Did you know that you have 5 seconds to catch your potential client’s attention? And after that, the rest of what they see on your site is vital to wooing them in and keeping them around.

After 10 years of designing brands and bringing them to life on web sites, I’ve narrowed down a list of the 5 must-haves to turn your site visitors into clients.

Here are the tricks of the trade, my friend: 

1. You have five seconds!: The first five seconds on your homepage could be your make or break. Within that first window of time, that prospect client makes their decision to stick around and learn more, or continue on their merry way. Make sure you have these items forefront and ready to see before they even have to scroll:

• Your brand logo. While a logo is not the most important part of your success, a professional, consistent brand is proof you value your presentation and you mean business. In other words, you’re probably worth hiring.

• A brief tagline or intro of what exactly you offer. Be concise and clear here. Then elaborate throughout the site. Show them you can solve their problem in just a few words.

• A glimpse at your work . Give them a taste and then link to your portfolio. When they get there, showcase your best work. This doesn’t need to be everything you’ve ever done. Cater it to what your dream clients would be looking for and the kind of work you want to do.

• A Call To Action. The goal of your homepage is to drive visitors to dig deeper. Offer one or two call to actions that direct people to different stages of the buying cycle and place them in spots that are easy to find.

• And my favorite: You! Show the the face behind the work. This is an immediate connection that is more powerful than you think.

2. Clear Navigation – 
Have you ever reached a site and you’re a little bit lost? Make the navigation process clear with simple links and little guess work as to where they’re going. Design layout and easy link names are key here.

3. About – 
This is probably one of the first places your future client will go to see if you’re the right fit for them. Remember your message, your voice and the kind of person your ideal client wants to work with. You’ve probably heard me say before: Today’s market is SO different from a decade ago. They want in. They want to know you’ve got nothing to hide and so much to give. People buy people, not products. Give them a peek at your personality, your life and the passion behind what you do. Stumped on writing this out? My friend Ashlyn Carter is probably our saving grace here. Check her out! She’s the verbiage queen.

4. Blogging: 
Blogging is not just a way to showcase your latest work or to get to know you. It also improves your SEO. Google searches blog content like finding that needle in a dating site haystack. (Guilty. Glad I didn’t find him there though).

5. Reviews – 
Client reviews are a powerful indicator of trust. It’s like choosing a babysitter but asking your friends first. Asking someone about their real personal experience is so much more trust-worthy then leaving your decision to a pretty web site. Give your future client that same peace of mind.

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