In this blog, Matthew Creswick, Group Marketing Director at The B2B Marketing Lab, points out 10 things every website's homepage should have in order to attract, educate, engage and convert website visitors.
You probably know by now that your website is your best marketer and salesperson, right? But you don't just create a website and suddenly it's capable of generating leads for your business - you need to make sure it's equipped with the right tools.
There are plenty of things you can do to enhance your website, but you should - at a minimum - have these 10 things in place if you want to turn your website into a lead-generating machine!
So what must I have on my homepage?
1. A headline and sub headline
As soon as a website visitor arrives on your website, they need to understand what it is your business does.
There’s nothing more annoying than landing on a business’ website and not being able to understand what they do or offer.
To enable your website visitors to understand what you do, you need a short and concise headline that’s no more than five words.
Condensing everything your business does into just five words is a challenging task – but once you are able to, you have a short and consistent statement that can be used by searchers to find your business online.
Also, as it’s short, it’ll be easier to understand and remember. You can then use your sub headline to expand on your headline. For example, if your headline is ‘cloud-based security for SMBs’, your sub headline could be ‘Delivering robust, end-to-end protection for IT infrastructure’. This helps to contextualise what it is you do.
If you need help developing your business’ value proposition, we can help with our messaging and content workshops.
2. Links to lots of content
Without content on your website, how will you engage with and win over website visitors? Your homepage should explain a bit about what your business does, why and how – but also links to other content assets, such as blogs, eBooks and case studies.
Having this kind of content in place gives website visitors the opportunity to find out more about your business, as well as find the answers to problems or questions they have without speaking to someone.
You also need to think about what you’re going to link to. Your homepage will no doubt be your most-viewed web page but where are you going to drive people after that? Do you want to move them to your services pages? What about to your blogs? Think about what action visitors can take that will generate the most value for you.
3. Trust signals
Referral-based marketing has quickly become one of the most successful marketing tactics – this is because it’s so hard for people to filter the good from the bad online!
People – your prospects – want to work with businesses that are trusted, so including client logos on your homepage is great way to demonstrate your credibility.
These kind of trust signals are called ‘trust by association’. Many companies feature the logos of well-known brands on their website as an implied indicator of trustworthiness. The logic is that if a business can land a household-name or well-known client, they must be trustworthy.
There are other trust signals you can include, but some of the best (in the B2B space are):
- Reviews and testimonials
Adding positive customer reviews and testimonials to your website can really help to portray how good you are at what you do. These reviews and testimonials need not be long – they just need to be detailed and on your homepage. They can be very persuasive in the buying decision process and your prospects want to hear from ‘real” people.
These are a lot shorter than reviews and testimonials but serve the same purpose and can be squeezed into areas of your homepage. While reviews and testimonials might be in relation to your overall service offering, a quote can be used in relation to a specific product, service or employee. If your clients have nice things to say, don’t stop them!
This is one of the most important trust signals to have on your homepage. If you are able to reassure website visitors that their visit and details are secure from prying eyes, they will be much more comfortable when sharing payment details prior to purchase.
Reviews, testimonials and quotes are all indicators of success, while trust signals for security are a must for any website that exchanges goods, products and/or services.
4. Contact options
Though the contact us call-to-action (CTA) has fallen into disrepair, you still need to give website visitors ways to get in touch with someone at your business. LOL
To ensure you are able to deal with potential first-visit enquiries, make sure you have a contact us CTA at the top of your homepage and your contact details at the very bottom in the footer.
It’s also worth adding chatbots, live chat, meeting links and a telephone number to your website. Chatbots and live chat really come into their own when website visitors have questions and don’t really want to chat on the phone.
5. Calls-to-action (CTAs)
The goal of any website is to convert visitors into leads, but you can’t convert website visitors without CTAs and landing pages.
With that considered, you need to have more than just a ‘contact us’ CTA on your website if you want to jolt visitors into action and drive conversions. CTAs like ‘Book a demo’, ‘See our work’, ‘Check out our pricing’ are all good examples of CTAs that enable website visitors to engage with your business and convert without having to speak to a salesperson.
Some best practices:
- Your CTAs should be action and benefit-orientated
- Your messages should be consistent
- Test CTAs in different locations on your homepage for best results
6. Real – not stock – photos
Want your homepage to stand out? Use real – not stock – photos. By real I mean images of your business and your employees.
Your hero image (the main image on your homepage) should be of your business, your product/service or your employees. It’ll instantly make your website feel more ‘human’ and website visitors are far more trusting of a business that looks and feels real.
Stock photos only serve to make your website look amateur and inauthentic. There is a time and place for a stock photo, but it isn’t on your homepage.
This one goes without saying but your homepage needs to have some kind of navigation to enable website visitors to reach the rest of your website.
Your navigation should be visible at the top of your homepage and include your main web pages – i.e. products, services, about us, contact us. Ideally, include a search box to make it easier for website visitors to find what they are looking for.
For visitors that scroll down to the very bottom of your homepage, you need to provide them with navigation options so that they can return to the top or move around the rest of your website.
If website visitors want to find the above information, they will always scroll to the very bottom of the page as most websites are constructed in this way.
9. Resources page
No website is complete without a ‘Resources’ page.
A resources page is not only a great way for you to showcase and promote your content assets to website visitors, but also to give them the information they need to solve their problems.
As well as being a repository for useful information, it also acts as a gateway to other bits of high-quality content on your website. If a website visitor has a problem, they know to go to your resources page to find a solution.
Under the resources header in your navigation, you could include your blog, your videos, case studies and other content assets visitors might find helpful.
10. An 'About You' page
Most websites have an ‘About Us’ page – but very few have an ‘About You’ page. Nowadays, your prospects care more about how you can help them than what you have to say about yourself.
Demonstrating an understanding of your prospects’ pain points and challenges and highlighting just how you can alleviate them will go a long way to earning trust.
So if you are building out your homepage, instead of an ‘About Us’, think about creating an ‘About You’.
Your website is your best asset and lead generator
Most new website visitors will be arriving on your website’s homepage, so ensuring it’s equipped to explain what it is you do and provide website visitors with the information they need is crucial (and imperative to generating leads).
We know all about the website design and development process and have helped a lot of businesses to develop lead-generating websites (and homepages that work).
Want to find out what else you can do to make your website generate sales leads? Just check out our eBook below.