6 Essential Elements of Great Homepages

July 9, 2016

12:07 pm

Have we forgotten about homepages? It seems as if every article on web design, content marketing, or CRO focuses on landing pages. While these pages are certainly important, your homepage is essentially the flagship of your website. Give it the care and attention that it deserves by making sure that these 6 elements are present.

Relevant Images

It’s hard to determine which is worse, a homepage that has no images or one that uses images that have absolutely nothing to do with the products or services being offered. Your homepage is likely to be the first page on your website that people see if they find your site using a search engine. Why wouldn’t you use that space as a place to highlight whatever it is that you have to offer. Use high quality, up to date pictures that show visitors what you can do.

Contact Information

When people surf into your homepage, they should be able to do the following:

  • Contact you via phone or email
  • Find your brick and mortar location
  • Navigate to that location

Because so many internet users are on mobile, when they access web sites they are frequently looking for information that allows them to contact somebody or learn how to find you.

Social Media Icons

Give visitors the opportunity to connect with you on social media channels by providing Icons and links that lead to your social media sites. In addition to using icons, so that visitors can follow you or like your page, you should also provide share buttons as well. If you are using WordPress or another CMS, consider using plugins that also make social sharing and follow-ups easier. Aaron Enright from HyperCube says, “Customers want to come to your website to learn about your products and potentially make a purchase. When it comes to bonding with your brand, they prefer to do that on social media.”

Intuitive Navigation

Here’s a great way to test out the user experience on your homepage. Find somebody who is entirely unfamiliar with your website and provide them with a list of things that they should be able to do from your homepage. If it takes more than ten seconds for them to figure out each step, there’s something missing in your UX design. Remember that people, especially first-time visitors are not going to spend much time figuring out how to make their way around your website, especially if they have other options. In most cases, they have other options.

A Subscription Form

Many web designers keep subscription forms on landing pages only. Why make people take an extra step to figure out how to subscribe if they are willing to do so from your home page. If people are willing to step into the funnel on your homepage, then, by all means, let them do that. Just be sure to follow best practices by keeping your form short and simple.

No Broken Links

Broken links anywhere on  your website are a real problem. When they are on your homepage things are even worse. Your homepage is essentially like the front room of your home. It doesn’t matter if the rest of your house is in order, people are going to remember that your front room was a mess. Even worse, broken links can give visitors the impression that your website is poorly maintained. This can cause issues with trust. Would you feel comfortable making a purchase on a website where upkeep was obviously lacking? Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you identify broken links so that you can fix them.

A well-designed homepage is key for making visitors want to further their level of engagement with you. If you ensure your website contains all of the elements above, your customers will feel confident in your ability to serve them, and they will know what to do in order to further their relationship with you.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She’s slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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