When it comes to crafting a website, the homepage is arguably the most important element.
The homepage is the first thing your users or potential customers will see. A poorly-designed homepage or one that is not so user-friendly will deter visitors. That is definitely the last thing site owners want to happen.
In this guide, we’ll be covering what makes a homepage great. All of these key features are beneficial to a homepage, but it all depends on the type of website you’re trying to craft.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Everything You Need to Include in Your Website’s Homepage
It’s worth noting that your homepage doesn’t need every single one of these features. Sometimes less is definitely more. It would be wise to pick and choose elements that you think would fit your brand the most.
1. A Logo
Your brand needs a symbol that can be easily recognized by your visitors. A logo is the best way to make your brand unique and identifiable.
Logos should be simple in design, but detailed enough to be different from other similar website logos.
2. Decent Navigation
If your navigation is poor or out of date, you can bet that your viewers will click away pretty fast. User-friendliness is at the top of the list of website needs, and your navigation needs to reflect that responsive usability. If your website is particularly content-dense, make sure your search functions and navigation tabs are easy to find and use.
3. Light Image Files
Imagery is an important part of a homepage. If there isn’t some visual stimulation going on, viewers may not be interested. With this in mind, you should also make sure that while your images should be high definition, the files themselves should be kept relatively small.
When you use unnecessarily large image files, they will load significantly slower than smaller image files. When a visitor clicks on your homepage, everything should load quickly and as synchronized as possible. This is especially true for visitors who visit your homepage via a mobile device.
Find a good balance between high-quality images and fast loading time.
4. The Call to Action
You want your visitors to do something when they come to your site. Maybe you want them to make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter.
When a user goes to your homepage for the first time, they should quickly understand exactly what your objective is. An ambiguous call to action is an ineffective call to action.
Typically, a call to action will appear as a pop-up, a large button, or a headline. Make sure this is easy to find without being too disruptive to the user experience.
5. Your Value Proposition
Outside of the call to action, you’ll need to clarify with your visitors exactly why that call of action is important. This would be considered your value proposition.
Your value proposition is a quick and simple clarification that any website visitor can understand. When drafting your homepage copy, think of some answers to these questions:
● What can visitors get in return for clicking on my call to action?
● Am I making it clear enough what the benefits are?
● Does my website copy reflect major problematic points and offer solutions unique to my brand?
● Can this message be easily shared or repeated?
Repeat your value proposition and specify why this proposition is so important to your potential leads.
6. The Headline
Your homepage headline is one of the first things that your visitors will translate upon visiting your site. Use your headline to quickly, simply, but effectively communicate what your business is and what you can offer.
A headline paired with a sub-headline, or a brief 1-2 sentence paragraph, will usually be enough. Just make sure it’s memorable.
7. Offer Proof of Satisfaction
Social proof is an important part of validating your value proposal. Visitors need some reassurance that what you’re offering is the real deal and not an empty promise. Customer reviews, testimonials, quotes, and purchaser photos are a great way to reassure potential customers that your established customer base is dedicated to your brand for a reason.
8. Photos and Pictures
We mentioned photo size previously. Outside of making sure your photos are quality but quick-loading, they should also be relevant. Using stock photos can work for your brand if the photos in question align with what you’re selling. But it’s important to remember that original photos, such as photos of your products or of your services in action, make your homepage so much more unique.
Utilize human faces as well. Our brains are programmed to focus on human faces and to translate what emotions they seem to be projecting. Using human faces can add a sense of integrity to your homepage.
Flow is important when it comes to keeping your visitors’ attention for more than a few seconds. Flow is essentially how easy your homepage is to read. Your headlines, sub-headers, summaries, and text bodies should “flow” easily to the human eye. Disjointed elements that are not easy to figure out will lead to visitors clicking away.
In this sense, it is also important to consider the placement of your ads if there are any. Advertisements should be clearly visible, but not in the way of your website copy’s flow. An ad in the sidebar or at the footer of your homepage is ideal.
Be sure to break up your page's copy and content with subheads that make sense. Utilize bullet points and lists to organize important information. Short sentences and brief paragraphs are also much easier to read, especially on a mobile device. Be mindful of your font types and font sizes, and be sure not to opt for too small of a font size.