5 Tips on how to design a good Homepage

How to design a good HomepageThere are no hard and fast rules about designing or developing a good Homepage and it really depends on the number of pages your Website has. However, since your Homepage is the first page most visitors will see when visiting your Website, it is one of the most important. If they can’t find what they are looking for or are unimpressed with the Homepage content, then it is unlikely they will visit any of your other Web pages.

 

One of the biggest mistakes we see many Website Owners make, is turning their Homepage into, essentially, an About Us page. To realise why this is a mistake, simply consider why visitors are visiting your Website in the first place. When someone visits your Website, they are not particularly bothered about who you are. They are more interested in knowing how you can help them.

 

For example, if you were an Accountant, visitors may be visiting your Website because they are unhappy with their current Accountant. They are a new Start-up Business and their old Accountant did not offer enough support in that area, leading to disillusionment with their service.

In the above scenario and for Websites with, perhaps, less than twenty pages, a good approach is to make your Homepage, effectively, your Why Use Us page.

 

This approach allows you to include a brief welcome message. It is always a good idea to thank them for visiting your Website, afterall, if they walked through your door, thanking them would be one of the first things you would do.

 

After carefully considering the reasons why most visitors will be visiting your Website i.e. looking for new accountant, fed up with existing one, looking for more start-up expertise, worried about changing accountant and what is involved, you are down here and they are up there etc, you can then address most of these issues in your Homepage. By addressing these potential issues, visitors will be impressed by your understanding of the problems facing them and will, most likely, want to visit other pages within your Website for more information. Essentially, you will be creating empathy, an important factor in any sales situation.

 

If your Website is small, then the above approach also enables you to include brief details of some of your key services/products within the content. These can then be hyper linked to the relevant pages. For small Websites, there are no reasons why all your pages should not be accessible from your Homepage with a single click of the mouse. For an example of a Why Use Us, please visit our Demonstration Website.

Another approach, especially, for larger Websites (used by most), is to turn your Homepage into a summary page by including quick links to important pages within your Website. Good examples are our own Homepage and the Home Page in our Demonstration Website.

 

This resolves the issue of visitors having to navigate through your Website to find what they are looking for. Our own Homepage has nearly sixty links to the most important pages within our Website. This approach can also make your Website look more interesting to visitors by breaking up the page with bulleted lists, link graphics, different coloured links etc.

It is always a good idea to include a page footer for all your Web pages. This gives you another opportunity of including links to your important pages and can be useful for visitors when reaching the bottom of pages. Instead of navigating back to the top of the page, they can, just as easily, navigate from the page footer. It is also a good place to put pages that do not form part of your navigation structure i.e. Sitemap, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Social Media links.

 

As an added bonus, it gives all your pages a good internal link structure, a feature, that is not lost on Search Engines.

It is always a good idea to include a page footer for all your Web pages. This gives you another opportunity of including links to your important pages and can be useful for visitors when reaching the bottom of pages. Instead of navigating back to the top of the page, they can, just as easily, navigate from the page footer. It is also a good place to put pages that do not form part of your navigation structure i.e. Sitemap, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Social Media links.

 

As an added bonus, it gives all your pages a good internal link structure, a feature, that is not lost on Search Engines.

Concentrate on making your Homepage a launch pad for the rest of your Website. If using the Why Use Us approach, identify the key issues facing your visitors and make sure you try and address them. For larger Websites, make it simple for visitors to find what they are looking for and, as above, make sure there is a prominent link to your Why Use Us page.

 

Afterall, that is exactly what most visitors will be asking themselves when they visit your Website.



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