks like it’s designed by a kindergartener (although these days…)
You want a site that looks reputable. And that might cost some money. You should at least spend a bit for the pro version of a theme.
Before you spend some bucks, though, do some research. Who are your competitors? Better yet, which of your competitors seem to be doing good business. What does their website look like? What do other professional sites in your field look like?
Take some notes. Make some sketches. Yes, I know. It’s like school, but it’ll pay off in the end. You don’t want other people getting your business, just because your website looks sketchy.
Now look at your notes. Can you make your website with a WordPress theme? Great! Go ahead!
Need a fancier website. Find WordPress intimidating? Hire a web development firm. You’ll thank yourself later.
If you’re making the web page yourself, here are a few tips.
• Leave some white space
• Keep clutter down
• Use one or two compelling images that represent what your company does
• Don’t do almost anything that looks like it walked out of the 90s
Tell Them What You Do and How It’ll Help Them
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you're designing a home page, you should definitely make sure your potential customers or clients know what you do or what you sell. I don’t just mean something vague like “web designer.” Be specific, because your future customers are looking for specifics. Let them know you’re a web designer specializing in e-commerce sites or a ranch that sells, specifically, organic free-range dinosaurs.
Once they know what you do, make sure your visitors know how what you do will benefit them. Your e-commerce site designs may increase their sales or their productivity. Your free-range dinosaur meat may give them vitamins lost since the dawn of time.
Don’t forget to provide examples. If you do project work, such as designing web pages or editing books, link to a portfolio. That way customers can get an idea of what you do and how you do it.
Give a Clear, Immediate Call-to-Action
In order to design a home page that generates leads, you have to actually prompt people to do something that will add them to your list potential clients. Now, it may take a bit to reel in a new client. Or they may be ready to work with you right this moment. Either way, your home page should direct the visitor to do, well, something. And, for the eager visitor, it should do it before that visitor ever scrolls down. This should be your primary call-to-action, which means it should be something like “Get a Free Quote” or “Buy This Thing and Save 20%” or “Fill Out This Form and Get This Free Thing.”
Personalize Your CTAs
This will get a bit more complicated, but if you can you should personalize your CTAs. Hubspot says that personalized CTAs work 42% better than just plain old unpersonalized CTAs.
What’s a personalized CTA? A personalized CTA adapts to your visitor. For instance, if your visitor has already filled out your newsletter form, you don’t want your CTA to prompt them to fill out the same form again. Instead, you might want offer them a free quote instead.
Provide Social Proof
You know what the best advertisement is? Word of mouth. Word of mouth, however, is a bit hard to set off just whenever you want.
You know what’s almost the same as word of mouth? Testimonials and big name clients. Put a few on your front page to prove you’ve actually done something that someone likes.
This is called social proof. Dr. Robert Cialdini did a study (see a write-up of it) where he encouraged people to reuse towels in a hotel. Cialdini found that more people reused towels if told that other people also reused towels than reused towels if told that reusing towels would mean the hotel would donate money to help the environment. In other words, social proof was an even more powerful motivator than altruism.
Where do you get testimonials? Well, from your clients and customers. It’s not rude to ask. If people like your work, I’ve found they’ll be eager to give you a bit of help.
Put Your Address and Telephone Number
If you have a physical address, put it on your home page. If you have a telephone number, put it on your home page. They’ll make you look like you’re a real person. (You are a real person, right?)
Keep Your Home Page Your Home Page
One-page home pages are popular right now, but if you can’t keep your website sleek enough to fit one page, I’d suggesting putting some stuff a bit deeper. Put an example post or two on your front page, but give the rest of your blog its own space. Same with your portfolio. Basically, just don’t make your visitors scroll on for all eternity.
Make Sure Your Website is Responsive
Your whole website should be responsive, but pay special attention to how your home page design looks on mobile phones. Is the call-to-action still one of the first things your visitor sees. Is it still obvious what you do? Is the text large and readable? Can a visitor still fill out any forms, even if they’re on a phone?
Basically, if you give your business card to someone and then they look up your website on their smartphone, will they be impressed or confused?
Your home page is important. It's not just something you throw up because you're supposed to have a main page! It's not just a welcome mat. It is, in a way, your front window into the world. And, with a little thought, a home page can be designed so that it generates leads and brings you more business