Building a killer website is the marketing holy grail – something that isn’t just eye-catching, but personable, simple and easily navigated too.
It isn’t as hard as it sounds.
One of the first things you need to decide when building a website isn’t what it’s going to look like, but what you want it to do. Because you’d be amazed at how many people don’t know what they want to achieve with their all-singing, all-dancing website.
So once you’ve figured out what you hope your website will do for your business, you can then set about building it. And what page do you need to make the best page of your site? The homepage of course.
Your homepage is where the vast majority of your audience is going to land. So if you want to build the greatest homepage that ever existed, you don’t just want a beautiful, quirky design. You want something that is going to keep your visitors stuck on your site.
Your homepage shouldn’t just digitally greet visitors, it should welcome them in, tell them to make themselves comfy, and offer them a cup of tea (well, a digital cuppa).
So, how do you create such a page? What do you need to include if you want to build the greatest homepage ever? Take inspiration from our 6 tips.
1. Keep it clean
Nothing puts visitors off like clutter. Who has time to negotiate the equivalent of piles of laundry leading up the stairs? No one.
So don’t overwhelm people with all your info upfront. Instead, present users with a layout that looks clean and tidy. A clean and tidy site implies an organised business. A busy, disorganised homepage does not give a great first impression.
Holster your urge to load the homepage with icons, images, gifs and text etc, it won’t look like you’re super knowledgeable, it will look like you’re super messy.
Visitors should get a good understanding of what your site is about from your homepage. Then if they want to know more, you can go into more detail on specific pages. Do not write a novel on your homepage. And don’t duplicate content either, for example, if you have an ‘about’ page, there’s no need to provide a summary of you or the company on the homepage.
2. Make it easy to navigate
Don’t go all Scandinavian minimalist on your users unnecessarily and hide any buttons. Make sure your homepage is simple to navigate, otherwise your users will simply navigate away from your site and towards one that is easier to use.
3. Above the fold
Figure out what the key information or images are for your homepage and set them above the fold, where they’re most likely to be seen.
Anything that isn’t pertinent tuck away below the fold. If you’ve caught your users’ attention with the above the fold stuff, they’ll scroll down and see the rest of what you have to offer.
4. Only use high res images
If you use grainy images, you’ll create an unprofessional first impression. If a picture paints a thousand words, make it say the right ones. And seeing as your homepage is where you want the right words spoken, only use the right images.
If you don’t have access to high-resolution images, don’t worry, there are plenty of image sites that allow you to use royalty-free images, for free. Such as pixabay for example.
And don’t go nuts on the images either. Pick a few, you don’t have to showcase every image that you like. Less is sometimes more.
5. Ensure the rest of the website matches the homepage
The homepage should be representative of the rest of your website. Not just in terms of layout, but in colour scheme too, otherwise there will be a massive disconnect and that can be disconcerting to new users.
Don’t forget that the colours and theme you select for your website should tie in with your brand colours and theme. And if you’re using a background image, don’t let it steal the show and detract from your content.
6. Deploy CTA buttons thoughtfully
Call to action (CTA) buttons will take visitors to the parts of your website where you hope they’ll take action, or to other parts of your website you want them to check out.
Not every homepage will require a CTA button, but if yours does, then use them sensibly. No one likes having a pop up shoved in their face, but at the same time, don’t squirrel your CTA away so that no one sees it. Finally, keep the buttons clean and the text succinct.