The homepage of your website is often the page many visitors will go to first. So, when designing your website, it is important to follow a few basic principles to engage your visitors. Remember, most people will decide within 3 to 5 seconds whether they want to stay on your site or move on. First impressions count here!
Be sure that your website, especially your home page, reflects the brand of your business. Too many people ignore this when designing their website and decide to go “totally different” branding wise with their online presence. Big mistake! Make sure your logo is consistent across all of your marketing material, including your website. Be sure your fonts and colors are complimentary to your printed offline marketing materials. If you don’t care for your current branding, colors, fonts, logo, etc., that you have on your printed materials, then it may be time for a total branding overhaul.
Be sure that your contact information, such as phone numbers, email address (or contact form), etc. are displayed on your home page. Often times people will Google your website simply to get your contact information. Don’t make them go searching for it. Display it on the home page, on a prominent “contact us” page that can be accessed from the home page, or, even better, on all the pages of your site, in either the header or the footer.
Simple and Elegant Navigation
Be mindful of the navigation on your website. Too many sites have far too many links and buttons in their navigation bar. Narrow it down to 3-5 broad categories, with drop down links under each, if needed. Too many navigation points at the top end of the hierarchy will overwhelm your website visitors.
For example, notice how MailChimp keeps their navigation bar to five main categories, with more links under each, so as not to overwhelm their visitors with choices at the top level.
Keep It Simple
Don’t try to cram everything into your home page. You have plenty of other opportunities to show what you do or how you can help your customers or clients on “inside” pages of your website. Keep the home page crisp, clean, organized and easy to read.
The goal of your home page is to actually entice your visitors to click through to other pages. When presented with too much information all at once, you may actually be overwhelming your visitors, causing them to leave.
Always remember the purpose of your website’s homepage is to get your visitors to page two! Unless your visitor is only on your site to grab your phone number or address quickly, if you can’t get them to another page on your site, your home page has failed you and you have accomplished nothing.
Repeat after me…
Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.
You can also read more about some of the homepage design mistakes that I think many businesses make.