How high are your home page’s bounce rates? Are your website visitors immediately engaged once they land? Homepage visitors are 10 to 20 times more valuable than visitors to any other website pages, so it’s well worth it to invest your resources into home page development – specifically with some of the must-have homepage features designed to give your visitors exactly what they need to sit down and stay a while.
Here are the top three essential homepage features you’ll want to prioritize as you develop or re-design the gateway to the rest of your site.
1. Value Proposition
The value proposition is arguably the most important features on your homepage. It communicates what you’re business is about and, more importantly, why it benefits your website visitors. I would argue the benefits portion outweighs the what-you-do portion, but there are ways to accomplish both so your visitors continue down the desired path.
Here’s a great example of a value proposition:
“Build Your Online Authority with Powerfully Effective Content Marketing.” Copyblogger’s home page is a perfect example of how to craft a simple yet effective value proposition. It tells you what Copyblogger can help you do: build your online authority. It also tells you how they can help you do it: with powerfully effective content marketing.
Instead of focusing on what Copyblogger is all about, they focus on the impact their services can have on website visitors (who they hope will become customers). This speaks directly to the visitors’ wants and needs, and answers the question, “Does this company understand me?” If your homepage shows you know the pain points of your potential customers, and how to alleviate them, you’ll encourage visitors to move on to the next step: completing the desired action.
Speaking of desired actions, that’s next up for the must-have homepage features you’ll want to include.
2. Clear & Realistic Call-to-Action
Have you ever visited the home page of a website where “BUY NOW” was the first call-to-action (CTA)? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to buy until I learn more about the company. And since many of your home page visitors will be new visitors, they’ll be in the same position. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to include a CTA on your homepage that is more realistic for a first-timer.
What does a more realistic CTA look like? Here’s a prime example from Reach Analytics:
Reach Analytics’ homepage features a simple, yet realistic CTA button: “Request Demo.” The company understands that a new visitor to the website is likely not ready to invest in their services yet, but they are more likely to be interested in seeing how it works. This CTA button directs homepage visitors to the desired action with a clear path.
Other examples of sensible homepage CTAs might include “See the Product,” “Sign Up for Email,” or “View Our Work,” as these encourage visitors to move along the customer journey in a more organic fashion.
3. Basic Roadmap
There’s no better way to secure website visitors than with this must-have home page feature: a basic roadmap (i.e. navigation). The value proposition and call-to-action are necessary tools to draw in visitors and guide them to the desired action, but you also need a basic roadmap so they can find the information they need quickly. You do this by integrating simple, expected website navigation.
What do I mean by “expected?” All of the navigational terms visitors are expecting to see on websites, like “Services,” “About Us,” “Our Work,” and “Contact Us.” This is how you make it easy for your home page visitors to move through your other pages.
RPM Restaurants does a fabulous job of helping visitors get around easily from their home page, using labels that are expected and simple:
The top navigation bar of the RPM Restaurants home page lists “Restaurants,” “Reservations,” “Gift Cards,” “Catering,” and “About Us” – all of which are some of the most logical next steps a new visitor would take after reaching the home page.
Value propositions, clear and realistic CTAs, and basic roadmaps are some of the must-have home page features if you want to lock-in your website visitors from the start. Of course, there are other helpful functions and tools to support these essential features. For a deeper look into how you can make your business’s webpage as effective as possible, check out Simplilearn’s Advanced Website Conversion Optimization Training.