The 8 Crucial Elements that Every Website Homepage Needs
January 17th 2014 | By Steve Grant
Your homepage is perhaps the most important on your website. It receives the bulk of traffic and acts as a gateway into the rest of the site. First impressions are vital and this page will instantly form opinions with new website visitors. The homepage has to work hard as it serves many needs; it must attract traffic, inform visitors and then convert them into taking action.
Here are 8 things every good homepage will have:
A website needs to tell users exactly what it is within 3 seconds. This needs to be clear and concise. For example “Brown’s Clothing Company”.
A brief description should follow the heading to show exactly what it is your company offers.
Visitors need to quickly and easily navigate your website or risk bouncing out. Navigation should be clear, visible and simple.
Images quickly convey a message and help to break up text. Your choice of images is crucial. They need to show what you do, but can also quickly set the tone of your business. For example, a designer clothing company needs to show slick professional images to reflect the nature and prices of the products on offer. It’s favourable to use your own images rather than stock photography, and advisable to hire a professional photographer.
5. Benefits and Features
Features outline what you do, benefits explain to the visitor why what you do is going to help them. What will customers gain in buying your product or service? A key benefit with a clothing designer could be that customers will stand out from the crowd in their new designer coat. Or look and feel a million dollars at a cocktail party.
6. Clear Calls To Action
Having clear calls to action can help drive conversions. There could be more than one that relates to different stages in the buying cycle. For example ‘See the New Collection’, ‘Request a Quotation’ or ‘Buy Now’.
Establishing trust helps to build relationships. It can be good to have a few of your best customer quotes and testimonials here or a signpost from the homepage to where web visitors can find them. Likewise, any awards or achievements can be a good way of promoting trust with new customers.
8. Search Bar
Provide an ever-present search bar which visitors can easily find from any page. If customers are unable to quickly find what they are looking for in the navigation bar, they will often use this. The absence of a search bar can often lead to a high bounce rate.
Your homepage is the gateway to the rest of your website and it needs to work hard to convert your visitors. These 8 elements will help your homepage perform better, but for a more detailed analysis of your website we recommend a tailored website audit.