Your homepage. Probably the most important page on your website. You have seven to 10 seconds to hook your website viewers (including the time it takes for your site to load) and in that time you have to grab their attention, say who you are and make them want to explore your site.
So how can you ensure that people aren’t clicking the exit button off your site?
We’ve come up with some top tips and advice, from design and layout ideas to adding slideshows and images – we want you to create the most appealing, interesting and attractive homepage out there.
So whether you’re worried about your site’s dwindling visitor numbers or just want to check if you’re on the right track, read on for enlightenment.
Tell visitors who you are with a strapline/intro/welcome
When a visitor lands on your homepage, the first thing you should do is reassure them they’re in the right place, that your site is exactly what they’re looking for, and how amazing your products/services/you are.
Be concise – a sentence or two should be all you need to explain your site. Or you could place a strapline (a short, easily-remembered phrase that you want people to associate with your brand) at the top of your page.
In most cases, your logo should appear at the top, and typically on the left (this is where the visitor’s eye-path starts when they land on your site). Placing your logo at the top will make your brand clearly visible, telling visitors who you are.
Menu and navigation
Your menu should be intuitively laid out – make sure the structure is clean and simple. If you have lots of pages, use a sub menu to avoid your main menu being a tad overwhelming. Simple navigation is key to making visitors stay on your site – if it’s a struggle to find what they’re after, they won’t hang around for long.
Social media icons
Let your visitors know they can follow you on various social platforms by placing social media icons on your homepage. Directing visitors to your social pages is a great way to interact with people in an informal way, and keep them informed on what you’re up to including new products, sales, exhibitions and so on.
Slideshows can make a real impact on a homepage. Bold and attention-grabbing, they’re great for highlighting a range of items, showcasing the variety of things available on your site. We like Bannersnack’s easy-to-use software for creating slick slideshows. See our How to: Use the HTML Snippet Widget post for info on how to include one on your Moonfruit site.
Great photography makes a big impact as well as a lasting impression. If you’re including images of your products or work, they should be great quality (fuzzy shots and bad lighting are a big no no). To show off your skills/work/products in the best light, do some research on basic photography tips – check out these for inspiration…
Need to know more about the image sizes? Go to our forum for all the info you need.
And finally, check out this article for more: 100 tips for beginners and professionals.
Making your contact details readily available reassures visitors that there’s a human behind the website. It’s especially important to include these if you want visitors to buy from you – many will hesitate to do business without an email address or phone number available.
Footers often get forgotten, but they can actually be the unsung heroes of your homepage. They’re an excellent place to include contact details, social media icons, and links to other parts of your site. Find out more about them here.
Call to action
What do you want your users to do when they arrive at your site? If you sell t-shirts, you’ll probably want them to buy a t-shirt, so make sure there’s a prominent call-to-action button or link. Make it bold and persuasive, entice your visitors to buy your products or sign up for your newsletter.
And a couple more from our designers
Make sure you put your most important and relevant information above the first 400 px (see below) on your page. This is what visitors will see immediately, before they scroll down the page, so you want to make it eye-catching and informative.
Have a plan for all the visual elements of your brand (colours, typography, imagery and style) before you start. This will make life a lot easier when it comes to designing your site. You should also make sure that the rest of the pages follow the same look and feel (consistency across your site is key).
Have any other tips you’d like to share? If you found these useful and applied them to your site then let us know how you get on by commenting below.
Want to build a free website with Moonfruit? Visit our homepage to find out how.
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