I believe there won’t be a single person that can deny that the homepage is the most important page on any site. It’s most likely the first thing a person sees from your site, it’s your front door, your professional card, if you will. So, you shouldn’t be surprised by how obsessive people can get when designing their business homepages – everything’s gotta be perfect, eye-catching, spectacular.
But how can you translate those terms into a single page on your site? It’s a matter of colors, of shapes, buttons, forms, text? How do you do it? It’s hard to tell since there isn’t a mathematical formula for it but there certainly are a few secrets that can optimize your homepage to make it more engaging and, ultimately, to increase revenue. Enough chit chat – the introduction is gone, here come the secrets!
1 – Understand your site’s purpose
Though in some it might not be apparent, all websites exist for a reason. Be it just to sell things, offer your services, provide information or to entertain, your site surely is online to serve some purpose. Do you know what is it? Great! Still in the dark? Then sit down and figure it out! Why it’s so important? Because the site’s design and structure depends on this, since all of the components you use in the final site will work together to accomplish that purpose.
2 – Translate that purpose into an action
The last sentence in the previous point is probably the most important thing you’ll read here. That’s because you have to understand how all of the components interact with each other and how they all contribute to that one goal. As I said above, your business site can have a lot of purposes which, in turn, can translate into a wide number of call to actions.
Find out which one is the best for you (purchase, subscribe, fill out a form) and make the homepage revolve around it. You can do so by using buttons, popup windows, placing the important information on top and always visible – there are lots of ways. Just be sure that your homepage is all about one action and one action alone.
3 – Make your visitors curious
Telling your visitors to “purchase now” or inviting them to “learn more” won’t do the trick by itself. You have to grab your visitors’ interest from the get-go – and CTAs won’t do that. So, what will? I wish we knew for certain! There are a few suggestions that seem to work most of the times, though. You can create a doubt in your visitors – keep them wondering the answers to questions you put in your homepage and “hide” the answers in other pages. You can also make them feel you have the solution for their problems and/or get them excited about what you have to offer. Just remember – don’t give away too much in your homepage.
4 – Create an optimized experience
I could write pages about this but, in the end, it all comes down to this – your homepage has to be easy to use. It sounds like a silly thing to suggest, but many people often forget this basic principle and let the design get in the way. Need some pointers on this? Use buttons, reduce the amount of scrolling needed to cover the whole homepage, limit the text to a minimum, use web-optimized images, create a layout that’s easy to read and connect. In short, don’t overcomplicate just for effect. You can do a lot more with less!
5 – Test, adjust, repeat
The perfect homepage isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime work – it’s a constant evolution. Web trends are always shifting and you’ll never know what comes next and what will fall out of style. That’s why you should design, test how well your new design went and adjust as you go. Those adjustments can be pretty minor or they can be huge but the important thing is to make them when necessary. The color of a CTA button can change the number of times it gets clicked and a word can sound a whole lot better than other. Aim for perfection and keep moving towards it, even when you never reach it.
Understanding and applying the above is crucial for your site’s success or failure. And if your business depends on your site (a common occurrance these days) then you definitely have to check all of these points. Don’t know what you’re doing? Then hire a web design expert to help you out since working in your homepage (and it your site as a whole) can dramatically change your how your audience perceives you – and the revenue you’re getting.