How to use your home page to get more people to know, like and trust you
We speak to Upspark Digital founder Chris Boyd about the importance of an enticing homepage with the ultimate homepage checklist in the latest series of website guides.
As it’s coming up to Christmas and we’ve all had a pretty hectic few months I thought I wouldn’t subject you all to a long wordy blog post. In fact, for some of you, improving your website will be way down the priority list. If you’re like me, you’ll be doing last-minute Christmas shopping (I hope my brother’s new girlfriend likes socks!) However, they’ll also be a group of you who want to make improvements to their business in the new year.
For those people, I’m giving away a piece of our website checklist. When we work on a new project we make sure we tick all the boxes of what makes a successful website. Below, I’m going to list all the most important factors to include on your home page to get more people to know, like and trust you. This list is meant to be practical, easy to digest/implement, and not too techy!
Additionally, you can take our free 2-minute website scorecard and see how your website visitors see your business and diagnose problem areas.
Here’s the checklist, I hope you get some value from it.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Step One – Making a good first impression
- A fast loading homepage
Your homepage should load in under 3 seconds or you might start frustrating your website visitors. To fix this requires some geeky knowledge but I thought I had to include it because website page load speed is important for search ranking as well as user experience.
- Responsive design – looks great on all mobiles and tablets as well as desktops
- A maximum of 7 menu headings
- Headings should be descriptive, clear and intuitive e.g. Home, About, Services, Recent Installations, Contact
- Navigation menu in the footer
- No broken links – links to pages that don’t exist
- No auto-playing of video or audio
- Use popups wisely e.g. don’t present a popup as soon as they land on your website (apart from the legally necessary GDPR popups if you are using cookies).
Everything is easy to read
- No distracting backgrounds
- Appropriate use of fonts and sizes – we only ever use one font for the whole website. Don’t get too creative, use a clear easy-to-read font.
- High level of difference/contrast between your background colour and font colour
Links are easily distinguishable from other web page text
- Main call-to-actions such as Book Now or Contact Us are highlighted, attention-grabbing and look like buttons that the reader is used to seeing.
People don’t read websites they scan them
- Appropriate spacing and contrasts between content sections
- Clear and scannable headings that grab attention and inform the reader
- Short concise paragraphs
- Use bullet points and lists to distil a long paragraph into smaller digestible chunks
Where appropriate use visuals – don’t use visuals for the sake of it, use them to easily communicate a message
- Images e.g. photos from happy customers, photos of you and your team
- Video e.g. case study, explainer video
- Correct grammar and spelling
- Resonate with your visitors – Show how you solve their problems
- Avoid Jargon – don’t use words that only people in the trade know
- Show your personality
- No pages without content or up-to-date content
Step two – Building on a great first impression and creating trust
Your homepage should make clear to every reader:
- Who you are? e.g. Company Name
- What do you do? e.g. Stove Installer
- For whom? E.g. your local area
- Why they should care? e.g. better quality or a great reputation
Ideally, you should try to answer these questions above-the-fold (the section of the website a visitor sees when they land on your homepage). Example: ‘4000 homes across Manchester trust us to keep their chimneys safe and their stoves burning all year round. Sweeping Chimneys since 1981’.
- Unique and original design
- Communicates your value to customers
- Clearly displays company name
- Ideally contains a tagline demonstrating why people should buy from you
- Positioned top-left of your website
- Links to homepage
People don’t buy the service you offer, they buy the outcomes you deliver
- Minimum 3 benefits of working with you over your competition
- Attention-grabbing headline
- Short punchy paragraphs. Ideally no more than a few sentences
- List the services you offer
- Connect with customers by demonstrating that you understand their problem
- Reinforce why they choose you over your competition
(Separate to About page)
- Photo of you or your team
- Demonstrates you understand your customers and their problems or desires
- Demonstrates why they should buy from you
Social Proof Section
You’ve stated why you are better than your competitors, now it’s time to prove it……
- Testimonials – To increase credibility and trust you should Ideally include their name, town and a photo of them or the installation.
- Reviews – Pull-in reviews from Facebook, Google and other social media platforms
- Awards e.g. local small business awards
- Certifications e.g. HETAS certified installer
- Associations e.g. NACS
- Statistics e.g. 2500 stoves installed, 4000 chimneys swept
Don’t neglect the footer, a lot of credibility is lost by having an incomplete footer.
- Value Proposition Headline – Why people should buy from you e.g. ‘95% of our customers return to us year after year’
- Call to action – Provide your main call to action button in your footer e.g. Book Now, Contact Us
- Phone Number
- Navigation Menu – All your main pages/menu headings should be visible in your footer
- Postal Address – Not having an address on your footer reduces your credibility
- Company No (if applicable)
- Terms and conditions
- Social media icons
For more advice and tips or to get your website scorecard visit the Upspark Digital website.
Keep up to date with latest HETAS news at www.hetas.co.uk/category/hetas-news.