A strong homepage is a delicate balance of graphics, content, and navigation.
Since homepages are often the first impression a potential customer will have of your company you want to catch their eye and introduce your products or services in a clear, engaging way.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for companies to take this concept to extremes and bombard visitors with loud flashy graphics and long paragraphs that drive traffic away as soon as it arrives.
Below are some helpful tips for creating a successful homepage that will keep visitors on your Web site.
Keep it simple
The most successful homepages understand that less is more, as long as the less provides enough basic information to convey your message and engage the reader. This includes:
- A few well chosen and relevant graphics
- A set color scheme that soothes the eye and reflects your brand
- Clearly identified sections with headings (these can be small squares with a graphic and heading that link to another section)
- A short welcome message or tagline (two-three sentences max)
- An uncluttered navigation bar with short titles that link to other sections
All of this information should be visible to the viewer “above the fold” meaning that they do not need to scroll down the page to see it in its entirety.
The purpose of a homepage is to introduce your customers to your services and direct them further into the Web site to get information about your products. Displaying all of this information on one page seems overwhelming and many visitors won’t take the time to read it. Structuring your page to create clearly identified sections will also help with both readability and navigation.
Links and Navigation
Once you have received a visitor to your Web site you want them to be able to quickly and easily find the relevant information they are looking for. Using a top or side navigation bar that provides clear, concise links to major areas of your website are a key function. If visitors cannot quickly find what they are looking for they are likely to leave your website in search of another.
Common link titles include:
- About Us
- Services or Products (depending on the type and amount you offer, this can be made into several relevant links)
- Store locations
By keeping link names simple, clear, and easy to locate, visitors will be able to easily navigate your Web site and ultimately purchase your products.
Color sets a mood and a tone that people instinctively pick up on. While you might think that filling your homepage with a barrage of colors will keep your visitor’s attention, it is far more likely to give them a headache and keep them from focusing on your content.
Keep your color scheme to a few harmonious color choices that work well together with accent colors used sparingly for style and detail. This also includes choosing a font that is easily readable in a color that contrasts with the background for maximum readability.
Learn more about what not to put on your homepage.