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Does your website feel old, outdated, and doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head when it comes to doing your brand justice?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?
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.
In 94% of cases, the user’s first impression of your website is connected to website design and the homepage. In fact, 88% of the time, users won’t return to a website if they’ve had a bad first impression.
A user landing on your website and leaving almost immediately after is known as bounce rate. A well designed homepage typically garners a bounce rate of about 25%, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a poorly designed website can reach up to 70% or higher.
Numbers aside, you may know this from your own personal experience that your first impression with a website is extremely important. Creating a good first impression for people visiting your website and keeping them on there for longer is absolutely crucial to ensuring they trust your business.
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 factors that differentiate between 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 information are they looking for?
- What action do you want your customers to take when they land on the page?
If putting a few animations on your page doesn’t contribute to either of these questions, is it even helping?
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 gone to purchase a T—shirt and wanted to see how it could potentially look on you, but there weren’t any images? Safe to assume, no purchases were made that day.
Images and illustrations are a great tool that can be used to create a great first impression with your customers, but also assist in the buying process. They can also help provide credibility by featuring your store front or team members — to show you are in fact a real and credible brand.
However, they can also have the opposite effect, creating distrust and turning potential customers away. When using images and graphics, it’s best to 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 the one this sentence is written in (Comic Sans)?
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? Probably not.
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 elements to a website.
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 a font that is easy—to—read and appropriate
- Avoid large paragraphs — speak concisely
- Space out your text
Looking at the example below:
Robinson lawyers have a sleek and professional font, and the messaging “we can help you through one of life’s most complex personal circumstances” instantly creates trust with the audience.
As opposed to,
Butlers’ messaging; “lawyers with a dedicated approach to your defence” doesn’t really appeal to any of the reader’s psychological pain points, in addition to the font type, which looks something out of WordArt.
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 doing business with you.
A good website design to sell products and services is very consistent.
What to consider when creating consistency:
- All colours match and align 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
Let’s take a look at the examples below:
Davilia’s website design is consistent, but when we look at the messaging, do they want me to get a haircut or follow them on social media? If we then look at GQ Barber’s, it’s clear they’re all about gentlemen’s haircuts for the manly man — we immediately understand their brand because everything is consistent.
The best way to think about your homepage usability is to imagine yourself as the customer.
Upon landing on the homepage, what do you expect to see?
- Is it a heading that clearly defines your business?
- A call to action button that matches with a solution you’re looking for?
- A menu that’s easy and simple and leads you to exactly where you need to go?
If a website is confusing, hard to use and doesn’t immediately inform you that you are in the right place, you’re most likely to go elsewhere.
A good website aims to answer the customers questions and psychological needs in the easiest way possible, and should always be your primary focus on the homepage.
Here are some tips to improve your websites usability:
- 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 be highly engaging and improve the user experience. However as we mentioned in point one, they can also be a distraction, taking away from your core messaging, which can be counterproductive when it comes to turning visitors into customers.
If animations aren’t necessary, or it doesn’t make sense for your brand, it’s best to keep things simple. A website without animations can definitely do just as well as one with animations.
Unless you have a sound strategy or a service or product that requires visual assistance to help customers make their purchase, it’s best to leave animations out for the time being.
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:
You have just seconds to communicate to your visitors what you do and why they should choose you over your competitors. This is where your homepage headline comes into play. It may only be a few words, but it’s possibly the most important element on your website.
Here are some tips to create the perfect headline for your homepage:
- Revisit your company’s mission and vision — why do you do what you do, what do you do, and how? Next, understand what motivates your customer and drives them to make a decision to choose your business.
- Now, communicate how your business can help them solve their problem and achieve their desired outcome. Come up with a few combinations of headlines that address specific things rather than trying to cram everything into one headline.
*Having a number of different options will allow you to experiment to see what will resonate most with your customers.
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.
3. Primary call to action
The point of your CTA is to move people along their purchase journey, pushing them towards making a transaction with your business. Once you tell people what you offer in the heading and subheading, direct them to take the next step with a CTA that would be the most logical next step in the sales process.
Depending on your offering, common call to actions include:
- Book now
- Enquire today
- Shop here
- Request a proposal
- Sign up
4. Supporting image
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.
- 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? Consider adding a section that clearly communicates features and benefits of your business, in addition to:
- Unique selling points (USPs)
- A value proposition
6. Social proof
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 if they have ever used or heard about this brand. Seeking proof is a natural part of the buying process, especially if it’s an expensive purchase.
Good practice includes:
- Your rating on Google
- Written reviews and testimonials
- Case study 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 are unable to easily find what they’re looking for, they will go somewhere else.
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.
The benefits of improving website navigation includes:
- Enhancing the look and feel of your website
- Increasing the time visitors spend on your website
- Boosts website ranking on Google
8. Content offer & lead magnet
Providing a content offer or lead magnet is an excellent way of providing value to your customers in exchange for their details, while building a database of leads. Different types of content offers or lead magnets can include:
- Buying guides
- Reports or whitepapers
- Free trials
Exchanging digital assets for contact details allows you to build an audience, which you can also retarget later on with paid advertising channels, in addition to email nurturing.
The normal rate to turn someone into a customer on your website is around 5%, but if someone elects to download your lead magnet this can increase up to 60%, making it a very cost efficient activity to complement your overall marketing spend.
9. 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, consider testing other 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, it can increase to as high as 70%.
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.
11. Success indicators
On top of reviews and testimonials, homepages for websites should show—off how well your business has done in the past. This can include showcasing wins from your clients that illustrate how your service has helped someone, or what they achieved, which can significantly boost a buyer’s confidence in your business.
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.