As we all know, a website’s homepage is by far the most viewed page on the entire site.
As a service-based business owner, your website homepage is often one of the very first opportunities you have to make a lasting impression on your website visitors and potential clients – so you want to do it the right way!
You might be thinking “Well duh, Corine… Obviously my homepage needs to look super freaking good! This isn’t a newsflash…”
To that I’d say – Well sure, your homepage DOES need to look amazing…
But did you know that your homepage design also needs to incorporate a helluvah lot of strategy too?!
In other words, your website’s homepage needs beauty AND brains… because a homepage without strategy incorporated into the design will ultimately just be a pretty page on the internet that prompts nobody to do anything, and helps your business in no way whatsoever.
*womp womp womp*
Fortunately, I’m here to give you a plug-and-chug homepage layout (slash blueprint, slash formula, slash whatever-you-want-to-call-it) that takes the brain power out of the design process so you can get back to the pretty stuff!
Let’s start with a visual of the homepage layout, and then I’ll dive into a brief explanation of each to discuss some tips and best practices to consider.
Oh, and of course I’ll provide you with an option to download the blueprint (fo’ free!) below, to save for your future homepage designing!
*This image is for reference only and may not be copied, duplicated, screenshotted, or replicated in any other manner. If you want a copy to reference in the future, you can download a free PDF of the complete blueprint by dropping your info riiight here 👇
Homepage Section 1: Website Navigation & Homepage Banner
This is the very first thing anyone will see when landing on your homepage, so make you make it count!
First, start by making sure that your navigation (your main menu at the top) is easy to understand and not cluttered.
You want no more than 5, mayyyybe 6, options in your navigation. Having too many options will make your visitors overwhelmed and actually hurts your website’s performance. Additionally, make your page names within the menu clear and obvious.
Do you have a Contact page?
Call it your Contact page… not your “Let’s be friends” page or your “Get in touch” page. You want to keep it clear and concise, not clever and wordy. You’re certainly free to get creative with words in other parts of your website, but your navigation isn’t the place for it.
Moving down the blueprint you’ll see a large X with “Website One Liner” and a call-to-action button. First, I want to point out that anywhere in this blueprint where you see the gray X, that is indicating that an image should go in that spot.
In order to really make your first impression a good one, I recommend having a high-quality banner image (that’s relevant to your business and on-brand, of course) shown loud and proud at the very top of your homepage.
Overlaid on top of your banner image should be your website one-liner. A website one-liner tells your visitors WHAT you do, and WHO you do it for… and it’s arguably THE most important part of your homepage (and possibly your entire website!). A well-written website one-liner provides the clarity visitors need in order to have 100% confidence in what you do, so they know if you could be a good fit for their needs.
If you need help with your website one-liner, head on over to The Shop and grab my The Ultimate Website One-Liner Formula Workbook where I’ll outline my exact formula to creating your website one-liner!
The last piece you need in your website’s first section a call-to-action (CTA). This CTA should lead your visitors directly to your website’s goal. (Pssst. If you haven’t established a website goal, read this post – skip to #4).
By putting a CTA that leads directly to your end goal, you’re telling people right from the get-go what you want them to do. As a service-based business, this is likely going to be to book with you, schedule a call, contact you, etc. – all of which can typically fall under a CTA like “Book Now”, which then leads to a Contact page to initiate a conversation.
Homepage Section 2: Your Services
While your one-liner should be telling people what you do, this section is an opportunity to elaborate a smidge more on what exact services you offer.
Providing a visual for each service, whether it’s a photo, an icon, or a graphic, is a nice way to keep people interested. Humans are visual creatures, so including a visual with a brief explanation of your offerings is a great way to draw readers in to learn more.
Beneath your visual, include the title of your service as well as a brief explanation. Limit the explanation to 1-2 sentences max, because you can elaborate more on the details of your services on your Services page.
Finish this section off with a button that leads to your Services page for people that want to learn more info about your services right away.
Homepage Section 3: Your Portfolio
Providing examples of your work is a great way for people to see your style and quality of work, so they can feel more confident in your business.
Pro-tip: Be sure you’re including examples of your work that align with the type of work you actually want to be doing!
If you’ve made 38 cupcake brochures but you really freaking hate making them and would rather be designing cupcake packaging – don’t put the brochures in your portfolio! Potential clients will assume that you enjoy the type of work you’re showing off, and you’ll be stuck getting more and more work that you don’t actually enjoy.
I recommend including around 3 simple images that give a preview of your work, and then including a button beneath them where people can see more examples of your work if they wish.
*For any non-visual service-based business such as copywriters, coaches, etc., you may need to alter this section to make it better fit your needs, or remove it all together.
Homepage Section 4: Client Testimonials
Client testimonials are SO, so powerful – show them off! Honest opinions from people just like them, will help your website visitors feel confident in you, your business, and the services you offer.
A great way to include many testimonials on your homepage is using a testimonial slider. Most website platforms these days will have a testimonial slider built in, so you can add in multiple testimonials and it will rotate through them, either automatically or when someone clicks an arrow.
Pro-tip: Ask your testimonial-writin’ clients if they have a high-quality headshot of themselves that you can use on your website.
Having photos of your clients with their glowing reviews will only further boost your readers’ confidence, because it shows them that a real freaking person had such great things to say about you!
Then, as you might have guessed, include a CTA under your testimonials that leads to your Testimonials page, full of allll your raving client reviews!
Download the free Homepage Blueprint instantly.
Homepage Section 5: Introduce yourself
Does it feel weird that your introduction is sooo far down on your website’s homepage?
I thought you might think so…
But rest assured, I wouldn’t lead you astray. There’s actually a really good reason for it too!
The reason being: Contrary to popular belief… your website isn’t about YOU, it’s about your potential clients.
By focusing on their needs and interests (what you provide and what your work looks like) first, you’re making them feel understood before talking about yourself.
In writing your “About me” section (or whatever you wish to title your Introduction section) I personally recommend a dash of personal info to make yourself seem human, but then have the remainder of the section be about how you’re going to help them. Again, keep this brief, at a maximum of 3-4 sentences.
You’ll also want to include a professional, on-brand picture of YOU, because it’s a great way to heighten the connection people feel with you. Just like with testimonials, people love having a face to go with the name!
Lastly, be sure to include a CTA that leads to your About page so readers can learn even more about you and your business, if they’re interested.
Homepage Section 6: The Final CTA
This is your final opportunity to get someone to click before leaving your website once and for all. Tell them exactly what you want them to do! They’ve seen your services, your portfolio, some raving reviews, and they even know a bit about you now. Tell them what the next step would be to work together. Use a friendly prompt (such as “Let’s work together!) followed by a button leading to your Contact page.
You never want to leave the bottom of a page without a CTA. Don’t leave your readers hanging – TELL THEM what you want them to do!
Homepage Section 7: The Footer
This section isn’t technically homepage specific, since it’s the footer that will be present throughout your entire website. But since it’s part of the page design, I figured it made sense to include.
Your footer should be a place for non-essential information, but “nice to have” info nonetheless.
One thing you could do in your footer is prompt people to connect with you on Instagram, and then include your Instagram feed. This is a fun way to make your website seem more “real” and up-to-date since viewers can Insta-stalk you in realtime.
Something you should definitely include in your footer is your main menu. When people get to the bottom of a page, don’t make them scroll allll the way to the top to go to the next page. Make their life easier by including the menu again in the footer.
There are certainly more things you can add to your footer as well, but these are just a few simple ideas to keep your footer clean and useful, while adding a nice fun element to your website at the same time.
Don’t forget: Download Your FREE Homepage Blueprint
Whew!! We made it! I hope that this Homepage Blueprint has you feeling confident AF in how exactly to layout your homepage for your service-based business.
Don’t forget to download a free copy of the blueprint so you have it for safe keeping and to refer back to when you’re officially ready to kick your Homepage’s butt!