bOnline’s head designer, Sam Greensted, shares his Five key elements for your homepage:
A lot of people assume the more information you provide on a homepage the better.
Overloading your homepage with text and images can be daunting for a first time visitor and won’t improve your customer’s experience. To keep people on your homepage consider what will have an immediate, engaging effect:
- What will draw their eye?
- What will keep them on there long enough to engage in a call to action?
I’ve come up with five vital features every homepage should have. The style will vary with industry, but the concepts are the same.
Customers need to be able to navigate through your site with ease, so a prominent navigation bar on every page will help. A homepage with no clear navigation or menu can leave customers confused and looks unprofessional. Ensure your navigation or menu fits your colour scheme of the site/logo and the page titles should be short and descriptive.
Where have visitors ended up? What can you help or provide them with? This should be a short paragraph explaining, briefly, the services you offer, often including a way for them to get in touch. Design is very important, but it must be accompanied with relevant and engaging text.
Now that you got visitors to your homepage, what do you want them to do?
A call-to-action is a button, link, image or feature that links to an area on the site that provokes an action, be it submitting an enquiry form, making a purchase or calling you. Go beyond adding links just to the contact us page, focus on getting visitors to the correct information already on your site to help answer their questions. Do this by adding buttons or links throughout the homepage. What the link/buttons says or represents is key – they need to stand out and above all tempt the visitor into clicking on them.
People don’t like reams of text – It’s daunting. Blocks of text are for inner pages, like services or company history. The homepage should be friendly and engaging. It’s well worth spending the extra bit on professional images or taking ones yourself for the homepage. High quality images can make all the difference with design, and customer conversion – don’t cheat yourself on the images!
This may not apply to all industries but it will to most. If you have any certifications or work with brands that you’d like to advertise, it’s key to add the logos onto your homepage. A Gas Safe logo for a plumber, for example, makes the service a lot more reputable. A hair salon that sells mainly Wella products may want to add their logo to the homepage. These small touches really will make the difference between a customer progressing through the site and one that will go elsewhere.
Of course there are many more elements that you must consider when building and designing your homepage but here’s a start. At the end of the day, this is the page your potential customers will likely see first and is the basis to what their immediate impression of your company is. It needs, not only to look engaging, but also have the correct elements to help them make an enquiry, request a callback, book a service or buy a product.