Do you have all the essential elements on your homepage?
Every good website starts with a plan. While there are many aspects to consider during this process, one of the first orders of business should be mapping out your homepage.
It’s so easy to get caught up with the bells and whistles that you want to have on your site, that you may neglect to think about the key elements you need to include on your site.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Make sure you’ve got your bases covered by including these essential elements on the most highly visited page on your site.
1. High-quality logo
Your logo is the first visual connection potential customers make with your company, so make sure to use it on your site, preferably somewhere at the top of the page. This will help return visitors recognize your brand and new visitors get a sense of your professionalism.
If you don’t have a logo, it’s best to have a designer create one for you. This way you’ll have a high-quality visual to represent your brand.
2. Clear headline
When someone clicks through to your site, do they instantly know what product or service you’re offering?
A well-written mission statement, phrase or slogan is the first thing visitors will look to for clarification, so make sure you’ve got one.
Who are you? What do you do? What problems can you solve for your customers?
These are all questions that you need to address front and center with a clear and concise statement.
It doesn’t hurt to include some keywords in your headline as well, in order to help boost your SEO efforts (more on that later).
3. Engaging graphics
People tend to react more quickly to visuals rather than words. This means that the graphics you use on your site – particularly your homepage – may be more important than you think.
Use photos or illustrations that not only represent you and/or your company, but also leave an impression or evoke an emotion.
Humorous or whimsical images can be quite memorable and work well on your homepage (although this technique may not be suitable for all categories of business).
Tip: Check out our tools & resources page for links to some free photo resources!
4. Call-to-action (CTA) button
The main purpose of your website should be getting potential customers to interact with you.
Whether you want visitors to subscribe, purchase, contact or inquire, make it obvious by providing a clear and simple CTA button “above the fold” (immediately visible on a visitor’s screen without the need to scroll), on your homepage.
Try invoking action by offering to solve your target customer’s problems. This is a surefire way to get your visitors to click.
5. Top products/services offered
Similar to having a great headline, it’s vital to clearly outline the top 3-5 products or services you offer front and center on the homepage.
A great way to do this is by having blocks of content that give a little bit of information about that particular product or service.
Be sure to include some sort of visual (photo, icon or other image), and a link to the section on your site that provides more information on the topic.
6. Intuitive navigation
Navigation is another extremely important site element that takes careful consideration.
Avoid using industry jargon as navigation links on your site as this has the potential to confuse your visitors.
Keep the terms simple and easy to find by giving the most highly-visited pages the most visibility.
For example, the about page typically gets a lot of traffic so be sure this link is easy to locate.
It’s pretty commonplace to have more than one link to a particular section on your homepage, and not only is that okay, but some may even venture to call it best practice.
For example, you may have three services listed in call-out boxes on your homepage, but you might include a link in your main menu that navigates to those service pages as well.
7. Contact info
When a visitor enters your site, they should be able to quickly understand how they can go about contacting you.
A phone number call-out in the header of your site is a great idea for those who prefer to use the phone but make sure to also include a contact form.
For local businesses, your address and the areas you serve is also important to include. The contact page or footer is a great place for including this information.
8. Social media links
You probably know by now that social media can have a huge impact on marketing your business. And if your marketing budget is tight, then you need all the help you can get.
Make it easy for people to follow you by providing social media links in the header or footer of your homepage.
If you have a blog, be sure to use social share icons on every post you publish. (If you’re using WordPress, there are lots of plugins that make this a cinch.)
Just because your homepage looks great and includes all the important elements mentioned above, please don’t overlook search engine optimization! After all, there’s no use in having a well-designed website if no one knows it exists.
Every page on your site, including and especially the homepage, should include a strong page title, engaging meta description and a fair amount of keywords in order to rank well with the search engines.
Your homepage, presumably the most feature-packed and topic-heavy page on your site, lends itself to many optimization opportunities. Be sure to take advantage of those.
So how does your site stack up? Need some advice on homepage improvements? If so, we can help!