Your Homepage is Really Important
A homepage is the main page of the website. Like the cover of a book or the front of your store, the homepage is where to welcome people who visit your website and to inform the overall purposes of your website. It offers an index of navigation that organizes content and leads to other parts of the website.
Among three main pages of a website, homepage is considered as the most important page. Recently researches show that the homepage gets more traffic than any other page and has different goals than your content page and landing page. Every page on your website needs to have a strategy, quantitative goals and have a very specific business orientation if you want your website to be found and drive leads for your enterprise. The homepage isn't necessarily the place where customers convert, but it is the place where customers get their first impression of your brand. And if that first impression isn't a good one, they probably aren't going to stick around to learn more about your free trial or limited-time offer.
Is Your Website Design Remarkable?
A great website designed with user experience in mind is one of the most beneficial investments a brand can make. Your homepage, in particular, can have a huge impact on how many potential customers sticking around to learn more about your brand, as opposed to hitting the “back” button. So, how does it impact? A remarkable homepage’s goal is to figure out your company’s unique identity, then share it with the world. There’s something like the landing page, your homepage should be designed with the goal of leading visitors through your sales funnels and the buyers' journey. It sounds easy, but a page considered as the most important page is not easy to make stand out if you don’t learn how to beautify it.
But it can be accomplished. Of course, now you can’t identify how your homepage is lacking. And what constitutes an outstanding homepage design? After several pieces of research, experts show that a good homepage design is a page that follows these three main purposes: attract and captivate your visitors, educate your visitors on your brand, and encourage them to visit other pages.
Now, just think back about the last time you searched homepage of online companies. Which website were you impressed most? Which are outdated or make you terrified as a nightmare? Then just make a comparison between these homepages and your homepage.
OK, keep reading to find out more about good homepage design that converts, then compare with your current homepage after you read this article to make it has the best chance to rank high in the search engine.
Let’s take a look at 7 keys for homepage design that will help you convert your visitors into leads.
1. Establish Your Identity
To educate your visitors on your brand, that means you need to build your brand image, making a statement about who you are is one of the most important things you need to show on your homepage.
Ideally, your homepage needs to have some main keys. Firstly, you need to introduce your brand and give your visitors a clear sense of your brand. How clear it is depends on how clear your content is and how attractive your images are. Moreover, the attraction of your content and images will make your brand more memorable. If you don’t make your brand become memorable, that means you don’t raise your customer’s awareness of your brand.
Say what you do in the main heading of your homepage
The shorter you can make your main heading and still explain what you do, the better. Shorter headings are faster to read - it’s that simple. Common heading mistakes with home pages are:
Having several headings the same size so diluting the visitor’s focus.
Not having a heading and just going straight into paragraph text.
The heading is too small so it doesn’t grab the visitor’s attention.
2. Define Your Homepage Style Relying On Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are a specific group of potential customers, a group of target customers who you want your marketing to reach. As we all know, if you don’t know exactly about your customer or visitors, what they want and need, what they’re thinking and what are their problems, you won’t be able to sell your product to them. Optimizing your site for buyer personas gets you away from an egotistical viewpoint and help you learn about what your users want and need. Then you’ll know about their situations and the reasons for their hesitations.
But don't forget to keep your homepage visual interesting by the first impression. Quality photos grab the visitor’s attention. Rather than several small images, one large image or a slideshow of large images are much more visually impressive. People can smell stock photos a mile away. For some industries they’re a necessary evil but if you can avoid them, do it! People want real deal images of you, your business, your work and/or your customers. They’ll trust you more, so you’ll be more likely to convert visitors to leads.
3. Make It Simple
Don’t make your visitors feel confused about seeking the information they need. An excessive amount of widgets, calls-to-action, links, and general clutter distracts and overwhelms visitors, ultimately causing them to reach for the "back" button. So, keep your homepage simple and clean.
- Clean text and easy-to-read font and size.
- Plenty of white space.
- Minimize the amount of CTA button, widgets or something can distract your visitors.
- Make the sections clearer.
Let's take a look at a simple homepage (from Shopify Themes Store)
It's a super simple design with a strong, no-jargon headline and sub-headline.
4. Blog Highlights
According to some recent researches, companies that actively blog command 126 percent more growth in leads that businesses that do not blog. If you write something on purpose of sharing knowledge and experiences, that makes your visitors feel they’re understood by you. Then you’ll receive more trust from them.
Blogging is not only one way of drive more traffic to your websites, but it also helps your website rank at the top SEO and social media, and so, convert traffic into leads.
Each blog post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. As long as you add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post, you will be giving your visitors another way to convert into a lead. For example, free ebooks, free whitepapers, free trials,... when people visit your websites, they see your free offers, then they click on the CTA button and come to your landing page, which contains a form for them to fill in and then lead them through the sales funnel. Consider adding a subscription box with a lead magnet or simply including a live feed of your most recent publications.
Blogs may help you increase conversion, its content shows your expertise and helpfulness, naturally converts your visitors into leads, you may need to think of encouraging them to view and subscribe to it by highlighting it on your homepage.
5. Obvious Stuff
Let’s mention a little bit about the obvious stuff.
People often seeking your logo in the top left corner. Don’t forget to lay it at any pages of your website. You don’t need to hire an expensive logo designer. Text logos are just as good, only with 1% of the cost.
Only 47% of websites display a clear call to action that takes visitors 3 seconds or less to find. That means almost half of the websites leave visitors wondering “What am I supposed to do here?”.
Don’t create too many options that can lead to decision overload and cause visitors to bounce. Instead of creating too many CTA buttons, you should invest more in your content that makes your visitors feel that you understand them, or you can add the proper language, offers, and call to actions to turn visitors into customers on your homepage without too many options. You can have multiple locations for one button, but they should be laid on your landing page, not the homepage, and they should lead to one place with the same purpose.
Take a look at Formstack homepage and pay attention to its logo and CTA. Are they clear and right placed, right?
6. Above The Fold and Below The Fold
The content above the fold which is visible without scrolling down is the first impression to your visitors. If you want to avoid causing your visitors to bounce you need to make it attractive, to achieve your marketing goals. Make sure your above-the-fold content contains the most important elements:
- Value proposition
- Your identity
- CTA button
7. Don't Make Your Visitors Wait While Your Page Is Loading
Speed is a killer. The speed of your website really has much of effect on your sales. Even it’s quite acceptable, you still need to improve it. Your visitors will never want to waste their time waiting for your page.
According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, a half of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, that means if your page loads in over 2 seconds, your visitors will be led to bounce, and your conversion will be decreased, of course.
A second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions (research by Amazon).
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a second delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. Remember that for every second you shave off of load time, you’ll tend to boost customer confidence and trust in your site, and sow the seeds that will make them a way to tell others about your brand.
Actually, there are no ways to list all the tips that make an outstanding homepage design. Although you’ve done it using all of above tips, keep on testing different hypotheses, and see what makes different. Test to convert, test to learn. Just take a look at your current homepage, compare it with other pages that have high conversions and find out the differences, don’t stop testing and improving. It’s never done to have a good homepage design.
Extra For Experts:
Try making some tests, changes and measure for any improvements in Google Analytics. A more effective home page will reduce your bounce rate (people leaving your site after only visiting one page - usually the home page), increase time on your site and increase the number of pages per visit. Bounce rate, time on site and pages per visit are all statistics Google Analytics gives you. Just keep a track of when you made the change so you can compare these stats from both before and after you made the change.