Someone building an effective homepage on their laptop with stats.

Your website’s homepage plays an important role. It’s the first impression of your business’ digital space. It also doesn’t have a lot of time to provide that introduction. The average user stays on a webpage for only 5.94 seconds and they judge it in only 1/20th of a second. As a result, your homepage needs to be purposefully designed to create a proper impression quickly. For that, it needs to look good, communicate effectively, and motivate your visitor to stay and use your site. Our website design team has the first steps so you can start building that impressive and effective homepage. 

Who Are You?

Your homepage should clearly and concisely present what your business is and does. Name and display your main services or top products as the central thing visitors first see as they land on your homepage. They will immediately understand your business and see its products/services. This should also come with a short description that identifies your business’ name and what it does. First-time visitors to your site will not be familiar with your business. Use this opportunity to provide that information and show off your value proposition.

Navigable

Along with explaining who you are and what you can provide your visitors, you want to make it immediately clear how they can navigate your site for more information or products. Link the central images and descriptions to the appropriate dedicated pages so visitors can access them. The top should include a navigation bar with clear categories and page titles, so users know where to look and find what they are interested in. In addition to being a directional aid throughout your website, the navigation bar will quickly impress any visitor with the contents of your website, allowing them to understand its contents and services more quickly. Furthermore, your homepage will regularly be the return point for browsing. This easy navigation will ensure customers can readily move to the next page that interests them.

Calls To Action

Another aid to navigation that also helps keep a visitor interested is a call to action (CTA). Common examples are a prominent button in the middle of the page or in the navigation bar with a unique, contrasting colour. These will encourage your visitor to go beyond the homepage and guide them through your website’s main pages. The most common examples are “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, “Contact Us”, “Book a Consultation”, or “Request a Quote”. These short, simple instructions will also help a visitor immediately contextualize the products/services your website provides.

Newsletter or Contact Form

Presenting your visitor with a pop-up of a newsletter signup or contact form is an additional call to action that will keep your visitor connected to your website. These allow customers to learn more about your business, stay connected and return, and might include a discount as an incentive to purchase from you. 

Do not present this pop-up right away. Allow your customers to get their impression of your homepage and maybe browse a bit before prompting them with signing up to their newsletter or suggesting they provide contact information. An immediate popup will prevent them from seeing your informative homepage and come off as pushy. Why would they sign up for a newsletter or want to contact you before they know who you are?

Less is Better

Not overwhelming your visitor is essential. Minimalism is a hallmark for designing your website’s homepage. A homepage with too much text, images, video, or CTAs will only confuse or frustrate your visitors. Just like when first introducing yourself, stick to the essentials and be concise for a good first impression. Provide a single large image, a short blurb, and one CTA that shows the essentials of your business. Not every visitor will have the same interests about your business, so it is best to provide the basics and have them navigate deeper in for what they want. Additional details should be placed in their own dedicated pages that visitors can easily access through the navigation bar or calls to action. 

Optimized for Multiple Devices aka Responsive

A proper first impression means your website needs to function properly on various devices, particularly computers and mobile devices. As of this month, over 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Your homepage needs to inform your visitor, allow direct navigation, and provide direction easily and elegantly on all of those different devices. If a visitor arrives on your homepage and not everything is visible or navigation is cumbersome or impossible, they will be left with a poor impression of your business and leave.

Adaptable

Your homepage should adapt to how visitors use and browse your website. Monitor website traffic to determine where users are going. If a specific service or product page is more popular, highlight it more immediately. This will sooner impress future visitors with the information they want. Remember you have less than 6 seconds. For example, if customers typically browse your new product page, it is a good strategy to link the “Shop Now” CTA to that page. Running user experience (UX) tests of your homepage and website will help you discover such potential site traffic patterns as well as unintended obstacles. Ever heard of heatmapping? Ask us about it!

Home is Where the Heart Is

Your homepage is the heart of your website. It introduces your business, directs visitors, and acts as the regular return point for browsing. It also does not have a lot of time to impress your visitors to stay and start exploring the deeper chambers of your website. These essentials will help guide you to create a homepage that gives the proper impression and welcomes your visitors. If you are looking to redesign or update your homepage to give your business the proper introduction it deserves, contact Rosewood’s website design team.  

Woman working on her laptop through a glass window.

Social media remains vital to your business and influencers can help you use it to its maximum potential. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. At least 61% of people trust a brand because of an influencer’s recommendation. Every dollar spent on an influencer campaign earns an average $5.79. This gives it one of the highest ROIs compared to other marketing strategies. You’re probably looking to hire an influencer for your brand and are curious how to start. An influencer relationship will ideally be long, so be certain to make relationships with the best influencers for your business. Here are some key tips for how to hire an influencer.

Determine Goals and Budget

As with anything for your business, you need to establish a goal and plan for hiring an influencer. Determine the promotion’s length and cost. You should also consider the sizes of influencer you are looking to hire to properly scale the promotion’s budget. Mega influencers bring large followings but also big price tags. Micro- and mini-influencers may have smaller follower numbers, but they boast higher engagement rates, can provide a closer partnership, and will cost your business less. 

The kind of campaign

Part of determining that budget will rely on you determining the type of promotion you’re hoping to get from an influencer. Here are some of the most common types of influencer promotions:

  • One-time mention – An influencer mentions a business in one piece of content 
  • Content integration – Products or services become part of the influencer’s content. For example, a fashion influencer may include a product as part of an outfit. 
  • Collaboration – An influencer works with a company to design a specific product. 
  • Review/Unboxing – An influencer creates content products and/or provides a (hopefully) positive review of your products/services.
  • Long-term cooperation – Sometimes called an ambassadorship. These are prolonged influencer relationships, which can include other kinds of the above campaigns. 

The kind of promotion will determine the cost. A one-time mention may be better suited for an influencer with a bigger audience, where you will have a larger, single payment. Other promotions like content integration, collaborations, and ambassadorships will be longer partnerships and contracts, so plan accordingly.  A digital marketing team can help you determine the right kind of promotion.

Consider Your Target

The strength of influencer marketing comes from their ability to reach and interact with those they influence: their audience. When hiring an influencer, be sure that their community aligns with your own business’ target. A proper match will advocate your business to many potential clients or customers. On the other hand, an engaged audience will mean little if it does not include those likely to be interested in your products or services. 

Fits your Brand

Along with your audiences, your brand and an influencer’s need to align, especially if you plan to have a prolonged promotional partnership with them. Be certain an influencer’s values, messaging, and tone pair well with your own business’. They don’t need to be identical, but they should be collaborative. Research their reputation and consider how that might affect your business. When an influencer’s values or messaging oppose your brand’s, it can lead to confusion, misrepresentation, or even damage your business.

Watch Their Work

When you have determined a prospective influencer you may want to hire, follow their content. The best influencers engage their audience with consistent content.  Watch how they regularly engage their audience. Do they respond to comments? Are they posting content daily or weekly?  These are key performance factors to help you determine the strength and value of an influencer to help your business reach a target. This analysis will also help you determine aspects of their brand and whether their followers are your target audience or filled with ranks of automated bots.

Develop a Relationship

The best relationships with influencers develop organically. You can begin interacting with an influencer by engaging with their content. This allows your business to capture their attention. Even better, you may have a previously built relationship. An influencer may have already recommended your products or services themselves, or you have previously sent them products which they enjoyed. This will put your hiring proposal before others who lack any familiarity with the influencer. 

The Hiring Process – Proper Communication

Once you have chosen an influencer and established a rapport, you need to propose hiring them. Use the preferred communication channels. Many prefer an email and provide one on their profiles. If there isn’t one provided, directly message the account and they should provide you with contact information. For smaller influencers, this communication will often be directly with the influencer themselves, but larger influencers may have a team who help them coordinate promotions and agreements.

In your communications, be clear about the kind of promotion, the products or services, and your goals. Explain to the influencer why you believe their perfect for the promotion, the products/services, and your business. In turn, listen to their suggestions or feedback about the promotion. They know their audience and how to create content. Maintaining this dialogue will be vital to continuing a long-term partnership between your business and said influencer. You can then negotiate payment to draw and finalize a contract. Compensation can take monetary and gifting forms.  

Time to Start

Following these tips will help you be successful in hiring the right influencer, with whom your business will hopefully have a long relationship. The most effective influencer marketing is a sustained partnership where their audience becomes attached to your brand by association.  If you need help creating influencer relationships or planning a promotion, contact Rosewood’s digital services team.  Their social media expertise can help you determine promotion type, find the right influencers, and start building relationships.

Typewriter which has written "call to action" on a page

If you have even only dipped your toes into online marketing, you will have come across the term “call to action” (CTA). They’re ubiquitously mentioned because of their efficacy. Calls to action display a click-through rate (CTR) of 4.23%. That’s more than double the average CTR of Google search ads at 1.91%, and more than ten times the rate of 0.35% for display ads. A single CTA in an email can improve click rates by a staggering 371% and purchases by 1617%. Including well-crafted CTAs in your digital marketing is essential, so Rosewood’s digital marketing team has put together everything you need to know about calls to action to get you results.

What is a call to action?

Calls to action are a staple of effective marketing. They are the main way to motivate and direct your potential customers and clients to complete a certain task that’s being promoted in your marketing. An ad, email, or social media post may show an enticing product, service, discount, or piece of content to pique their interest. It is the call to action’s job to then rouse someone to click and follow their curiosity. 

CTAs are found in every kind of digital marketing. They are prompts in the text of blogs, posts, and ads. They are buttons on websites and ads. Even email subject lines can have calls to action. You may have followed a call to action to reach this blog from Rosewood’s own social media and you’ll find them in this article. They are everywhere because they are an essential conversion method of digital marketing. The ability of effective CTAs to convert marketing into revenue makes them integral to increasing your marketing’s results and return on investment. 

What makes an call to action get results?

There is precision to creating an effective call to action with impressive click-through rates. Here are the staples for crafting successful CTAs that get results.

Intentional – Know the results you want

To create any call to action you need to have a clear intention, a defined goal and result for that piece of marketing. The CTA will result in a click, but it needs to be associated with another action attached to that click. It could be a specific purchase, redeeming a promotion, or contacting for information about a service. Establishing that precise goal allows you to set the impetus of the CTA and where it leads.

Directional

CTAs are meant to guide someone, and that is only possible if it provides clear direction and guidance. Most call to actions include a simple command or suggestion. Some common examples include “Read more”, “Check it out here”, “Buy now”, or “Follow the link in our bio”. All of these make it clear where they are steering a user. That direction also needs to continue beyond just the written prompt. Every call to action should be linked so that it leads to the relevant page or contact method. The last thing you want to give a viewer is the first direction and then leave them lost on your homepage wondering if they need to take the next right or left. They are more likely to just leave from confusion.

Clear and Concise

That direction should be clear and concise. Short and sweet is the standard practice. Simple commands like “read more” or “buy now” explicitly and concisely tells a user what they need to do. Providing longer or more complicated CTAs reduces clarity and clicks. 

CTAs should also be visually clear. Hyperlinked text should be visible so that it is immediately recognizable that it leads to the relevant page. Even better are button CTAs with strong colours and text. These make a call to action more visually prominent and so they have better click-through rates. The average CTR of a button call to action is more than 1% higher than average at 5.31% with the highest performance at 70%.

Personalized

As with most marketing, the most effective calls to action are personalized. These identify a person by name, their location, language, or interests. A Hubspot study of over 333,000 CTAs found that personalized ones perform 202% better. Such personalization isn’t usually possible in social media, but Google and Meta ads and email marketing can utilize user information to create personalized marketing that speaks directly to your audience.

FOMO

Calls to action are about motivation. One of the most effective motivators is the “fear of missing out” (FOMO). This is not actual fear or anxiety but an incentive. FOMO incites someone to make an action a priority rather than forgetting and not following through later. Create this excitement by indicating time sensitivity. Identify clearly there is time limit on a promotion or that stocks are limited. Pair this with a call to action that creates urgency with words like “now”, “soon”, “today”, or a phrase like “don’t miss out” to inspire that click. Avoid making every CTA evoke FOMO, or users will soon become numb to its effects. If everything is urgent, nothing is.

Restraint and Focus

Lastly, calls to action are a crucial aspect of your marketing, but practice restraint. Don’t flood every piece of marketing with multiple to try to generate clicks. CTAs turn from motivating suggestions to tedious, overwhelming commands if they are a constant stream. Every piece of marketing should stick to a clear focus. Longer pieces of marketing like emails or blogs can have multiple CTAs; however, they should still be restricted to a thematic few that fit the overall piece of content. 

Start Creating Your CTAs Now

Now you have the essentials to start crafting effective calls to action to see more directed results from your marketing. Want some assistance in creating or honing your CTAs for social mediablogsads, and emails? The best time to start is now. Talk about CTAs and the most productive for your business with our digital marketing team today. See? Urgency, clarity, and direction.