The most important marketing tool your company can invest in is your website – and its homepage is your best first impression. The average visitor spends only four seconds deciding whether to stay on your site or return to the search results1. So what is the magic formula for a captivating website homepage?
During the redesign of Sagefrog Marketing Group’s website, targeted at marketing professionals within the B2B, healthcare and technology marketplace, we identified the mission-critical elements that every B2B website homepage must include, to successfully capture and keep the attention of its visitors.
Consider the Top 10 Features Every B2B Website Homepage Must Have:
Clearly Answers ‘What We Do’
To keep a visitor’s attention on your site, he or she needs to be able to clearly identify the products and services you offer. Even the most well-known brand or company needs to clearly answer “Who We Are” and “What We Do” so that each visitor knows they have come to the right place.
Communicates a Compelling Value Proposition
A homepage is the best first impression your company can make, and you won’t have long to capture your visitor’s attention. When visitors arrive at your website, they should understand (in just a few sentences) the value your company brings and why you’re the best choice – eliminating the need to search any further.
Resonates with the Target Audience
Websites can often become cluttered with too much jargon and technical terminology. Ensure verbiage and concepts are familiar to your target audience by using industry known language, words, phrases and terms that the user comes across on a daily basis. The more natural your website sounds, the more comfortable a consumer will be with your company.
Offers a Mobile-Friendly or Responsive Design
As trends move towards an increase in smartphone and tablet use (6.1 billion smartphone users globally by 20202), your website design and user-experience should follow. Responsive websites adapt to whatever device is being used, allowing for easy view without the need to adjust the screen. Responsive designs are the simplest way for users to navigate through a website, thus increasing the user-friendly experience and generating 11% more conversions than non-responsive sites3. Plus, it’s great for SEO!
Includes Call-to-Actions Above the Fold
When someone visits a website, they are typically seeking solutions to their specific need. The goals of Call-to-Actions (CTA) are to move visitors through the buying process. Three main CTAs should be featured on your website, including offerings such as:
- Awareness CTAs – eBooks and white papers
- Consideration CTAs – testimonials and case studies
- Decision CTAs – demos or free trials
Your primary CTA should be ‘above the fold’, which means it should be visible without having to scroll down the page. Instead of trying to clutter all of your CTAs at the top of your homepage, however, focus on one or two goals you would like your visitor to accomplish.
Provides Intuitive and Simplified Navigation
As the control center of a website, the homepage helps visitors determine whether the information they seek is readily available – cue the main navigation! The main navigation can make or break a homepage, and if executed incorrectly, it can increase bounce rates. A great navigation is user-friendly and quickly shows visitors how to get to what they are looking for by:
- Limiting the number of top-level navigation items
- Keeping drop-down menus to one level
- Making sure it is responsive across all devices
Loads Quickly and Seamlessly
Ensure your website loads quickly to increase SEO rankings. If your website is slow, visitors will not only lose interest and exit your website, but they will also gain a negative impression of your company. A Google experiment found that traffic and revenue dropped 20% when a page with 30 results loaded half a second slower than a page with 10 results displayed4.
Utilizes Content as “Social Proof”
Building credibility in the eyes of your consumers is important to keeping viewers on your website. Four in five users say that being able to trust the information on a site is very important to them in deciding to visit a website5. Incorporating ‘social proof’ on homepages helps build trust with visitors, and ultimately leads to an increase in conversions. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon referring to people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right and what is wrong in a given situation6. To leverage social proof, include content such as client logos, case studies, reviews, testimonials, and/or media attention on a homepage to show positive results and happy clients, making visitors think, “I want what they have.”
Maintains ‘On Brand’ Features
You put hard work into establishing your branding, so follow it! Ensure your website utilizes your brand font, color palette and voice. Your homepage should showcase your logo and portray the look and feel of your brand. Any imagery used on your homepage and throughout the site should also be consistent with your brand identity.
Emphasizes the Footer
Oftentimes, the homepage and header are areas of the website that designers focus on the most, leaving the footer as an afterthought. As a crucial last stop for visitors, the footer should always include the following items:
- Contact Information: A phone number with local area code is evidence to Google that you’re a local business, which is beneficial for SEO. On mobile, a phone number should always automatically transform into a clickable button.
- Address: A company address is something that visitors expect to find in a footer. Similar to contact information, it is also beneficial for SEO and helps Google to know where you are located, increasing the likelihood of showing up in the Maps section of local Google searches.
- Social Buttons: Websites, social media sites and blog pages all generate traffic to one another. Display links to all of your social media pages within your footer and provide links to your company’s website across each of your social media channels.
- Copyright: The year and copyright symbol should always appear in your footer. Not only is it a mild form of protection against website plagiarism, but it shows you take pride in your site and keep the information up to date!
Are you interested in website design, development or other B2B marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.