Hi, I'm Ashlie. Owner and lead designer at Wolf & Willow Design! I'm a 12 year corporate accountant turned full-time designer helping other small-business entrepreneurs chase their dreams. I'm also a wife, #girlmom, and Air Force veteran.
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A homepage that converts should be strategically designed to convert by introducing visitors to who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. Whether your business is a small startup or an established organization, there are some key elements to include on your homepage that will help convince visitors to take the next step and book a call or service.
Start by determining your page’s purpose. Is it an introduction to your company and what you offer? Is it a platform for selling products or services? Once you know the answer, begin thinking about how best to present that information.
The best way to approach the homepage is to ask yourself this question: what action do you ultimately want the visitor to take.
Here are my top tips for designing a homepage that is optimized for turning visitors into clients.
This is the first thing that visitors see when they land on your page, and it sets the tone for the rest of the page. A well-written headline will capture attention and compel people to click through to learn more.
Visitors should immediately be able to tell what you do when landing on your homepage. This eliminates any confusion and reassures them that they are in the right place (or in some cases maybe not, and that’s ok).
Remember: the focus should always be on the content, not the design of the page itself! The layout should be designed to support content rather than distract from it. This means using a minimalistic approach that focuses on the main points of your page without adding needless clutter or flashy graphics.
That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pretty or aesthetically pleasing, these things are important as well. But the design should be used in such a way that it highlights and complements the content so that it can shine through, because that is ultimately what will encourage visitors to take specific actions and stay on your website longer.
To do this, minimize clutter and embrace white space. Use bold colors (sparingly), clean lines, and contrast between text and graphics to help draw attention to key areas on the page while also keeping things simple enough for readers to understand quickly.
Making things easy to find for visitors is crucial to a high-converting homepage. That means creating a navigational menu that is both easy to understand and navigate. Not only will this make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for, but it will also help keep them on your site longer since they’ll be less likely to leave if they don’t know where to go.
Choose a simple and straightforward layout for your menu, with just the essentials listed so that visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly. And make sure your menu links are easy to click and follow – people don’t want to waste time clicking through an unnavigable menu!
Consider adding a sticky menu that travels down the page as the visitor scrolls so they can access it at all times. You can also use a ‘Back to Top’ link so they can easily get back to the menu at any point.
Using high-quality, engaging images is one of the best ways to keep visitors interested and convey higher value. Not only will this help your site look more professional and attractive, but it can also boost your ranking in search engine results pages.
You’ll also want to ensure that your images are on brand. Now, we understand that not everyone has access to professional brand photos, but do not fret! There are tons of great resources out there with royalty free stock images you can use to supplement the imagery on your homepage. While we always recommend personal photos, especially for personal brands, it’s certainly fine to use stock images to fill in the gaps.
Your homepage must highlight the services or products your brand offers in order to convert visitors. It can be short, sweet and to the point but it’s super important to give visitors some insight as to what you offer. The goal is not to give them every piece of information at this point, but to entice them to learn more by clicking on a strategically placed CTA.
Make sure you include this section near the top of your page. You want to take every opportunity you can to warm visitors up to encourage them to stay on your page longer, which translates to a higher likelihood that they will find something that piques their interest and ultimately take another step.
Your homepage should include a CTA that encourages visitors to learn more about what you have to offer.
The role of a strategically designed homepage isn’t necessarily to convert visitors right away. In fact, unless they were already a warm lead, we shouldn’t expect them to. Instead, the ultimate goal of the homepage is to get visitors to take a pre-determined next step, which we guide them to through Calls to Action.
A well placed CTA will effectively tell your visitors where to go next, which is important because we never want visitors to feel lost or confused about where to go next or find the information they’re looking for.
While this one may seem like a given, I’ve worked with a lot of clients who didn’t see the value of or understand why we should be talking about ourselves at all on the homepage. After all, don’t we usually have an entire (About) page dedicated to this very thing?
I’ve also heard this a lot: “But it isn’t about me, it’s about my target audience.”
These are both true. However, in today’s consumer world people are more likely to buy from other people they make a genuine connection with. We talk about this a lot here at Wolf & Willow because our process is so relationship-driven in that we want to make sure that our clients are able to connect with their target audience in an authentic way.
Introducing yourself on the homepage gives your visitor a chance to quickly determine if there could be a connection, which can ultimately encourage them to continue browsing.
It shouldn’t be a huge section, or have a ton of content. This isn’t about a “Hey, look at me!” moment. Just a quick, short but powerful introduction to who you are, what you do and why will do the trick. Make it concise, but meaningful.
The homepage is a great place to include some social proof if you have it. Keeping in mind that the primary purpose of the homepage is to get visitors to continue browsing your overall website, including some testimonials on the front page certainly can’t hurt and it adds an extra level of trust for potential customers.
If you don’t have an email list provider, stop reading and go sign-up for one right now. Just kidding. (Sort of). We use and recommend Flodesk. (You can try it out here for 50% off with our affiliate code!) It is NEVER too early to start building an email list. It’s the best way to connect, and stay connecting with potential clients. Even if they don’t book you for a service or purchase a product right away, getting them on your email list ensures that you stay at the forefront of their mind when they’re looking in the future.
So what are some ways you can encourage visitors to sign up for your email list? Here are some of our tried and true favorites:
We always want to ensure that we are providing as much valuable content as possible when trying to convert website visitors into paying clients or buyers. One great way to do that is to provide some quick links to free resources that may live elsewhere on your website. Some great examples of these include:
Think of your homepage as the cover of your book. It’s the first impression that people have of you so it’s important to make it a good one. There are a lot of different ways to go about crafting a high-converting homepage but the most important thing is to keep it simple, professional, relevant to your audience, easy to navigate and engaging.
Implementing any of these tips or have questions? Hit us up over on Instagram!
Till next time,