Is your website bounce rate too high? Are readers leaving your site before they even get started? Does your website’s homepage fall flat? Do you feel like you’re missing out on potential customers because your page just doesn’t grab their attention? If any of those ring true, it’s time to transform your homepage with these eight important website homepage elements. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for some bonus SEO tips too!
Creating a homepage that truly captures your brand’s purpose and engages visitors can be a challenge. By incorporating these eight important website homepage elements you can create a website that not only looks amazing, but also drives conversions.
Note: This post is part of a series detailing the “anatomy” of important website pages. You’ll find more anatomy posts here as I finish them.
8 Important Website Homepage Elements
Let’s make your homepage work for you, not against you. These important website homepage elements will elevate your homepage design to create a powerful online presence.
As you work through these sections, keep in mind that each section should feel cohesive as part of the whole. Your homepage should be thorough and informative, but also uncluttered. Too much information can be overwhelming, so make sure to keep your homepage sections succinct and visually appealing.
YOU also know your brand and clients best, so if a homepage section doesn’t make sense for your needs… toss it! It can always be added back in later as your needs grow.
If you’re short on time and in need of professional help, my custom WordPress design packages are the perfect solution to launch your new (or updated!) website using my signature design process. I quickly create beautiful, powerful websites that help small businesses monetize, grow, and make a difference. The best part? You can easily scale any of them up as your business grows!
Okay, now let’s jump in!
A Hero Section That Includes Your Mission Statement and Tagline
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your small business website. That’s why it’s crucial to have a hero section that grabs visitors’ attention and communicates your brand message — loud and clear.
A hero section is the large, eye-catching banner at the top of a website’s homepage. Since it’s often the first thing visitors see, it’s designed to make a memorable impact! It typically includes your
- Mission statement
- Any other key messaging that tells visitors who you are, what you do, and why they need to connect with you
This section quickly tells visitors what you do. To build credibility and trust, consider including a testimonial in your hero section to help potential clients feel confident in choosing your products or services.
My own hero section lets potential clients clearly see that I’m an established professional offering a “one stop shop” that helps them start their new website and online marketing journey.
This tutoring website header has a video playing in the background instead of an image and clearly lets visitors know what they offer and where to click to see services.
This instructional coach website has a longer description with engaging copy and 3 call to action buttons to help visitors find exactly the type of content they need.
This teacherpreneur website has a bright, colorful hero section letting primary teachers know they’re in the right spot for classroom resources.
This financial coach’s website clearly defines who he helps and what he offers.
Remember… your hero section sets the tone for your entire website, so make sure it’s memorable, informative, and aligned with your brand!
A Lead Magnet With a Tempting Call-to-Action (CTA) To Collect Emails
If you’re looking to boost your reach, a powerful lead magnet is a must-have! While all homepage sections are important, a lead magnet just might be the most important website homepage element. It’s an opt in form designed to get visitors to sign up for your email list. Building an email list is essential for businesses to connect with their audience and establish meaningful relationships.
To make your lead magnet most effective, you need a compelling call-to-action that encourages visitors to act NOW. You have to create a sense of urgency or highlight a tempting offer.
Popular lead magnets include:
- Exclusive offers
- Upcoming events
- Free checklists or short info guides
- Passwords for your free library
- Small samples of a larger product
Basically, it can be anything that will pique customers’ interests and get them excited about your business — with an urgency. The days of simply “subscribe now for updates” are over and most users expect something specific in exchange for sharing their email address.
My lead magnet offers new website owners a checklist for writing better blog posts.
This teacher offers a bundle of free practice pages.
This coach has two freebies, each one designed for one of her two target audience types. The buttons lead to email capture forms.
With the right call-to-action and a tempting offer, you can increase the chances of visitors providing their email addresses.
The Problem: Your Audience Pain Points
Do you know what really drives website searches? Pain points. These are any issues that make your target audience go online and ask Google for solutions to their problems or questions – hopefully landing on YOUR website with a solution thanks to your SEO strategy.
Think of all the problems your audience might have. They could be looking for:
- A WordPress website designer for teachers
- A tutor for SAT prep
- Standards-based curriculum resources
Once you’ve listed the problems you can solve, use those questions as a guide to design a website that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
For a tutoring website, you might point out the struggles parents are likely seeing their children go through at school. A teacherpreneur could focus on lack of plan time or outdated district curriculum options.
In my problem section, I point out that many new business owners are likely nervous to invest money before they see results, but are also short on time to learn to DIY things.
This website focuses on common roadblocks to financial success.
Remember, your website homepage is the perfect place to address pain points and questions common in your niche to show you understand their struggles and can offer valuable solutions.
The Solution: Your Products and Services
Now that you’ve successfully identified your market’s pain points, it’s time to take action! Highlight your best product or service categories that directly solve the problems you brainstormed. Don’t focus on too many different problems, otherwise it can get confusing and lead to decision fatigue. Three solutions or choices is ideal.
For my solution section, I’ve opted to focus on two primary ways to help: my done-for-you services or DIY tutorials. I also added a contact button here because many of my clients are so new to all of this that they aren’t sure where to start, so they contact me personally for help.
The financial website has three clear ways to work together.
The tutoring website also offers three concise options.
The coach website has a variety of products to solve common instruction coach needs.
An About Section to Establish Rapport and Credibility
Your website is often the first long form point of contact between potential customers and your brand, so you need to make an impression that lasts! Showcasing your brand’s personality and expertise on your homepage is a great way to create a connection.
Adding a dedicated about section can help visitors get to know the real person behind the scenes. It puts a friendly, approachable face on your business to help customers feel more at ease. In an instant, you are not a stranger anymore — you become someone they can feel comfortable with!
Side note: Don’t stop there! Include a separate and longer about page as your chance to further tell your brand’s story and show off your expertise. This is where you can really inject some personality into your brand and make it stand out from the crowd. To make sure your about page is easily accessible, link it prominently on your homepage. This not only improves the user experience but also shows visitors that you’re transparent and trustworthy.
Because I had already included a large photo of myself at the top of my homepage, I opted to only include a text bio section. My longer about page is more personal and highlights my journey from teacher to teacherpreneur to brand designer for teacherpreneurs.
The about section clearly shows who Chrissy is and why she’s an expert.
This tutoring about section focuses on the mission and values behind all services to learn more about the team’s philosophy.
An approachable, inviting image encourages readers to connect and learn more.
This about section gives you a glimpse into the type of teacher Erin is.
Your about section is a valuable touchpoint that helps you keep visitors on your site longer, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
A Featured Section: Blog Posts or Product Services
If you think of your website as your digital storefront, your homepage is like the shop window that greets visitors when they arrive. Similar to a physical store, you need to create a captivating display to entice readers to enter and engage.
Just like a brick-and-mortar store showcases its best products in the window, you want to feature your most appealing products and services on your homepage. By creating an engaging and visually attractive display, you can capture their attention and pique their interest, encouraging them to explore more of what you offer.
Stories sell and long form content is key. A blog is an essential tool for growing your brand and connecting with your audience. A well-crafted blog post can:
- Provide value to your visitors
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Connect with potential customers on a personal level
- Boost your SEO so you show up in search results!
A a website designer, I offer a variety of free tutorials (like this one you’re reading right now!). I’m happy to share my knowledge for those who want to DIY their websites, or they can hire me for personalized website help. Many of my clients come straight from my blog.
If you’re a reading tutor, your blog can be an excellent platform to share tips and tricks for developing literacy skills that parents can try at home. This can lead to hiring you for more help.
This coach uses her featured area to display topic buttons and recent blog posts.
Engaging and informative content can keep your visitors coming back for more. By featuring a few selected blog posts on your homepage, you can entice visitors to explore your website further, potentially turning them into loyal customers.
Why feature Products or Services?
When visitors come to your website, they want to know what your business does and how it can benefit them at a glance. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can still take advantage of a featured section to highlight an up-to-date portfolio of your work or more specific services.
Unlike the top “solution” section that focused on broader categories, this is a chance to highlight individual products or services within those categories. Showcase your specific products and services here to help visitors quickly understand the best of what you offer. When your products and services are presented in an engaging and visually appealing way, it makes it easier for visitors to find solutions to their needs.
This featured services section shows three more ways Chrissy helps coaches.
When you show your best products and services on your homepage, visitors will easily see what your business offers in order to take the next step.
Social proof comes in many forms, but its purpose is always the same: to convince visitors that your brand is popular and trustworthy. It is the stamp you need to authenticate your business!
You should display evidence that others have had positive experiences with your company through powerful client testimonials and reviews that showcase the value of your products or services.
When people see others taking action, they’re more likely to follow suit. They’ll be more likely to trust your product or service if they know that other people have had success with it.
As a service provider, I have reviews sprinkled throughout my website and a dedicated reviews page. If you’re selling products in your digital store, you may also opt to show reviews beside each one.
This financial coaching website highlights testimonials in a sliding carousel, which is a nice way to get a few more testimonials on the page without taking up extra space.
This tutoring website also utilizes a sliding option. I’ve found 3-5 testimonials is a good amount.
If you want your website to be a powerful tool for driving conversions, be sure to include social proof on your homepage!
A Final Push: Sell With Your Story
The final important website homepage element is a way to seal the deal. Sometimes, your audience will need a little more convincing. This is where story selling comes in. With the right story, you can evoke reactions and make a memorable impression.
Not many people will remember your product’s exact features or benefits once they log off your website, but many people will retain information through the stories you tell. Don’t focus on your achievements. Instead, highlight your experiences and insights. The key is to resonate with your audience.
You can share a story about how you helped struggling students overcome their challenges and succeed academically or highlight the unique teaching methods you used to achieve that success and make your story relatable.
This tutoring website shows one way to start the story telling process. It could be elaborated with specific examples and success stories since storytelling can also be supported with social proof, further building trust and credibility with potential customers.
Bonus Tips: How to Improve Your Homepage SEO
Having quality content goes a long way to improving your visitor’s experience on your website and these important website homepage elements will certainly help you develop high-quality, informative, and engaging content. As you’re writing content, be sure to focus on providing value to your visitors rather than keyword stuffing.
Optimizing your homepage for search engines through SEO strategy can help improve its visibility and attract more visitors to see your hard work! Here are some of my favorite tips to improve your homepage SEO.
Start With a Clear and Concise Headline In Your Hero Section
This headline should clearly communicate what your website is all about. Right away, your audience should understand what’s in it for them. Be sure to mark it as a heading and not a general paragraph in your page markup.
Use relevant keywords throughout your website content, but avoid stuffing them unnaturally. Be sure to subscribe to my email list because I have several posts coming soon to help with keywords that you won’t want to miss!
A slow-loading website will make users exit your page. Optimize images, evaluate each piece of homepage content for vale, use a quality hosting provider, and compress your website’s code to improve load times.
Use Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions and tags provide a summary of your website’s content to search engines. Be descriptive and include your main homepage keyword. Your images should also contain alt text with these descriptions as appropriate.
Use a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes and ensures fast load times to provide a quality user experience on mobile devices.
Tie Your Website Design Together
Creating an effective website should not be an intimidating process. By incorporating the important website homepage elements I shared above, you can create a homepage that not only looks great but also encourages visitors to explore and convert to customers! After that, it’s time to tackle the rest of your website. This post with 5 must-have website pages is a great next step.
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