Imagine, you have arrived at a networking event and the host introduces you to Richard, a cleaning company owner.
Just as you politely smile and shake Richard’s hand, he starts telling you about the most advanced floor polisher he’s bought, and the green commercial grade disinfectant he uses, and the fact that he has just leased a fancy car and … (yawn).
You stay and listen for a while, but when the chance arises, you make your escape, ensuring that Richard won’t spot you for the remainder of the night.
Sadly that’s how many entrepreneurs approach the design of their website’s home page—they make it all about themselves. And they can’t understand why their website bounce rate is 98%.
In case, you haven’t heard the term, bounce rate is a metric used to measure the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a website after viewing only one page. It is an important indicator of how effective a website is at engaging its audience.
Elements of a powerful home page
When I tell clients that their home page (and in fact most of their website) should be focused on their customers and the problems they solve, rather than themselves, I often get surprised reactions.
Having an engaging home page is like being the host of a party. You want your guests to feel welcome and have a great time, so you need to put effort into making sure everything is perfect. The same goes for a home page: the more inviting and engaging it is, the more likely visitors will spend time on your site.
The truth is, your website’s home page has 5 main functions:
- Establish a strong, memorable brand identity
- Highlight key products/services and the problems they solve
- Provide access to relevant information
- Capture customer contact details
- Build trust and credibility with visitors
Let’s dive deeper into the essential elements of an effective home page.
1. Establish a strong, memorable brand identity
Your home page should be smokin’ hot, not only visually but also content wise. It has to match your company’s style, give people something to marvel at, and keep them coming back asking for more.
Investing in a punchy brand identity on your home page is essential if you want to slay the competition—increased engagement, better conversions, and total success. Think of it as creating a “personality” for your website. Pick colors, fonts, and visuals that capture who you are as a business, while avoiding overcomplicating things.
And don’t forget to add some sass! If you’re an edgy fashion label, you might go with a black background; if you’re a hip café, think rustic accents; or if you’re an e-sports team, get imaginative with your logo design. Just remember: keep it bold and unique!
2. Highlight key products/services and the problems they solve
Highlighting your key products and services on the home page is just as important as highlighting the problems they can solve for your customers. Think of it as an opportunity to showcase how your product or service can make your customer’s life easier—people love a good “before and after” story!
Include visuals whenever you can, explain what solutions are provided in easy-to-understand language, and be sure to link out to related pages.
If you sell cleaning supplies, include some before/after shots of a kitchen; if you offer services, focus on highlighting customer success stories; or if you sell digital media, add videos demonstrating time-saving features. Every solution should be presented in an effortless, fun way that makes potential customers excited to try it out!
3. Provide access to relevant information
Providing access to relevant information on the home page is a must: think FAQs, pricing, and contact details. Keep it fun by using visuals like banners, icons, and images—if a picture paints a thousand words, why not use one?
Link out to resources like articles or tutorials and include interactive features such as pop-ups with more info, so customers always have something new to explore.
If you are selling clothes, create mini-tours of the product collections; if you offer services, add multimedia content for customers to engage with; or if you sell digital media, highlight customer stories with visuals or videos.
4. Capture customer contact details
Most visitors won’t buy from you on their first visit—generally it takes 9 to 14 interactions with you for people to get to know you, trust you, and buy from you. As such, capturing visitor details is a must so you can stay in touch and keep them coming back!
Make the sign-up process easy and fun by including interactive features such as quizzes, polls, or surveys.
If you sell shoes, add a quiz about fashion trends; if you offer services, include a survey about customer experience; or if you sell digital media, offer a trivia game for visitors to play. Incorporating engaging elements like these will not only capture visitor details, but also keep them entertained!
5. Build trust and credibility with visitors
Trust and credibility are key when it comes to building relationships with your website visitors. Showing that you care about their needs is the best way to get them to trust you and, eventually, to buy.
Start by including features such as customer testimonials, list of clients, media mentions, and awards you have won. Feature images of customers wearing your jewelery; list companies who have used your services; or include snippets of articles or reviews featuring your digital products.
Getting visitors to see that others value your products or services will definitely increase their confidence in you—so don’t miss this opportunity to build trust and credibility!
Checklist of things you need on your home page
1. Professional logo
2. Benefit-driven tagline
3. Chat feature
4. Powerful calls to action, such as:
- Buy now
- Get a discount
- Free trial
- Get access
- Discover more
- Add to wish list
- Click to share
5. Links to key areas
6. Catchy headlines
7. High-quality images and engaging videos
8. Links to social networks or social media feeds
9. Trust icons
10. Contact information including opening hours
11. Email capture
12. Search function
Layout and navigation
Creating an engaging home page layout doesn’t have to be complicated!
Have fun with design. Unleash your creativity and make your home page stand out from the rest using color, fonts, and imagery.
Get organized. Structure the navigation and content in an intuitive way to make sure visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly.
Show them what to do next. Add call-to-action buttons in strategic places to guide visitors toward desired activities.
Make it yours. Ensure that the overall design reflects your brand and its unique personality. And don’t forget about those customer stories or multiple flavors of your product!
First impressions count. Don’t be like Richard, and instead engage with your visitors in a two-way conversation. Make your home page sizzle with style and substance! It should have the perfect combination of visuals, content, and interaction that will wow visitors. Colorful, consistent design and unique stories or features will keep people coming back for more. So put some fire into your home page and make it an unforgettable experience.
FAQs about creating a great website home page
Here are three key questions and answers on this subject:
What makes a successful home page?
A successful home page needs to be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and clearly communicate the site’s purpose. It should feature relevant and high-quality content, and have clear calls to action. It’s also important to ensure it loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, and provides a seamless user experience across devices.
How do you structure a home page?
When structuring a home page, start with a clear headline that communicates the site’s purpose. Follow this with well-organized sections that highlight the site’s main features such as engaging videos, product and service information, FAQs, testimonials, and contact details. Use high-quality visuals, clear calls to action, and ensure easy navigation.
What is engagement on a website?
Engagement on a website is how much users interact with its content, like commenting, liking, clicking, and time spent on the website. High engagement means a positive experience, leading to loyalty and conversions.
By Ivana Katz