Sarah Tharp is the Director of Online Marketing for Brain Host, a web hosting company based in Ohio that specializes in providing affordable and professional websites. In addition to overseeing Brain Host’s online marketing initiatives, she is also spends her time establishing new relationships and working with small businesses to start or improve their online presence. If you’d like to get in contact with Sarah, she can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org With the amount time and energy consumers invest online, a website is becoming an increasingly vital asset for any businesses to own. However, having a business website with a poor homepage can be equally as harmful to your business as not having a website at all. A homepage of a business website is first impression for potential customers and with all first impressions, they take only second to form. Since the homepage directly affects website’s bounce rate and conversion rate, it is imperative that business owners know what items to include on their business website homepage. 1. A Call-to-Action (CTA) A call-to-action on a homepage is the single most important to include because it lets the visitor know exactly what you want them to do your website. Some CTAs prompt visitors to click a link, purchase a product, sign up for a free trial, download a free guide, fill out a form, enter an email address or join a newsletter. Once you decide what you want your particular call-to-action to be, follow these tips: \tLink to keywords you want to optimize your site for, as well as the action phrase. For example, instead of hyperlink “Sign Up,” hyperlink to the keyword phrase, “Sign Up for Web Hosting.” That way, you will be optimizing your homepage for the search engines as they give importance to linked text. \tKeep your CTA above the fold. When a visitor reaches your homepage, you want to make sure that your CTA can be seen without scrolling to the bottom of your website. 2.) Include the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How We’ve been taught this rule when it comes to writing, but it also applies to a business homepage. If a business homepage is the equivalent of an introductory paragraph, you need to quickly tell your audience the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. \tWho is your company? \tWhat does your company do? \tWhere is your company located? \tWhen is your company open for business? \tWhy does that visitor need your product or service? \tHow can your company be reached? If the above information isn’t placed on the homepage, it should be easily accessible by including links to that information in the main navigation of your website. For example, many small business sites include the pages “About Us” and “Contact Us” in the main navigation. 3.) Social Media Icons At this stage, it is common knowledge to include links to your company’s social media profiles on your website homepage. However, not every company is getting is right. Here are some tips including social media icons on your homepage: \tDon’t include an icon for every social media profile you own. This clutters your homepage, and gives visitors an overload of information. Include the social media profiles that your customers will be most likely to interact with you on. This will be unique for each company, as demographics vary for target audiences. \tDon’t use generic social media icons. Make sure that your social media icons are integrated with the overall design of your website. Otherwise, they will stick out like a sore thumb and possibly distract website visitors from the CTA on your homepage. What other elements do you think every business should include on their website’s homepage?