There’s a reason why it’s called the home page – it’s the first thing that your site visitor sees and probably the only chance you get to make that killer first impression. You need to remember that these visitors in question are actually just waiting to judge you by your website, and also do not have much time or patience in their hands. It is upto to you to attract, persuade and convince them that your service or product is just what they need in their lives right now, and a few minutes of scrolling through your home page should be enough to make that happen.
So where exactly do you start? How should you design it? What content could you include? Should the focus be on the text, the images, the video or all three? Where can they be placed, and what should be the highlight? Yes, you need these answers. Of course, there is no particular rule or guideline that you must follow, but if you want your home page to be effective and stand out from the rest of them, you need to at least do what everyone else has already been doing, and more. And we are here to help you do just that. And more. Much, much more.
Shall we begin?
- Highlight the Purpose
Before anything else, before building the brand and processing the marketing and the sales, your company had existed for something else – its core purpose. Everyone wants to know who you are and what is it that you do. The most important feature of the home page should therefore showcase the purpose of the company so that the visitor instantly knows what they are expecting from the business.
Sounds easy? You’d be surprised to know how many of them are still not doing it right.
Businesses around the world are yet to digest the fact that their clients are not interested to know much “About” them, and the ones who miraculously are will always find time to click on the particular section to know more.
Your purpose is therefore not your about section. It can be anything from the tagline of your company to the one event/activity/campaign you always want featured to the most important service or product you are offering. It can be projected through text, or can be a relevant image or video with the perfect caption, or it can be the call-to-action box for any sign-up or registration point. The message, or the medium of its expression, is not what matters the most. What matters, is if it has secured its place as the centre of attention or not.
If it did, the most important part of your home page has already completed.
- Work on the Visuals
Your website needs to look good, and looks matter in the digital world more than you know.
It is your responsibility to make sure you have high-resolution images and video clips that will make them want to check your website out a little more. Which is why, it is a given that your homepage should consist of a few good pictures at the very least and one video that justifies your company, whether it is about the core mission, the product or service, the client testimonial, or the journey so far. As long as it’s up there for your site visitors to click on the “play” button and be immediately impressed, your website already looks good enough.
When we talk about the look of the website, however, we are not only concerned about the colours and design and pictures and videos. The architecture that goes behind a web page is developed after a lot of thinking, creating and merging of contents just to look appealing to your eyes. The use of appropriate typography, that best reflects your brand personality, is of utmost importance. The font you choose will show your readers how beautiful you really are, and depending on the shape, the sharp or blunt edges of the alphabets, you can portray yourself as elegant, friendly and sometimes boring. If you still don’t think it is important, tough luck, because Steve Jobs thought so.
- Client Testimonial
Why talk about your business yourself when you have others who can help you establish your credibility in a more professional manner?
Testimonials are proof that you have been true to your words all along. The featured renowned people vouching for your company show that there are people who are willing to have their name and own businesses to be associated with you, and are in fact recommending you to the others. These testimonials represent your success stories, your achievements, your collaborative and cooperative skills and last but not the least, your level of trustworthiness.
The client testimonial can be presented via any medium on the home page. It can be a video showing a satisfied client talking about how your business benefitted them, why the rest of your prospective clients should choose you, and also remember to promote your the purpose of your brand at the end.
It can also be a small yet profound paragraph about your company put forward with the image of the client and their business logo stating how good your product or services are. Although a video is often considered more effective – given its visual components that will make the viewer feel that the client is personally speaking to them – it might not be a good idea to make it into a video if there is already one about the company on the home page. Text and image can work just as well.
- Tell Them Where To Go
When designing your homepage, you have to remember that it works as the powerhouse of your entire web presence. It is perfectly fine to dedicate all your time behind creating an awesome welcoming page with great colours and images that speak to them. But where do they go from there? How do they know if they should scroll down for more information, click on something to go to some page, if the pictures will automatically slide, if hovering the cursor over anything will have any results. Who tells that to them?
This is where the user experience part comes in. You need to make sure that your website is easy-to-use, friendly and informative. The sections should be able to guide you to the next, be it through scrolling or clicking, thus ensuring proper navigation. For this purpose, it is crucial that you have the right buttons in the right places. Arrows, play/pause/stop, small icons such as that showing a home, or logos of Facebook, Twitter etc are all examples of navigation buttons that guide you to the next stop and come back to the original again.
- Ways to Reach You
You need to include your contact information on your homepage, preferably at the end or the corner of the page. This might sound obvious to you, but there is much more to it.
For starters, your clients would like your full basic information, which includes your company address, number, email address at the very least, and not everyone is comfortable about sharing the details on their public website. If that is the case for you as well, you should have a form through which they can submit their queries or a sign-up box for them to get in touch with you. Having social media buttons that link your clients to your profiles at the networking sites also work as added media to get in touch with your clients.
Needless to add, you should always respond to messages when your clients contact you, and regularly maintain the work relationship you will build.