Top 7 Tips to Creating a Stunning Homepage
It can be argued that the homepage of any website is the most important page. It’s the very first impression potential customers will have of you and your brand, and it can turn them away with just one glance. And it’s that importance behind this page that can lead to quite a bit of stress, particularly if you’re not familiar with web design. Not to mention, if you’ve attempted to design your own site already, you’ve probably found that your homepage is one of the more challenging pages to create. Don’t fret — if you follow these simple tips, you can create a stunning homepage in no time. So let’s get to it…
What’s the goal?
The goal with your homepage is to quickly appeal to visitors, then get readers interested in what you have to offer, and almost instantaneously instill a sense of trust in your brand. It has to visually explain what the purpose of your site is, and how you can help anyone who is visiting. Secondly, it should clearly highlight other areas of your site, encouraging visitors to browse beyond the homepage. Finally, your homepage should always encourage visitors to take some sort of action, such as click through to a product page, call you on the phone, or book a reservation from the site itself.
We know, it seems like a lot to ask of one page. But you really can do it with these 7 tips:
1. Focus On Your Visitors
You are building your website, but remember that you’re not building a website for you. This is an important distinction to make. It means you have to think about your visitors at all times. For example, do your visitors want to know how big your premises are, or how many people you employ? Do they care what year you were established, or what technology or systems that you use?
Depending on your industry, a couple of visitors might want this information. But the vast majority might not. Instead, they likely want answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Show that you understand their needs, and give them the answers right off the bat.
2. Keep It Clean And Simple
Cluttered and busy websites are hard to read, slow to load, and confusing to understand. In fact, some of the best homepages are incredibly sparse. Your objective is to give your visitors the information and direction that they need in as little space as possible, while getting the results that you need.
Talking about space – trust the idea that white space, and unused areas really are okay.
3. Include Key Content
Key content includes:
- A headline – make it four to seven words and include your main keyword
- A sub-headline – you can make this longer to give a bit more detail, but keep it to within about 10 to 15 words. Also, don’t repeat what is in the headline. Each word should provide new information.
- Calls to action – include key calls-to-action (clickable if possible) above the fold (meaning before the user has to scroll), and secondary calls-to-action below the fold
- Outline your key features – this might be a list of your products or services, or a couple of short paragraphs describing what you do/offer (keep in mind, images can be a great way to demonstrate features, without even using any text)
- Your contact details – include as much contact information as you can, as long as it’s relevant to your reader (i.e., if a reader will never need to know where you live, don’t include your address) — keep it as short and sweet as possible
This example of a website being created using the Weebly Drag and Drop Builder in iPage that shows the first three points on the above list: headline, sub-headline and above-the-fold call-to-action. As you can see, Jay let’s the image speak for him in his homepage, and the lack of text is refreshing and appealing.
4. Link To Other Sections
In addition to the ‘first impression,’ website homepages are often described as doors to the rest of your site. You will have links in your navigation menu, but you should also make them part of your homepage content. This could be through calls-to-action, or as links in your text. Your objective is to make it super simple for your visitors to find what they are looking for. Keep in mind: If you make it easy for a customer to get to a subsequent page, make sure you make it just as easy for them to get back.
5. Make It Visually Appealing
As we mentioned above, make sure you use an image on your homepage. This is crucial. Usually you won’t need more than one, but multiple images ca be used if it seamlessly suits your theme, design vision, or business. Don’t go overboard with the number of images though, and don’t forget the previous point about making it relevant to the visitor.
6. Think About The Scroll
Make the most important content on your homepage visible before the user has to scroll. This includes your headline, sub-headline, and critical calls to action. Don’t use up space above the fold with a slider that is there for no other purpose than decoration. All the space above the fold is valuable, so use it wisely.
7. Prove Your Credentials
Finally, use your homepage to build trust with your visitors. This includes adding social proof such as testimonials or a list of your current clients. You can also include information about recent awards that your business has won. If you’re just starting out, simply include hyperlinked icons to your social media pages. This will tell your site visitors that you’ve already established a trusted connection with communities across social media networks.
Again, objectives once someone lands on your homepage include actions like leading them through to another page, signing up for your newsletter, contacting you, or visiting your brick and mortar location. Always keep the objectives at the forefront of your mind when considering how to format your homepage. And when you do, try to determine why they should take those next steps, and use that information to drive your design and formatting decisions.
Looking forward to seeing your stunning homepages! Leave us a note in the comments section below if you have any questions or need an extra hand.