The homepage is (more than likely) the first thing a user will see when visiting your website. It may be tempting to fill it to the brim with all the exciting information you can’t wait to share with your audience, but this may be counterproductive.
We’ve compiled a list of advice, tips and things not to miss when designing your homepage:
1. Your logo
This may seem like an obvious one! Ideally, your logo should sit at the top left / centre of the page. This is where the eye goes first (reading the page left to right). It is important not to make the logo too big as it may disturb the balance of the rest of the design. If you can see it clearly, so will the user so keep that in mind when adding it in.
Websites don’t usually come with an instruction manual, so navigating through them should be super easy and intuitive. Including a navigation bar at the top of the page is a simple and recognisable way of directing your customers to the relevant information and pages. However, navigation doesn’t stop at the header and should continue through the website. Website links should be found in the footer as well as navigational tools used throughout the website, these may include: buttons and CTA’s, a breadcrumb trail function or just clear headers throughout
This should stand out on the page and be one of the first things a site visitor will see when landing on your website. A punchy headline that is clear and to the point is essential for any successful homepage. Ideally, a visitor needs to know within 3 seconds what your website is offering. This can be as formal or as informal as you like, but it’s crucial to have!
4. Calls to action
Briefly mentioned in point 2, calls to action’s (CTA’s) should feature on your homepage. Calls to action’s are meant to compel visitors to look further into your website and information and convert them into customers. Having a few CTA’s above the fold can help the website user know quickly where to go, which is beneficial for the user and your business.
Humans are visual creatures and it really helps us if we can not only read, but see the information. This also gives an opportunity to showcase your work, skills or personality as a business. Images that provoke a visceral reaction and emotional feeling work well because it immediately engages the website user to the product / business purpose. For example, WSG Print (https://www.wsgprint.co.uk/) are a great example of how imagery can be used to strengthen a homepage and convey purpose, meaning and business skills. Ideally, the hero should contain an image but this is not always necessary.
6. Company Information
Describing to your audience what you do and how you do it is essential for any homepage as it is probably why they are visiting your website in the first place. However, use this sparingly as not to overwhelm your site visitors. This is your chance to tell your visitor what makes your company different, what drives you, and most importantly, what they can benefit from using your company.
7. Testimonials, socials, customer reviews
Generating leads is essential to any business and potential customers like to be reassured that they’re making the right choice. Adding testimonials, social elements and customer reviews are great ways of demonstrating trust and transparency to your potential customers. These functionalities also are a great way of showcasing your products and what your business has to offer.
8. Features and services.
If a website user is visiting your website, looking for certain services, it may help them if these are clearly indicated on the homepage. For example, if someone is looking for local print services for car wraps, this is clearly shown on WSG Print. This will allow appropriate visitors to make enquires as well as demonstrating your skills as a company.
9. Ways to contact you
For the majority of websites, it would be a good idea to include a form of contacting somewhere on the homepage. This may look like an enquiry form, a ‘contact us’ section, or even a chatbot. All of these features break down the walls of communication that stand in the way of site visitor and your business. It also offers some transparency and trust for whoever is visiting your site.
10. Including a blog
Again, this might not be necessary for every website but is definitely worth considering. Maximising engagement with your audience is the ultimate goal as this will, in time, generate leads and sales. Including a blog / news section on your homepage adds layers and depth to your company and can also help to give it a more personal touch. Adding a blog also may attract site visitors if they want to find out more about your company, skills and knowledge and is definitely a trick not worth missing. The final benefit of including a blog is that it helps with SEO which can really help when generating revenue.
Your homepage is essentially the face of your website and will determine many of the decisions a site visitor makes. It is important to optimise the opportunity for generating leads, making sales and informing your audience. There are many things to consider when designing a website, and it is best to start at the beginning (your homepage). Other points to think about are:
Who is my audience?
Will all the site visitors have the same needs?
What am I trying to get my site visitors to do?
How might my audience want to communicate?
Where am I trying to lead my site visitors?
When considering these questions, it might simplify what you choose to include on your homepage and why you want to include this. Using these tips and advice may mean you’re well on your way to creating a successful website homepage.