Your homepage is your chance to make a great impression. It’s the first thing new readers and potential clients will see when they start learning about who you are, so it’s important that it not only looks clean and polished (the same way you’d want to look in an interview), but also says what you want it to say – and nothing more!
I’m a big believer in keeping things simple and minimal here. On your homepage, your goal is to make people feel welcome and inspire them to learn more. Don’t worry about packing everything in. This is just a tasting menu.
This might sound daunting, but with the right template and big-picture goals in mind, you can easily plug your story into a format that connects with readers and entices them to learn more.
After years of building websites, I’ve developed a formula that I go back to again and again to create powerful homepages that convert readers into clients. Here’s my list of the four elements every homepage needs.
#1: Dynamic Headline (5-15 words)
Just like in a newspaper or magazine, a headline is a great opportunity to catch your reader’s attention. Think of it as a welcome message to your reader, a space for you to help them feel comfortable and let them know you understand who they are and what they need.
Your headline can be a suggestion (Heal your gut and start living your best life), a descriptive statement about yourself, (Seeking wellness and building community), a question (What would you be doing today if your health was a no-brainer?), or simply an introduction (Hi, I’m Grace, your content coach).
Regardless, this statement will tell your readers that this is the place where they can get help accomplishing a specific goal.
#2: Statement of Purpose (20-50 words)
Next, you want to clearly and succinctly explain the problem that you are here to solve for your readers. Another way to think of this piece is a “brand offering”. This isn’t the place to dive into your background or qualifications – you can save that for your About page. Your statement of purpose should be a concise sentence (or maybe two) that describes, broadly, what you’re here to do.
It can include some allusions to what makes you unique, but it shouldn’t be too wordy. A good place to start is to finish this sentence: “I’m here to…”
#3: Description of Offerings
Now that you’ve explained the problem you’re here to solve, tell them how you do it. This can come in the form of a few short sentences, or it can simply be a descriptive button with a link to your Offerings/Services page. Or both!
On my homepage, you’ll notice I have a one-sentence paragraph explaining the web design and writing work I do, followed by links to both of my individual Offerings pages. Nothing too wordy, which makes it easy for them to figure out what to do next.
#4: Call to Action
Now this is where the rubber meets the road! As we’ve discussed, your purpose on this page is to inspire your visitors to take the next step in their relationship with you. Now, it’s up to you to ask them to do it! In the marketing world, we call this a “call to action” or CTA.
Your call to action can ask folks to do a whole host of things: read a blog post, book a call with you, sign up for your newsletter, check out your Offerings page, join your Facebook group – the list goes on. What I want you to focus on for now, though, is choosing just one action for them to take.
Sure, your homepage can have multiple calls to action (and they can fluctuate depending on your business goals), but before you start designing the page, you should have one primary action in mind that will most effectively move your business forward.
Having a clear intention here is crucial. We all know how overwhelming it is to land on a website, even when we know we want to hire someone, and feel confused about how to do it. Don’t be that website! Make it obvious what you want your readers to do, and easy for them to do it.
And there you have it! This is the formula I use when I’m building websites, both for clients and for myself. You’ll find a LOT of guides online that list a LOT more elements that go into a powerful homepage, but in my experience, there’s no need to over complicate things. Keep it simple, keep it clean, and make your message shine!
Need some more guidance? Download my free Clean + Compelling Homepage Worksheet for the just the right writing prompts to get your homepage message dialed-in.