The homepage. You, like many website owners, have spent a lot of time making sure your homepage looks amazing.
There is a reason for homepage design. Your homepage is likely to attract the most people on your website. It is the gateway to all of your content and your online business.
Consider your browsing habits. What happens if you get a poor homepage experience from a website? Most likely, you will hit the Back button immediately.
Let’s now talk about how to get your homepage to where it should be. These are five best practices for homepages, starting with how your copy should look and ending with how to provide next steps (with examples).
Your homepage should…
Highlight who you are and what you do
Your homepage is the first contact they have with you. It must answer these questions immediately: Who and what are you?
Visitors should have no doubt that they are in the right place once they visit your homepage. Visitors will bounce if they don’t recognize you and what you offer within seconds.
Dropbox is a great example of someone who does it well
Be a part of your Audience
It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a website if it doesn’t connect with your target audience.
Your homepage should reflect your users. It must read their language and present the right impressions of your brand.
Make sure your copy is clear, concise, and free from any jargon that might confuse your audience. Your design should be clean and easy to use.
A bank might want to be more professional and use colors that show trust and reliability, such as blue. A doggy daycare might prefer to be playful and more fun, using bright colors, creative fonts and animations.
Ellevest is a master at it
Help users find what they are looking for
Your homepage can be a great source of traffic. However, most people who visit your website from their homepage know what they are looking for. Give it to them as easily as possible.
Your website navigation should be visible from the top of your homepage. It should also have logical paths that direct users to the next step. A website search can be added to your site. This allows users to directly access the information they need without having to navigate through multiple pages. This is especially useful for eCommerce companies that sell a lot of products.
Au Lit Fine Linens is the best at it
It is not enough for a website to look great on a desktop. Your website must be optimized for all devices in today’s digital age. Hitwise found that mobile searches accounted for approximately 58% of all search queries in 2016. This means that a large portion of your traffic comes from mobile devices.
Optimizing your mobile homepage is more than making sure it fits the screen size. It means that the entire experience must be mobile-friendly.
You should remove any unnecessary clutter from your mobile homepage. It should load quickly and have clear navigation.
It’s the Kong Company that does it right
Tell people what to do next
Your homepage is not performing its job if users become stuck there. Your page should be logical. It should contain primary and secondary calls to action (CTAs), that guide your users to take the next step based on their origin.
Your primary CTA (the most important action you want users take) should be “above” the fold. This is web designer jargon that means “above where the page ends and the user must scroll down”. You can place secondary CTAs lower on the page.
You don’t want your users to be stuck on your homepage for hours, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use CTA overload. Keep to the actions your audience wants to take. Make sure to cover every stage of a person’s journey with you. Have one action for people who are ready to convert and another for those who just want to learn more about your company.
HubSpot is the best at it:
Need extra inspiration? These are just three examples of homepages that really hit the mark.
Design and User Experience
The homepage of Milwaukee Ballet immediately grabs your attention with its beautiful video of professional dancers. Although the entire homepage hero slideshow consists of video, it doesn’t overwhelm. It actually has the perfect vibe that a ballet lover would love: fluid, elegant, and sophisticated.
The best thing about this homepage is the fact that it doesn’t neglect the user experience. It is simple to use the navigation (search bar included), while the CTAs in the video slideshow are clear and logical.
Clear Value Proposition
KIND Snacks is awarded full marks for their amazing tagline. KIND Snacks’ homepage immediately reveals what makes it different. The use of contrast colors makes the page stand out and draws you to the tagline and product photo. The secondary CTA photo and KIND bar photos are two examples of high-quality homepage photos that you should be looking at. They make the snacks look extremely appealing.
It is better to have less than you think
Your homepage does not have to contain everything about your website. It should be a gateway to your website. Lululemon is a good example of this.
This minimalist homepage balances bright colors and bold photos with simple navigation and a clean design. It is clear what actions users with specific goals should take. Lululemon offers everything, from fashion to clothing and gifts. Lululemon also does a great job at putting a value proposition at their top to help reassure uneasy buyers: free shipping and returns.
Conclusion and Next Steps
A great homepage attracts visitors to your site and keeps them there. Your homepage should not be about a beautiful design. It should communicate clearly your value to your audience and the next steps.
Keep in mind that your homepage is not set in stone. It shouldn’t be. To keep users interested, your homepage should be constantly changing.
Keep an eye on Analytics to ensure your homepage delivers. To determine whether people leave your website immediately after they land there, look at the bounce rate. A high bounce rate could indicate that visitors are having difficulty finding what they need or that you haven’t convinced them of your value proposition.
Be flexible, and that’s the most important thing! You can always fix something if it isn’t working. You can actually do that right now. Go to your homepage, identify the one thing that you can change, and then do it.