Effective website homepage design

Did you know that when somebody visits your website, you have approximately 7 seconds to grab their attention and keep them there? If your visitors don’t like what they see at a first glance, you can be pretty sure they will hit the back button. That’s why it’s so important to have a homepage that is not only visually stunning, but more importantly, tailored to your target audience that you want to keep on your website. We prepared a list of best website homepage design elements to help you decide how your homepage should look like!

1. Clear message and value proposition

Whenever somebody visits your website, they should know what it is about right away. Confusion is the enemy – your visitors should get your message in a glimpse. Display your logo where your audience can see it, usually the top of the website homepage. On the main banner, include a header that describes what your company does in a short, concise sentence. You can include a more detailed description in a sub-headline that follows. To expand on your message, consider adding a video or image that shows your product to the banner – it grabs attention and helps you communicate your value proposition.

2. Prominent call to action

Once your visitors know they came to the right place, it’s time to give them directions to take the next step. In a web design world we call it ‘call to action’, and usually it takes form of a button below the headline. It can be ‘call us now’, ‘sign up for our services’, or anything you want the user to do next. Every website homepage needs it, whether it’s trying to get people to buy the product or view a new recipe on the blog.

3. Intuitive navigation

There’s nothing worse than a hidden (or broken) navigation from the user perspective – always make sure it’s in an intuitive place. Include all essential pages links in the main navigation, so they are easy to find. Keep pages like Privacy Policy or Terms of Use in the footer – they are not essential to your visitor right away, and if you link to every single page in main navigation, you risk overwhelming your user which might prompt them to leave the page.

4. Intuitive layout for guided user flow

People are creatures of habit, and it’s no different in web design. Have you noticed that the majority of website homepage feature the logos in the upper left corner? They do that because that’s where people expect to find it. If you want to find a map with business location, you will probably scroll down to the bottom of the page. Try to anticipate where your visitors expect certain elements to be, and plan your layout accordingly.

We also usually browse the internet by simply scanning the content, rather than reading every single word that’s on the website.Break the content into sections and assign them appropriate headers. Use lists and bullet points, add captions to the images, use visuals to communicate rather than relying mostly on the text.

5. Responsiveness

Most of the internet browsing happens on mobile devices. It is essential that your website homepage looks good not only on computers, but also cell phones and tablets for a seamless user experience.

6. Benefits list

You should always keep your visitors in the focus of the website content, and one of the greatest way to introduce your product or service to them is to list the benefits they will receive from using it. Tap into emotional side of people and tell them what solutions you have to offer.

7. Trust indicator

People trust online reviews as much as their own family members’ opinions, so don’t be shy and display positive testimonials or success stories on your website homepage. It will give you more credibility and establish trust among your prospective customers. If you have some major brands on your past or current client’s list, it’s a good idea to show it off too.

8. Features highlights list

Now that your visitors know how you can help them and what value your product will bring into their lives, it’s time to give them more details about your offer. Make a list of features that make your product stand out and display it on your homepage. Focus on the ones that are the most important, you can give a detailed description of your service or product on a dedicated webpage. Remember, you want to keep your visitors on the website, and a long list of bullet points might make them lose their interest.

9. Useful content

Google search engine appreciates regular updates to the website. Even if you are not a news outlet, you might want to consider adding a section to your homepage with links to company updates, seasonal coupons or blog articles. That content is also useful for your visitors, and can act as knowledge database for them, or simply help them to get to know your business.

10. Don’t forget to optimize for fast load

A research from Google shows that more than half of the visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. If it takes more than 6 seconds, it’s almost guaranteed everybody will close the tab with it. Before your website goes live, make sure that your imagery and code are compressed and optimized, and it loads fast on all devices.

When a visitor comes to your website, it needs to act as a customer service representative would in a brick and mortar store – guide your visitor through your homepage. You can achieve this with well thought out content, carefully planned layout and great visual design. If you need help with that, contact us today!

AUTHOR: Liliana Gawrys

Lila Gawrys is a web designer and branding passionate with several years experience in web and graphic design industry. Currently works at Techleus and helps businesses to establish their brand and online presence. Privately loves dogs, ramen and black clothes.