Is it obvious what your business does from your homepage?
Have you ever gone onto a website and wondered what is the product or service the website is supposed to be offering?
I find it really frustrating when I have to look around a site to understand what it’s about. Too often I don’t get an answer.
Your homepage is the most visited of all pages for most websites. Effective homepage design is vital.
So as well as the usual homepage layout basics, such as logo, headers, menu bar etc., think about the following.
What’s your value proposition?
On landing on the homepage, the reader wants to know, very quickly, what you are about.
- What product or service is your company offering?
- What is the benefit to the user/buyer?
- Who is your target customer for this product or service?
- What makes your offering unique and different?
They wont stay for long to find this out. You need to get the message across clearly, concisely and quickly.
Give them reasons to then stay on your website and not hit the back button to visit your competitor.
How are you going to compel the visitor to want to know more about you and your service/product?
The homepage needs to set up the expectations for the rest of the website.
Images break up text and people like visuals but it needs to be relevant to your product or service. It doesn’t need to be an expensive fancy graphic but try to stay away from stock images.
Having a professional photo taken of yourself or product/service doesn’t cost much. People get to see and connect to a real person or situation.
Sometimes I’ve landed on a homepage to a large image and not realised that there’s more information further down the page.
Don’t have a fold immediately under the image. Make sure it’s obvious that there is more to scroll down to.
Readers don’t want to be confronted by large blocks of text. They mostly won’t be bothered to read it.
- Use short sentences.
- Only 2 to 3 sentences per paragraph.
- Think about what can be put into a bullet list.
- Break text up with relevant headings and sub-headings.
Don’t include unnecessary words. Write as you would talk to a friend. No jargon and no long words you wouldn’t use in every day conversation.
Use an ‘About Me’ page to talk about yourself. Elsewhere should be talking about the reader and how they benefit from what you have to offer.
Where do I go from the homepage?
What action do you want the reader to take from the homepage?
- Call you?
- Sign-up to a newsletter?
- Donate money?
- Make a purchase?
- Learn more on another page?
Use CTAs (call to action buttons). Make it obvious and easy for the reader.
Have all of the following tips for an effective homepage been covered:
- What do you do?
- Who are you?
- What do you want me, the reader, to do?
- What do I get out of this? What’s the benefit to me? How can you help me?
- Why are you better than your competitors?
- Is the site clean looking, easy to navigate, easy to read?
- Is there anything moving or flashing in the background to be annoying or distracting?
Your homepage is vital to allow visitors to quickly find out if they are in the right place. People generally take less than 15 seconds to do this. Make sure your home page is effective.