The homepage of your website is one that is often the first encounter for visitors and for potential customers with your brand. Even though you may spend plenty of resources on getting the homepage right, the average homepage on the World Wide Web is either too cluttered, hence ineffective or too barren, often leaving the customer confused. Consider the following best practices on designing your homepage.
Your home page does the following things: lays a foundation for your site, displays your core values, conveys a message and shows people the ins and outs of your business. Therefore, make careful use of words and images to deliberately paint a picture of who you really are. If a visitor were to visit just your homepage, he/she should have an idea about who you are. If not, your homepage is ineffective. Another aspect of using a homepage right is to build trust. A stranger visiting your homepage for the first time is most likely looking for signs of reputation, trustworthiness and experience. Sharing clients, customer testimonials, places that feature your brand, money back guarantee and social media profiles are great ways of showing your visitors that you’ve been around long enough.
Many new website designs for homepage are including a carousel because they can show off a range of products in a limited amount of space. Ask yourself whether this is actually working for you or is it annoying and reducing the visibility for users? Sometimes a carousel may convert into something good or many times it may just lead to banner blindness. Check your analytics for an answer. Another important website design feature that should be left off the homepage is anything that auto-plays. Visitors often find it intrusive and bothersome, hence it is best to omit.
Rather than wasting space to explain about in-depth features of your products and services, consider talking more about the benefits of them. For example, more than the technical features of a refrigerator, people want to know more about how the lower shelves make it convenient for kids to grab their own snacks. The story is not in the features but in the benefits.
When someone lands on your homepage and cannot find what they are looking for, they are just waiting to move away. They came looking to buy a baseball glove while all they see on your homepage is stuff about athletic equipment. They know you probably have it but where do they go next? Have a clear navigation structure and preferably a roadmap to enable easy interaction to the rest of the site. Furthermore, include primary calls to action on the homepage to ensure that people get into your site and do what you want them to do. Basically, give them what they need and nothing else. Providing too many options will confuse them. Display just your most popular products, not all of them. Limiting information and call to actions make customers understand what will come next.