6 Elements of an Effective Website Homepage
The homepage of your website is arguably the most important. For many websites, it is the first page that users interact with — so creating a positive first impression is key. An effective homepage not only looks great, but it should provide at a glance all of the information a user needs to take a next step, whether that be learning more about who you are and what you do, accessing product or service information, beginning an online order, or contacting you.
With powerful copy and telling visuals that showcase your brand, along with six key components, you can create a homepage that boosts awareness, encourages conversions and supports your running marketing tactics.
1. Global navigation
At the top of your homepage should be a clear, global navigation that directs users to the key pages on your site. For smaller websites, all pages can be listed in this nav, while larger sites could benefit from a dropdown format that creates a more streamlined organization. The navigation should feature no more than 7 main items, and dropdowns shouldn’t exceed three levels deep.
2. Imagery and visuals
Photography and graphics add visual interest to your homepage and while infusing personality. In particular, most websites feature a hero image, or a large banner image that is located at the top of your homepage. Because the photography on your homepage should tell a story unique to your brand, consider using custom images that show a visitor what your product or service is all about rather than stock photos. After all, a picture is worth 1000 words — the more you show your web users, the less they have to read to understand who you are and what you do. Any imagery or graphics on your homepage should also align with your brand values and standards used across the site so you can present yourself in a reputable and cohesive manner.
3. Headline and subhead
The copy used in the headline and subhead should marry with the story being told in the imagery on your homepage, and it should give the highest overview of who you are, what you offer and what you believe in. The headline should be a brief, unique phrase that provides a high-level look at your business, while the subhead can consist of a sentence or two going into further detail about what sets you apart. Make sure you do some keyword research to determine what keywords should be included in your headline and subhead. This will be crucial in helping to boost your rankings.
4. Call-to-action buttons
An effective homepage should feature several calls to action, including a main CTA button that is located toward the top of the page, as well as several secondary calls to action sprinkled throughout. For the main CTA, call out the main action you want users to take, whether that’s to learn more, contact you, schedule an appointment, buy now, etc. Tie each CTA to a link that takes the user to the page or section where they can take that action.
5. Features and benefits
It’s okay to keep copy brief on the homepage — however, effective homepage copy should provide an overview as to what you do, why you do it and who you do it for, highlighting the features your company offers, such as products and services, as well as their unique benefits. This language can also feature strategic linking that directs users to deeper pages of the website where they can find additional information.
6. Global footer
Most users expect websites to include a footer at the bottom of the page, where they can find important quick-gets if they don’t have time to read through the entire website. This information can include important items like your contact information, social media links, a newsletter sign-up, calls to action, a contact form, etc. A footer might be the last thing a user sees before they jump off of your website, so it’s important to make sure that you offer opportunities for conversions there. However, the needs for the footer will vary based on industry and individual business needs, so it should be custom tailored
Bringing it home
There’s a reason why it’s called a homepage — it’s the central hub for your website, a steppingstone to all of the additional features and information located across your web pages. The key is to think from the user’s point of view: What information are they looking for, and how does it make the most sense for them to find it? Let these questions guide your work, and you can create a successful homepage that does justice to your website and your business.
An effective homepage requires great strategy. Contact our team of copywriters, designers, web developers and digital experts for help creating a website that you’re proud to show off.