Have you checked out your competitors’ websites lately? If so, you might have noticed they recently went through a redesign that refocuses their website on lead generation.

If your firm still isn’t using your website to generate leads, then it’s time to start. The Hinge Research Institute found that 77% of professional services firms are already generating leads online. Nearly half of these firms (46%) redesigned their website in the last year. And the boom in online spending isn’t over. 66% of firms said they plan to increase online spending, with an average reported increase of 56%.

If the prospect of redesigning your professional services firm’s website and increasing spending seems daunting, start small. Narrow your focus to your firm’s virtual first impression: your homepage.

Consider your homepage the virtual lobby of your office. It serves the purpose of guiding your visitors to the information they need to begin evaluating your firm. A sloppy, confusing, or poorly designed homepage can turn visitors off before they even have a chance to see what your firm has to offer.

If you’re concerned your homepage could use some improving, here are nine key elements to make sure you include in your redesign.

9 Essential Elements to Make Your Homepage More Effective

  1. Mainstage: Housed at the top of your homepage, this is usually a collection of images and descriptive messages about what your firm has to offer. Your mainstage might make use of multiple slides that cycle through to maximize the space.
  2. Pathways: These are the areas that catch your visitors’ attention and motivate them to take the next step. Pathways might direct them to landing pages, content or other areas of interest.
  3. Quick Hit Description: Summarize the services and values your firm provides in a brief but clear passage.
  4. Fresh Content: If your firm provides content on your webpage, make sure it is highlighted on your homepage. Your visitors need to know where they go to find your blog or other content offers.
  5. Clear Branding: Prominently display your firm’s logo and tagline so visitors will recognize and grow familiar with your branding. 
  6. Main Navigation Bar: This is how visitors will make their way between the pages of your website. Make it as clear and easy to navigate as possible.
  7. About Text: Your “about” text is important to not only let your visitors know the details of what your firm does, but also for search engines to know how to index your site.
  8. Search Bar: This helps users find areas of your site that might not be clearly indicated in your navigation bars.
  9. Utility Navigation: In addition to your main navigation bar, utility navigation is usually in the header or footer and gives access to other areas of the site.

4 Optional Elements of an Effective Home Page

In addition to the essential elements of a homepage, there are a few optional elements that are worth considering:

  1. Video: You might have an overview video or footage from an exciting event or promotion. Feature it in a lightbox on your homepage for added exposure.
  2. Blog Feed: While direction to your content is an essential element, you can also include a feed of recent posts.
  3. Client Logos: Share logos from your current clients to give credibility to your services.
  4. Social Media Buttons: Tell your clients where to find you on social media by including buttons that link directly to your various platforms. 

Your homepage acts as the greeter for every potential new client that stumbles onto your website. Do what you can to give them a warm introduction that represents your firm well. Make sure you include the essential elements to clarify your purpose and simplify navigation. And remember—if you’re concerned your homepage can’t keep up with the competition, it might be time for a redesign. 

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For more information on creating an effective website, check out our free Lead Generating Website Guide.