Your website's homepage is similar to a storefront window. It gives visitors a peek inside your business and, if they don't find it appealing, they'll quickly click elsewhere. With this analogy in mind, your homepage needs to be a priority with your website design strategy.
Research shows that visitors will form an impression of your website within three seconds of visiting your homepage. In this limited period of time, your homepage needs to establish an identity for your brand, provide visual and verbal cues about the content that your website contains, and offer an overall positive impression of your business. With so much riding on your homepage, you can't afford for it to be mediocre.
So what makes a homepage appealing? Here are six website design tactics to create a homepage that delivers results for your business:
1. Define your business.
All too often, SMB owners have so many goals when designing a homepage that they overlook the most important one: defining the company's identity.
When a prospective customer arrives on your homepage, he or she should be immediately introduced to what your company does and why it matters. Your homepage also needs to offer clear paths for visitors to explore other areas of your website for more information.
2. Offer simplicity.
Today's consumers have short attention spans and aren't willing to work hard to find information. This is why you need to keep your homepage simple and clean by using website design tactics to your advantage such as white space, easy-to-read text, and clearly labeled sections.
3. Lead with most important information.
You've probably heard the term "above the fold," which is a journalistic term that refers to placing the most important stories in the upper fold of a newspaper. You should approach the layout of your homepage in the same way by including the most important content in the part of the homepage that is immediately visible in a browser.
Keep in mind that the "above the fold" view on a desktop or laptop will be different than what a smartphone or tablet shows. Therefore, it's critical that you craft a homepage website design that works well regardless of the type of device used to access your website.
4. Choose a legible font.
Believe it or not, your choice of font will make a significant impact on how visitors perceive your homepage design and overall brand. When choosing a font, your goal should be to achieve consistency and create an overall cohesive look for your website. Avoid choosing several different fonts for your homepage as it will be distracting to your visitors. Instead, aim for simplicity and legibility when selecting a font.
5. Be cognizant of color.
Your choice of color in website design will have a psychological impact on your visitors. This is especially true with homepage design as colors will affect how visitors interpret and engage with your brand. Don't get caught up in making your color scheme more complicated than it needs to be. As a rule of thumb, keep your color palette neutral.
6. Use a bold supporting image.
People respond to images differently than they do to simple words. For this reason, it's critical that you include a captivating image on your homepage that embodies what your brand is all about. The image that you choose should inspire visitors to want to explore your website and learn more about your business. When choosing an image, avoid using stock photos that would make your business appear non-authentic and generic.
To have a successful website and online presence, the design of your homepage needs to be a priority. Use the website design tactics above to create a visually appealing homepage that will captivate your visitors and offer a user-friendly navigation experience.