One of the most important design decisions for any homepage is determining what content merits homepage coverage. Everything needs to be organized and well presented from the homepage itself before going down to the full content of the website.
How your website is laid out, what colors, fonts and images you use or don’t use can mean the difference between success, such as low bounce and exit rates, high conversion and failure like high abandonment and low sales.
Here are a few tips to help you create a more or might be the best homepage that can be applied to your web site. We’ve put together a list of eight things you can do to make your website more appealing and convincing.
Many established and large-scale businesses can afford to clutter their homepages. They’ve conditioned repeat users, who are able to sift through the ads, widgets and thumbnails to access the information they need. Websites like Amazon and The New York Times have instantly recognizable and easily navigable formats, and frankly, they can afford to hire designers who’ve studied user/site interaction as if it were astrophysics.
Therefore, as a small business owner, keep your homepage simple like Sheepshead Design. The page should communicate your product or service either with a stand-out image or a simple slogan. More than anything, your homepage should elicit a positive reaction from your visitors, not confuse them with flash and clutter. Think of your homepage in terms of cities: It should be an Oahu, not a Las Vegas.
Most of the users panic when the scroll bar on their browser shrinks faster than the speed of light—it means a page is struggling to load its endless stream of information or images. You don’t want that to be the first impression of your site.
Instead, link to separate category or channel pages that will include subsequent information. Although your homepage can create opportunities for product promotion or special offers, it should read at least less than 10 pages.
3. Display the Right Links
Although it’s advisable to keep your homepage simple, you’ll still need to include the links to relevant information. These tabs are a good place to start with products, news, and the so-called “about”. In other words, people need to know what your business is all about, how they can participate and what’s current status.
As per Jesse Thomas, founder and CEO of design agency Jess3, he suggests that keeping your mobile site in mind is a good strategy. “The mobile site is going to have its own special subset list of priorities for the homepage—less on the product stuff and more about the resource information,” he says. “The mobile site needs to be minimal because most people who use their mobile phones are using them for utility, not for prolonged browsing.”
4. Highlight the Product
Vendors on Etsy can choose which eye-catching products to include in their Etsy storefront banner. Your homepage should reflect the same shameless self-promotion, like John Murphy Photographs. Display products you’re proud of or photographs that pop off the screen.
5. Up to Date
Some businesses wish to promote their social media outlets in ways other than widgets. If you and your business are active on Twitter or Facebook, like Brooklyn Brew Shop, for example, many website hosts offer a live feed of your recent posts, or you can make your own widget on Twitter and embed the HTML on your site. That feed will update on your homepage every time you tweet or share.
However, if you plan to take advantage of these widgets, you must stay active on Twitter. There’s nothing worse than users seeing that the last time you tweeted was two weeks ago.
6. Consistency Of Your Brand
The most successful marketing reflects brand consistency. Select a design, template, color scheme, logo, etc. very carefully. You don’t only want these elements to reflect your product or service, you also need them to remain consistent across all platforms. If you have a physical store or a public presence, make sure that distribution materials—like business cards or flyers—reflect your customer’s virtual experience.
7. Featured Images
When people link to your site, especially to your homepage, make sure its name pairs with a compelling image, it will be more appealing and interesting to open or view the specific content. The image should be easily discernable in a small size, so it may not be smart to feature, for example, an intricate product or an image containing a lengthy copy. It may be difficult for a business to conceive of an image if it offers an abstract service. Therefore, make sure a logo or an avatar pops up alongside your link. Most site hosts offer this option automatically, otherwise you may have to reconfigure some code or settings to ensure your links are properly ornamented.
8. Be Peculiar
Small businesses today are reinventing the design wheel by having fun with their customers. This could entail anything from Lolcats to an interactive Flash plug-in homepage.