Your website is your business’s shopfront, the place where you shout about what you do, and is often the first point of contact for customers. Just like a high street shop, you need to keep it looking its best. Change the display every now and then to keep customers interested, and update images and text to highlight new products, reviews, or best sellers. A stale homepage is boring and not engaging, and will drive customers away, whereas a vibrant, informative homepage encourages interaction.
The best practice for how your website homepage should look and perform changes regularly, and it’s easy for your website to become outdated. Our guidelines will ensure that you have a website that looks great, is user-friendly, and is search engine friendly too. It will provide an engaging experience that highlights your brand, products, or services.
- Strong visual identity. Your homepage needs to make a good first impression, you only have a few seconds before the visitor decides to stay or go so it’s important that you have a strong visual identity. Make sure any images and videos you use are high-quality and have been optimised so they’re not too high resolution, and include Alt tags for visually impaired people who use screen readers. Your brand needs to use a consistent colour scheme and font style, or the website can end up looking messy and confusing.
- Keep it simple. Most website visitors don’t want to be overwhelmed by too much information, so keeping things simple will keep your visitors happy. Focus on the most important elements, like an introductory paragraph, your key products or services, and contact information. Of course, this will depend on the business, what is important to a retailer will be different to a hotel or restaurant.
- Use clear and concise language. Your homepage should be easy to read and understand. Use bullet points and headings to break up the text into readable chunks, this will grab the visitor’s attention better than long paragraphs. Avoid technical terms and buzzwords that can age a website, and may send the wrong message.
- Intuitive navigation. Your homepage should be easy to navigate. Don’t hide your menu, or try to be different with unusual navigation. Straightforward menus work for all ages and levels of technical knowledge, so make it as easy as possible to get around your website. The fewer steps to get to the important pages the better, confused visitors will soon go somewhere else if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly.
- Use calls to action. Place clear and prominent call-to-action buttons throughout your homepage that tell visitors what you want them to do, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or viewing specific sections of your website. Use descriptive language on the buttons, rather than just “Click here”, to encourage engagement.
- Make it responsive. An increasing number of users view websites on their mobile devices so make sure your homepage is optimized for mobile devices, and tablets so that it looks good and functions properly on all screen sizes.
- Include social media links. Whatever platforms you use, including links to them will allow customers to share your content which will help you to grow your audience and drive traffic to your website.
- Make use of analytics. Install web analytics tools like Google Analytics will allow you to gather data and insights about user behaviour on the homepage. You can track traffic, user interactions, bounce rate and conversions which can help you to further optimise the homepage and overall website performance.
These tips will help you to create a website homepage that is user-friendly and engaging, as well as search engine friendly. This will help you attract more visitors to your website and convert them into customers.
If you would like any advice on making your homepage more user-friendly, or simply don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself, get in touch with one of our team and we can help you with any aspect of web design and development.
Email us on [email protected] or call us on 01964 542916