The Ultimate Guide to creating a high converting homepage
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Every day you don't fix your website, it's costing you money. Lost business, missed opportunity, wasted time.
You're leaving money on the table, and your ideal clients who really need your services need to go elsewhere for help.
It's really frustrating when you don't have the know-how or time to update your website. Trust me I know. I have spent weeks and months fiddling with my own site, researching, doing courses on branding, design and marketing to figure it all out. And I've got a Multimedia Design degree! So don't be so hard on yourself.
The good news is that it's easier to fix than you think.
In this blog post I'm going to cover everything you need to know about creating a brilliant first impression, and getting your ideal client to feel connected to you and want to buy from you.
Before we dive in, there's one fundamental truth you need to understand about the process:
Our emotions influence our decisions
I'll say it again: our emotions influence our decisions. We make decisions when we're in an emotional state. And this is why you need to know who your ideal client is before we begin, so that you can really connect with them on an emotional level.
It's all about HOW YOU MAKE THEM FEEL!
You only get 1 chance to make a first impression.
People decide if they are going to stay on your website or click off in a matter of seconds (3 seconds, to be precise!).
When they first land on your website, at a glance and before they scroll down, they need to know:
What you offer
How it will improve their lives
What action they need to take to make a purchase
In those 3 seconds, you need to get your message across.
I'm sharing the framework that I've developed over the last few years specifically for service providers. I've applied this to my own website and all websites that I design. It's perfect for coaches, virtual assistants, teachers, trainers, online course creators, social media managers, photographers, service providers and anyone building a personal brand.
Let's dive in!
Above-the-fold refers to the top section of your website that people see before they scroll down. It's the most important section of any website
In this section of your website, you need to tell people what you offer, how it will improve their lives and what action they need to take to work with you.
Your logo is a visual representation of your entire brand, and needs to tell people what you do. Even when it stands alone. The best place for a logo is the top left of your site, because our eyes naturally scroll in a Z shape down the page, from left to right, top to bottom.
Make sure your logo looks professional; it always works best on a transparent background rather than on a white square so you can place it on any colour background without it looking chunky. It should have your brand fonts and colours for consistency, and be easy to read.
If your logo doesn't say what you do on it, consider adding a tagline underneath it.
An image that evokes emotion:
A picture is worth a thousand words. Quite literally. Our brains can process an image 66k more quickly than text, so using an image to get your message across is the most simple and effective way to give off the right impression of your brand.
How do you want your ideal client to FEEL after working with you?
Choosing a photograph that evokes the particular emotion you want your ideal client to feel can be tricky.
I always recommend using photos of people rather than static objects. When it comes to images, our attention is always drawn to the human face first - particularly smily, happy faces.
We look at their eyes first. Can we trust this person? We make eye contact with them, or we follow the direction of their gaze (are they looking at a Call To Action button? Bingo! Let me click on that!).
Photo of yourself:
We do business with people we know, like and trust. If you're a personal brand, a coach or other service provider, having a photo of yourself in this prime position can help to build trust, and helps prospective clients overcome any objections (they see you, get your vibe, and are less worried that they're going to be working with some kind of nutcase!)
You in situ:
You can use a photograph of yourself working with a client, or use a photograph that your ideal client can insert themselves into and imagine how it will feel to work with you.
Your last option is to use a stock photo, but you need to be really careful when selecting one because stock photos that look fake can erode trust in your brand rather than build trust.
Your headline is your main hook. This short, bold sentence should be written in a large font and very clearly tell people what you do and who it's for.
More than that though, it needs to have a high emotional marketing value. Remember, you want to elicit an emotional response from your ideal client.
Just remember to say what it is you do and who it's for in that one sentence, and keep it to about 90 characters or so. If you can't fit it into one line, you can add a descriptive paragraph underneath it, but keep it short.
A Call To Action
A Call To Action (CTA) is a single action that you want your site visitors to take which will help you reach a specific website goal. It usually takes the form of a button, for example:
Book a call
Sign up for something
Download a checklist or guide
Book a class
Just remember that 95% of people aren't ready to buy the first time they visit your website, which is why you need to be strategic about your CTA choice.
Is there something of value that you can give away for free, in exchange for their email address?
List building is still the #1 way to grow your service-based business, especially if you plan on moving from 1:1 services to group classes or courses.
Clear and simple navigation
One of the most off-putting things is a messy header with too many navigation buttons, links, drop-downs and sections.
A confused mind always says no!
Don't make your site visitors work hard to find the info they need, because they will exit your site in a flash.
Your navigation bar at the top of your website should really only have the most important buttons. Any buttons that you don't need to be at the top of your site can always be added to the footer.
This keeps your above-the-fold section nice and neat. Besides, people know to scroll down if they're looking for something specific such as a contact page.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE SITE?
Yes of course, it's equally important. Now that you've hooked your ideal client and they feel like they're in the RIGHT PLACE, you need to start building the Know Like Trust factor.
I have a special formula for coaches & service providers that helps your ideal client get to know you, trust you and want to sign up immediately.
By having the right elements on the right pages on your website, and the right hierarchy of information, it's simple to create a homepage that converts.
Download my free Ultimate Website Checklist below and you'll receive the exact checklist I use for my own website and all websites that I design, so you know exactly what to put and where!
And please share this with your biz besties if you think they would benefit from updating their website & growing their business.
If you have any questions, get in touch and I'll be happy to help!