When it comes to your website, you really only have one chance to engage or bore your audience. People will come to your website expecting to see a well-designed page that showcases exactly what your company does and who you are. Does your site offer this to visitors today? It is safe to say that many small companies put their website on the backburner, but statistics consistently prove that a complete website draws in business. Don't run the risk of losing customers due to poor design or planning. Be sure your web designer includes these five elements in your homepage design:
1. Contact information and social media links
A recent survey discovered that up to 75 % of small business websites do not have an email address link on their homepage. Furthermore, slightly smaller percentage doesn't feature a phone number. When a customer comes to your website, one of the first questions they will have is how to contact you. Be sure to provide at least your email address and phone number. If you have a physical address, consider featuring this as well.
Increasingly important as well is to obviously link your social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter on your homepage. Customers research products and services and will want to see active social media accounts to view your reputation and customer reviews. Make sure this information is easy to find on your website.
2. Visuals that speak to branding
One benefit of a website is that it gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers through different forms of media. Customers appreciate getting a glimpse of your business through videos and images on your website. Be sure to include high quality photos positioning who you are and what your business does. Descriptive videos have also shown to be very effective and according to a recent study the use of videos can increase peoples understanding off your product or service by 74%.
3. Engaging Headlines and Sub-Headlines
Including a headline and sub-headline are two of the most important things you can do when planning your homepage copy. We live in an age of content skimmers, which means people want to quickly scan and see whether they want to read further or not. When a potential customer visits your site, they should immediately know what your website offers.
The most effective headlines are clear, simple and never generic. A sub-headline offers a brief description of what information you are providing. Avoid using confusing jargon or alienating customers by speaking in layman's terms. Try to be a little different, and focus on how you benefit your customers. By focusing on what problem you solve better than your competition, you'll be able to center on your point of difference and value in a unique and authentic way.
4. Newsletter signup
It is important to give your customers a way to further the relationship with your business. Not only does this give your customers the opportunity to remain engaged or informed about your business, but it also provides you with an effective and cost effective marketing channel. Email marketing is also one of the best performing online marketing channels in terms of ROI, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
As well as having a form where users can opt in to your email marketing, give your subscriber numbers a boost by providing visitors incentives for signing up. Entice your customers to sign up by explaining that as subscribers they will be likely to receive discounts and rewards in the future. If you are able to offer an instant reward for those that sign up such as a discount or an informative eBook, this is even more advantageous.
5. Calls to Action
One of the most undercapitalized elements of most small business websites is the use of effective call to actions. A call to action provides direction to your customers and helps to bring them around full circle. They give customers a reason to act on something you would like them to do, such as buy a product, subscribe to a mailing list, or contact your company.
Be sure to include secondary calls to action throughout your website, such as at the bottom of the page. This helps to generate even more lead opportunities for your business by increasing conversions on the traffic you receive.
One last piece of advice for the road is to make sure you maintain simplicity. Communicating important information which leaves an impact and demonstrates value is important, but even more key is making sure this information is succinct, uncluttered and to the point.
By incorporating these 5 elements into your homepage, you will be well on your way to an effective website that turns visitors into loyal customers.
Learn more! The infographic below is focused on the top 9 ingredients of a successful business website!
This article was contributed by Magicdust, web designers providing small businesses in Australia with quality web development, ecommerce solutions and online marketing services.