For new and established businesses alike, most online traffic goes straight to their website’s home page. It is your home page that determines whether a customer’s internet search ends with a purchase, or whether they go looking somewhere else. Your website design can ensure that your business not only makes more sales but also leaves a great impression on visitors. So what is the best home page design for you?
The Purpose of the Home Page
Keep a couple of things in mind when designing your website. First, it is a reflection of your business and second, you are making it for your customers. Your website strategy should appeal to them above everything else. How does that translate to your home page? It too is designed for customers to see, but you never want it to be the only part of your site they see. The purpose of your home page is simple: get your online visitors to leave it. That is right, you want them to click to another page on your website! In other words, your website design should focus on being easy to navigate and helping visitors find exactly what they are looking for quickly. Essentially, you want a quick, navigable first page so customers will explore the rest of your site.
The First Look
The elements of your home page that will be noticed first are your name, image, and headline. All of these should adhere to your company’s style guide for font and color. Your name should be prominent and near the top of the screen. The image you use should be a hero shot, meaning it should be large and clearly illustrate your product or service (and it could also be a video). Your image will be more effective if it is not overly complicated and its colors are neither all neutral nor all bright. Your headline also requires careful consideration. Like the best marketing, it needs to be short, clear, and effective at communicating what you provide to customers. It should not be blatant advertisement or a call to action. All of these components contribute to making a visitor’s first look at your home page pleasant while quickly informing them about your company.
Moving beyond marketing strategy for a moment, how should your home page look? Your page’s visual appeal is nearly as important as making it easy to use. The number one rule is to keep it simple. This applies to the whole page, from the content you provide (limit yourself to a small paragraph) to the number of options on the navigation bar (ten is way too many). You do not want to overwhelm your visitors! As we said earlier, if they do not find what they are looking for quickly, they will leave. Additionally, your page should have text in a readable font and a planned scheme of colors. The general rule is that your website design should follow your company’s style guide (a layout of standard fonts and colors). Your home page should be congruent with the appearance you want your company to have.
Elements to Include
We’ve covered some of what your ideal home page should include, but there are a few more critical elements. First, your company logo should go on the page somewhere in the vicinity of your company name. Next, your page needs a visible and easy-to-use navigation bar listing options like “Home”, “About Us”, “Contact Us”, etc. Finally, your page’s format needs to ensure maximum visibility for your visitors. There are several ways to do this. Your components should be located within the “golden triangle”, which refers to the top and left side of a webpage where people frequently look. Your page should not go below the fold of a browser page on a computer so customers do not need to scroll to see everything. Your page should also be responsive so it can be read on all devices. A home page that does all these things will have maximum visibility and will lead more customers onto your site.
The Company Image
Your home page is more than online advertising. It is the pixelated essence of your company. It should reflect the image and style you want to present to your customers. It should lead the customer’s eye along a clearly planned path to whatever they are searching for. Having a home page that focuses on the viewer, keeps it simple, and has all the components for easy navigating and informing will provide a positive online experience. Your potential customers will associate that experience with your capable, professional company. Having a great home page will increase traffic to your website, build your brand and reputation, and increase your sales.