Quick — what’s the most-visited page on your website?
I’m betting you said your homepage. If someone searches for your business on Google or follows a link to your site from your business card, they’re going to hit your homepage first.
Your homepage is the hardest-working page on your site. How’s it working for you?
People are making quick judgments about your business — its quality, character, and trustworthiness — based on what they see on your homepage. Is it living up to the scrutiny?
There are certain basics every homepage has to have. If yours is missing any of the elements below, it’s time to get to work fixing it.
Read on to discover the three basics you’ve got to have covered on your homepage.
1. It’s not about you, it’s about them
People arrive at your page wondering:
- Am I in the right place?
- What will I find here?
- Does this site have what I need?
- How can I find what I’m looking for?
Your home page is not about your business — it’s about your site visitor, and how they’ll interact with your business.
Meet the needs above by making sure your home page features these elements:
- Confirm they’ve arrived at the right place by placing the name of your website at the top.
- Explain what you offer with a clear tagline that reiterates what you can do for them.
- Make it easy to see what your business offers with a clean, clear design
- Feature an easy-to-understand navigation menu that helps them find what they came for
But that’s not all. Once you’ve got the content above covered, you should focus on how your page looks, and how it works.
2. First impressions count
The best home pages are simple. Why?
Because your site visitor arrives there looking for something. And simple pages help them find it, fast.
When deciding where to place things on your page, use visual hierarchy to control how your site visitor perceives your information. Visual hierarchy presents your information in a tiered format so it’s very obvious to the visitor what they should look at first, then afterward, and last.
This is good for you, because you can be sure your most important information will be read and absorbed. And it’s good for your visitor, too, because they’re able to extract your meaning faster.
3. The swift shall be rewarded (with visitors)
Your whole site should load quickly, of course, but since your home page is called up so often, it’s especially important to keep it lean.
That means simplifying graphics, as mentioned above. It also means using images at the lowest resolution you can get away with while still maintaining quality. Lower resolution images load faster.
Images like your website header and site background — if they use images — are especially important to keep low resolution and lean.