Getting the homepage of your website right!

Anyone can design a home page, right?  I don’t just mean visual design, I mean a design that achieves the functionional requirements of a home page.  Homepages should engage a “conversation” at three basic levels.

Home page needs

Meet and greet the visitor, connect with them and direct them to what they are looking for.  It may sound simple, but it is the difference between a site that works well to convert people to leads and sales and one that does not.  Read on to see some sites doing it well and some doing it badly!

Your problem

How do you tell your homepage visitors everything about your business?

The solution…    …don’t try to!

Below is an example of a web design from a Cambridge based business, trying to communicate too much!  The user has no single path on which to focus attention, and the prioritisation of options is unclear.  This presents the user with “friction” in their passage of the site as they try to achieve their objectives. Think “rabbit caught in headlights”.

This page is trying to do too much

Many websites have homepages that have an overwhelming number of objectives and items that serve to distract visitors from an intended call-to-action. It is critical that you use visual elements on your homepage to focus visitors on a small number of initial objectives, so that they are not confused about what they can or wish to do on your site.  Homepages must be designed to weigh multiple objectives by priority.  When designing your homepage you need to:

1: Identify all homepage objectives
2: Prioritise the objectives into three categories: primary objective, major objectives and minor objectives
3: Design the homepage (using size, shape, color, motion, position and direction) to weight the objectives according to priority.

For example, not like this one below…

…but like this one below.  Feel the differerence?

The page immediately above takes the time and makes the space to meet the visitor, connects with them through the highly visible and easy to read headlines and then directs them through to their next steps by presenting a few calls to action.

How does your business homepage stack up?

If you need some help with the optimisation of your homepage, meeting the needs of the different visitors and their journey/experience of the site, please contact me.

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Nigel White
My career has given me insights into large and small businesses across many sectors. Academically, I have a MA (Strategic Marketing) and use this understanding to provide consultancy and advice to all clients I work with. Very high on my agenda: needs analysis, service, and quality.