Creating a lasting impression for your business online starts with your Website Homepage. The Homepage is the first impression your visitors get of your site and, most often, of your brand. Within 3 seconds, a visitor decides whether or not to stay on your Website. And if you don’t draw them in instantly, they won’t stick around. We’ve outlined 8 tips to help you create the ideal homepage.
Effective and Clear Message
Your Homepage needs to communicate three things to your visitor immediately:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you can do for them
If the visitor has to search for this information, they won’t stay on your Website very long. Within seconds of being on your Homepage, they should have a solid grasp of those three points. The more clicks it takes visitors to find what they’re looking for, the higher the chance of them abandoning your site altogether.
Targeted Value Proposition
Make sure your message is focused, straightforward, and molded to your target market. Tell people how you can solve THEIR problems in THEIR language; avoid any corporate jargon or fluff. Draw your visitors’ attention by making your unique selling proposition prominent on your Homepage; use graphic elements and text boxes to highlight your company’s value proposition. If visitors are captivated by the message on the Homepage, they will stick around to browse the other pages of your site.
Ensure Your Page Can be Found
Before even considering how to keep visitors on your Homepage, first you need to get them there. And since the majority of your first time visitors are finding your Website through a search engine, you need to make sure your Homepage is optimised. By including keywords in the titles and text on your Homepage, you help categorize your website, improving your search engine ranking.
Add Meta Content That Will Display in Search Results
Take your optimization one step further and include a meta title and a meta description on your homepage; this content appears as the “snippet” when your Website shows up search results. Ultimately, this description determines whether or not a searcher visits your site. Thus, optimizing this content with the keywords you want to rank for will help your website stand out in search results and increase the likelihood that a person clicks on your link.
Integrate Impactful Images
Stay away from flash videos and animations – this isn’t 1998. Keep it clean and simple! Not only will an overload of “flashy” objects distract your visitors from your homepage’s true message, it will slow down the load time for your page; the last thing a visitor should have to do when visiting your website is wait! Be sure to use images that resonate with your product or service and are consistent with your brand; never use cheesy stock photos just for the sake of including images.
Guide Your Visitors
You want visitors to browse your site, so make it easy for them! On your homepage, include text links to important pages on your Website, such as About Us, Services or Products, Blog, and Portfolio; if you highlight these pages, visitors are more likely to visit them. However, don’t over clutter the page with featured links – this will only overwhelm a first time visitor. Think of the general path you’d like your visitors to take when browsing your website, and design your Homepage layout accordingly. Include important pages in your Homepage’s main menu and sub menu to make browsing simple for visitors.
Make Getting in Contact Easy
Visitors shouldn’t have to search your Website for your contact information, nor should this information be exclusive to your contact page. In fact, many visitors may only go to your Website to find your contact information – so help them out! Featuring your contact information prominently on your Homepage, such as including your address in the footer or placing your phone number in the top right corner, makes it simple for potential customers to know how to reach you at any moment while they’re on your site.
Call to Action
“Sign up for our Newsletter!” “Get a Quote!” “Follow our Blog!” “Discover our Services!” Providing a Call to Action on your Homepage gives your visitors a nudge to take a step and visit a page they may have otherwise skipped. And if your Homepage is well designed, visitors are likely to want to delve further into your Website and “take action”, so guide them!
As they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression, so make your Homepage count! With a well-planned structure, clean design and optimized content, your Homepage can hook your visitors and keep them coming back. Want to learn more about our Montreal Website design? Visit our Website design page!