The first index page of the website is called the homepage. People judge a website by the design and content of its homepage. It creates a lasting impression on the visitor. Bad homepage is more likely to result in high bounce rate. For a business, the website homepage is like the storefront.
Here are some effective tips on how to design a good homepage.
A good homepage should contain the logo of the business, site search feature, navigation menu and contact information. It is very important to understand the purpose of the website before designing the homepage. Visitors should get a feeling that they will get what they want when they look at the homepage. If you are selling cars, your homepage should have appropriate content (like videos and images).
The homepage is an entry point. After reaching your homepage, the visitor would want to know what to do next. Ensure that you guide the visitor through the process of purchase step by step (if the website is used to sell). Offering subscriptions and memberships is a great way to encourage repeat visits. Flickr is a very good example of a website whose homepage design is effective in increasing its customer base.
It is important to design the homepage for both members and first time visitors. Amazon is a classic example of this. The logged out version of Amazon’s homepage displays all the products which are popular. The home page is slightly different for members who would have logged in. It includes a section which contains a list of products recommended by the website based on the member’s past purchases.
Content is the king. It should be informative and entertaining. It should be visually stimulating and in line with the overall goal of the website. It should be focused on driving the visitors to act by using appropriate action words. It is a good idea to target customer specific needs.
It is advisable to spend some time on the placement of the content. Some components of the content will usually be more important. It is advisable to highlight those components. According to a study, most of the visitors look at the top left side first, then they look at the top right side and then they scroll down. Various components of the content should be placed accordingly.
It is advisable to use colors to enhance attention to crucial layout components. You may also consider increasing the font size. It is a good idea to provide white space around an important component. Tech-savvy website designers make the mistake of placing random widgets. It is very important to keep the design simple. Users tend to lose interest when they see a cluttered homepage.
It is very important to keep the website loading time to the minimum. It is not advisable to use excessive graphics. It is a good idea to use appropriate tools to reduce their file size. It is a good idea to include “About us” section in the homepage.
Designing a good home page is both a science and an art. It is a challenge, which can easily be achieved by implementing the above-mentioned tips.