Designing an Effective Homepage

Posted by Drew Himel

March 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Quick Tips for a Lasting Impression

HomepageYou only have a few seconds to grab a person’s interest when he or she lands on your homepage. With that in mind, you need to include several components in your web design strategy.

Component 1 – The Headline

The headline is likely the first thing people will see when they visit your homepage. The headline should be targeted and include a keyword. It should also contain a popular benefit that your business or a product provides.

It’s also important to keep your headline short and punchy. According to KISSmetrics, headlines should be between six and twelve words. If the headline is any shorter, you won’t be able to convey your message, and if it’s any longer, your visitors will lose interest.

Component 2 – The Copy

You will need to have some copy on your homepage. Just like the headline, the copy should speak directly to the potential customer. Use the copy to outline some of the top benefits that your business or your products offer. You can also include links to longer descriptions.

Component 3 – Attention Grabbing Graphics with a Call-to-Action

Strong homepages have visually appealing graphics that fit in with the page. The graphics should attract the reader’s attention. Once you have the reader’s attention, you can use a call-to-action to get the visitor to complete a desired action.

For instance, let’s say you are offering a free trial for your software. You could have a graphic with a button that says “Sign up for Your Free Trial.” A bold graphic will generate the attention, and the call-to-action will get people to click and sign up.

You can increase your conversions even more by using a graphic that announces a free product. For instance, you could offer free training videos. You could use an image related to the videos as your graphic, and use “Download Now” as your call to action.

This graphic should be above the fold, but it’s important to note that you should put a second call-to-action below the fold, in case someone scrolls down the page.

Component 4 – Testimonials

If you have some testimonials or reviews, sprinkle them around your homepage. This will help you gain people’s trust. Visitors will be more likely to click through and see what you have to offer if they read some testimonials from satisfied customers.

If possible, put a picture of the customer next to the testimonial. This will build even more trust.

Component 5 – Easy Navigation

You want people to be able to navigate from your homepage to other sections of the site in as few clicks as possible. You don’t want someone to have to click five times to make it to your purchase page. Keep that in mind when designing a website for your business.

Also, put navigation bars on the top and bottom of the page, and place a search bar on your site. Some people won’t want to click around to find what they are looking for. They will want to search for a specific product, and if they don’t see a search bar, they might leave the site.

Component 6 – Fast Load Times

Lots of businesses are guilty of using too much Flash on their homepages. They want to grab people’s attention but they end up with high bounce rates because the pages take so long to load. Make sure your page loads quickly. If necessary, don’t use any Flash and just have a static homepage.

Incorporate these tips into your homepage so you can get the best results possible. Remember, your homepage is like your storefront, and you want to put your best foot forward.

By Drew Himel

Topics: PCR Agency, Call to Action, Web Design, Homepage