A decade ago, it was enough for your website to be an online version of your brochure.
The main value of a website was its potential reach. With a print brochure, your audience was limited by your print run and your distribution network. To reach more people, you had to spend more money on printing and then on postage or making deliveries to places that would agree to hand out your brochures (often for yet another fee).
But with a website, you could put out an e-version of your brochure that could potentially reach the whole world. And unless your website got so much traffic that it overwhelmed your webhosting, you didn’t need to spend any more money to reach ten thousand readers than you did to reach one single reader.
Ah, those were the days.
Though the technology seemed complicated enough at the time, from today’s standpoint, it was really very simple. Just put up some text, photos and maybe, if you were advanced, a few videos, and then wait for visitors to come by and check you out.
Bye, bye brochure
But today, a website that’s no more than an online brochure isn’t doing enough. Businesses that rely on a brochure website will get beaten by their competitors who are now using websites for so much more. A website is now an online storefront for retail businesses to make sales or an online office for B2B companies to generate leads and nurture prospects into new clients.
Now, your website homepage needs to do much more than it did in the e-brochure days.
Back then, a website homepage could simply be pretty and build your brand and maybe serve as an online portfolio to show what you did in your bricks-and-mortar business.
Today, a homepage needs to give your visitors something to do besides look at pretty pictures. A good website homepage needs a way to convert a visitor into a lead or potential customer.
Help making the change
For businesses looking to make the transition from a website homepage that’s merely an online brochure to one that leverages the power of the Web to generate leads and new customers, it can be confusing to know where to begin.
Should you just put up a contact form somewhere on the homepage? Should you offer social media buttons near the top? Should you give out free stuff like e-books?
Fortunately, the folks at HubSpot’s blog have put out a helpful infographic showing the anatomy of a perfect website homepage optimized to generate leads. Check it out below and then read their article explaining it all,”12 Critical Elements Every Website Homepage Must Have.”
Then, if you dare, see how your website stacks up by running it through HubSpot’s free Marketing Grader for websites. In 60 seconds, you’ll get a clear report on how your site does in five key areas along with an overall grade so you can see whether your site just needs a few tweaks or whether it’s time for a complete overhaul.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group