A homepage is like a storefront. It welcomes your customers, persuades them to come inside, and showcases important information. Although all websites are different, the homepage is generally the most highly-trafficked section of your website and as such, it should be thoughtfully designed and attempt to both satisfy visitors and pique their interest. “So what should I include on my homepage?” you ask? Read on to find out.
What Should I Include On My Homepage?
- Logo & Navigation (a.k.a., the basics). A logo reinforces your brand and navigation helps your visitors find their way around the website. Generally, it’s best to keep these items the same throughout your website, so that visitors don’t lose themselves in interior pages.
- Visuals. Today’s Internet users are impatient, so it’s important that you communicate pertinent information quickly. Graphics are perfect for this. In a visual (or even a video), you can relay information that would have taken a paragraph of text to explain.
- Answer FAQs. There are probably a few questions you’re frequently asked by customers (Will this work on my iPhone?, How much does shipping cost?, Where is your store located?). To prevent these customers from getting frustrated when they visit your site, make the answers to their FAQs easy to spot on the homepage.
- Testimonials. This element isn’t essential, but if you have valuable testimonials, why not show them off? Testimonials can quickly persuade someone to trust in your brand, especially if that person is familiar with your endorsers.
- Call to Action. Give the visitor something to do by guiding them toward a realistic next step. If you have an app, tell them how to download it. If you sell products, promote them with persuasive copy. If you offer a service, create a form where the visitor can ask for a consultation or a free quote.
The elements listed above are a great place to get started if you’re wondering, “What should I include on my homepage?” As you start implementing these items, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind:
- Focus. Instead of promoting all the major sections of your website (and overwhelming visitors), hone in on those that are most important. Feature these interior pages on your homepage, but make it easy to navigate to the others.
- Keywords. Again, you want to focus your efforts: choose just a few keywords (brand-centric keywords would be nice) and give interior pages their own keywords. Or, go nuts and just include one keyword: your brand (I’m becoming more and more of an advocate for this). In the past, using many keywords on a home page was beneficial because Google worked differently, but these days, it’s better to refine your selection.
- Graphics. The importance of text on a home page has decreased in recent years. Instead of overloading your homepage with words that few (if any) visitors will take the time to read, focus on graphics that quickly convey your message.
- The Fold. In the past, the idea was always to keep your most important information “above the fold” because we were afraid that users wouldn’t scroll down. In today’s world of tablets and smartphones, you don’t need to worry about visitors neglecting to scroll. However, it is beneficial to let the fold bisect information (whether that information is text or a graphic) so that visitors are compelled to scroll down and view the entire page.