A website is a startup’s opportunity to distinguish itself from its competitors while also selling its value and offerings to current and potential customers. An attractive home page with attention-grabbing visuals and a user-friendly interface is certain to boost engagement, however whenever you’re in a rush to launch, crucial elements could be simply ignored. Unfortunately, the price of ignoring the fundamentals is high in terms of changing customers.

To locate out which parts are most essential — from specific design parts to general principles — I asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) which should-have parts are crucial for any startup to place front and center on their web sites. Their answers are below.

1. Usability

Derek Hunter

Too typically a startup will focus nearly all of their efforts on making their home page engaging, and that is definitely essential. However what takes precedence to beauty is how a possible customer will interact with your home page. Ask yourself, “What do I would like my prospect to do when coming to my website?” The reply to that query ought to drive each decision. Type follows perform.

2. A creative 404 error page

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

It is sure to occur. Technology breaks and a possible customer is served a 404 page. Why not look at this inevitable moment as a chance to extend an excellent user expertise while clearly communicating your brand? Here is a superb example of an organization who doesn’t break stride when something goes amiss. Each touch point is a chance to tell your story. Don’t let subtle touch points lack creativity.

3. A robust call to action

Jeremy Brandt

When someone hits your home page what’s the one thing you would like them to do? That is crucial. You have to have a call to action on your home page. That is WHY you’ve a website: to get leads/prospects/customers. When anybody hits your home page there ought to be no ambiguity about what they need to do (give their email, join up for free trial, call a number, etc.).

4. An about us/explainer video

Amy Balliet

When starting a new company, it is essential to quickly and clearly communicate your value proposition. A homepage explainer video is absolutely the best way to do that because nearly all of visitors to your website will view it before reading something. Studies show that 80% of traffic will view a homepage video above the fold while conversion rates can increase by 89% on ordinary.

5. Case studies

Randy Rayess

Case studies help customers study your business and the way others have worked with you. We now have found that serious users usually tend to read your case studies to see the way you helped similar customers with their wants and to get a more tangible and clear perspective of how your business works.

6. Concise copy

Thomas Cullen

The best web sites have very clear and concise copy. Know where your visitors are coming from and write copy that immediately informs them of your value. Good copy is the most essential a part of changing potential customers.

7. Easy, user-friendly navigation

Robert de Los Santos

Startups are sometimes so involved with creativity that they ignore usability. Navigation bars ought to be straightforward to locate with clearly-labeled titles. While labels like “Hit Us Up” as an alternative of “Contact Us” might sound cool and catchy, they make it troublesome for users to locate the knowledge they’re looking for because they don’t seem to be immediately recognizable.

8. Links to social pages

Miles Jennings

Though many startup web sites are finally getting this right, many still fail to offer links to their social media pages directly on the home page in a visual spot. Most have the concept they need to put their social media links beneath their “Contact Us” page, which only adds more steps to the method for users. Put your social pages right in front of them to allow them to check you out!

9. Page load time

Vishal Shah

Keeping your home page clean and easy can considerably impact your conversion rate. Don’t expect all your site visitors to be on high-speed LAN, since more people now browse on their smartphones where Web speeds can vary. This KissMetrics analysis shows that even a one-second delay in page response can scale back conversions by 7%, which could be vital for most e-commerce sites.

10. Validation and credibility

Kelsey Meyer

Startups have to communicate to a visitor in fewer than 5 seconds that they’re a reputable company that may be trusted. There a couple of ways to do that through a home page, however one which we see most typically is an “As Seen In” bar on the home page listing all the press the corporate has garnered. It might appear vain, however it’s a signal to the visitor that other people have vetted and trust the corporate.