Your homepage is most likely the first page that your visitors will see when they land on your website. And considering that the first impression matters a lot, you really want to ensure that your homepage design works effectively.
In a few words, you can compare your homepage to a shop window. Imagine you are walking down a street and you see a shop with a very interesting shop window, most likely you will want to enter to see more no? Similarly, your audience’s attention should capture by a homepage that will make them want to know more. So your homepage is your shop window. From the homepage, your visitors should understand straight away what your business is about. It’s not just about style, but also how you structure the message you want them to receive. Take your time to design an effective homepage that is clear and which also makes it easy for visitors to navigate around your site.
Here are few tips to build a very effective homepage.
Be faithful to your identity
Your homepage should reflect the identity of your business. Your visitors should be able to understand who you are from your homepage. Make sure that your homepage carries your business’ mission and vision.
Ideally, your homepage needs to do three things:
- Introduce your business,
- Provide an easy and clear way to navigate to other pages,
- And have an overall appealing look;
Simplicity is key
Have you heard that when giving a speech you have few seconds to capture your audience’s attention? It’s true for your homepage too. If you make it too complicated for your visitors to find the information they want, they will just leave your website. Keep your homepage simple and clean. Use easy-to-read text and have a clear menu and labeled sections to navigate the rest of your website.
Above and Below the fold
This is probably the most important piece of information I’m giving you here. A homepage has two parts; above and below the fold. The “Above the fold” is the part that you can see without scrolling down while the “Below the fold” is the rest.
Ideally you want to put the most important content, or so called Primary Content, above the fold so that your visitors won’t miss it. If you don’t have content in this part (because maybe you want to have a video or a flashy image), think of how you can make your business clear. For example, in my website where I chose to have this geometric big picture at the top, in order to make clear what I do, instead of writing “Services” in the menu I wrote “Web Design Services.” That makes clear what my design studio is all about. But let’s go a little more in details.
The followings belong to the Primary Content:
- Logo: Your logo should be nicely place above the fold. Your logo represents and communicates your identity. It’s important that the visitor is able to identify you with your logo immediately instead of having to scroll down to find it.
- Navigation bar: Also known as Menu. Here you are telling your customers how and where to find information on your website. Remember: Simplicity is Key!! Only include necessary pages and don’t confuse users with too many unnecessary options. Your visitors will not be interested (initially) in pages about copyright, privacy, and terms of services. So insert them elsewhere, like in your footer. And keep page titles short and descriptive. Make it easier for your visitors to find anything, otherwise they will leave your website faster than they arrived.
- Headline: A simple short sentence that describes what you do. Something that gets the message across.
- Sub-headline: Here you can describe your product or service more in details.
- Main Call-To-Action (CTA): A CTA is usually indicated to drive your visitors to a specific action that you want them to take. That’s why if you have a main CTA it would be probably wiser for you to place it here.
You don’t have to have everything I listed here on the “above the fold” of your homepage (I for example don’t), but when you work on your design think carefully what is the information that you want your audience to receive as soon as they land on your website.
Pick the right image or video
Visual is on the rise and it has been so for some time now. That’s because we live in an era of visual content. We are so attracted more to images than text. Today, nearly 60% of all digital impressions are driven by images. Choose a high quality picture or video for your homepage that is in line with your mission and vision, which can inspire your audience and make your visitors want to know more about your company. Spend some time choosing the right visual material. Don’t use images that are inauthentic because that would turn off your audience. Be as authentic as you can.
Some examples of Homepages
that work brilliantly
Dropbox for Business
Its homepage is simply brilliant. Extremely simple, it includes only what is important. A “Try free for 30 days” call-to-action button, a clear and direct headline and a very powerful sub-headline which explains in few words what dropbox does. The page carries the dropbox simple design and branding. The visitor can recognize within a split of a second dropbox by the blue of their logo spread all over the page. Simply perfect.
Their homepage goes straight to the point! It suggests you what they offer and what is coming up or you can simply search for accommodation wherever you’d like to go. Simple, it embraces white leaving space for the page to breath. The navigation bar present only the most important choices for the visitor to make.
Doesn’t that make you want to run to the closer starbucks and try their new product out???
Its homepage design changes regularly based on the products Starbucks wants to promote. Always a simple and clean layout that takes the customer where starbucks want!
Have fun designing your homepage!