I say this all the time — but think of your homepage as the cover that everyone judges your book by. And the suuuuuuper harsh truth about how long it takes for one of your site visitors to form an opinion on your website?
Just 1/10th of a second. (That’s .05 seconds to be exact!)
And with the average site visitors spending just 15 seconds (or less) on your entire website, the first impression your homepage is or isn’t making matters that much more.
If I were to make one sweeping declaration about websites and website homepages, here’s what it would be:
The simpler and more familiar they are — the better.
In fact, I’m not the only one who thinks this. The smarty pants over at Google conducted a study that proves this very thing. (Anyone else feel incredibly validated when a credible study backs their opinion? :))
But — just in case you’re anything like me and you need the brass tacks sort of advice to get you going — here are three quick and easy changes you can make to your homepage to make sure your first impression is one to remember.
1. Add a Value Proposition to your homepage.
In the absolute simplest terms possible, a Value Proposition (or Value Prop or VP) is a statement that clearly states who you are (or who your brand is), what you (or your brand) do, who you serve and how you serve them.
A well-crafted Value Prop answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” when a site visitor is browsing your homepage. I always like to say that Value Props nip the whole, “Wait, what do you do?” question in the bud when someone’s on your site.
(My Homepage Knockout checklist gives you all the information you could ever want about Value Props and how to craft them. I even give you my favorite formula to create one on the spot! And the best part? It’s totally FREE! Click here to snag your copy today.)
2. Leverage a clear and compelling Call-to-Action.
A lot of times I’ll see websites with high bounce rates (meaning people “bounce” from the website quickly and frequently) and one of the main elements I see missing from the homepage is a clear Call-to-Action (or CTA).
CTAs are what direct your site visitors to the next step and funnel them further into your site and your sales funnel.
Whenever I audit a website or do a refresh, I make sure to advise clients to pepper in CTAs wherever they can. Not in that annoying pop-up-click-here-to-make-this-visual-obstruction-go-away type of way — but in a way that appropriately leverages value-based action steps at opportune points of the website.
One of the most common CTAs I recommend for a homepage is an opt-in for a newsletter or email list (think some sort of value-packed freebie that the ideal client or customer drools over — like the Homepage Knockout) or an opportunity to book a free consultation, discovery call, or strategy session.
These are the types of CTA (when written well) that usher site visitors to the next step and keep them interested in what you have to offer.
3. Get rid of the homepage clutter.
Let me cut to the chase: Remember what Google said and keep it simple. This means leveraging white space, keeping your navigation menu tight, and not trying to fit every piece of information ever onto your homepage.
If your homepage is your first date — maybe don’t spill your guts in a way that scares away the other person, k?
Leave something to be desired. Focus on getting people interested, informed, and hooked — and then give them ways to learn more or take the next step by utilizing your navigation menu or hidden pages throughout your site.
Click here to snag your FREE copy of the Homepage Knockout — a 20-point checklist and step-by-step guide to giving your homepage a total glow up.