Your homepage is your first impression with your perfect customer.
If someone finds you through Google or a referral, they’ll likely land at your homepage knowing little or nothing about your brand.
It needs to quickly catch their attention and let them know they’re in the right place.
Don’t know what to put on your website homepage?
I’ve got you.
There are fundamental elements every homepage needs to make a great first impression.
By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear understanding of the building blocks you need to create a solid, super-sticky homepage for your website.
What makes a good homepage?
A good homepage does two main things:
1. It gives the reader an instant snapshot of your brand
2. It signposts the reader around your website
If someone sees only your homepage, they should come away knowing:
- What your business is and how you can help them
- Your USP
- Your brand’s vibe and personality
- Whether your values align with theirs
- The products or services you offer
- A bit about you
- What awards, certifications or accreditations you have
- What people say about your brand
- How to take the next step
A good homepage communicates all this using succinct copy, a clear structure and simple design.
What to put on a website homepage
You can break the homepage up into four main sections: 1) the header; 2) the hero section; 3) the main page content; and 4) the footer.
Here’s what I recommend including in each section:
- Contact details
2. Hero section:
- Header/hero copy
- Call to action
3. Main page content:
- Brands you’ve worked with
- Publications you’ve featured in
- Call to action
- Contact details
1. What to put in your website header
Your header is the narrow panel that runs across the top of your website.
Together with the footer, it ‘bookends’ each of your website pages.
The header and footer are identical on every page.
Your header should contain your logo, navigation and contact details.
Example of a website header
Here are some practical tips on each element of the header section. ↓
Your logo usually sits to the left on your header.
Make sure it’s a contrasting colour to the header background.
Your navigation is the main way most visitors find their way around your website.
It should list your most important website pages so that visitors can jump to them.
On my copywriting website, I have the navigation structure:
If you have a service-based business, this is a good structure to follow as it enables people to get to your most important content quickly.
You can add your individual services pages in a drop-down menu from the ‘SERVICES’ menu item.
If you have a products-based business, you should put your main product categories in your navigation.
(You can put your other pages in your footer – e.g. About, Contact, Blog, etc.)
To find out more, I recommend looking at what Kate Toon says about building your website navigation.
Include your phone number in your header, if that’s how you want people to contact you.
Note: I don’t think you have to have your phone number on your website if that’s not how you like to work. I removed mine because I prefer scheduled calls on Zoom. Just make it 100% clear how you want people to contact you, and make it easy to do so.
2. What to put in your website hero section
The hero section is the big banner section at the top of your homepage.
It should have a hero image, concise copy and a call to action.
Done right, I think the hero section is the most important section of your website.
Because it gives visitors a snapshot of your brand before they even scroll.
Given our short attention span nowadays, it’s a super powerful section.
Examples of website hero sections
Here are my tips to help you nail each element of your hero section. ↓
Your hero image is the image you choose to put at the very top of your website homepage.
It should sum up the vibe, vision and values of your brand.
The hero image should instantly connect with your perfect customer when they land on your homepage.
However, there’s no set definition of what your hero image should be.
If you’re a service provider, it might have you in it.
For e-commerce sites, it might include your products.
It’s definitely a space to get creative and let your personality shine through.
PRO TIP: Play with having the subject of your image turned towards your hero text. This draws the reader’s eye to your copy, helping your messaging make more of an impact.
The copy in your hero section needs to communicate your USP.
What does this mean?
By looking at your hero section, your reader should know:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Who you do it for
- What makes you special
But your copy needs to be snappy.
You need to get all this across in a heading, subheading and 1-2 sentences.
Call to action
Your hero section can also include a call to action for people who are ready to buy.
This should be a clear button that stands out against the rest of the section.
Choose one main action you’d like people to take on your homepage.
For e-commerce sites, this might be ‘Shop now’.
For service-based businesses, you might want people to book a call or sign up to your event.
PRO TIP: Use a bold contrasting colour to make your call to action button ‘pop’.
3. What to put in your main homepage content
Your homepage should have a section for each of the most important pages on your website.
- Your products/services
- A bio/About section
It should also include credibility markers, such as:
- Logos of brands you’ve worked with (for service-based businesses)
- Logos of publications you’ve featured in
And, of course, it should have a big call to action at the bottom of the page.
PRO TIP: Start each new section with a subheading, and end it with a button. The button should take the reader to a relevant page where they can read more about that section – e.g. ‘Read more testimonials’; ‘View all services’.
Depending on your business, you might have extra sections on your homepage too.
But these are the fundamentals. ↓
Your products or services
Your homepage should include an overview of your products or services so that visitors can quickly see what you offer.
This section should also let visitors jump to your relevant service or product pages.
For e-commerce websites, you might have a grid with an image and some copy for each product category.
For service-based businesses, you might use icons to show your different services.
Link each product category or service to the relevant page on your website.
And include a button to ‘See all products’ or ‘See all services’, which links to your main Products or Services page.
PRO TIP: Keep your categories the same as how they appear in your navigation.
Examples of products and services sections
A bio/About panel
Somewhere on your homepage, you should have a bio or About section that lets people see the face and story behind your brand.
It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few friendly details and a photo.
Include a button that links to your About page where people can read more.
Examples of bios/About panels
Testimonials, reviews and ratings
Have at least three testimonials on your homepage if you can.
Social proof is a super powerful motivator as it puts people’s minds at ease and shows that you do great work.
And testimonials are some of the best social proof you can get!
After your testimonials, include a button that links to your Testimonials or Reviews page.
PRO TIP: Put as much information as you can about the reviewer, including their full name and photo. For service-based businesses, include their job title and company name too. This ensures your testimonials look legit.
Example of testimonials section
Badges of certifications, awards, accreditations and memberships
Create a section on your homepage for:
- Courses you’ve completed
- Awards you’ve won
- Nominations you’ve received
- Certifications you’ve received
- Memberships you’re part of
This proves your expertise and the quality of your offering.
Create a simple subheading and pop the badges underneath.
Example of certifications/awards/accreditations/memberships section
Logos of brands you’ve worked with (for service-based businesses)
If you’re a service-based business, have a ‘Brands I’ve worked with’ section.
This builds the reader’s trust that you’re a credible business that has worked with real brands.
It also lets you showcase the types of businesses you want to work with, which can be super helpful for niching.
Link each client logo to a case study or portfolio item, and have a button to ‘See more work’ that links to a Portfolio page.
Example of a ‘Brands I’ve worked with’ section
Logos of publications you’ve featured in
Showcase any podcasts, magazines, newspapers or blogs you’ve featured in.
These are super strong credibility markers!
Create a subheading like ‘As featured in’.
And pop the publication logos underneath.
Example of an ‘As featured in’ section
Call to action
End your homepage with a clear call to action.
This should be the same action as you used in your hero section.
Take time crafting the copy to make it enticing for your perfect customer.
And make sure the design stands out from the rest of the page.
You want your call to action to sing out to visitors as they scroll to the bottom of your homepage.
Example of a homepage call to action
4. What to put in your website footer
The footer section is basically the admin section of your website.
It’s where you’ll put your less urgent (but still important) information.
Your footer should include:
- Your legals
- A way to contact you
- Other elements depending on your business
Examples of a website footer
Here are some tips for creating a clear, helpful website footer. ↓
Your website footer should include the following legal elements:
- A link to your website terms and conditions
- Your copyright statement
- Your company registration details, if relevant
A way to contact you
You should include a link to your Contact page in your footer.
You can also put your phone number if you’re comfortable doing so.
Other elements you can include in your website footer
Depending on the purpose of your website, other features you may need in your footer are:
- A Google map
- A list of your main services (for service-based businesses)
- A list of your admin pages like About, Contact, Shipping and Returns (for e-commerce websites)
- Social media icons
Other things to include on your website homepage
A cookie banner
There’s a plugin for this on WordPress.
PRO TIP: Your cookie banner is a great place to show your brand’s personality. Just because it’s a legal element, your copy doesn’t have to be stuffy and formal. Have fun with it if you want.
A newsletter sign-up box
If you have a mailing list that you’d like visitors to sign up to, you can put a sign-up box on your homepage.
This can either be a pop-up or a static element on the page.
If it’s a pop-up, make sure it doesn’t pop immediately when a visitor arrives at your homepage. If your pop-up appears too soon, the visitor won’t be ready for it and it’ll interrupt their experience.
Make sure your sign-up form has a T&Cs acceptance box that people can check. This is required for GDPR compliance.
You may include other homepage elements as your website grows.
But start with these fundamentals and your homepage will be in pretty good shape.