Win More Clients with a Remarkable Home Page
Your home page can quickly convert prospects into clients—if you capture and keep their attention with a remarkable home page. But if your home page is ordinary or bad, you’ll never have a chance to win those clients—because the average attention span when people view a website is somewhere between 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) and 8.25 seconds (the 0.05 seconds comes from a study by Google).
Yet few freelancers have a remarkable—or even a good—home page.
Stand Out with a Remarkable Home Page
A remarkable home page on a freelancer’s website only needs two things:
- Client-focused content that’s clear and compelling
- An effective and visually engaging design.
Having the right type of content and design on the home page should be standard for freelancers. But it’s not.
So if you develop client-focused content that’s clear and compelling, and have an effective and visually engaging design, your home page will be “extraordinary” and “worthy of notice or attention.” It will be remarkable.
Tell Clients What They Want to Know
Together, your home page content and design quickly answer the only question that clients really care about: “What’s In It For Me?”
Your home page tells them:
- What you do (your services)
- Who you do it for (your target clients)
- How what you do benefits clients.
A remarkable freelance website home page includes:
- Images that contribute to your key messages
- A header banner with your key message and a subhead (or blurb)
- Shortcut boxes
- A clear call to action with your contact information
- A design that’s optimized for multiple screens.
A remarkable home page needs professional content and design. If you’re a writer or editor, hire a professional website designer to develop your website.
Resist the Temptation to Do-It-Yourself
Templates in drag-and-drop website builders like Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix make it seem easy to design your own website. And it is—if you don’t care what your website looks like and whether it helps you win clients.
Designing an effective website, especially a remarkable home page, requires a lot of design and tech expertise.“If you do it yourself, you’re going to end up with a website that looks like everybody else’s website,” says Brian Corchiolo, owner of bpc Creative and my website designer. bpc Creative designs and develops amazing websites that are easy-to-navigate and exciting to use.
And a website that looks like everybody else’s website isn’t remarkable. It won’t help you win those high-paying clients.
Use Images that Support Your Key Messages
Many freelancers’ home pages have images that make me wonder why they’re there. If I were a client, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to figure it out. I’d just move on to the next freelancer.
“The images should be purposeful and have something to do with your work,” says Brian.
A big reason there are so many meaningless images on the home page of freelancers’ websites, says Brian, is that templates have places for them. “Throwing images in because there’s a place for images distracts people,” says Brian. I totally agree.
A professional website designer knows how to choose the right template for a freelancer’s website. He/she also knows how and when to modify the template to avoid using distracting images.
The Right Types of Images
Logos and a banner are relevant, effective images for a freelancer’s home page. A logo is a symbol or other design that helps you visually convey your key messages. It’s a powerful marketing tool that will set you apart from other freelancers and help make your home page remarkable.
“A logo in the top left corner is the first thing people see when they visit your website,” says Brian. “It tells people something about you and what you do before they get into the website and start reading.” If you don’t have a logo, before you finalize your website is a great time to develop one.
I’ve always used my logo (designed by Brian) in the top left corner of every website page. This time, I did something to give my logo more impact.
There’s a limited amount of space for a logo in the top left corner. I wanted the key message of my logo—“Targeted medical content”—to be more visible. So I asked Brian to design another version of my logo just for my website without the tagline.
“Targeted medical content” is much more prominent this way than if I had used my regular logo.
Highlight Your Key Message in a Home Page Banner
A banner is the horizontal bar near the top of every web page on many modern website designs. It’s where your page headline and subhead or blurb go. The banner on your home page is usually bigger than the banner on the other pages.
A banner is a great way to highlight your key message on your home page and quickly tell clients what they want to know. It supports both remarkable content and remarkable design.
My Home Page Banner
From my research on other websites I knew that I wanted banners on my home page and the other pages to highlight my key messages. And I knew that I didn’t want any images on those banners like many websites have, because they would make my headlines and subheads hard to read.
So I was expecting my home page banner to be on a plain blue background. But Brian created a banner image based on my logo. Using the concept of the bulls-eye in my logo, he created a simple yet powerful background image of the circles in the bulls-eye and put my headline over this.
Here’s what my home page banner looks like:
I love my banner image, which makes my home page remarkable.
“A banner image is another way to make the message more visually interesting,” says Brian. “I try to look for ways to do this, so the website doesn’t look like a template.”
Highlight Key Content in Home Page Shortcut Boxes
Home page shortcut boxes are a key feature of websites today that adds more visual appeal and lets you highlight key content on your website quickly. They were actually developed to make navigating websites on smart phones easier by providing links to other pages. “People don’t want to scroll back up to the menu,” says Brian.
But I didn’t know that. When I was doing research before I updated my website in 2018, I saw these boxes on many home pages and liked the way they looked. I told Brian that I wanted the “3 sections/boxes” I had seen on other home pages on my website too. And I sent him a screen shot of what I meant.
My home page shortcut boxes go to:
- Targeted content: A page unique to my website that provides more information about my theme of providing targeted content
- Client-focused services: My services page
- Trustworthy expertise: My about page.
Here’s what my home page shortcut boxes look like:
For each home page shortcut box, you can use up to about 30 characters (with spaces) in the headline and up to about 115 characters (with spaces) in each blurb.
A Clear Call to Action with Your Contact Information
Make it easy for clients to contact you with a clear call to action, your contact information, and a link to your contact page. A call to action says what you want clients to do, e.g., call or email me.
The bar at the bottom of your home page (and every page) is a great place for your call to action and contact information.
Here’s my call to action:
A Design That’s Optimized for Multiple Screens
More and more people are using smart phones and tablets to view websites. “Your website is going to have to look good and work right on a bunch of different screen sizes,” says Brian. Data can be slower on mobile devices so make sure your website loads fast. A professional website designer will take care of this for you, and provide other technical assistance.
Learn More About Websites and Home Pages for Freelancers
Free: Awesome Freelance Website Checklist
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My home page: Lori De Milto Writer for Rent LLC