Your homepage can be effective and make an impact. In this post you’ll learn the 3 elements that go into creating a great homepage. I’ll also cover the biggest mistake I often see mission-driven entrepreneurs make, and I’ll share a few examples of great homepages.
Who is this for?
If you’re a social entrepreneur, or a mission-driven business owner, you’ve likely struggled with balancing your mission with increasing your sales. You don’t want to to seem too “salesy” because it feels unethical and against your nature. On the other hand, you need to make sales to continue making an impact. I can totally relate, and understand where you’re coming from.
The Most Common Mistake
In order to not feel out of alignment with their values, many social entrepreneurs focus entirely on education. Have you ever said something like this? “I don’t care as much about making sales, as long as I can educate people about the issues I’m solving,” or “My mission should be enough to draw people in.” Of course, there is nothing wrong with education, but if that’s the main focus of the homepage, it will be very difficult to catch your visitor’s attention and pull them into your audience.
The average web site visitor’s attention span is very low. A person needs to know immediately, “what’s in it for me?” Most people will initially scan a web page for signals that the page is relevant to them. It may sound callous but it’s true. Our attention is pulled in 1,000 different directions every day. We filter out what is irrelevant to us and focus on the areas that are aligned with our interests, or can help us achieve our goals or desires.
3 Elements of a Good Homepage
1: The 3 Second Rule
Within the first 3 seconds of landing on a homepage, a visitor should know who you are and what you do. This means your messaging needs to be clear and concise. Using vague language such as, “We save the world!” may be true, but it doesn’t convey exactly how you do that. If you’re not sure if your homepage follows the 3 second rule, ask a few people to take a look at it and give their first impressions. Often we are too close to our own messaging to see how it looks to fresh eyes.
2: Are you credible?
There is a lot of misinformation and spam on the internet. People are becoming more skeptical, and unfortunately, rightly so. This is where your mission can really shine. Showing your website visitors your real-world impact is a great way to convey your credibility. You can use testimonials, case studies, partnerships, and educational materials to establish trust.
3: What should I do next?
Don’t be afraid to give a clear call-to-action. It’s easy to assume that people will know exactly what you want them to do next. But you don’t want to leave this up to chance. Give your website visitor an easy way to take the next step. This could be a free lead magnet, engaging with you on social media, requesting a coupon, or signing up for a trial. I go into this deeper in my free guide, Bigger Vision Marketing, if you’re interested in learning more.
What Not to Do
To sum up our main elements above, let’s look at the opposite, what not to do:
- Don’t be vague
- Don’t try to be too creative; it can cause confusion
- Don’t be afraid to give a direct call-to-action
- Don’t focus entirely on educating about your mission
A Few Examples
The Elegant Tees website is a great example of how to blend e-commerce with creating an impact. You immediately know what they sell as soon as you land on their homepage. They do a good job explaining their mission, providing testimonials, and overcoming common e-commerce objections, such as sizing & returns.
Thrive Farmers is another good e-commerce example. They blend story-telling and selling their product through the use of video and imagery.
Amplio Recruiting does a great job conveying their message at the top of their homepage. They tell you what they do, and how they make and impact, with one bold statement. They use testimonials to build credibility, and their call-to-action is direct.
If you’d like me to review your homepage and give feedback, feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to check out my free digital marketing strategy guide for social entrepreneurs: Bigger Vision Marketing. There is also a workbook available to help you go deeper into your own marketing strategy.
Bigger Vision Marketing:
A Free Digital Marketing Strategy Guide for Social Entrepreneurs
This guide is meant to help you develop a sustainable marketing strategy to spread your message and engage new supporters.
Read the full guide, and download the free workbook!