30 Apr Top 10 Home Page Elements
Ok, so you’re working on your new website home page. Or you’re thinking about what to tell your programmer to include on your new home page. Remember, your website is where your business lives online. And at a glance, your website, business card, or any other marketing collateral should effectively communicate your brand to its specific audience. We’ve helped clients create some great websites over the years, and we wanted to share our top 10 list of great home page elements.
Your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether it exists physically or not. People do judge books by their covers. And the first impression of your home page design must instill confidence. A great visual design will include balanced copy, design elements and images. It’s also important to have optimized images for fast loading and SEO purposes.
Well, of course your business logo should be on your website home page. Usually, most people park it in the upper left corner of the all the website pages.
3) Clean Navigation
Provide a simple, logical and uncluttered navigation menu so it’s clear how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
4) Considerate User Interface
Understanding the type of people who visit your site is a very important task because you can use that information to enhance your site to suit them. As a result, you’ll gain more loyal visitors who come back again and again for more.
5) Visually Appealing Images
Pictures can give some visual interested to your site. Even if you’re doing a text-only design, icons can be used. It’s also good to visually show what you offer or what you’re selling. As mentioned before, make sure your images are optimized for the web.
Video is fast becoming a must-have element in home page design. People have short attention spans and might watch your 30-60 second video before they read a lengthy “About Us” description. Video is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and make a modern first impression.
6) Useful Content
Of course there’s more to web design than graphics — user accessibility is a big part of it too. You should design the content (or text) on your site to be legible and reasonably sized to enable visitors to read it without straining their eyes. No matter how good the content of your website or your sales copy is, if it’s illegible you won’t be selling anything. Here are kinds of content you should include on your home page:
- Feature and benefits of your products and services.
- Explain why you are different from your competition.
- Your positioning statement.
- What does your site offer?
- Recent blog articles.
- A call-to-action: Do you want a visitor to call you, join an email list, request a demo, or sign up for a free au dit? Be clear in your calls-to-action and if possible, keep it above the fold.
7) Contact and Connection Information
It’s good to have your phone number and email address on the home page. If you own a brick and mortar store, keep your phone on the top of every page. If you’re running an online business, your contact details can live in the footer, if you prefer. If you don’t want to post your email or phone number (and you’re ok seeming a little like a shady company), you need at least a contact form available for someone to connect with you. Speaking of connections, post your social media links on your home page to encourage connections through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
8 ) Testimonials and Awards
Testimonials add credibility to your company and your site. By including names with the happy customer quotes, you’re increasing the validity of your testimonial. Awards are another great way to show that you’re someone to be hired and trusted.
9) SEO Friendly Details
Google keeps all of us on our toes. Use meta tags accordingly on each and every page of your site so that search engine robots know what that particular page is about and whether or not to index it. By using meta tags, you are making the search engine robot’s job easier so they will crawl and index your site more frequently. And as we’ve said before, use your targeted keywords within your page content as well. You want to attract as many good prospects as possible, and if you don’t have good SEO practices, you’re site is going to remain buried off the first page of pertinent search engine results.
10) Good Technical Structure
Make sure your website complies with web standards at www.w3.org and is cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Internet Explorer but breaks horribly in Firefox and Opera and Safari, you’ll lose out on a lot of prospective visitors. Use CSS to style your page content, because it saves a ton of work by styling all elements on your website in one go. By using CSS, you can eliminate redundant HTML tags and make your pages much lighter and faster to load. Depending on your target customer, you may also want to create a mobile version of your site.
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