Think of your homepage as your online welcome mat. It’s a visitor’s first taste of your brand.
Does it encourage people to dig deeper and get to know you? Or do people click away quickly?
It’s also your chance to influence how visitors interact with your brand. A carefully designed homepage gets people to sign up, test out, learn more, and buy from you.
Your website homepage design shouldn’t be a carbon copy of another successful site. It should reflect what makes your business unique.
But there are several shared features that make a homepage effective. Adding those elements into your unique design can decrease your bounce rate and increase your sales.
Check out our list of website features and design elements to include on your homepage.
Table of Contents
Explanation of Your Business
Can visitors tell what you’re selling when they land on your homepage? Anyone who visits your site should be able to immediately figure out who you are and what you do.
Don’t make your readers work hard to find out what you do. They’ll bounce to another site if it’s not clear.
Appealing Visual Design for Target Audience
Your site needs to look nice to keep people there. But what does that vague sentiment mean?
Knowing your target audience helps you figure out how to design your homepage.
Are you targeting millennials? A formal, corporate design likely won’t resonate. If moms are your target audience, masculine website design isn’t appealing.
Consider the colors, images, words, and design elements that appeal to your audience.
Images or Video
Images and videos help break up walls of text on your homepage to make it more appealing. Those visuals help you share your message. They’re also a chance to connect with visitors.
Videos that work well include demos, customer testimonials, or short informational videos. Keep your videos short, concise, and engaging to keep people watching.
Lightweight images that load quickly give users the best experience. They also improve your chances of getting visitors to stay. Large image files take longer to load, which sends some users packing.
A site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load causes 53% of mobile users to leave. The longer your homepage takes the load, the more users you’ll lose.
Getting people to stay on your homepage is step one. Next, you need them to dig deeper into your site.
You want them to check out your products or read more of your content. And you want to make that exploration easy on your readers.
Make it easy to find your navigation bar. Hidden navigation may make your website look sleek, but it frustrates users. If they can’t find what they need, they’ll look for it somewhere else.
Color contrasts make your navigation bar easy to spot. You might highlight the navigation options or make the options a different color.
Keep the navigation menu simple without too many options. One solution, if you have a lot of pages, is to combine a navigation bar with dropdown menus. Once users choose the main category, the dropdown menu appears with more options.
Optimized for Mobile Devices
One of the biggest website design mistakes is failing to make your site responsive.
Mobile devices account for 52.2% of website traffic. Is your site optimized to handle mobile traffic?
A responsive homepage is one that changes to fit the device a visitor uses. A visitor gets a similar experience from a computer or a mobile device.
Mobile users don’t want to deal with pop-ups that get in the way. They don’t want to miss out on functionality, either. Give them the full experience with a responsive homepage.
Strong Value Proposition
What type of value proposition does your homepage communicate? What reason does it give visitors to stay?
Think of this as your way of keeping visitors instead of pushing them toward a competitor. Your value proposition shows potential customers what you can do for them.
Express your value proposition by showing how you can provide solutions to pain points. Your headers and subheads make this easy to see.
Say you offer money-saving bookkeeping services to small business owners. Showing how much a customer can save makes that value proposition concrete.
If you run an eco-friendly company, your value proposition might show users how you make it easy for them to live green.
You have a solid homepage design, but now you have to change it? Well, you don’t have to completely redesign your homepage over and over. However, a static homepage is often less effective than a dynamic one.
Dynamic design can mean interactive elements, such as mini-games or 360 tours. Expandable content and links also work. Dynamic content is anything that engages your visitors instead of only offering static content to read.
It can also mean updating the homepage content to keep up with changing customer needs. A change in the law might prompt update on your legal services homepage.
A newly developed product is a similar example. You might update your homepage to show how that new product addresses pain points for your target audience.
Your homepage is the first stop visitors take in getting to know you online. Does yours help sell your brand?
Build connections with customers by using your branding elements on your homepage. Choose colors, fonts, and symbols from your branding materials.
Those branding elements help tell your company’s story. They can also build trust and a sense of familiarity.
Call to Action
What do you want visitors to do before they leave? A call to action (CTA) helps guide visitors on a journey toward buying your products or services.
You don’t need to jump right into buying. Examples of CTAs that hook visitors without directly asking for purchases include a free trial, demo, or learn more button.
If you leave out a CTA on your homepage, you miss a chance to lead visitors into your sales funnel. They may leave your site because they’re not sure what to do next.
The CTA helps them figure out the next step. It gives you a chance to control the message you send and the action visitors take.
Make your CTA effective by making it prominent. The ideal location is above the fold, which means the area visitors see without scrolling.
Keeping your website homepage design simple increases its effectiveness. If visitors see too many things, they get distracted and don’t know what to do.
You don’t have long to capture a visitor’s attention. Fifty-five percent of people leave a website in less than 15 seconds.
Design your homepage to ensure visitors see the most important things. If you can hook them in those first 15 seconds, you may get them to stay.
Keep these design ideas in mind:
- Subheads to break up content
- Lists to highlight important info
- Images with captions
- White space
- A large font that’s easy to read
- Short sentences
When you create a simple homepage, you keep your CTA as the main focus. Your design helps users get the info they want quickly. It helps steer visitors in the right direction.
Crush Your Website Homepage Design
Does your website homepage design need a reboot? Check out my professional web design services to see how I can help. With an effective homepage design, you can improve the user experience and increase conversions.