How to Impress High-Paying Clients with Your Remarkable Home Page
Stand Out 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 15 seconds. Yet few freelancers have a remarkable—or even a good—home page.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
A remarkable home page on a freelancer’s website only needs two things:
- Content that’s compelling, clear, and focused on client needs
- Design that’s visually engaging, clear, and easy to navigate.
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.
You’ll draft your Home page last. But you should be thinking about your Home page as you write the rest of your content.
A compelling, client-focused freelance website Home page includes:
- A header banner with your key message and a subhead (or blurb)
- Images that contribute to your key messages (or no images)
- Shortcut boxes
- A clear call to action with your contact information
- A design that’s optimized for multiple screens.
Highlight Your Key Message in a Home Page Banner
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 client-focused content and amazing design. The banner on your Home page is usually bigger than the banner on the other pages.
Make sure that any image you include in your banner is relevant and that your key message is clear. Freelance writers and editors often have banner images that obscure their key message, because they’re not designers. Sometimes the images they use make no sense.
Either of these problems will drive clients away—in less than the blink of an eye. Hiring a professional designer will prevent this problem.
My Home Page Banner
When I revamped my website in 2018, I knew that I wanted banners on my home page and the other pages to highlight my key messages. I researched a lot of on other websites and knew that I didn’t want any images that would make my headlines and subheads hard to read, like many websites have.
So I was expecting my home page banner to be on a plain blue background. But my website designer, Brian Corchiolo of bpc Creative, 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.”
Home Page Image(s)
You can have one or more images on your Home page, but you don’t need images. If an image doesn’t contribute to your message, it doesn’t belong on your Home page—or anywhere on your website. It will just confuse clients and drive them away.
“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.
Logos and Banners
Logos and a banner are relevant, effective images for a freelancer’s Home page. A logo is a visual way to represent your business. It’s a powerful marketing tool that will help you stand out in a sea of freelancers and make your Home page remarkable.A tagline is a memorable phrase or sentence that helps your target clients understand what you do.
“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.
Here are my website logo and my regular logo.
“Targeted medical content” is much more prominent this way than if I had used my regular logo.
If you don’t have a logo and want one, your web designer should be able to help you develop one or refer you to a designer who specializes in logo design.
Highlight Key Content in Home Page Shortcut Boxes
Home page shortcut boxes add more visual appeal to a website and let you highlight key content 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, 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.
Each shortcut box is linked to a page on your website. 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 Home Page 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.
Resist the Temptation to Do-It-Yourself
Designing an effective website, especially a remarkable home page, requires a lot of design and tech expertise.Templates in drag-and-drop website builders like Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix make it seem easy to design your own website. But if you don’t have knowledge of good design and the technical ability to adapt templates to a freelancer’s needs, your website will be amateurish.
“If you do it yourself, you’re going to end up with a website that looks like everybody else’s website,” says Brian.
And a website that looks like everybody else’s website isn’t remarkable. It will drive high-paying clients away.
Learn More About Websites and Home Pages for Freelancers
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My home page: Lori De Milto Writer for Rent LLC