When optimizing your website’s homepage, it’s really important to first look at the overall design.
Ensure you have chosen your two to three complimentary brand fonts, and only use those.
Select your colour palette and only use those colours along with complimentary images and graphics.
The goal is to have your audience feel good about landing on your homepage. You don’t want them being turned off immediately because there is no cohesiveness to the page (and your brand).
There’s an old saying that … “a confused buyer is a…. non-buyer”.
One *pro-tip we also recommend is to colour-block the different sections of your homepage. This will make it abundantly clear when one thought or “call to action” ends and the next begins, making for a much easier flow down the page for your audience.
If you’re not sure what I mean, check out the sample layout we’ve given you in section 1 below. You’ll notice some light grey sections in the background to visually separate the sections.
These can be done in any of your brand colours, and it’s one of the easiest ways to optimize your homepage.
Don’t underestimate the power of a put-together brand!
Let’s dive right into some more simple ways you can optimize your homepage:
1. General layout:
This first way to optimize your homepage might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get distracted with pretty pictures and other things.
And trust me, I do love a pretty picture.
But it is essential that you place your most important (and likely your paid) offers first.
It’s fine and dandy to grow your email list with freebies, but why not first try and see if you can grow your list with people who you already know will buy from you?
You can still include that “freebie”, just keep it further down the page and let your main offer shine higher up on the page.
Here’s a sample homepage layout that uses this rule and places the more important calls to action at the top of the page.
Click on the image to see it larger and you can use this as a basis for mapping out how to optimize your homepage.
Not every business is the same and you may need to include a few other options, but the premise will always be the same.
Place your money makers at the top and make sure your audience knows they’re in the right place the moment they land on your homepage.
If they need to guess what your business is about, that’s a big fail. To remedy this, pay some serious attention to the next section.
2. Header Section
There are two main ways you can optimize your homepage via the header section of your website (and one extra way that I feel is still up for debate).
The first way is to make sure that you’re using a horizontal version of your logo (assuming you have one). It will take up less space at the top of your homepage and make room for your Hero Section. We’ll talk about the hero section next and why it’s so important.
The second way to optimize your header is to have a sticky menu that follows your audience down the page. There’s nothing more annoying than having to scroll back up the page to visit another area on the site.
In case you didn’t know, you want your visitors going to as many pages on your site as possible. The longer they’re on your site, the higher the chance you can convert them into buyers, subscribers, and raving fans.
Lastly, and this one is up for debate, try to keep your header as clean as possible with little distractions.
Personally, I love having social links up in the top right corner. It makes it super easy for me to find someone on Instagram or Pinterest if I love their content and want to know more.
But since there are also a lot of web designers who would tell you to not include it, this one will boil down to personal preference and knowing your audience. If they’re super active on Social, then you might want to have it there!
In order to properly optimize your homepage, you might need to take a few decisions into your own hands.
3. Your Hero Section
In order to optimize your website in this section, you need a call to action that includes your value statement or marketing for your signature product.
Here’s a formula you can follow for your value statement:
WHAT YOU DO + WHO YOU DO IT FOR
+ WHAT IS THE BENEFIT FOR THEM
Business Coaching for Female Entrepreneurs so they can step out of their comfort zone and manage their business with authority and authenticity.
You can also use this section to call attention to a hero product that is most popular. You can even use it to draw attention to a blog post that performs the highest in terms of your return on affiliate sales or email sign ups.
From the moment they land on your website, your audience needs to know they are in the right place -and you need to tell them what you want them to do next.
You might think that it seems bossy, but people usually need to be told what to do next. It’s not being overbearing, it’s just good marketing.
*Another pro tip – don’t use sliders in your hero image. Yes, they look cool, but they actually end up doing more harm in the end.
Here is a great article that talks about why you shouldn’t use them: “Why Homepage carousels are bad” .
If you’re working hard to optimize your homepage, avoid media sliders – especially in your hero section.
4. Primary Offer Section
Surprisingly, this section can do a lot more for you than just hold pretty stock photos. You need to use this section wisely to promote your top offers.
Before you add in your “big three”, let’s talk about what should go just above it.
A quick and to the point benefit statement, talking about the benefits you have for your audience, is what sells. This is not the same as a feature statement! Here’s an example of the difference:
- Feature Statement: Our Canva Logo Packs are fully-editable, easily brandable and come with 20 pre-designed layouts.
- Benefit Statement: Our Canva Logo Packs will save you loads of time and stress and help you finally feel confident in your brand and in your business.
*Please keep in mind that I am in no way a copywriter (or a proofreader for that matter), but I think you get the point. Before introducing your big three, make sure your audience knows what’s in it for them!
When trying to figure out what to do for your big three, think about what your ideal audience needs and wants most – then figure our how you can link that to any of your paid offers.
For us, we want to promote our shop, our membership, and our signature Instant Brand Blueprint Program.
We’re happy to have our audience get value from our blog (like hopefully you’re doing now!). But if we have a choice to blow you away with our free content or our paid content… well I think you know the answer.
For eCommerce stores, you could include some top sellers or top promotions in this area that you know your audience will jump at.
If your income comes primarily from your blog, why not have the top three affiliate products that you recommend front and centre? To me, that’s a no brainer!
I really hope you had one or many AHA! moments just now. This section can make a huge impact to help optimize your homepage
5. The About Section
This is your opportunity to turn your audience from “just stopping by” to “super fan”. It’s all about sharing who you are and how you can relate to your ideal audience.
When you optimize your website in this area, you give your audience concrete evidence of why they want to stick around.
While it’s an amazing accomplishment that you spent 15 years in marketing and have a fancy degree, what it is about you or your brand that’s going to make your buyer go “Wow, me too”!?
For many of us, our businesses were born out a need we had or an experience we’ve gone through. That’s the secret sauce. Let your audience know you’ve been in their shoes and you get them.
Then you can worry about adding in the more technical stuff on your actual about page. If they want to learn more, they can find it on your about page.
6. Lead Magnet Offer Section
Yes, you finally have my permission to offer up a freebie. Just please don’t include this section as a simple “Sign up for our newsletter”.
You will be hard-pressed to grow your list with anyone other than friends and family.
Our Lead Magnet Blueprint has 100+ Canva Lead Magnet Templates.
Plus our Lead Magnet Workbook to help you figure out what your audience actually wants!
If your Lead Magnet is ready to go, then by all means, make it shine like the sun in this section.
Please also try and include a mockup of your Lead Magnet within the sign up bar. This significantly increases the chances that someone will sign up for your list, as people are much more likely to hand over their email when they can actually see what they’re going to receive in return.
At least if they’re not ready to buy, you can optimize your homepage with a Lead Magnet sign up to still grow your list with potential buyers.
7. Best Testimonials Section
There is a reason why this section is called “Best Testimonials” and not just “Testimonials”. This isn’t the place for every testimonial you’ve ever had, this is the place for the ones that RAVE about you, your product or your service.
Maybe that means for now you only have one or a couple – and that’s okay. You can also include more on your About Page and your Services Page.
But make sure the ones you’re highlighting on your homepage are the “crème-de-la-crème”.
If possible, always include a photo of the person giving the testimonial. This adds so much more credibility to the words and hold higher value in your audience’s mind.
You should also consider your audience and who they might want to see testimonials from. If your audience is predominantly moms age 25-40, having a testimonial from a 50 year old male won’t hold the same weight as one from someone who fits their demographic.
I know asking for testimonials can sometimes seem awkward, but if you’ve serviced the heck out of someone, you just need to go for it.
There are also some excellent plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce that allow you to send automatic feedback requests after a product is purchased. This is absolutely a regular part of doing business and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
8. The Footer Section
Last but not least, we want to consider the footer section.
First, let’s talk about the Social Feed or Instagram feed section. Once again, this is going to be based on your demographic.
If your audience doesn’t use Instagram whatsoever, don’t feel the pressure to include it. If they do, though, this is the perfect opportunity to have them quickly get to know you better by looking at your feed, but also prompt them to follow along.
We all know you shouldn’t build a business off of Social Media followers and that your focus should be on building your email list. But the more places you’re connected, the more likely they are to keep seeing your content.
For the rest of your footer, use this as an opportunity to highlight some quick links that may not be accessible in your Main Menu (which they can still see because it’s sticky and followed them down the page).
You can also include your logo again. This will increase brand recognition and is likely a good place for your alternate (or more square-sized) logo.
Lastly, you can include your Social Media links and/or your search bar. Having that search feature in the footer is great for user-experience and once again helps to keep users on your website longer.
Now that you know all the things you can do to optimize your website homepage, how many of them were you already doing?
Perhaps you need to rethink your entire homepage and layout. Or maybe you’re thinking that your whole website needs an overhaul and that you’re done with that free theme you’ve been using.
If that’s the case, we hope that you’ll check out our WordPress Website Academy. We’ll teach you how to design your own website, give you the templates to save you time, and finally have you feeling proud when you send visitors to check it out.
Come on, we’re waiting for you!