31.05.2018

How to design the perfect homepage

From a single line of text to a long page giving jumping-off points to a variety of site areas - the homepage comes in all shapes and sizes. However, there are certain elements that are proven to get you better traction, keeping your visitors on your site for longer and leading to better conversion rates. We reveal what these killer homepage elements are.

First off, the perfect website homepage doesn’t exist. But don’t leave! The perfect homepage doesn’t exist because every website’s design should be tailored that company’s requirements. However, there are some must-have elements that you should include on your website no matter what it looks like. If you can include these elements on your homepage, all the better because, as we all know, a website’s homepage is the first impression of your company for many people.

How to design the perfect homepage blog - Mabit - Dublin

Show me those killer homepage elements!

Logo

This one is a no-brainer. The internet is a busy ol’ place, and, if your users are anything like us, then they tend to have a few tabs going at all times. Having a clear, visible logo on the homepage is vital for informing users where they are and who they’re engaging with. They may be having a great experience on your website, but if they don’t remember who you are, then there is zero chance they will be a returning visitor.

The headline hook

The hook is the headline of your homepage. It is the first thing to grab the user’s attention and, hopefully, make them want to find out more. Companies can spend endless hours deliberating on what will be the magic combination of words for this element.

Some companies like to keep it simple and get straight to the point…

Facebook – “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” (May 2018)

Dropbox – “Boost productivity with Dropbox Business.” (May 2018)

Other headlines are a bit more playful…

Accenture – “New isn’t on its way. We’re applying it right now.” (May 2018)

HubSpot – “All Systems Grow.” (May 2018)

Whatever approach you take, there are three questions we advise you to consider when deciding what your headline will be:

  • What is your customer promise?
  • What makes you different?
  • What is your target market searching for?

A headline is designed to be clear, eye-catching and concise, so answering all of these questions and applying the answers to your headline may not be possible. But it is a good place to start when figuring out what your headline hook will be.

How to design the perfect homepage blog - Madbit - Dublin

Call to action (CTA)

More than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy. (Unbounce)

Now that you’ve captured the users’ attention, it’s time to do something with it! Calls to action, or CTAs, are how you actively lead users through your website to what you really want them to see and they work for a number of reasons.

One of the main reasons is that people simply expect to see them. Anyone who uses the internet is by now familiar with the box with the words in it that is clickable and brings you somewhere else. UX is all about capitalising on your customer’s expectations when they are visiting your website, so use CTAs!

The great thing about CTAs is that they literally tell the user what to do. That may sound a bit crude and bossy, but in the right circumstance this kind of direct communication is very effective, and your homepage is absolutely the right circumstance.

When a brand-new visitor lands on your website, you need to show them how to navigate it. CTAs are a simple and effective way of doing this. As long as your CTAs follow a logical sequence, you can convert the mildly interested first-time visitor into a fully engaged lead.

Core services

It is important to note here that although it is very helpful to have a reference to your core services on the homepage, do not be tempted into giving everything away at once. Unless you’re a brochure website, most websites do not consist of just the homepage. That’s because things tend to get cluttered very quickly if everything is on the one page. There is only so much information a person can take in at a time.

With this in mind, how should you present your core services on your homepage?

An easy way to give you a clear visual of what this could look like in practice is Google. When you search something on Google, you are provided with a list of results and each one acts as a mini advertisement for what you will find in the link should you click on it. Some of these “advertisements” are better than others, containing engaging content to draw in their target market. This is what your core services should do on your website’s homepage – draw in your audience with tantalising content.

How to design the perfect homepage blog - Madbit - Dublin

Trust elements

OK, so now that the user knows who you are and what you do. But why should they pick you? Trust is a very influential factor when someone decides to connect with a person or business online. Unfortunately, declaring “We are trustworthy!” will not go very far to pacify a user’s qualms.

However, there are several ways you can gain the trust of your audience and in doing so warm up those all-important leads. Here are a few:

  • Testimonials
  • Trust certificates
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Social proof (social media links)
  • Awards
  • Client logos

There are many different kinds of elements you could include on your homepage and these are just a select few which we strongly believe most companies would benefit from. If you’ve read this blog thinking, “Well, not all website homepages are designed like this, what about {insert example homepage here} and they’re doing pretty well for themselves”, you’re right, many websites veer from these elements with success.

But what is important here is are you able to determine why that works for them and if it would work for you? What we can say for sure is that the elements listed above are proven to work, especially when in tandem. A great headline targeted for your ideal customer will catch their attention. Primed CTAs will get clicks. Your logo is absolutely necessary.  At MadBit, we are true believers that the proof is in the pudding!

Want to find out more great ways to optimise your website? As experts in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design and strategy, we can help! Get in contact today and take your website to the next level.