What goes in to making a successful homepage for your website?
There is no magic recipe that fits all businesses but our experience tells us that there are 5 elements that can make, or break, a landing page.
1. Unique content
In the digital world, content is king.
If you can, avoid using stock photos and consider hiring a professional photographer to shoot some images that accurately capture your brands' aesthetic.
These are much more memorable than the typical image of two business people shaking hands, or a group meeting in a board room.
Think outside the square with your content- the average internet user visits 9 unique websites every day (that's 3285 every year!) - so it's imperative that yours stands out!
In the digital world, content is king.
Likewise, your homepage text should be keyword rich as well as unique and engaging.
Although it may be tempting to recycle text (called "spinning") from a mix of your competitors' websites, this is strongly discouraged as it can negatively impact on your search engine page ranking (Google's algorithms are very complex and can detect and subsequently punish recycled content).
Set aside some time to brainstorm a mix of ideas for your homepages’ welcome text making sure that it is both informative and engaging, without being overwrought or lengthy.
Your homepage shouldn’t be a hard sell, instead it should be simple, clear, and honest.
2. Pleasing text layout, and font/colour choices
Have you ever visited a website and been inundated with too much text and too many pictures, popups and flashing words?
How about this:
Unfortunately, it's an all too common experience, as many business owners try to squeeze every bit of information about their company onto their homepage.
A general rule of thumb- don't be stingy with white space!
A general rule of thumb- don't be stingy with white space! Instead of five pictures, pick one or two high quality images that perfectly capture your company's image.
Consider using two columns of text instead of one in order to break the page up, and make sure that font colours don't clash with your background (purple text on an orange background is very rarely a good thing!).
Many business owners feel overwhelmed with the choices available to them when designing their website, so a web designer can be extremely here.
Great web designers are creative and know what works best in terms of font style, type, size and colour as well as image and header/menu placement.
They understand user interface design (UI) and user experience (UX) best practice, which ensures that your clients enjoy themselves whilst navigating and viewing your site.
3. Simple navigation
I don’t want the navigation or links on my website to be static. I want them to move around randomly like bees all over the site so my site’s visitors have to catch them if they really want to click on to the next page. It would be really cool if they could also randomly disappear and reappear in other parts of the page, too. - Clients From Hell
The above quote captures everything that your homepage's navigation should not do.
Keep it simple.
Placement of your navigation bars should be either at the top or down the left-hand side of your page as it keeps them constantly in your visitor's field of vision.
Keep your creative focus on your descriptive text and images - menu headings should be kept plain and easy to understand.
Ensure that the navigation bar is consistent in terms of positioning, font type, colours, and headings across all pages on your site.
Did you know, on average, you have just under 20 seconds for a visitor to decide if they like your site and will stay on, or if they'll leave?
A slow loading site is one of the key reasons that cause visitors to bounce.
To help your webpage load quickly, ensure that you don't have too many large images or "flashy" graphics- this is especially important for the homepage, as it's the very first impression you make on your visitor and you want to be sure they stick around!
5. Social Media Links
Ensure that visible icons link to your social media pages and are included on your homepage at a minimum.
Remember that linking to a dead Facebook page is certainly worse than neglecting to link to it at all. Dead social media pages signify dead business.
If you haven't updated your social media profile in more than 2 weeks, take the link down and update it as soon as possible!