Your Homepage Says A Lot About Your Company!
If your homepage is a mess or difficult to read, potential customers will assume you are disorganized and have bad taste, then leave. The purpose of a homepage is to welcome customers and entice them to delve further into your website where they can learn more about your products and hopefully make a purchase.
Your website exists to serve your customers. It needs to speak to their needs in a language they understand. Websites that fail to live up to these basic standards will not get a lot of business or repeat visits. Websites that can’t address these basic needs on their homepage won’t even get their traffic through the door.
There are a lot of potential mistakes someone can make when designing their homepage including technical and back-end issues. The tips below deal with some basic front-end aesthetic no-no’s you should steer clear of at all costs.
Poor and Misused Graphics
There are many considerations when it comes to selecting graphics for your homepage, but the most important are the quality, the amount, and their actual relevance to your product or service.
Having too many or badly sized, pixilated graphics on your homepage looks amateur and can annoy your visitors. Your visitors will take one look and then quickly return to Google to find another website that doesn’t hurt their eyes.
Choose one or two high quality, relevant graphics for your homepage. Unless your business buys, sells, supports, or is affiliated with puppies, there should not be pictures of puppies on your homepage.
Overwhelming visitors with flashy graphics or random animations will not keep them interested in your website. Large graphics that take too long to load or Flash animations that require plug-ins will also cause your customers to lose interest and leave.
Too Much (or too little) Content
Unfortunately, many businesses believe that they need to put every detail about their company on their homepage. On the contrary, writing seemingly endless streams of paragraphs and lengthy mission statements, including special messages from the CEO and every news item ever written about the company would be an example of an ineffective homepage.
Think about what basic information your customer needs to know when they get to your website. This typically includes two to three short sentences that describe what your company does. Conversely, a short tagline that does not address the basic function of your company will not be helpful and require at least a little further explanation.
The rest of your company and product information should be contained in clearly labeled and identifiable links that lead to separate web pages so your customer can find them if they want to.
Loud and Mismatched Colors
Your choice of colors will depend on the type of product or service you offer, your demographics, etc., so these will vary by website. What is universal however, is limiting the amount of colors you use. All you really need are 2-3 complimentary colors. Too many colors or a lot of bright colors can be distracting and bother your visitor’s eyes, especially if they are trying to read content at the same time.
Avoid choosing a font color that is too similar to your background color. Doing so will also make it difficult for your visitors to read your content.
General color guidelines include avoiding combinations of red and green (for color blind visitors), and staying away from black backgrounds (unless you are a super edgy energy drink or a Star Wars fan site).
Learn more about how to build a successful homepage. (insert link to How to Build a Successful Homepage Article)
Check out some hilarious examples of horrible websites.