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5 Essential Elements of a Successful Homepage

Your b2b website can be search engine optimized, have a top-of-the-line design, show up in top search engine ranks, and have numerous quality back links, but all of those online marketing tactics cannot help you if a customer reaches your homepage and it does not effecitvely communite the key benefits and information they need to convert. Here are 5 elements that are essential when creating a website to make sure that your homepage is built to convert visitors.
 

Tagline and Headings.

A successful homepage tells the visitor what a company has to offer in the first 5 seconds. When customers visit your homepage they are only going to spend a little amount of time searching to see what it is that you do and whether you can help them. A tagline and headings are often overlooked during website design and branding, but they can make a big impact when drawing customers in.

Think of when you’re at the library and looking for a new book to read. The thing that matters most is the title. If the title doesn’t catch your eye and doesn’t give you some indication of what the book is about, then you are likely to put the book back on the shelf. You don’t have time to read the backs of thousands of books, just like your customers don’t have the time to search for your “back of the book” description. Your homepage needs to have an all-telling tagline at the top and next to the logo, that tells customers exactly what you do in only a few words.

B2B Digital Marketing

Take our very own homepage as a good example. SVM's tagline reads “Online Marketing. Bottom-line Results.” This allows customers to see that SVM offers online marketing services right away. Then, right below our logo we feature a large heading that reads “Industrial Strength Online Marketing. Bottom-Line Results for B2B Industrial Companies…” Our tagline and headings make it clear that if you are looking for online marketing and are an industrial b2b company, then our website is a fit. A homepage, through a tagline and headings, serves to get customers to explore the rest of your website.

Importance, Variety & Brevity.

Too many times websites pick one piece of information they have, whether it be a snippet about their company, a current promotion they are running, or a featured product, and make that the only thing featured on their homepage. But what about all of the things your company has to offer and the variety of customers you have?

Treat your homepage like a first impression. You want to get as much good information about yourself out there, tailored to the person you are meeting, and in a short amount of time (or in this case, space).

  1. Think about the most important things that you have to offer to visitors. What are your top products? Do you sell recognizable brands? What services do your customers value? Gather that information about your company and showcase it on your homepage. If it is the most valuable and important to your company, then it is also likely important to your customers.
  2. Like meeting someone for the first time, you want to show that you have a variety of qualities. Your homepage should not only show the most important information, but also a variety of information because you have a diverse targed market coming to your homepage. For example, if your company sells products, supplies multiple brands and has a range of services, then use the homepage to get all of that information across. In order to keep the homepage organized, split the information into sections separated by headings. This will also help the customer determine what information they are looking for.
  3. You want to get all this information across on a homepage, but remember the less is more rule still applies. Present each bit of information using short titles and headings, 1-2 sentence preview or teaser, a relatable picture, and of course a call-to-action to drive the user to another section of the website.

Note: Breaking up sections of your homepage using headings also allows you to optimize the homepage for Search Engine Optimization. Remember to use  H1 and H2 heading tags with your most important keywords (aka power keywords).

Calls-to-action.

B2B Digital Marketing

So a customer lands on your homepage, scans the page, but now what? Calls-to action buttons make traveling the website easier so customers who come to your homepage can actually do something, whether it is asking a question, requesting a quote, downloading a resource, or making a purchase. These calls-to-action buttons become a lead capturing process that helps to progress a casual visitor into a lead. Here are a few tips on how to include calls-to-action buttons on your homepage:

  • Have no more than 4 or 5. You don’t want to overwhelm visitors or make them too distracting.
  • Group them together in one spot, near the top, and in a place like a sidebar where they can then be displayed on every page.
  • Make them a bright color that draws the viewers’ eyes towards them, especially amongst all the other content on the homepage. Usually a red or yellow stands out depending on your company’s color scheme. See Medbag's call-to-actions as a good example.
  • Have them bring visitors to a webform landing page to fill out a form. This is where the lead generation element ties in.

Prominent Phone Number.

Whether it's new visitors or past customers coming to your website they are likely to have questions. Having a highly visible phone number on the homepage serves two essential purposes.

  1. Visitors can get in contact with you. Now I know that must sound simple, and it is, but you wouldn’t believe how many websites fail to provide this for their customers. Although you want users to fill out forms and click on the chat, the easiest and most basic form of getting in contact with a business is picking up the phone and giving them a call. Having a visible phone number on your homepage immediately gives the customer that option.
  2. Brings some peace of mind to visitors. At the very least, having a visible phone number instills trust in your visitors that you are a company that is real and reliable enough to be transparent. This is especially important for new visitors coming to your website to see, as well as for companies who are smaller or are trying to compete against giant companies like Amazon and Grainger who are well known in their industries.

The best place to have your phone number is in the header, in the color that stands out, in a font size that is similar to a heading, and made clickable for users using mobile technology.

Complete Navigation.

Having a main navigation near the top of the homepage is an expected and common practice used by companies. It effects traffic, SEO, conversions and user-friendliness. However, a lot of times these navigations are not complete. It is common for B2B ecommerce websites to only focus on ecommerce, by having a "Shopping Cart" and "My Account" links in the navigation, while the rest of their pages are hidden away in the footer. Or, websites will include their products and services but forget to include "About Us" or "Contact" links. The main navigation should contain and connect all the important sections of your website making it complete.

Keep it simple and make sure that your visitors are able to locate the necessary information as soon as possible. A good way to assure everything is included is to create a sitemap in the form of an organizational chart that includes all the main sections of your website. This way you have a visual representation of your content and site structure.

B2B Digital Marketing

If you do have a lot of ecommerce or self-serving sections of your website, put them in a separate navigation above or below the main navigation so that these sections are also easy to see by visitors. See Valin's Website as a good example:

 
Do you need help leveraging your homepage? Learn more about SVM's website creation services or contact us for more information.

 

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At SVM E-Marketing Solutions, we strive to create content that provides value to our clients and the industrial/B2B community. Full bio

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