Today’s post is a fairly short one but is without a doubt one of the most important articles you’ll ever read for your business. Because the fact of the matter is, many website owners at some point or other will be faced with the inevitable task of building a website homepage.
While simple at its heart, there are many small mechanics involved with building a good homepage, which if left untreated can prove fatal for your business.
According to a report from the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), 77% of agencies believe that poor UX design is a weakness for their clients.
What this essentially means is that most website owners leave their sites to their own devices with no forethought or knowledge towards what actually makes a great design or layout.
This is crucial because it clearly highlights the importance of knowing how to build an effective page. Especially true for your homepage. We’ve written before about crafting the perfect blog post but your home page is arguably the most vital page of all.
Your homepage is essentially your digital business card. A properly designed page, therefore, can mark the difference between a mediocre page and a page that can potentially acquire new customers and form new relationships down the line.
In this article, we’re going to highlight the key elements of what makes a great homepage, which by the end of it, you’ll be able to then take away and apply to your own websites.
So, let’s begin with a simple question…
What Makes A Good Homepage Design?
In essence, a great page is simple and straightforward. Because of this, it’s also often overlooked in favour of more shiny things such as typography, colours, logos etc… While important in itself, it simply makes little impact if the fundamentals aren’t in place; like a house built from a poor foundation.
We have listed 6 of the most vital elements that you should seriously consider adding and are not listed by order of importance.
1) It has a great compelling headline that talks directly to the customer.
Is the message of your website clear?
Does it connect with your website visitors and potential customers?
In short, an effective headline front and centre of your homepage is the most important element you can think of when designing your page. If you can’t describe your business to your visitors in one sentence and it doesn’t connect with their issues, then you may require spending some time coming up with some headline ideas.
We recently wrote an article on headlines on our blog and strongly recommend reading through it and working through the exercises mentioned.
The benefit is you will gain a deeper understanding of your prospects, which will allow you to better align your products and services with their specific needs.
A great example from airbnb.com
Another great example from mint.com
2) It Has Trust & Authority.
Is your site a trusted source of information?
Where possible, it’s always advisable to include other reputable sources on your site to confirm authority and high value in your prospects’ eyes. As further emphasised by Robert Cialdini in his book ‘Influence’.
Social Proof is a crucial indicator of influencing your audience to take the desired action.
The more of it you can include on your homepage, the more effective it will be in establishing yourself as an authority.
A nice example from SmartPassiveIncome.com showing where the site has been featured.
3) Has A Selection Of The Latest Blog Posts (if any)
A homepage on its own is static, which in the eyes of the mighty search engines, may be a bad thing. Including a feed of your latest blog posts will not only keep your page fresh but also encourage the search engine bots to keep returning to your homepage and crawling your site for new information, which will greatly improve your rankings and attract new visitors.
As with trust and authority, including testimonials from existing customers will greatly improve social proof. This add credibility to your business, further removing any doubts and objections from your prospective customers and encouraging them to take action.
5) A Simple & Effective Design.
Is your homepage clean and easy to look at?
This element is commonly overemphasised by many website owners as they get too carried away on design and making their pages look ‘shiny’.
But herein lies the problem; the busier the page looks, the more overwhelming it will be for your visitors and the less likely it will be for them to actually take the desired action.
In short, keep things simple; use two basic colours, a simple layout with a clear, large typography set that is easily read and consumed by your visitors.
6) Calls-To-Action (CTA)
Are your visitors clear on the action they need to take in order to move forward?
Again, this may seem like common sense, it’s surprisingly overlooked in favour of design and site layout.
In short, including a clear call-to-action on your page is essential for not only walking your visitors down a clear path but also making your business predictable at acquiring email addresses, building relationships and making that all-important sale.
Putting It All Together
Now that we’ve covered the core elements of what makes a perfect homepage, what we now want to do is take each puzzle piece and provide a coherent structure, which you can take away and apply to your own homepage designs.
Here are two example websites to look over. To help illustrate the elements listed above we’ve highlighted those in red boxes.
Example #1 – Smart Passive Income
Example #2 – Ahrefs
– Include your main headline at the top of the page.
– Include the main call-to-action on the top and bottom of the page.
– Include any testimonials, article feeds and trust/authority credentials somewhere inside your main page content.
If you like to access ‘ready-made’ premium templates that use the elements listed above, please be sure to check out our marketplace, where we constantly update it with exclusive template styles.