Websites come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be tough to know what makes a good website homepage. After all, this is the page that most visitors see first, so it needs to make a great impression! A good homepage should be visually appealing and easy to navigate, with a clear call to action that encourages visitors to stay longer and explore the site. The homepage should also be responsive and mobile-friendly so that it looks great on any device.
The importance of a good homepage
A homepage is often the first thing that a potential customer will see when they visit a website, so it is crucial to make sure that it is designed in an engaging and effective way. In this respect, it has many similarities (and sometimes serves as) a landing page. A true landing page will have some key differences but that’s a story for another time.
All good web designers will tell you that the homepage should be designed with the target audience and user journey in mind, and should be easy to navigate in order to encourage visitors to explore the rest of the site. Conversion is also an important consideration – the homepage should entice users to take action, whether that means making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or filling out a contact form. By taking the time to create a well-designed homepage, businesses can ensure that their website makes a positive first impression and delivers results.
What should be on a website homepage?
A website homepage is like the virtual front door to your business. It should be inviting and give visitors a clear idea of what they can expect to find inside. Here are some essential design elements that every homepage should have:
A clear headline that tells visitors what your website is all about. Think of it as the equivalent of a storefront sign.
A tagline or slogan that concisely sums up your brand identity.
An engaging hero image that visually communicates your value proposition. Avoid using stock photos; instead, use high-quality images that reflect your unique brand.
A brief overview of what your website offers, along with a call to action (CTA) that encourages visitors to take the next step. Your CTA could be something as simple as “Learn More” or “Sign Up Now” but this does need to be backed up with a compelling value proposition.
Clear navigation that allows visitors to easily find their way around your site. Use drop-down menus, breadcrumbs, and other navigational elements to help people move seamlessly from one page to another.
Social proof in the form of customer testimonials, reviews, and logos from well-known brands you’ve worked with. This helps to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Contact information so that visitors can get in touch with you if they have any questions or need more information. Include your phone number, email address, and social media links on every page of your site, not just the homepage.
A well-designed homepage sets the tone for the rest of your website and can make a lasting impression on visitors. By including these essential homepage elements, you can create a strong foundation for your online presence.
Creating A Positive and friendly user experience
Creating a positive and friendly user experience on your homepage can be achieved by following some simple design principles. It helps if you have a professional web designer on board with this, but even if you don’t, bear the following in mind to ensure that your homepage is engaging, positive, and creates and enjoyable user experience.
The first thing to consider is the overall layout of the page. The content should be easy to read and understand, and the navigation should be intuitive and straightforward. Well-designed web page navigation will guide your visitor on a journey and never leave them guessing where to go next.
It’s also important to choose color schemes and images that create a sense of warmth and welcome. What that means will vary wildly depending on your brand style and how you want your visitors to feel.
Finally (and arguably the most important), what do you want your visitors to do when they arrive at your website? In other words what is your CTA (call to action)?
The Importance Of 3-click navigation
The average attention span of internet users is shorter than that of a goldfish. That’s right, you heard correctly. A recent study showed that the average person only spends 8 seconds reading an article before moving on. This means that it is essential for websites to have a clear and concise navigation system so that users can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Otherwise, they’re likely to click away and never come back.
We’ve mentioned navigation a couple of times but just how do you know if your navigation is any good?
One navigation system that has been proven to be effective is known as “3-click navigation.” This simply means that a user should be able to find what they’re looking for within 3 clicks of the mouse. Any more than that and they’re likely to get frustrated and give up. While this may sound like a tall order, it is actually surprisingly easy to achieve if you take the time to plan your site’s navigation carefully.
So, if you want to keep your website users happy (and keep them coming back), make sure your site has a clear and easy-to-use navigation system. Your visitors will thank you for it!
Tips for creating an effective call to action
An effective call to action (CTA) is essential for any marketing campaign and this includes your website. A CTA is a message that encourages your audience to take a specific action, such as visiting your website, signing up for a free trial, or making a purchase. When crafting your CTA, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make it clear and concise. Your audience should know exactly what you want them to do. Second, use strong language that compels your audience to take action. Words like “now,” “instant,” and “free” can be effective in driving conversions. Additionally, you may be able to boost conversions if your CTA has a personal approach.
For example, instead of a button that says “Download our free guide” you want to say “Yes – Send me my free guide“. This suggests that what you’re offering is specifically for your visitor.
Finally, (and perhaps most importantly) your CTA must have a compelling value proposition. If your website visitors don’t have a real reason to click, then they’re unlikely to do so. If you’re struggling with this, consider a few key benefits that your product(s) or service offers.
Of course, what you say and how “salesy” you are will depend completely on your product/service and what you want your visitors to do but regardless of what you write, the principles remain the same.
What about CTA Colour?
Colour can be used to make your CTAs pop and help them stand out from the rest of your content.
One way to make sure your CTAs stand out is to use colours that contrast with the rest of your website’s colours. For example, if your website has a lot of white space, you can use a bright CTA button to really make it stand out.
You could take this a step further and use colour psychology to influence the way people respond to your CTAs. For example, studies have shown that people tend to associate the colour blue with trustworthiness, so using a blue CTA button may help increase conversions.
Finally, make sure your CTA is visible and easy to find. Don’t bury it at the bottom of your page or hide it behind a form. In most cases, your core CTA should be ‘above the fold’ (the top of the page that users see straight away before scrolling) and repeated throughout your entire homepage at key sections. Also, whilst it’s important to have core goals and direct visitors on clear user journey that doesn’t mean that you can’t employ secondary calls to action where appropriate. For example, here at WDM on our own website homepage we have our primary and secondary calls to action. Our primary call to action is their to navigate visitors towards our ‘project application’ page), but we also have a secondary call to action which is designed to compel visitors to visit our most important web pages like marketing services or web design.
Examples of great homepage design examples
As we’ve discussed, A great homepage is essential for any website that wants to build a following and convert visitors into clients/customers/subscribers or followers. Not only does it need to be visually appealing, but it also needs to be easy to navigate and packed with the information that users are looking for. Writing about how this is achieved is one thing, but visual aids are important so let’s look at some of the best homepage design examples.
Whilst there are a huge number of amazing homepage designs out there, one quick way to find some of the best design inspiration is to follow the money! Taking inspiration and knowledge from companies that have spent millions on ensuring they have an amazing website is usually a safe way of knowing that your source is credible.
The Apple.com website homepage is iconic and arguably, one of the most brilliant homepages on the internet. When you visit the site, you are greeted with a simple, clean design that is easy to navigate. But what makes it so special? Let’s take a closer look at some of the elements that make the apple.com homepage such a great design.
One of the first things you notice about the Apple homepage is how simple it is. There are no flashy banner ads or complex graphics; instead, there is a focus on clean lines and white space. This simplicity makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for on the site.
Another design element that makes the Apple homepage such a great design is its consistency. When you visit different pages on the site, you will notice that the overall design aesthetic remains the same. This consistency makes it easy to navigate from one page to another without feeling disoriented or lost.
Simply put, It’s clean and uncluttered, with plenty of white space, dark space and a focus on high-quality visuals. There are also clear call-to-actions, (that are repeated and therefore familiar across their range of products) inviting users to learn more about (or purchase) the latest Apple products.
Our next awesome homepage design example is completely different but perfect for its target audience. We’re looking at Airbnb.com. AirBNB have such a huge amount of products (property rentals) on offer that they need a way to share it without confusing or annoying their visitors. They have a well designed page with very clear navigation bar with icons that support the filters they represent. They also show the core information of each listing without the user having to click. This includes photo, location, price, dates and star rating.
Finally, when exploring homepage examples we couldn’t really ignore Amazon.com. Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retailers, so it’s no surprise that its homepage is jam-packed with information. Despite this, it’s still a great example. It’s easy to navigate, with clear links to the different sections of the site. And, of course, there are plenty of product recommendations, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
Need some help with designing the perfect homepage for your own website (or perhaps an entire website) for your business? Click below to tell us about your project.