Designing your homepage and deciding which elements and features to display is every website owner’s dilemma. While there are many options to consider, the questions you should ask are:
- How to convey a clear message to the visitor?
- How to make sure the visitor finds what he or she is looking for?
The homepage is often the landing page for your website, with a summary of who you are, what you offer and how you can help. It is possibly your best chance to attract and connect with your customers at first sight and pretty much, all the time.
Here is a checklist of the homepage elements that we think would be helpful for you when you plan to design your website or audit it with fresh eyes. This checklist contains some key features that we recommend to include on your homepage, to help deliver better traffic results and to gain trust and credibility. We believe there’s no perfect formula because each website is unique. However, always keep in mind while designing the homepage that a positive user experience will lead to more visits to your website and conversions. We hope the checklist below will help you structure an effective homepage to start with.
Your brand’s logo, located at the top left of your page as an option, goes a long way in helping build brand recognition and removing customer confusion. Of course, you can be creative as well. On other pages, the logo is linked to the homepage.
The logo is one of your branding elements so make sure that you use the color palette and fonts defined in your branding guidelines.
Make sure to provide easy navigation through a well-planned menu linking to the correct pages. This allows your visitors to easily find and visit the pages that interest them. Dropdowns are a great way to organize the various pages. Remember, visitors click on what they see. A few essential pages to consider include the Homepage (logo), Work with us/Services, About, Resources (Blog), and Contact.
One of the best ways to grab your visitors’ attention is to create enticing and targeted offers. The top banner or announcement banner above the menu is a good option to draw attention to something specific (special offer, sale, upcoming workshop, shipping details, etc.).
The main image or header or the so-called “hero shot” is a prominent element in your homepage. You can choose 1 single picture or a carousel of visuals, each with a unique message that you can link to your products or services, for example. Add your tagline (explained next) and a call to action button for visitors to take an action.
Your tagline helps visitors understand what your site is all about and what is there for them to find, read or buy. Finding the visitors WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) is tricky, but vital in creating an effective headline.
Start with answering the questions:
I am _________________________
I do __________________________
For whom _____________________
Call to action (CTA) buttons
Having efficient CTA buttons on your homepage can guide your visitors better and help increase your chances of converting potential customers. Create noteworthy CTAs. Don’t hesitate to experiment in terms of color, size, and/or shape that will best complement your main message. Make sure your CTA sounds like an engaging conversation, e.g. “Count me in”, “Get started for free”, “Say hello” and “Find out more” to deliver better results. And, don’t forget to run a click test to make sure you’ve connected your CTA to the correct link, to avoid a broken link and a disappointed customer.
A search bar enables your visitors to find what they’re looking for, quickly. No matter which page on your website your users land on, the search bar will give them the option to find particular pages or topics of interest faster, and this will also encourage them to return to your website in the future. Hence, it’s important to place the search bar where it can be easily seen – usually in the menu, at the top-right/top-left corner of your site.
Your website should clearly mention your services and how you can serve your visitors’s needs. A short line about your services along with a CTA leading to the dedicated service pages is a great idea to provide exhaustive information for your prospective clients. Be creative. 🙂 Use images, icons, a short descriptive text, etc.
Testimonials and/or client logos
Testimonials build trust. Providing a section on your homepage where you showcase client testimonials can help you win the trust of prospective clients. Add the clients’ names under their testimonials, but if they are not comfortable, then simply add their initials. You may also showcase clients’ logos for authenticity. This section can help show that your website is valuable and reliable.
Displaying a teaser of your highly engaging original blogs and linking to their original page shows your customers what you write about and gives value. Note that the blog title, blog image, and the excerpt with the call to action, “Read more”, are preferred details to be displayed on your homepage.
People are interested in your products or services, yes, but they also want to learn more about you and your company. A picture along with a short introduction on the homepage can offer an insight into who you are. You can add a CTA that links to your ‘About’ page that gives, in detail, what your business is all about, and other interesting details that you may want to share about it.
Most of the time, the newsletter subscription form will be also featured in the footer. Don’t forget to highlight the advantages of signing up or subscribing, such as, offering a 10% discount or giving a complimentary 7-day trial to customers.
Don’t forget the copyright notice added right at the end of your web page. Include the copyright symbol (©), the name of the copyright owner and the year (updated each year).
As an overall rule, make sure that you secure your website with HTTPS, an Internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. And how do you know your website is secure? You will see a small lock close to the URL in the browser.
Now that you can identify the key elements of a website homepage, it is important to include each one when creating an effective homepage. Your homepage is extremely important to the success of your website. A poorly designed one can play against the credibility of your website as a whole and give the wrong impression.
And as has already been mentioned, there is no one solution that fits all when it comes to designing the perfect website homepage. The key is in considering your visitors and providing them with effortless and enjoyable navigation and helping them find what they are looking for.
At Them You & Me Digital, we love creating websites that are creative, functional and scalable. If you’d like to design a website for your business, get in touch with us, and we can discuss your vision.
You can also visit our website to learn more about the other digital marketing services we offer.