How to create an effective website homepage

Beautiful when done right but harder than it often looks, what should you feature on your homepage for maximum effect? And, just as importantly, what shouldn’t be on your website’s homepage?

Your website’s homepage is your online front door, the first port of call for most of your website’s visitors. The temptation is to try and do too much, to show off everything you do, everyone you’ve worked with and everyone you want to work with, which all too often makes for a confusing experience.

Instead, treat your homepage as a signpost – highlight the key points about your organisation and direct users to where they can find out more information.

If you offer a variety of services and are struggling to cover them all on your homepage we recommend taking a step back and asking:

  • Is there one overarching theme or one common thread? Make that the key message.
  • Or is there simply one service which is more profitable than any other that you want to direct attention to?
  • Or is there something you do which is distinctive / different to your competition that can be used as a hook?

Use these questions and any feedback you might have from previous customers / clients to narrow down your objectives – who do you want to be buying from you / engaging with you and what do you want them to be buying / doing? By focusing on what you want people to be buying / doing you can then package your message to those you want to be receiving it.

From here you can start planning your content – be ruthless – another temptation, in trying to make your homepage engaging is to feature as many different forms of content as possible: images, videos, animations, text, audio – don’t!

First off, this will likely have a negative impact on your website’s accessibility. Secondly, it will have a negative impact on useability.

As a general rule people aren’t that patient when searching online – the more elements your homepage has to load the longer it will take and the greater the risk of people going back to their Google search and clicking on the next result.

Whatever interactive content you do use, if you do, should be short and sweet, full explanatory videos should feature elsewhere, not on your homepage – remember – it’s a signpost!

When it comes to directing people – the likelihood is that your website’s visitors will have visited a number of other websites before landing on yours – so make it as easy as possible for them to take the action you want with clear, engaging Calls to Action on your homepage.

But, try and avoid any time sensitive Calls to Action or content on your homepage – it’s all too easy to forget to remove it once the time has passed.

Finally, don’t forget that your website can and should evolve. Use an analytics platform like Google Analytics and keep reviewing and testing!

Get your web project started today by speaking to one of our website developers