Your Home page is the virtual window to your organisation and is generally the page that pulls in most of the traffic to your site. With this in mind, it needs to have wide-ranging appeal and present a clear overview of what your organisation has to offer.
This article looks at the importance of creating a winning Home page for your organisation, key elements that every Home page should contain and some tricks of the trade for making your Home page stand out.
Why does your Home page matter?
We’re all familiar with the expression “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. This saying couldn’t be any more apt than when it comes to your Home page.
At its heart, your Home page exists to give visitors a sense of your company’s purpose, values and USPs. It also needs to encourage them to explore further and potentially put some business your way.
As this page is often the first thing visitors to your site see, its content needs to be attractive, to-the-point and “sticky” enough to persuade them to hang around. With the average user taking just 15 seconds to decide whether to stay or go, this couldn’t be more important!
The 10 key elements of a winning Home page
So, now we know understand a little more about the role of the Home page, let’s take a look at the top 10 criteria for creating a winning Home page:
1) Attention-grabbing headline
This is arguably the most important element of your Home page, as visitors to your site need to know at a glance what your organisation’s offering. Make sure it’s in a prominent place, talk directly to your audience, and be concise with your wording – you’ll have more opportunities to elaborate on what your organisation does later!
The travel website Trivago does this rather nicely in its short, no-frills headline:
“Find your ideal hotel and compare prices from different websites”
2) Snappy sub-headline
Use a short sub-headline or a couple of lines of text to provide users with a brief, simple description of what your organisation does and how you can help them.
3) Eye-catching visuals
Humans tend to be visual creatures. It’s therefore crucial to include a visual element (either an image or video footage) on your Home page. Choose this well, avoid generic, stock images and try to select something that visitors will respond to on an emotional level. Likewise, avoid completely random images that have no link whatsoever with the content of your page or your organisation.
Your logo is at the centre of your organisation’s branding and identity and should be clearly visible on your Home page. The presence of your logo reassures and instils trust amongst visitors, and is a key element to help users recognise your brand.
5) Content above the fold
“Above the fold” refers to the part of the page a user can view without scrolling. It’s the first content they’ll see, so to gain maximum traction you need to place your most attention-grabbing copy on this area of your Home page – including, of course, your headline. Don’t be tempted to cram too much into this area of the page however, keep it clean and uncluttered for best results!
6) Benefits for the user
Don’t simply tell users what your organisation does, explain how you can help them. Visitors to your site will generally be looking for solutions to a problem, so make sure you spell out how your organisation can address their needs.
7) Social proof
Including some testimonials or customer reviews on your Home page is a great way to encourage trust (particularly amongst prospective and new clients) and show off your expertise.
8) Clear calls-to action (CTAs)
There’s no point in having a visually beautiful Home page with carefully-crafted text if visitors don’t know where they go from there. The goal of your page is to pique their interest and encourage them to dig a little deeper, so you need to include CTAs to support this.
Your CTAs could be anything from prompting visitors to sign up for a newsletter or free download, to requesting a quotation. Make sure you position CTAs logically in relation to the rest of the content on your page.
9) Easy navigation
Pay attention to the navigation from your Home page and across your site as a whole. The navigation menu should be easy to find, with items that are logically labelled. Include a search box where possible, to make things as easy as you can for the user.
10) Compelling content
Last, but certainly not least, the copy on your Home page has an enormous role to play in connecting with your target audience. Keeping your content simple, readable, persuasive and in a consistent brand voice will go a long way towards making sure your page hits the right note with visitors.
Don’t be afraid to use creative language and inject some of your organisation’s personality into your copy, it will make your page more memorable and will help lure visitors further into your site!
Nail these 10 key elements and you’ll be well on your way to a winning Home page.