10 tips for designing the best home page

home pageYour home page is the shop window for your website. It’s usually your customer’s first impression of you, so you don’t want to disappoint your audience.

Most of your online traffic is sent to your home page, so it needs to be exciting, informative and relevant to your visitors. In fact, the Neilson Norman Group has said that if you don’t capture your visitor’s interest within the first 20 seconds, you don’t have a chance of winning them over.

So how do you make a compelling and interesting home page? Don’t worry. We’ve got 10 tips and tricks to help your home page flourish and encourage your users to travel down that sales funnel.

Take a look:

10 tips to improve your home page

1.      Who, what, where, how (and what again)

Your home page must answer all of these in very little time. With a quick glance, your visitor should know:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Where you’re based
  • How your service/product works
  • What you can do for them

If your home page doesn’t give them all of this information in that elusive 20 second window, your visitors will leave and seek answers elsewhere.

If you’re a big brand like Apple or Coca Cola, you may not need to explain exactly what you do, but it’s always best to have a quick explanation just in case.

2.      Talk to your audience

Chances are that your visitors haven’t just found your site by accident; whether it’s through searches or social media, they will be interested in you and your product. Make sure your home page resonates with your target audience by speaking in their language — no over-complicated technical language, just simple explanations that you know they will understand.

3.      Compelling value proposition

You must persuade your visitor that there is a valid reason for them to stick around. This is the time to unleash your compelling value propositions — tell them what sets you apart from your competitors and why they should choose to stay on your website.

Use Calls to Action (CTAs) shortly after these to lead your user to the next step of the sales process.

4.      A fantastic design

With hundreds and thousands of snazzy web templates out there, you don’t really have an excuse for a shoddy website. A professional and pleasing design builds trust, communicates value and makes it easy to navigate. Here are a couple of elements you should consider when designing your home page:

  • Layout
  • CTA placement
  • Whitespace
  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Supporting elements (images, videos, links etc)

Your design should also be optimised for multiple devices. More and more people use tablets and mobiles for web browsing, so make sure your home page is responsive to these formats.

5.      Change it up

Static pages are boring — especially for return visitors. Use sliders and videos to add a dynamic element to your home page.

Make sure you’re refreshing your home page content regularly, and, if you’re linking to blogs or news pieces, that they’re regularly updated to prove to your visitors that you keep up with current affairs.

6.      No fluff

Everything on your home page should be short, concise and to the point, so avoid flowery or over-complicated text. Powerful, punchy sentences will stick in the visitor’s mind and persuade them to click through to your other pages.

7.      Images

Most people are visual, so an image or even a video that clearly indicates what you offer, placed in the middle of your home page, can go a long way. Use images that capture emotion and cause action — avoid cheesy stock photos if you can. Also, make sure that the images are hi-res, as poor image quality will turn an engaged visitor into a lost lead very quickly.

8.      Testimonials

Never underestimate the power of a testimonial. On your home page, have short snappy sentences from real customers telling visitors how great you are. This validation from outside sources will persuade your visitors to look into your company in more detail, and bring them that one step closer to purchasing your product.

9.      Navigation

One of the most important elements of a good home page, and a good website in general, is its navigation. Your user should be able to navigate around the site easily and without delay. There should be a clear path for them to follow, which should be visible throughout their visit. Most users love a search box, so think about adding one in.

10.  Make sure it’s engaging

You can have the best website design in the world, but if the content itself is not engaging you’re not going to get many leads from your home page. Make your text, images and layout interesting for the reader. You know your target audience — use that knowledge of what makes them tick to get them through to your other pages.

Use these 10 tips to help make your home page the best it can possibly be.

Still have questions about home page design? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.