What Makes a Great Homepage?
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
It's so true when it comes to your website. In today's technology-driven world, we all want information instantly and if we don't find what we're looking for the second we land on a site, we move on to the next one without skipping a beat.
The homepage on your website is such an important marketing tool for your business, and it's the first piece that we work on when we're designing a website for a client.
In the video below, Donna shares the Top Ten Tips for Designing the Perfect Homepage:
Here are our Top Ten Tips for Designing the Perfect Homepage
1. Gimme the Skinny
Your customer wants to know exactly what they are going to find when they go to your site. Your home page needs to answer the "who, what, why" of your business. WHO are you, WHAT do you do, and WHY do I (the customer) want to be here.If a visitor to your site doesn't find this info within the first 45 seconds (actually, make that 15 seconds!) that they are there, chances are they will move on.
2. Be Eye Candy
Your site needs to be appealing to your target customer, from both a visual and copy/content perspective. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What does he/she want and like?
Is your customer looking for information in layman's terms or is technical jargon more appealing to them? You need to literally speak the language of your customer and appeal to their design aesthetic as well.
We always preach that Content is King; you need to make sure that your content and your copy resonates with your ideal customer.
3. Lose the Flash
Gone are the days when websites had rotating objects that came flying in from all sides. Flash animation has gone by the wayside, as many users are now viewing sites on their mobile devices and don't want or need all the extra stuff.
Never mind the fact that it affects the mobile responsiveness of the site as well.
Sliders (those images that rotate on a home page), while still in use, are starting to disappear as well.
We are seeing more and more sites that utilize a large, "hero image" on the homepage in lieu of rotating sliders.
Some may argue that it's personal preference while others steadfastly believe that you should never use sliders on your site because they slow down your site and don't have any SEO (search engine optimization) benefits.
We're like Switzerland on this one: somewhere in the middle. But leaning heavily towards the large image. Which leads us to:
4. Call Me, Baby
A strong call to action or CTA gives a visitor a reason to continue drilling down into your site.A "Learn More" button, or "Contact Us for Your Free Consultation" gives them a logical next step.
Think of your homepage as a roadmap; you need to give them the directions to follow through to the next stop on your site.
5. KISS Me
You need to apply the KISS principle of "Keep it simple, silly." As much as I'm sure that you want to tell the world about every single virtue of your product or service, no one has the time to read all that.
Paragraphs of text are simply going to be overlooked and not read. Instead, keep your copy concise and compelling.
Hook them with a great headline and reel them in to look at other areas on your site for further explanation.
6. Go Pro
Amazing, awesome, professional imagery. We buy with our eyes and if the images on your homepage are not amazing, they will do more harm than good.
Please invest in professional photography for your site. You don't need a gazillion images, but the ones you have need to be amazing.
7. Learn How to Navigate
Your site needs to be easy to get around and your visitor needs to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
Having a main navigation with 15 tabs and multiple sub menus is not only confusing, but it's also not easy for the mobile visitor to access.
Keep your main navigation to no more than 6 tabs that are super clear to your visitor.
8. Brand Like You Mean It
Your logo needs to be clear and prominent but doesn't have to take up the entire header (top page of the site).Your visitor wants to know that they landed in the right place and your logo confirms that.
It should also be clickable so that it always brings your customer back to the home page.In addition, the colors on your site need to match your brand.
So if teal is your color in your logo (like ours!) use that throughout the site. Consistency is vitally important when establishing the brand for your business.
9. Make it Mobile
Your homepage needs to look good on mobile devices. Period. End of story.
10. Contact Me
Don't make your visitor dig for your contact information, especially if you are a brick and mortar storefront or restaurant.
If I'm in my car heading to my favorite pizza place, I want to be able to pull up your site on my phone, find the phone number right away, and click to call and place my takeout order.
I don't want to be navigating throughout the site trying to find your store hours or phone number.We like to put contact information in both the top bar and the footer of the site.
Those are our 10 tips for what makes a great homepage.
Until next time!