Before looking at tips for exceptional homepage design, let’s look at another number instead: one billion.
That’s because, according to the number crunchers over at Atlantic Monthly, there are (cue “Dr. Evil”) one billion websites out there on the digital landscape. However, as staggering as this is, there’s an even more startling statistic: the average lifespan of a website is about 100 days.
Naturally, some of these expired websites are personal blogs or other non-commercial websites that individuals either got bored of, or couldn’t be bothered to maintain. But a good chunk of the virtual wasteland is littered with business websites that failed to stand out in their marketplace. And while there are many factors behind that unhappy story, a big one – and in many cases, THE biggest one – had to do with homepage design. Or rather, lack of homepage design.
Obviously, you can’t afford to have your business website enter the cruel virtual dustbin of history. And even if you’re currently enjoying a steady steam of traffic and getting kudos on your homepage design, it’s never a bad idea to do a re-assessment and make sure that things are firing on all cylinders.
So with that in mind, here are 5 tips for exceptional homepage design that every business – whether it provides office relocation services, dental solutions, automotive wraps, and the list goes on – should incorporate into their strategy:
Homepage Design Tip 1: Make It an Actual Homepage
This tip may seem bizarre, but the fact is that many business think they have a homepage – but they don’t. What they have is a page that visitors land on when they get to their website. But it’s not a homepage in the marketing sense, because it doesn’t quickly and clearly tell visitors what the business does, and more specifically, why visitors should care.
As noted by HubSpot: “If you're a well-known brand or company (i.e., Coca Cola) you may be able to get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do; but the reality is, most businesses still need to answer these questions so that each visitor knows they are in the right place."
Homepage Design Tip 2: It’s Relevant & Resonates
The vast majority of business websites get this one wrong -- it could be as high as 95%. Visitors need to clearly and quickly detect that a business is capable of solving their problems, achieving their goals, fulfilling their requirements, and so on. As such, while the content is ABOUT the business, it must be written FOR the visitor.
Most businesses can’t strike this (admittedly very difficult) balance, and their homepage isn’t relevant and doesn’t resonate. It doesn’t establish a compelling value proposition that sets the framework and tone for the rest of the visit, and the future of the relationship.
Homepage Design Tip 3: It’s Not Optimized or Fast Enough
We’ll stick two tips together here, because they both relate to some behind-the-scenes design considerations that are incredibly influential, and can make or break whether visitors stick around or bounce away.
The first is that the homepage (as part of the website) must be optimized for multiple devices and browsers. The second is that loading time must be fast. As noted by Kissmetrics: “Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.”
Homepage Design Tip 4: Use Sections and Multiple CTAs
The advice that all homepages must be above the fold (i.e. no scrolling necessary) is categorically wrong. Some of the world’s most successful and award-winning homepages involve plenty of scrolling.
However, these websites wisely use sections that give visitors a quick and easy way to decide if they want to learn more about a topic, such as services, case studies, and so on. In addition, these sections have clear and compelling CTAs, so that visitors can move “into” the website (i.e. off the homepage) without having to wonder or worry where they’ll end up.
The Leap Clixx site is a perfect example of how to use this homepage design tip effectively. We have plenty of information on our homepage, but it doesn’t come across as overwhelming or exhaustive. Visitors scroll to the section that interests them, and then click links to explore and learn more.
Homepage Design Tip 5: It’s PROFESSIONAL!
Last but not least: many business websites look like something “out of the box” – which would be OK, if that box didn’t look like something a high school student might have put together.
A business homepage must be PROFESSIONAL, which means the content has to be strategically developed and professionally crafted, color and design elements have to align with UX best practices, images, videos and other visuals need to have extremely high production values. These days, an unprofessional website is arguably the most self-destructive thing a business can do.
At Leap Clixx, we help our customers ensure that their homepage design – and their website overall – is firing on all cylinders by enhancing their brand, conveying their value propositions, and ushering visitors forward through the customer journey. For more great ideas and proven insights, contact us today. Your consultation is free.
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Topics: Lead Generation