Your homepage wins or loses your audience

Do you want to win and keep the visitors who land on your homepage?  You only have a matter of seconds in which new visitors decide to stay & explore or leave your website forever.   Do you want to create a homepage which follows the example of the best homepages?  When you make a homepage, follow these 4 simple homepage tips. butterfly-orchid

Your homepage is a landing site for your users. It needs to invite them to delve more deeply.

01Catch their attention

Know your audience
First know your audience and design your homepage around their needs. Your audience is your key to success.

Give users a glimpse

  • Don’t try to fit too much on your home-page, unless you are creating a blog-style website.   You only need to give users an idea of what they can find on the rest of your website.  Give them a taste, an invitation to delve deeper into the site for more.
  • Remove all clutter to make the important things stand out.
  • Prioritise – give the most important items prime ‘real estate’ on your homepage.

Create a brand
Your logo, site name, tag line and the general look and feel of the homepage help to give your site an identity or ‘brand’.  Good branding helps users to:-

  • Identify and remember your site
  • Distinguish your site from your competitors

02Make it obvious what your website offers

State your purpose
You have a matter of seconds to win or lose each new visitor to your homepage.  Make it obvious to your homepage visitors:-

  • What your website offers them
  • What they can find and achieve on your website

Make the wording clear, simple and brief.

If you offer a complex range of products
Clarity is especially important if you offer a complex range of products or services.  You must find a way to make it very clear and obvious what people can actually get from your site. Sometimes a three-step graphic can help simplify the concepts.

Does what you offer match your visitors needs?
Make it easy for your visitors to quickly assess whether you are offering something they need or want.

Clear menu structure
Make sure your menu structure reinforces your message and displays what you have to offer in a clearly organized manner.

03Win their confidence

Make it look Familiar
To help build user confidence:-

  • Provide a menu structure that looks familiar.
  • Use terminology that people are familiar with, such as “Contact Us”, “Shopping Cart”, “Log In”.

Make it Easy to Use
Use simple language.  Organise your information logically so it is easy to find things on your site. Remove obstacles from your users’ path.

04Make it work

Content is King
Keep your homepage content up to date and spell-checked.  Give your users a reason to return to your site.

Help people find your site
Write for search engines as well as for users. Getting found with search engines is largely a matter of using the right keywords wisely.  Do keyword research to find out what words and phrases people are actually using. Sprinkle the content on your homepage with those keyword phrases which will help users find your site, paying particular attention to your headlines, titles of articles and the first paragraph of article text. When you submit a new website to the popular search engines, remember it can take up to 6 weeks before your site becomes indexed for searches.

Check for broken links
Check your website periodically for broken links.  These can occur if external website pages have changed their URLs, or if you change the title of an article on your website (which results in the change of its URL).

Do User Testing
Some of your great ideas may prove to be ‘pie-in-the-sky’ – you don’t know until you test your website on users. Studies have proven that the sooner you start testing, the greater your savings in time and website development costs.  See also very simple test plan and using Personas

See also :-

Jana Brech

About Jana Brech

Hi, my name is Jana Brech. I live in Brisbane, Australia. After 20+ years in the IT industry as an Analyst/Programmer, I have a passion for Usability. I love good design. Drop me a note to say hi, or leave a comment. Web Consulting, Expert Reviews

Comments

  1. Bojko Belovsky  January 3, 2014

    Very helpful. Thanks. Hope will work on our church website.

    reply

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