Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a blogger, or a corporation, it is expected of you that you have a website in place.
The reason why this is the case is that your website serves as your home on the Internet.
People can visit it if they want to connect with you. Speaking of home, the most important part of a website is the homepage.
Given the fact that the homepage is the very first thing that web visitors are likely going to look at on your website, you want to ensure that your homepage is at its best.
Otherwise, you might have been able to get someone to reach your homepage, but they may end up leaving because it is insufficient in immediately answering their needs.
The important features of an effective website homepage
With that said, you have to take note of these 10 key features that any effective website homepage:
1. Place your logo
You want to have your branding obvious as soon as possible so that your web visitors know immediately which site they went to and that the link that they clicked is reliable.
Aside from that, it reinforces the strength of your branding by putting your logo right on your website’s homepage. You can position your logo anywhere as long as it’s easy to spot. In addition, make sure that the image quality is top-notch so that your web visitors are able to make out what your logo looks like.
There’s no better place than the homepage on your website where you can establish your brand from the get-go. Thus, you should use that opportunity to do just that.
2. Create a hero section
A hero section is a part of the homepage that highlights the key contents of your website and your business. This part of your homepage is your chance to create a large slideshow of sorts that will give your guests a quick and easy idea of what your website is all about and what to expect from it.
A hero section is also aesthetically pleasing to look at but you should make sure that it has a message too. Otherwise, the design is useless and is only there for decoration.
You can use the hero section to highlight company mission and vision, current status, and any relevant information about your business. Don’t only use it to showcase pictures since this isn’t a gallery at all.
3. Utilize white space
Back in the day, people loved to play around with what they can do with their website. They added all sorts of features on their site as much as possible.
Now that we know better, it’s important that you create a less cluttered website homepage. You wouldn’t want to confuse and suffocate your web visitors upon their first arrival on your site.
Therefore, if you’re designing your website homepage, try and incorporate some white space where it’s needed. It will look sleek, clean, and professional. At the same time, it’s a lot easier to find things on your homepage if there are strategic white spaces on it.
4. Ditch the sidebar
Minimalism is the key nowadays for a website so that user experience is as simple and easy as possible.
Dumping a ton of information on your web visitors all at once isn’t going to be useful for you nor for your web visitors. Therefore, when designing your homepage, consider removing the sidebar altogether if you have one on your site.
Not only is the sidebar going to feature unimportant information likely, but it will also be taking away attention from actual important information.
The key is to de-clutter. Link key pages on your homepage instead if you really believe the information on your sidebar is important enough.
5. Put a compelling call-to-action
The call-to-action (CTA) goal is to compel your web visitors to commit to an action that you want them to take or that is beneficial to you or them.
Since you want them to take that action, you need your CTA to be persuasive. You need to make your CTA attractive and appealing to your target audience.
You can find out its effectiveness by experimenting and testing which versions of it were able to bring in the most positive results. Make your CTA intriguing and unique.
Whether it’s enrollment forms, contact forms, or email list subscription, your CTA is the key that leads to these actions so it’s worth your time to work on your CTA.
6. Display your contact information
Even if you may have a contact form available on your website, you should still find a way to display your contact information right on the homepage.
This is usually placed on the footer of a website. You can also link your contact form at the bottom if you want so that your visitors can click on it and go to the contact page.
7. Make your homepage copy scannable
If your homepage has a copy on it, you want to ensure that it is easy to skim and scan for web visitors that have particularly short attention spans.
The best way to do this is by learning to break down your homepage copy in chunks and separating them through a variety of appropriate subheadings.
Also, don’t rely too much on paragraphs so that your copy doesn’t seem to heavy to consume for a lot of people.
8. Incorporate social proof elements
Your homepage can be a place where you show testimonials, reviews, or institutions that you have provided service for or you’ve sold a product.
Social proof elements on your homepage might make your unconvinced web visitors more likely to convert.
9. Consider adding a search function
If someone is looking for a specific thing from your website, it will be convenient for them if there is already a search function on your homepage. That way, they won’t have to click through to a lot of pages to get where they want to go.
10. Take advantage of the footer
Your homepage will have a footer and it is a great place for other website navigations, especially ones most relevant to your web visitor. For example, you can link your socials on there. You should also put your contact information and other crucial links for your web visitor.
Summary about the key features of an effective website homepage
An effective website homepage contains a lot of critical features to ensure that your web visitors have the best experience. No matter what your website is for, optimizing your homepage gives you a higher chance of getting business results from it at the end of the day.
This guest blog article was written by Kenneth Sytian, the owner and chief executive officer of Sytian Productions Web Design in the Philippines. He has been designing websites and developing web applications for more than a decade.