10 Things To Consider To Create The Perfect Homepage Design
The tricky thing about designing a home page is that you tend to have all the pieces. You just aren’t sure how to put them together. It’s kind of like putting together a puzzle. Except you don’t have the picture of what it should look like to guide you.
We can help you with that.
A homepage is the virtual front door of your business. This is where you give the first impression of your products or services. Now, keep in mind, you get only one chance to make a first impression. So make it count!
People don’t come in search of a particular website for a service or product unless they’re already aware of it. There may be some cases where people stumble on to your site. But however they get there, it’s your job to encourage them to stay and take a look around.
And keep in mind, you have only a few seconds to convince them to stay!
A tough job? It can be. But these steps will help make it a lot easier:
1) Have A Great Logo
Every conversation starts with introducing yourself. And in the case of a homepage design, that introduction comes in the form of a logo. Don’t leave your valuable customer wondering who you are. Your logo is the face of your company. Display your logo with confidence at the top of your page. And if you can’t display with confidence, it may be time to consider a redesign.
When it comes to the logo placements, the most impactful placement is the top left of the page. Heat mapping tools, which measure where site visitors spend the most time on a website, reveal that the top left of a page is a common hot spot. Creativity is great but you should always balance that with proven best practices. In this case, keep your logo in the prominent place it belongs.
Resist the urge to crowd your logo with a bunch of other elements such as text or animations. Leave it alone. It will stand out more. Also remember, bigger is not always better. A larger logo may look out of place. Keep it simple and professional.
2) Use A Catchy Headline
What does your business do? You have three seconds to tell your customers what you have to offer. That translates to about six to twelve words to tell them about yourself. And according to marketing guru Neil Patel, writing your headline for the 25-30% of people that are sure to buy the product is the most effective approach.
Writing a headline to impress 100% of your site’s traffic is impossible. All these people have different tastes and opinions. So let’s just stick with the people who actually have the potential to be customers and are likely to spread the word about your product or service.
Try to keep your headlines free of jargon and slang. The precious time it takes to decode the potentially unfamiliar words may just make you lose a customer’s attention. In some cases, it might even scare the customer away if they can’t relate. No one wants that for their website.
3) Make It Easy To Navigate
Your website offers your customers a product and/or service and relevant information to that product or service. You want to make it simple and easy for them to navigate so that you can build trust, relationships and earn some business. The team at Clutch has found through their surveys that 94% of internet users think that easy navigation is the most important website feature.
Bearing this in mind, rethink the user experience on your site starting with your homepage design. Is it easy for a customer to find their way through the pages? You may be as familiar with your homepage design as you are with your own home. But you can’t expect a visitor to know where everything is. You have to guide them. Despite their differences, as your customers may widely vary, you have to make sure they can find their way around the website with equal ease. Like Usability Geek says, usability and accessibility go hand in hand.
4) Establish An Emotional Connection
Did you know that people who can’t feel emotions (due to brain damage) cannot make purchase decisions? This piece in Psychology Today explains this at length.
Ok, so how relevant is this to my website, you may ask? Well my friend, if your homepage cannot connect with your customer on an emotional level, you may as well wave them goodbye. While it is true that customers are emotionally different from each other, every one of them has at least one or two common buttons we can press to get an emotional response.
Aim to spark curiosity and to inspire positive emotions through the content of your homepage. Point out challenges and give your clients the impression that you have the answers they are looking for. If they feel connected through this, they will stay.
5) Showcase Your Main Value Propositions
What are your key products or services? What are the benefits of each for your customers? Showcase them on the homepage. Draw in the window shoppers with details that hit home because 91% of shoppers actually find product descriptions as important as visuals.
Never leave your customers guessing what your services or products are. It might seem like a good tactic but customers are busy and appreciate when you communicate in direct ways.
Add an image of the product and add a description of it that makes it sound exclusive. And voila! You have your customer looking through the site for more information.
Make sure to include relevant keywords in your description – these are important for SEO. When including keywords, you have to be careful not to squeeze them in to the point that they don’t make any sense. You can also use your keywords when uploading your product images as tags.
6) Use Images That Tell Your Story
Think carefully of the images you use in your homepage design. You can use product images when describing your products, sure. But what about your hero image? If your website were an office, your hero image is your receptionist aka your frontline. It welcomes visitors and gives them a sense of what they can expect if they go further.
Make sure the main image you select does not clash with your logo for attention or carry the wrong impression. Choose an image that blends well with the colour theme you have selected. And try to find a picture with a singular focal point so that it doesn’t leave an impression of clutter.
If you can use an original photo for your hero image, definitely do it. Stock images don’t always lend the kind of authenticity needed to represent your brand. So if you can set up a shoot to capture an image that uniquely captures your brand/service/product, go for it.
7) Tell Your Story Clearly Through Text
Visuals are great, but they go hand in hand with your text. Once your images have gotten your customers’ attention, they’ll want to know more about what you have to offer. Guide their interpretation and understanding of your product or service with clear descriptions.
Words play a large role when leading someone’s thought process. The order they read the words and the impact of those words are determined by the text size, alignment, colours and the fonts you use. So make each choice very intentional in your home page design.
Decide the tone in which you want to converse with your customers. Are you going to be casual and friendly? Professional? Yell at them? Or whisper?
Whichever you choose, the tone will be reflected in your text. So be mindful and make the right choices.
8) Use Relevant Calls To Action
Your future customers land on your site. Fabulous. Now you need to give them things to do to engage them and keep them around.
How can you do this? Add CTAs. There are a lot of calls to action out there. “Buy Now!” “Order” “Shop” “Find out more” “Download” and many more. What you use depends on how you want to guide your customers through your site. Regardless of the specific text, it’s important to use a strong command verb to compel them to act. And don’t forget to add a little exclamation point for an extra kick.
Don’t hide your CTAs at the bottom of the homepage. Do place them in spots where interested customers can easily see them. At the same time don’t hit them over the head with them. Have them blend with the rest of the page while standing out. Kind of tricky, but not impossible.
Keep experimenting with placement and the specific text you use to see what generates you the highest click-through rates.
9) Invite Customers To Connect
Have a newsletter signup field that encourages customers to sign up for offers and updates. It is the best way to collect emails and build out a list that you can use to nurture and build strong relationships. Sending out regular emails to your list will allow you to target an audience that is truly interested in your products. You can also focus digital ads on these customers as well and try out drip emails to build up their interest and investment in your product or service.
On a side note, never make the signup process complicated. Get your customers emails, send them an email verifying that they are now on the list. And then focus on sending occasional emails which offer them value.
10) Display Your Social Media Accounts
Here we have another crucial element. Broadbandsearch says an average internet user spends 144 minutes on social networking platforms – per day. If your visitor finds your product interesting, they are likely to follow and connect with you on social media. Make it easy for them. You don’t have to do too much here. Just add linked icons directing to your social media accounts on your homepage.
And there you have it – a bit of clearer image of the puzzle you’re trying to put together! Turning your homepage into a welcoming place for your customers will create a great first impression.
And if you need some help, with getting the right pieces together (illustrations, icons, hero images, or even a simple layout), our team at Kimp can help.