December 22, 2020

How to Create an Effective Website Homepage

4 min read

Written by: Kelly Molloy  |  Share:

Designer working on a website homepage. Designer working on a website homepage.

The purpose of a B2B website is to capture the attention of your visitors and provide them with educational content. Ideally, your website helps answer the questions your prospects have and positions your product as a solution to their challenges. 

Your homepage is often the entry point for many of your website’s visitors. That means one of its most important goals is to give them enough reasons to dive deeper into your site and continue exploring your content. 

Leveraging these best practices can help you craft an effective homepage narrative that not only captures attention, but also sets up meaningful next steps to increase time on site and move visitors through your conversion paths

Lead With What’s Most Important

One question we ask anyone designing a new website is “if this were the only page on your website, what would you want your visitors to walk away knowing?” 

While this is a helpful way to get to the root goal of any of your website pages, it’s especially true of your homepage. What’s the biggest thing that someone should learn about your business when they first land on your site? 

Depending on your business, the needs of your buyers and how users land on your homepage, the biggest takeaway could be any number of things. 

At New Breed, we know a lot of our website visitors come through our blog. Anyone visiting the homepage from there likely needs additional context as to what we actually do — which is why it’s the first thing you learn at the top of our homepage. 

Alternatively, if someone is searching for a project management software and your page appears in search results, the biggest takeaway they need from your homepage isn’t the solution (project management software) you provide but rather why they should choose your solution over competitors. 

So, your homepage’s key takeaway often boils down to your core value proposition. What separates you from other brands in your space that would make a prospect want to choose you? 

Once you have defined your homepage key takeaway, it’s imperative that your content communicates that takeaway without having users scroll too far down the page. In studying data from heatmap tools like Hotjar, it’s clear to see that visitors rarely make it to the bottom of your website homepage.

Leveraging the inverse pyramid of writing is a great way to lead with the most important details first and then follow up with additional supporting content further down the page — giving your users the option to consume as much or as little as they want to. 

Download our free e-book to learn the 10 essential elements of a successful  website redesign.

Appeal to Each of Your Personas 

Unlike internal site pages where you can be much more intentional about specific pages being meant for specific audiences, your homepage has to appeal to multiple personas

The content and design of your website homepage should help visitors that align with one of your buyer personas to identify what is relevant to them and their needs. The intended goal of this is to enable your personas to choose their own adventure

In other words, there needs to be a diversity of content on your homepage with messaging unique to the different pain points and challenges of your personas. Users that click on this content should be led off to additional content on more persona-specific pages or sections of your website. 

For new website builds, your default homepage needs to meet the intended goals you have for each of your personas. If one persona should go on to a free demo while another gets taken to your pricing page, both of those actions should be addressed and available from your homepage.

Before you explore homepage personalization, you should ensure your default homepage content meets the needs of each of your personas.

As you improve your website over time, you can introduce more personalized or segmented content based on contact criteria such as industry, lifecycle stage or persona. For instance, you can display logos tagged as a certain industry to make them more relevant for site visitors.

Support Everything With Trustmarks

Once you identify the goal of the page and what content we have to achieve that overarching goal, it's time to think about what external validation can bolster the primary value prop of the page. Trustmarks such as logos, testimonials and case studies are an effective way to support your core value proposition. 

If you’re saying you provide marketing services for successful technology companies, then back it up by showing the logos of companies you work with or statistics of the ROI provided for previous customers.

If your takeaway is your business solves for challenging operations issues, provide case studies that clearly demonstrate that. 

An effective homepage narrative delivers the most relevant information to your visitors at a given time. If you’ve just established your key takeaway, trustmarks continue that narrative.

This is another opportunity to incorporate smart content down the line. As you learn more about your users or they have already seen what’s on your homepage when they return to your site, you can create smart modules that offer more relevant, personalized content that offers more support for your value proposition and continue to delight your visitors with fresh content. 

Prioritize Brevity and Clarity 

An effective website homepage is also a brief homepage. Not only have we established that few users make it to the bottom of the homepage, but the added length would also be counterintuitive.

While your homepage should communicate what's most important for a visitor to know about your business, the goal is for users to dive deeper into the website to find the content that's most relevant for them.  The homepage should not answer every question a user has, but it should guide them towards the answers to their questions. 

If your homepage is too long, it's likely trying to communicate too much information. At that point, start leveraging your subpages to go deeper into more complex topics or details, features and benefits.

Takeaway 

Every website’s homepage will serve different audiences and leverage different types of content based on your business and your users. 

Even still, the intent of every homepage should be to serve as a sample of what’s to come if a prospect continues to engage with your business and explore your website. Therefore, you should focus your narrative on piquing interest and setting clear next steps for prospects to engage with. 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Demand Generation, Website Strategy

About The Author

Kelly is a Senior Web Strategist at New Breed.

Ready to transform your current marketing + sales teams?  Request a free assessment and get started today. Free Consultation