Stories start from the beginning and if the beginning is not engaging then no one will read till the end. Websites are also like that. The beginning of this story is the home page.
It is so important to build a strong, well structured and engaging home page so that readers can see your messages and engage with the business goals accordingly. The idea is not to over-inform but to create a connection that lasts and lingers.
I have been looking into what works and what doesn’t. Here are some key pointers to look into as you go about creating a home page for your website.
Have you covered the basics?
The basics are easy to ignore if you have not really thought them through. But it is always best to start from the most obvious elements and build it from there on.
Logo: A logo should be easy to remember and should communicate the company’s ethos and personality at a glance. A logo is essential for any effective homepage.
Search Functionality: Adding a search box helps to declutter your homepage by reducing the number of links. Some websites rely on the search box, therefore it would be an extremely important element to them.
Navigation: The homepage is a place where users can find their way if they get lost. But the homepage shouldn’t be a map. Instead, it should act as a guide to the important sections of your site.
Content: Although text is important for SEO optimization, make sure your homepage is decluttered and free from too much block text. This is important when creating an effective homepage and must be taken into consideration.
Brand Recognition: For frequent visitors, branding is not all that important. Companies believe that members already know who they are and pushing brand recognition is not really a priority.
So what exactly do you want to say?
What do you want your site visitors to do when they access your site? Have you explained this to them? Do they need additional information? Take this into consideration when designing your site. Consider both user objectives and business objectives; make it clear to the visitors.
Be useful: The elements you add to the page are supposed to be useful for the site visitors. Provide a clear route to the products and services you are offering.
Make your services easy to find: Business objectives aim to promote the products or services you are offering.
Are you covering your business messages?
When people visit your site, are they immediately made aware of who you are or what you do? An effective homepage should quickly communicate the purpose of your business.
Images: The images on your site should be aligned with your business message. The question you need to ask yourself: Are the images effectively communicating my business message?
Shopping cart: The shopping cart icon immediately communicates that you are selling something. This helps to show your site visitors that you sell products as soon as they access your site.
Micro-copy: Micro-copy is small bits of text that tie the site together. E.g. headings and labels. This can be an effective way to communicate with your readers.
The fold: Don’t make information hard to find. Make sure whatever you wish to communicate about what your company does, stays above the halfway point.
Language: Make sure the language used in the homepage is simple to understand and engages with the clients. It should be plain, simple and easy to digest. Language should reflect your business values.
These were all my ideas on how to make an effective homepage. If you have any additional tips, feel free to share them with us by dropping a comment below.
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