Why It’s Important To Have A Good Homepage Design
Does your website feel old, outdated, and doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head when it comes to doing your brand justice? Maybe your website isn’t quite bringing in the customers, leads and sales you thought it would?
Let’s start by looking at the most important page on your website — the homepage.
Your homepage is the front door to your digital office. The first thing customers see when they search for your business is your homepage, and first impressions last.
If you walked into a business and the front door was dilapidated, off-putting, and seemed “dodgy”, you’d be pretty likely to turn around and not enter the business. The same logic applies to a website homepage.
That being said, how do you make a website homepage that clearly and effectively communicates your brand to customers in order to make leads and sales? In this article we’re going to discuss what makes a good homepage as well as the 11 basic things a homepage needs in order to convert your customers into revenue.
Why is a good homepage important?
In 94% of cases, the user’s first impression of your website is connected to website design and the homepage. 88% of the time, users won’t return to a website if they’ve had a bad first impression with the website pages.
A bounce rate is the rate at which someone clicks off a website – if a homepage is designed well, it’ll have a bounce rate of about 25%, on the other hand if it’s not designed well and is confusing, it’ll have a bounce rate of 70% or higher.
Statistics aside, you’d know this from your own personal experience that your first impression with a website is extremely important.
Have you ever landed on a website homepage that’s been overwhelmingly confusing because it doesn’t clearly tell you what the business does? I’m sure you would leave that page and never return — the homepage is one of the most critical components of a user’s experience.
Set a good first impression for people landing on your page – keep them on the website for longer so they’re more likely to take action with your business – keep them happy so they’re likely to return.
This is why having a good homepage is important.
That being said, what makes a homepage good or bad?
The difference between a good homepage and a bad homepage
When you land on a website, you probably have a pretty good feel for what makes the homepage good or bad. But what website features contribute to this feeling? Here are 6 things that differentiate a good and bad homepage:
Have you ever walked past a store that’s completely overstocked and looks like it’s in a complete mess, so you think to yourself; “not even going to bother walking in here”. You’ll probably end up going to another store to find what you’re looking for.
The same logic applies to your homepage.
As John Childers, business trainer and success coach said; “A confused mind never buys”.
An easy way to help your customers easily find what they are looking for is by minimising the amount of distractions on the page. It’s quite a simple formula – limit distractions and encourage people to hit your call to action (CTA) buttons.
When assessing your homepage, ask yourself:
- What action do you want your customers to take when they land on the page?
- What information are they looking for?
If putting a few animations on your page doesn’t help with either of these questions, probably don’t bother with them.
Some examples that may distract people include:
- Overly bright colours
- Distracting gifs and animations
- Overloaded images and text
- Music on the page (it’s usually not a good idea)
Images and illustrations
Have you ever landed on a website and thought it wasn’t legitimate because of some shoddy looking pictures and graphics? Maybe they don’t relate to the product or service being sold on a website?
If you land on a bathroom tapware website and for some reason they have graphics of elevators, you probably won’t trust the website.
Images and illustrations can be a great tool that you can use to create a long lasting impression with your customers, or to clearly articulate a point. However, if you don’t use them right, your customers will be deterred from your website.
When using images and graphics, stay away from:
- Stock images
- Low-resolution images and graphics
- Poorly placed or images and graphics that don’t fit to the site parameters
- Images and graphics that aren’t related to the text
- Too many images or graphics (same as distraction point)
Messaging & typography
Could you imagine landing on a law firm’s page in order to find help with your divorce, only to see they are using a goofy font like Comic Sans? (Google it if you don’t know what we’re talking about)
Now, imagine if the messaging throughout that website wasn’t addressing the questions you had about divorce, and wasn’t doing anything to assure you that their service can help you in this stressful time.
Would you select this firm to handle your divorce?
The messaging on your website, along with how you present it, needs to align with your industry and brand — you need to appease your audience’s psychological needs. It’s one of the most important website key elements.
Some factors that will give the impression of a poor website include:
- Messaging that does not align with your brand
- Messaging that does not address the audience’s psychology
- Improper font size
- Huge paragraphs that are exhausting to read
- Typefaces that don’t match
- Poor font choices
If these are factors that you should try to avoid, what makes a good website when it comes to typography and messaging?
- Talk to the audience’s needs
- Use font that is easy-to-read and appropriate
- Don’t have large paragraphs – speak concisely
- Space out your text – don’t cram
Your homepage is designed to tell the customer who you are, and why they should choose you. If the branding and messaging is inconsistent and doesn’t have a shred of cohesion, you’re going to confuse your customer which will push them away from buying your product or using your service.
A good website design to sell products and services is very consistent.
- All colours match and suit your brand
- Your messaging stays the same throughout your website
- You can quickly form an idea of the whole company with a quick look at the homepage
The best way to think about your homepage usability is to imagine yourself as the customer.
You’ve just landed onto the page, what do you want to see? You probably want to see a clear heading, a clear call to action, and an easy-to-use navigation bar so you can seamlessly move around the website.
If the website is confusing and hard-to-use, you’d probably go elsewhere.
You must always be aiming to answer the customers’ psychological needs in the easiest way possible – out of all the website design elements, that should always be your primary focus on your homepage.
Make sure you:
- Use a strong, intent-driven hierarchy of information
- Have a mobile friendly design
- Obvious navigation and structure
- Easy-to-read content
Animations, when done well, can improve your website homepage design. However, as we mentioned in point 1, they can be distracting from your core messaging which is counterproductive when it comes to turning site visitors into revenue.
If you don’t feel the need to use animations, or it doesn’t make sense for your brand, keep it simple. A website without animations can definitely do just as well as one with animations, and can even do better. Without a good reason to use animations, it’s better to completely avoid them.
Animations are one of the components of a website that only add polish to your website – they’re not essential.
11 Factors that every homepage must have
Though there might be more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to design a website homepage, there is definitely a formula that has been proven to work well. When designing a website homepage, incorporate these 11 factors:
Within seconds you need to communicate to people that land on your page the purpose of your website and what your business has to offer them – this is done with the homepage headline. It’s only a few words, but it’s possibly the most important piece of copy on your website.
It takes a considerable amount of branding work and persona profiling to find the perfect few words that will convince someone that your business can solve their problems.
The subheading should supplement and explain how your product or service will fix the customer’s problem by targeting a pain point or benefit of the product.
Primary call to action
The point of your CTAs is to move people along your marketing funnel, and get them from initially landing on your website, to making a transaction with your business. Once you tell people what you offer in the heading and subheading, you have to direct them to take the next step with a CTA at the top of the page with your heading and subheading.
Usually this is a button that says things like:
- Book now
- Enquire today
- Shop here
- Request a proposal
- Sign up
Most people are visual, and a strong image that makes sense and doesn’t distract the person viewing your homepage can clearly indicate what you offer.
Use an image that:
- Targets emotion
- Drives action
- Visually communicates what the content for the website is telling
Once you’ve told the audience what you do, you need to tell them why they should choose you over your competitors. What is compelling about your business that makes it the right choice for them? What are the benefits of your business?
You can communicate this with:
- Unique selling points (USPs)
- A value proposition
How often before you buy something do you check for reviews that the product is decent? Even if you don’t check online, you probably ask friends and family first?
Most consumers before they make a purchase, especially if it’s on the expensive side, checks for some sort of social proof and validation.
Try to include:
- Your rating on Google
- Written reviews and testimonials
- Testimonial videos
- Proof of engagement on social media
Navigation is very important for website design and development. If your website and homepage is difficult to navigate and people that land on the page can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they will go somewhere else because they’re having a bad user experience – it’s bad website design.
According to a survey of over 600 people, 94% of respondents say that navigation is the most important feature on a website – no matter if that’s a small business’ website or a large global organisation.
- Gives your website a clean and structured look
- Increases visit duration on your site
- Improves search engine optimisation
- Increases purchase rate
Content offer & lead magnet
With a content offer or lead magnet on your homepage, you’re exchanging a high-value piece of content for someone’s contact details.
A high-value piece of content can be a/an:
- Buying guide
- Brochure or pamphlet
When you exchange one of these digital assets for contact details, you’re gaining a channel to retarget advertising to someone that is almost ready to buy. The normal rate to turn someone into a customer on your website is around 5%, but if someone elects to download your lead magnet it’s around 50%-60% – they’re very effective.
Secondary call to action
So, you’ve put your first CTA up with your heading and subheading, and it’s very clear to see when someone lands on your homepage – but it’s not the only one you should use. Throughout your homepage, you should insert more CTAs where it makes sense, and where you think is most compelling to drive someone to take action.
The average rate for people to click a CTA is 4.23%, however if it’s placed well and is compelling enough, and it supports the messaging that came before it, the rate in which people click the CTA might be as high as 70%.
For example, if you have a section on your homepage that clearly and concisely communicates the process of your business, and it makes sense that your customers would want to take action after understanding your process, put a CTA there. On the other hand, if you put a CTA after a section on case studies that says “get a quote”, you probably won’t get many clicks because getting a quote doesn’t relate to case studies at all.
Place CTAs throughout your homepage, but make sure they make sense.
When creating website content, homepages shouldn’t just include your benefits – you need to include features too.
For our online taxation client, a benefit of their service is that they can “boost your tax refund”, while a feature on the home page is “your tax return is reviewed by a qualified accountant”.
The feature qualifies the benefit.
Including the features of your product or service allows your client to believe what you are claiming with your benefits.
On top of reviews and testimonials, homepages for websites should show-off how well your business has done in the past. Success indicators like statistics of how much you’ve sold, or how much your service has helped someone, can significantly boost a buyer’s confidence to choose your business.
For example, our own homepage has statistics like “+240,000 organic visits in one year” from one blog, and “20,000 new customers and a successful IPO” for one of our clients. These success factors show that our solutions work.
How can you implement these 11 factors?
Want a website done for you by a professional website design company, using some of the latest website design ideas for 2022?
At Invicta Agency, we are a digital growth consultancy that specialises in digital marketing to scale your business – this includes creating and optimising your homepage. This means we won’t sell you a specific digital marketing package where we hit our key point indicators (KPIs) outlined in your contract and be done with it. Instead, we believe in a holistic approach to scaling your business, where we do what is necessary, when it’s necessary, in order to grow your business.
If we need to increase your organic search for one part of your business, there’s no point in making content for something else, just because that’s what your contract says and that’s what we’re obligated to do. At Invicta Agency, we are agile enough to pull the right levers at the right time to maximise your business’ growth.
We’ve worked with many different industries and increased the online enquiries of some businesses by up to 900%.
Send us an enquiry or give us a call today – let’s start a conversation on how we will get your business to where it deserves to be.