11 Key Sections & Features Your Website Home Page Needs to Have
The Kate Show | Episode 18
Do you ever wonder if your interior design or home staging website is working *for* you rather than against you? If you are planning to build a new website or make updates to your existing site, keep in mind these 11 rules for turning your website homepage into a sales machine that attracts, courts, and converts your ideal client.
Websites are meant to be more than just beautiful, digital renditions of your brand. They should also become a beacon to attract your ideal client. When a new lead visits your website, they should be able to immediately recognize themselves, their pain points, and how you solve those points.
Your website home page is not a place to bombard visitors with your accolades, affiliations, accomplishments, or life story. There is a place for each of these elements elsewhere on your website, but your homepage reserves the right to work as a sales page, and that means focusing on your client, not on yourself.
If you find that your website is not up to par, please review our website design services to see if we'd be a good fit for you. Here at Socialite, we have a team of website designers who can make updates to your website or even build you a new, powerful website according to these exact specifications (and many more that we didn't have room to share in this episode).
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11 Key Sections & Features Your Website Home Needs to Have
1) Ensure you have full screen or widescreen design with white space
Narrow layouts with color or textured backgrounds are a thing of the late 90s and early 2000s. If you haven't updated your site in the past 3-5 years, it's time to upgrade. Graduating to a website that allows for more white space brings visual relief to the eyes while keeping the focus on your brand colors and imagery.
2) Add a site-wide banner with click-thru ability
Include a banner image at the very top of your website (shown on every page) that encourages your visitors to, "Click here to get our free guide: How to Design / Stage Your...."
This banner, when clicked, should lead to an optin page where visitors can enter their email address in exchange for your free download (also known as a lead magnet). Your free download should be a 1-3 page PDF using photos of your work to illustrate a teaching point, such as, "How to Style a Coffee Table," or something else that would be relevant and helpful to your target client.
Don't offer a freebie that has mass appeal. Instead, offer one that will sort through the noise and pinpoint the exact struggles your ideal client is facing. Your free download will solve that problem while also capturing this new leads information so that you can further market to her in the event that she isn't ready to immediately hire you--which is often the case.
We offer lead magnet creation and believe that every interior designer / home stager should have a magazine-style download to offer their potential clients. This is an elegant and savvy way to introduce leads to your company while offering them valuable advice and instantly capitalizing on their trust in you.
3) Optimize your logo placement & design
Your logo should be placed in the top center or upper left corner of your website, since English-speaking clients read from left to right. Your logo should contain no more than three colors, maintain high resolution (not grainy or blurry), and be a current representation of your brand. If you haven't updated your logo within the last decade, consider making room for this investment. We offer logo / branding services.
4) Set up simple, straightforward main menu / navigation
Avoid flowery or creative language that could confuse your visitors (don't name your blog a "Design Journal," etc). Simple language is best. Confusing your visitors will cause them to leave your site with the impression that your company doesn't align with their needs--because who wants to work with a design or stager who is ambiguous at the first glance?
5) Organize your site with intention
The main menu of your website should be succinct and clear with no more than 6-7 different items:
- How We Work
- Blog (optional)
- Contact Us / Book a Consult
Some menu items may also include sub-menus or drop-downs. This is perfectly acceptable if it helps to further organize your website.
6) Add a main header image
The main image on your website home page is placed "above the fold," meaning it can be seen without scrolling down. This is the section of your website where your ideal client will either recognize herself or click away.
Your main image should be as wide as your site, high resolution, and (preferably) a photo of your best work. This image should include a text and button overlay that greets your ideal client with a pinpointed question and provides a solution via a call-to-action (achieved by clicking the proceeding button).
Example headline text: "Hey busy moms, are you craving kid-proof style?" This addresses a specific type of person as well as her pain.
Example button text: "Feel Good about Your Home Again" (link to your Services page or Contact / Book a Consult page). This offers a solution to her pain.
*Do not talk about yourself or your business in this section. I say this with love: It's not about you!
7) Add a strategic introduction
Use the area directly below the main image / text / button described above to further assure your ideal client that they are in the right place. Go into further detail about the problems your ideal client faces, then explain why your firm is so well-equipped to handle their problems. Don't list your credentials or affiliations, as they are not decision-making factors for clients. Instead focus on explaining how your clients will feel after working with you.
8) List your services
Utilize three buttons, images, or both in a horizontal row beneath your introduction to give your visitors options to click further into your site. We often link these buttons in the following order:
- Button 1: Portfolio page
- Button 2: About page
- Button 3: Contact / Book a Consult page
9) Add testimonials
Place several brief but impactful testimonials from past clients beneath your button area. You can glean these testimonials from client emails (with permission), Houzz, Facebook, Google, or anywhere else your clients leave reviews.
10) Add photos of your work or a blog preview
Place 1-5 professionally photographed images of your work beneath the testimonials. If you use more than one photo, consider arranging them in a grid-style to prevent visitors from having to scroll endlessly.
These images can be from the same project or from different projects. Just make sure the color schemes and aesthetics look good next to each other.
*If you don't have enough professional photos of your work, you may omit this section. (But please, hire a photographer for your next project or at least invest in a high-quality camera lense for your smartphone. Without excellent photos of your work, you don't have any marketing material.)
If you opt to add a blog preview here instead, ensure that each blog post has a relevant and brand-cohesive image. Your home page is not a place for random photos. Each piece must enhance the whole. If you don't blog at least twice per month, we do not recommend placing a blog preview on your home page.
11) Add a final call-to-action (CTA)
Add a final image with text / button overlay or simple forgo the image.
- Add a question: "Are you ready to...(book a consult, get started, etc)?"
- Link the button to that respective page.
Bonus Tip: Use the footer
The footer of your website should contain the following:
- Your Company Name | Copyright 2018 | All Rights Reserved | Site Design by [web designer's name and hyperlink]
- Your social media icons
- Your Houzz / other awards
- Your affiliations (e.g. ASID, NKBA, IAHSP, RESA)
- Another way for people to join your mailing list (optional)
- Your Instagram feed (optional)
- Your business location(s), if you don't work out of your home
Feeling Overwhelmed by Everything Your Home Page Should Have?
Feel free to share this post with your website designer or make it easier by working with us directly to design your dream interior design or home staging website.
Each site we design includes text written by a professional writer, SEO, sales page layout, updates to your bio (so that it appeals to your ideal client while also making you look personable and approachable), and so much more.
Check out our website design services. Now booking.