For this month’s journal entry, I’m taking a closer look at your homepage and sharing some tips to make sure yours is perfectly optimised to help your website visitors. It helps to think of your homepage a little like a shop window for your business, but one with extra benefits! This shop window not only tells visitors what you do, who you do it and how to buy, but has multiple ‘doors’ which people can use to send you a message, get answers for their FAQs, read what other people say about you and much more. That’s why it’s well worth spending a little bit of time reviewing your homepage and making sure it’s working hard for you. Here is the checklist of 5 areas I look at with homepage design which I hope will help you:
1. Start with a strong headline
Your homepage has a very important job to do – to inform visitors what your business does (i.e., florist or makeup artist), who you do it for (weddings in the South East of England), why you’re right for the job and how to take the next step to contact you. As well as your logo, what needs to be front and centre on your homepage is a strong headline which ticks all the boxes. Here’s an example:
Award-winning wedding makeup artist for Kent, London and
the South East of England
That one-liner effectively tells people everything they need to know about whether your business is what they are looking for, so that they either leave (if they are looking for a makeup artist in Wales, for example!) or read on.
2. Develop their interest above the fold
After your headline hooks them in, the next step is to persuade them to stick around and get in touch with you. You can use a combination of copy (that’s the words on your website) and amazing images to tell them why you’re amazing at what you do. What’s vital is that that information is ‘above the fold’ on the website. That means it appears on the homepage without them having to scroll down at all. I love to include a testimonial at this stage as well as a more in-depth description of the business’ services or products – and some fantastic professional photography. It’s also advisable to have a ‘call to action’ button (more about those in a moment!) for people who want to get in touch or view your prices without scrolling through any more of your homepage.
3. Make it easy to read
If you’ve read my blog ‘The benefits of choosing minimal website design’, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of a clean and minimalist approach to web pages, and how many benefits it brings. Your homepage should be no different! It needs to tell people what you do, who you do it for and so on, but you don’t have long to capture and keep someone’s attention. That’s why you should use clear, bold fonts so that the copy you choose is easy to read. I also recommend a limited colour palette which is deployed so that word and images pop and the background doesn’t interfere or distract the reader.
4. Ensure clear navigation
I mentioned earlier that your website is like a shop window which has lots of doors to take visitors to exactly where they want to go. But imagine if the doors had no signs on them or were hidden and hard to find? Then it would be pointless for them to be there at all! So how can you help visitors navigate through to the information they want to see? Use clear calls to action – for example a button with the text ‘My Testimonials’ or ‘Our Services’ – to show people how they can get from one place to another. Have a menu at the top with clear options too, and make sure everything is mobile optimised.
5. Use professional images
This is so important, especially for businesses in the wedding industry where aesthetics are everything. Investing in some professional images to show off what you can do is vital. Stock images stand out like a sore thumb and while you might worry about spending money on a photoshoot, I promise you it’s worth it. Even working with a photographer for an hour or two will give you enough images for your website, and you will get plenty of use out of them on social media and other marketing channels to help promote your brand.
So, there you have them – 5 aspects of an effective website homepage for wedding brands to use to review your website. I hope you find them useful, and they help you transform your website into a lead generation machine! It’s going to be a busy time for the wedding industry over the next couple of years, so it’s worth making sure your website is on top form to give you a helping hand.
Let’s be friends!