7 Things Your Homepage Design Needs to be Effective
Having a well designed homepage is really important to the success of your blogging business. It’s where your visitor will learn if your website is for them.
You have about 7 seconds to catch someone’s attention. Actually, I think this number continues to get smaller as our attention spans and patience grow thin. Either way, you have a very short amount of time to grab your reader’s attention and make them want to stay on your website.
This can sound like a really big and overwhelming task when you try to get started. But once you know the most important pieces of the homepage puzzle, it will make setting up your homepage so much easier!
Before we break down those pieces, I want to clarify that your homepage, and really website overall, needs to be clean, clutter free, and super clear.
These are the top aspects of making your website look professional. Interested in learning more tips to making your website look professional? Feel free to read my post on 10 Ways to Look Like a Pro Blogger.
Now on to the 7 puzzle pieces to get your reader’s to stay on your website.
When people land on your homepage, they need to be able to immediately know what your website is about and who it’s for.
If they can’t figure that out within the first like 3 seconds, they are probably going to leave.
Within your header or header image, you should include a quick tagline that describes what you do and who you do it for.
For example, if you look at mine you can easily tell that I help entrepreneurs and I help them design and grow their blog and business.
So if someone were to land on my homepage and they aren’t an entrepreneur they would know my website is not for them.
Call to Action
First off, in case you don’t know, a call to action is an action you want someone to take.
You will want at least one call to action on your homepage. You want to tell your reader what action they should take next.
I have a couple on my homepage. As you can see in my header image, I have a button for people to click on to get started with a free branding workbook. This gets them to sign up for my email list.
Your call to action doesn’t have to lead your reader to your email list, but it is a good idea to have one that does. It just means more chances for people to get free value from you and join your email list.
I actually also have this option towards the bottom of my homepage too.
Another one I have is right below my header, where I ask the reader what I can help them with. This offers them choices on which path they want to take.
They can either learn about business and blogging tips by going to my blog posts. They can get branding and website feedback from me by purchasing a brand and website audit. Or they can learn what tools I personally use to run and grow my business.
People search websites to find value. And preferably free value.
You want to offer your readers lots of free content and highlight them on your homepage.
This can be through opt-in freebies for your email list, blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, or whichever method you use to deliver content.
On my website I also show this in multiple locations. I offer the free branding book in my header and towards the end of my homepage. With the call to action asking which path the reader wants to take by offering blog posts and listing the tools I use.
Then again by showing my recent blog posts.
This kinda goes back to the professional looking website idea.
You want images on your website to grab your reader’s eye and you want those images to be high quality so your website looks professional.
Images can also help tell the story and vibe of your brand to get your message across more easily.
It’s a really good idea to include a picture of your face on your homepage. This helps show readers that there is a real person behind the website and it helps create a connection.
I include a mini about me section on my homepage with my picture and link to my about page. This is the same picture I use on my about page and on all my social media accounts to make it easy to know and connect my face with my brand.
Simple Main Navigation
Again, this goes back to having a professional looking website. You want to have a clear, simple, easy to use main navigation.
If people get confused or lost they are going to leave your website.
You want your main nav to be obvious and simple without a lot of options.
Currently I only have two options in my main nav. I do plan to add a couple more but that’s all I need for right now.
You definitely can have more than two, but it shouldn’t be more than six. Even six I feel like can be too much, but for some websites it works. So just play around with what you have and see what looks best.
Obviously you want to include your logo on your homepage.
Really it’s a good idea to have this on your top header with your main navigation bar.
This helps to show your brand and keep brand consistency. It will help readers be able to easily spot your brand just from knowing your logo.
If you are just starting out you most likely don’t have any testimonials. And depending on your business you may not even need testimonials.
But if you do have testimonials you should definitely include them on your homepage.
These are a form of social proof and will help readers confirm that they can trust you and should want to read your content and even purchase your products.
Again, this might not work for every type of business. But even if someone leaves a comment saying how much they loved your blog post and how much it helped them solve problem ‘x’, you can ask for their permission and use it as a testimonial.
And there you have it! 7 important pieces to the homepage puzzle.
Take a look at your current website and see if your homepage is missing any of these parts and how you can include them.
If you don’t have your website yet then now you can more easily plan how to design your homepage when it comes time!