Five ingredients of a successful homepage

Written on 13 January, 2014 by Karen Lim-Sam
Categories: Marketing, Web Design & Content | Tags: content, web design

For many people, your homepage design will be their first impression of your business – and you never get a second chance at a first impression. Investing in a homepage that will draw customers in and stop them from hitting the dreaded ‘Back’ button is very important. Here are our five tips to a successful homepage:

1. Contact information

No matter how a web user has ended up on your website, it’s up to you to make sure they get the information and help they need straight from your homepage. For customers who are looking to ask a question or find out more about a service, the best way to do this is to make it easy to get in touch.

Include a phone number in the header, put in an email button so they can fire you a line immediately and also clearly link to a ‘Contact’ page that includes your physical address. If you own a retail business, be sure to prioritise your physical address – there’s nothing more frustrating than failing to find out where a business is on its own website!

2. Clear navigation links

Web users are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to navigating new sites, but they also tend to have some well-defined expectations when it comes to navigation. It may be tempting to create a gorgeous, all-singing, all-dancing homepage, but if you subvert common navigation rules, you’ll soon find your bounce rates increasing.

Create a homepage with clearly labelled links in the header, intuitive clickthroughs on any images and appropriate calls to action. If your site caters to different clients – if you sell to both homes and businesses, for example – it’s also wise to employ clear segmentation techniques that will guide users to the correct section of the site.

3. Sign them up

Your contact list is an extremely valuable commodity, so if you’re not using your homepage as an opportunity to attract new names, you’re squandering prime real estate.

Make it easy for new visitors to sign up to your newsletters or special offers and you’ll have a potential revenue stream and another chance to make a conversion at a later date. Don’t make customers click through to another sign-up page – let them enter their details directly on your homepage and you’re far more likely to see your contact list grow.

4. Add social media links

If you have a social media presence, your homepage is the perfect place to advertise it. Let customers know there’s an alternative way to stay in touch or find out about special deals and new products by including links to your social streams.

Small, official icons are all you need to include – social media users are quick to recognise their chosen brands.

5. Images that represent your business

Snappy headlines, well-written links and smart copy are all essential to a good homepage, but without the right accompanying images, there’s a chance all your hard work will go to waste. The average user makes up their mind about a website in a matter of seconds, so your images need to portray your business accurately and professionally. Spend time selecting images that reflect your brand, whether they are quirky cartoon characters or serious stock photos.

Your homepage is the front door to your business – make sure it does everything it can to encourage customers to step inside. If you would like to speak to someone about how to better improve your homepage design and/or website, please contact our consultants on 1800 800 099.