It’s been a few hours. You’re just sitting there feeling discouraged… you’re in charge of spearheading the new company website but after a while, you’ve become paralyzed with one crucial component: the company’s homepage. Convinced that first impressions really matter, you’re trying to prioritize what goes where and what to focus on.
In this post, I’d like to offer a few thoughts I’ve come up with after running my own web design agency for over 10 years. I hope you’ll find these priorities illuminating and you wrestle through what the heck to put on your homepage.
Oh, and a quick note before I begin. Every industry requires a somewhat unique approach when it comes to website homepages. That said, I’ve tried to come up with priorities that can for the most part transcend the boundaries between different verticals with a mostly B2B or B2C bent.
Okay, let’s get started.
Priority #1: A clear and concise identity statement
My first priority for your consideration is to make a clear declaration about who are you are as a company. Are you a legal firm that focuses on disability claims? Or perhaps you’re a farm equipment manufacturer that creates lower-cost solutions for developing markets. One thing is for sure, the internet is filled with companies who aren’t quite clear on what they do. It makes one wonder if people in the company have any better understanding then those just visiting their website.
But a clear identity statement can do wonders when it comes to spelling out your market. Instead of making your websites visitors come to their own conclusions, clarify who you are, right there, front and center.
Not only will this make it easier for visitors to understand, but it will also leave a lasting impression on them as they continue to digest other content on your website. You’ve made a clear first impression.
Here are a few examples of homepage “Identity Statements”:
Priority #2: Social Proof
The idea behind social proof is that folks don’t care all that much what you have to say about your company in terms of marketplace value. What they care about much more is proof that comes from outside of you.
Any company can sing their own praises, but it a different thing when the market is saying “hey pick this company, they really are great” or “yes, this product is amazing”. Social proof is outside proof pointing back at your company validating the value you bring to the market.
Here are a few ways you can include social proof on your company homepage:
- Testimonials / Reviews: ideally these would come from third-party sources so they’re seen as legitimate.
- Client Logos / Case Studies: more for B2B companies – this is where you can share all of the notable client projects that you’ve worked on. The fact that so-and-so company would hire you could be a compelling reason to reach out to you.
- Awards & Associations: though you want to be careful about over-promoting yourself, scattering in a few awards or associations on your homepage can help build credibility quickly with your prospects.
To use my company as an example (after all, we try and eat our own dogfood), you can see all of these present on the homepage of my web design agency: we spotlight our reviews on clutch.co, we list clients we’ve worked with like Scantron, and we advertise our inclusion in the Forbes agency council.
Priority #3: Clarify Your Buckets
What are your buckets? In this post, I’m referring to your buckets as the big ideas around what you do. If you’re selling a product, your buckets might be your top 3 or 4 product categories. If you’re selling a service, you might list out your top 3 services that fall under your bigger identity statement.
With your main identity statement on your homepage, you’re making it really clear why you exist. With your social proof you’re essentially saying “and yes, we’re good at it too”. With this next part, you’re trying to create launching pads to go further into your website. For some people, they’ll want to reach out to you right away or make a purchase (see the next priority) but for others, they’ll want to do a bit more research on who are you are as a company.
Here are some examples of these “buckets” that I’m talking about:
Priority #4: Tell The User What to Do Next
Finally, my last homepage priority is simple. Tell the user what to do next. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Far too many businesses complicate things unnecessarily by not guiding their prospects through a defined process. But a simple call to action (CTA) can be a fantastic way to move things forward. After all, you’ve been clear about who you are and what others think- why not put yourself out there?
Here are some good examples:
- A plumbing company asks you to fill out a simple form telling them what your issue is
- A roofing company posts their phone number right above a “Request a Quote” button
- A family counselor has a link to set up a “30-minute exploratory call”
- A tech SaaS company asks visitors to “Schedule a Quick Demo”
Putting a similar CTA on your homepage can do wonders. Your prospect needs a way to raise their hand and say “Hey, I like what I see, I’d like to do business with you.” You’re just making it easier for them to do that.
There you have it. 4 priorities to help you create a great company homepage.
- Be clear about who you are
- Build a case for marketplace value through social proof
- Create some launching pads (buckets) around your core offerings for those who want to learn more and
- Create simple CTAs for prospects who are ready to jump in.
Now armed with this framework, let’s lift your discouraged head and keep getting after that new company homepage. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!