website design

6 essentials for the perfect website homepage


6 March 2019

Your homepage is like your home: You want your visitors to feel welcome, to feel ‘at home’, and to enjoy your company enough to want to stay awhile.

Think about when you go to other people’s houses and how you feel, depending on how well presented, organised, and tasteful the decoration is, and on the overall atmosphere. It is usually a reflection of the personality and taste of the owners.

Therefore, your website homepage has to be decorated according to who you are and what you do, but most importantly, it’s about how your audience is going to feel when they visit you.

Not only that, your homepage has to create the vibe and look you want within seconds? visitors can easily hit that back button if their first impression is less than appealing.

Here are the six main elements you need to pay attention to in order to ensure your visitors stay interested and keep scrolling.

1. Immediately define your value proposition

A UVP (unique value proposition) is a clear statement that describes the benefit of your service, and how you solve your customer’s problems. Your UVP is what makes you different from your competition and it should appear prominently on your home page.

Therefore, you need to make this proposition immediately clear. You can do this by placing it somewhere the reader cannot miss, such as in the page header. It must quickly share what you do, what you can do for them, and why you should be the one to do it (as opposed to your competition).

For example, any visitor to CREATIVA is greeted by this message, which ticks all the above boxes:

An integrated design, branding & marketing agency.
We focus on beautiful, simple and effective results
that positively impact our clients? businesses and audiences.”

2. Add a Call to Action

Your site must have a clear objective or action you want your visitor to make.

This is called a Call To Action (CTA), and it helps move your visitor down your sales funnel. For example, it could be a ‘book now’ button, an option to download an eBook, or a booking form for making an appointment.

You can certainly have more than one CTA, but the one you want to focus on should be in a position known as ‘above the fold’. This is any location on the homepage that visitors can see without scrolling down the page.

See below a sample of a very clear CTA for our client Pam at FIT future.

3. Make it beautiful

Why do we tidy our homes before we have visitors over. Because we want to present them with a gorgeous, welcoming home! Clutter and mess might only make a polite house visitor cringe internally, but it could easily turn a website visitor away for good.

Your home page, with your unique value proposition, brand name, and other key elements, must be presented in an appealing way to make a great first impression. Image is important as it helps to grab attention and make the whole experience a pleasant one, but also it helps deliver the message in the best way.

4. Think about your audience

Everything on the website must be crafted to your audience, from the content, to the layouts and the features.

Start by thinking about your niche, or your ideal client persona, then create a homepage design that evokes emotions to that particular audience. This can be achieved with specific images, key words and phrases, and through colours and fonts.

This is why a professional designer will ask for much more than your favourite colour. We need to dig deep into colour psychology and audience needs in order to craft a beautiful and effective website design.

Another important thing to consider when thinking about your audience, in terms of design and copy, is to illustrate that you have what they are looking for by showing empathy for what they need and offering a clear solution to their problems.

“The main goal of your homepage is to let your visitors know
that you do have what they are looking for

5. Offer simple navigation

One essential, but often overlooked, aspect of any website is simple and intuitive navigation.

Your navigation must allow users to browse through your site, easily find what they’re looking for (whether that’s product information, contact details, or something else), and work well on different screen sizes, including across phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

If your visitors struggle to access the part of the site they want, they could become frustrated and go straight to a competitor instead. In this case, you must, therefore, keep your navigation simple.

6. Ensure your website loads quickly

Nobody likes when a website takes too long to load, right?

In fact, as many as 40 per cent of visitors will abandon the page if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Not to mention, slow-loading pages rank less well in Google, so a fast-load time can help to boost your SEO.

Wrapping up

Keep in mind that the main goal of your homepage is to let your visitors know that you do have what they are looking for, not just in terms of products and services, but also in terms of professionalism. You want to grab their attention and draw them further into your website to find out more, all within the space of seconds.

Take a look at your website, and see if you can tick off the six points above. If not, start making these small changes today to reap the benefits of a clear and effective homepage.