Have you been wondering what makes a really effective website homepage design? Well, grab a chair and get comfortable, we’re about to divulge all of the elements that will make your website’s homepage truly great.
Your website homepage serves the following key purposes: attracting visitors, educating them on your brand and value proposition and finally, to encourage them to explore other pages of your site.
Your logo needs to be represented clearly making it a focal point and your messaging concise but impactful, removing any jargon or ambiguous terms. Essentially, you really need to blow people away . According to eye-tracking studies, it takes web users less than a second for them to make a judgement of your website and business, and then a whole 2 seconds for their eyes to land on an area of your site that is attracting their attention most. You need to make sure users eye’s are landing on the right element of your website’s homepage design, which will most likely be leading them elsewhere to your services or product page. For example, an e-commerce page’s main objective will be to get the user to the page of a product they need to sell, over other less important pages. The homepage is a great opportunity to guide the user down the desired path.
Take a peek at the website we designed for Manchester Plastic Surgery
6 Top Tips for a Great Website Homepage Design
1. Spring cleaning:
It’s important to keep your website homepage design minimalistic and uncluttered, so that you’re directing visitor’s attention to the right areas and ensuring they don’t feel stressed or confused. This may entail doing a bit of spring cleaning of your current site, stripping back on the elements you include on the homepage rather than other pages.
Think clearly about where you want customers to click and have this reflected in the design, drawing their attention, make sure the whole process is intentional. This may sound simple, but in our experience, businesses often get carried away with flashy icons, an overload of content and too many calls to action. Don’t succumb to the temptation of filling up your entire homepage with too much clutter! White space on your website homepage design is definitely not something to be afraid of as it boosts readability and prioritises content. If you give everything importance on the homepage, nothing is important. As with everything in life, finding the balance is difficult but worthwhile in the long-term.
2. Calls to Action
Be sure to include purposeful calls-to-action (CTAs) in your website homepage design that are engaging rather than the standard, mind-numbing ‘click here’ which will bore people or be associated with pushy, poorly designed banner ads.
Make sure to get visitors excited with positive language that demonstrates that clicking has some kind of benefit for them such as ‘get started’, ‘discover more’ ‘get travel tips’.
Don’t be vague or promise something you can’t offer, ‘join the adventure’ as a CTA for a coffee brand site for example might sound cool and align with the brand, but will ultimately confuse the user. Make it obvious where users are being taken after clicking and for what purpose, so they don’t feel like they’re being kidnapped against their wishes. CTAs are a fantastic way of directing your visitors to where they should be going next, moving them along their buyer’s journey.
3. Don’t be Static
Invigorate your website homepage design by using dynamic content. Dynamic content refers to written or visual content that can be based on a number of pieces of information relevant to the user: in-session behaviour (such as what pages they visit) or user data (which includes past purchases or past engagements) as well as characteristics such as their demographics or geo-location.
This information can be used to display recommended services or products and to create intelligent popups making your marketing more personalised and allowing you to generate more leads from your website homepage. You may need to enlist the help of a digital agency to create custom dynamic content.
Discover the website Ultimate designed for Dodgsons & Bell
4. Use Responsive Design
Flexible visuals can prevent media files from exceeding the dimensions of their containers meaning you won’t have images or text overlapping, making your website homepage design slick and functional. Responsive design means you can have a homepage design where the text color adjusts depending on the background color of the or the content block. A website being responsive also means that is reacts to what device visitors are using to access your site, ensuring that your website is mobile and tablet friendly. For mobile, users want to be able to read the text and press buttons without having to excessively pinch and zoom or scroll. Just over 50% of global web traffic was down to mobile phones, as people regularly use their devices to search for queries, read the news and shop when on the move. Most digital agencies offer a mobile optimisation service within their web development offering, meaning your business can still use responsive design even if you are short on time or resources.
Take a look at the website we designed for Egyptian CottonTM
5. Hidden content is a no-no
If you’re unsure what we mean by hidden content, let us explain. It’s a term for content that is included in an accordion-style feature, drop down menu, side-tabs or a quirky design feature where text appears or floats after the page has loaded. This text on your website homepage design unfortunately is ‘hidden’ from Google so it won’t pick up on the key-words or the length of the content, which is damaging for SEO and likely will be detrimental to your website’s ranking.
Google will crawl your website homepage design when it loads initially so won’t pick up on any content that appears subsequent to this. For written content to be considered high value by google, ideally it should be at least 500 words per page, meaning that if some of your optimised content is ‘hidden’ this may make it difficult for people to find your website from search engines as Google won’t be able to crawl it.
Alternatively, you may want to use hidden content as a cool design feature on page that won’t be SEO optimised or be lead by a keyword strategy, this is just for people browsing the website to find out more about your business. Admittedly, there are some clever ways to get around being able to use hidden content and it not being negative for SEO. However you’ll need to contact a digital agency to get help from an expert in order to outsmart Google.
6. Work on your Footer
Your website homepage design shouldn’t just abruptly end, this is why businesses use footers which feature not just on the homepage but across the whole site. Footers are also a valuable space to place legal information and your copyright notice as well as further internal links. It’s a good idea to feature your contact information, a link to your social media accounts and a site map, allowing users to find exactly what they’re looking for. The footer on your website homepage can positively impact your bounce rate, as users scrolling looking for the information can be captured by finding a link to what they want in your footer. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Footers act by catching them visitors like a safety net, before they hit the bottom of the page and exit your site.
7. How long should you design your website homepage to be?
This really depends on what you want to communicate on your website homepage design, maybe just the value and intent of your product or service or you perhaps want to include additional information such as members of the team and latest news. The more sections you include in your website homepage design, the more visitors will have to scroll down the site, which can be negative in terms of usability. You can combat this issue by including an anchor link with a sticky ‘Back to Top’ icon, meaning visitors can quickly get to where they want to be on your site. This feature of responsive design is particularly useful for the mobile-friendly version of your site. Google also favours responsive sites in its mobile index because they’re easier to read.
If you would like get started on making changes to your website homepage. Find out more by reading Why use a web design agency for your new website ?