You’ve got your domain name and purchased a website builder, now what to put on your homepage? This is often the question I get when I talk to business owners who are DIYing their website.
Looking at a blank page (even with a template) can lead to a creative block and anxiety. You have so much you want to share with your visitors, but you don’t know where to start. So today I’m sharing how to structure your homepage and all the must haves to make it effective.
First let’s talk about the sections of your homepage.
Sections of a Homepage
There are 5 essential sections of a well designed homepage. Once you nail these you can always add more if needed to boost the effectiveness of your site.
The header is the top static section on your homepage and all pages of your site. Here your Logo, Navigation Menu and main Call to Action button live.
Above the Fold
This is the first section visitors see before they scroll. It’s your prime real estate.
After visitors scroll this is where you can highlight benefits of your product/service along with social proof.
This section is further down the page and usually focuses on product/service features and resources.
The footer is the static base of your homepage and all pages on your site. It typically houses contact information and a Navigation menu.
Now let’s dive into the specifics of what to put in each section.
Adding Section Content
Each section serves a unique purpose and it’s key to put the right information in the right spots.
Above The Fold
This section of your homepage houses your Header and Hero Sections. It’s the storefront of your website and again your prime real estate.
Your Hero Section is your moneymaker. You’ve got 3 seconds to hook visitors and get them to engage with your site so spend some time getting this section right. It includes your Hero Image, Headline, Sub-Headline and CTA Button.
Your Hero Image is the first thing visitors see so it’s key to create a great first impression. Ideally use an image of happy customers using your product or service. Make sure the image is high quality and speaks to your target audience.
On top of your Hero Image will live your headline, sub-headline and CTA button.
Your headline is your Value Proposition or Brand One-Liner. It answers what you do and who you do it for. While we all want to be clever and come up with the next “Just do it”, for now just be clear. Articulate exactly what you do for your target audience.
Your sub-headline shares a bit more detail about what you do, and focuses on a pain point you solve for your customer. Do this in as few words as possible.
Call to Action Button
Your CTA Button gives your visitors a compelling action to take. Make it clear, easy to find.
You’ve gotten visitors to scroll, now you need to give them a bit more information to convince them to start clicking. This is where you can highlight benefits of your product/service and social proof.
Listing or displaying some of the key benefits of your product/service can help your visitors understand why you do what you do. Giving attention these benefits also helps you show visitors what sets you apart from the competition.
People buy from companies they trust. One of the major ways to build trust is social proof. Let your happy customers do the work for you and add a few testimonials or quotes in this section. Ideally add customer names and photos.
You can also do this by adding logos of clients if your business supports recognizablem, trusted companies.
It’s essential you map out the process of how a prospect becomes a customer. Ideally make this a simple 3 step process with a CTA.
If you have more to share about your product/service this section is where to do it. The content here isn’t less important than the above sections, but since it’s further down on the page it may not get viewed as often. Point being don’t put your top information down here instead think of this section is backup.
While depending on your business you may want features higher up on the page, typically housing that information after the fold is totally okay. Customers typically buy based on benefits that resonate with them versus features which is why I suggest the Benefits Section being further up the page.
In this section you can highlight the key features of your product/service so prospective customers know what they are getting. Keep it clear and concise.
Since most visitors to your website won’t be ready to buy or take action, it’s a good idea to provide additional information to boost your credibility and their confidence in you. In this section you can link to a FAQ page, blog posts and more.
Okay there you have it, all the sections of your homepage laid out for you.
Before you dive into creating your copy for each section and gathering images spend some time doing competitive research. Find 3-5 websites both in and outside of our industry to see how their homepages are laid out. This will give you inspiration as well as show you how you can make your site stand out. While of course you don’t want to copy competitors, you also don’t need to reinvent the wheel so don’t skip this homework.
Be sure to refer to my previous post on website design to nail all the essential design elements.
And check out these articles for more details and information on building your homepage:
- 12 Critical Elements Every Website Homepage Must Have
- Homepage Design 101: What to Put on Your Homepage?
Taking the DIY approach to building your website doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply start building your homepage based on the tips above and in a few hours you’ll be on your way to launching your website. If you need help don’t hesitate to reach out!