How to create an effective homepage

5 things experts and consultants need to make the homepage stand out

What do actually show on your homepage? We share what elements you can add to the top section of your website and how you can create more credibility for your business. By designing your website effectively, you build a stronger online presence and have a higher chance of selling your services online. And isn't why you create your website in the first place? ;)

We listed down the do's and don't of what the top section of your homepage should include based on best practices shared by Google in the Lead Gen Playbook.

Above the fold

Before we talk about the most important elements of your homepage we like to discuss something we call the 'above the fold' section. Your visitor will see this section first when visiting your website. Because of this, it's the section that matters the most.

We often see that many experts are not aware of this section and its importance. A customer has only 2 seconds to see if your business is right for them and by creating a strong above the fold section you can make the difference of keeping the visitors or let them browse away. Alright, let's start with what happens above the fold. We use a handy checklist of elements you can add to your website.

1. Call to action (CTA)

This is a marketing term that basically means the desired action you want the user to take. This could be something like 'learn more', 'schedule a call', 'download e-book' or something like 'buy today'.

  • Place 1 clear CTA above the fold
  • Make your CTAs descriptive.
  • Avoid a generic call-to-action and increase the information scent by stating precisely what users should expect. Instead of 'sign up' - use 'sign up & get the best daily tips'
Benefits of making CTAs descriptive: You create more accessible links & buttons and visitors will feel more confident as they click from page to page. Another benefit is that by adding more keywords on the page the search engines better indicate what your website is about.

2. Clear benefit-oriented value proposition

Your visitor will immediately know what your business is about and how you are helping your visitor achieving their goals or establishing the desired situation.

  • List down the benefits for your audience
  • Connect to their problems
  • Share your solution solving those issues

Keep in mind - this section is not about who you are but should be about how your services of solution can help your visitor. On your about section of later under the fold, you can speak about who your expertise & experience.

3. Use social proof

This addresses the psychological phenomenon of if others like this, then maybe i will like it as well.

  • User ratings /reviews
  • Video or written testimonials
  • Number of clients or completed projects
  • Company logos you have worked with
Ask after each completed project a testimonial either in written or video. Make sure you can use their photo and name so your review has high credibility. Ask your clients if they can talk about how your solution helped them solve their needs and how others can benefit from this too.

4. Offer something before you ask

You might wonder why big companies offer free trials and consultants offer a free session. The reasoning behind this is the reciprocity principle. It's one of the basic laws of social psychology and says that in many social situations people pay back what they received from other people.

  • A free session
  • A free trail
  • A demo or preview
  • An e-book or checklist

Another benefit of offering something for free is that it will give your insights about how willing your visitor is to purchase your product of service. In marketing terms, we call this qualifying leads. Your visitor might not be ready to buy yet but maybe they want to first learn more and understand your services better.

5. Make it easy for your visitor

Don't ask too much and make things easy for your customer to read, click, scroll or to fill out. Our team loves a creative website and making sure our experts stand out but effectiveness rules. Here are some things to consider:

Website text

  • Use bull it points of check marks instead of long texts
  • Use legible font sizes and fonts easy to read
  • Create strong colour contrast pleasant for the eyes

Website images

  • Remove automatic carousel
  • Don't make it about you

How to use forms

  • Reduce the number of fields on your forms
  • Use auto-fill on your forms to reduce the work for your user.
  • Notification if a field is skipped

Website elements you place under the fold

The size of your screen is limited and you can't add all items above the fold. Therefore it's important to look at what's important to your business and your website objectives. Place the priority items to the top and add the other elements under the fold.

  • Overview of your services + benefits
  • Short description about you (and your team)
  • More social proof
  • No revolving carousels
  • Provide answers to questions users might have before they’d feel comfortable filling out a form by using Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Lastly, always keep in mind that your website is not for you but to sell your services the best way possible. It needs to be understandable for your clients. We believe that the majority of people can create a website, but doing it right is the real challenge here.

We wish you good luck with your website and if this was helpful and want to see more tips about websites for experts join us on Instagram. And if you need help with your website design our international creative team is ready for you. Just head over to our service overview to see what package is right for your business or go straight to the contact page by clicking here.

Nienke Nina
Founder Start Digital - Website for Experts

With over 5 years experience in digital marketing and design she is combining her skills and knowledge to help experts building a effective digital foundation.