When people want to learn more about your business and find out what you can offer, your website is normally the first place they head to. Which is why I believe your homepage – one of the most importance pages on your website and in effect your virtual front door – needs to shine. If your visitors don’t like what they see, they won’t stay long.
Obviously with anything design related, it’s completely subjective. But I think your homepage should be fully responsive and include the following essential elements:
- Eye-catching headline
- Clear call to action
- Proof of what you do – testimonials, case studies etc.
- Balance of images and text
- Good navigation
- Footer – contact information, links including social media
Whilst these points are important, I think that you need to go further. Here are my top 7 recommendations for crafting an enticing and engaging homepage.
- Your branding must be consistent with your other materials. Remember to keep website images, colours, tone of voice, language etc. the same as your other marketing channels.
- Make sure your homepage loads as fast as possible – ideally between 1 and 3 seconds. According to the latest Google research, 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load.
- Get to the point quickly. Ensure your text quickly and succinctly answers the two main questions that your audience wants to know. “Can you solve my immediate problem?” and “Why should I use you?”, rather than boring them about your history or how amazing you are.
- Website visitors have a short attention span, so make it easy for them to access the right content with headings, intro text, body text, bullet points, relevant links and videos
- Ensure that any pictures are relevant and engaging. Don’t use cheap-looking, poor quality and low-resolution imagery and of course it goes without saying don’t nick it from Google.
- Avoid confusing your visitors with too many buttons that need clicking, text-blocking ads, pop-ups and distracting icons.
- Not every visitor will approach the page in the same way. Provide alternative means for them to get the same content albeit in a different way either via the main menu, contextual links in the text and/or via the footer.
Finally, don’t assume people will always land first on your homepage. Remember search engines may take them straight to the middle of your site. So, my advice is to ensure every page has a similar look and feel and makes a good jumping-off point. This will enable your visitors to be able to navigate wherever they want to go on your site in an efficient and timely manner.
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