Four Elements Every Website Homepage Should Include
Your homepage is the first impression any user receives of your business. Having a website that’s easy to understand and navigate (this is called “user experience” or “UX”) is the most important factor of any site, and just as important, your homepage needs to capture the user’s attention so they can take action.
Although there are more than four elements you can place on your homepage, we consider the following four the most important ones to consider when redesigning your website’s homepage.
Easy-to-find and understand navigation bar
We’ve said this over and over again: UX is the most important factor for any website! For this very reason, the navigation bar is the most important element on your homepage. This is the one element the user needs in order to surf through the rest of your site and find the information you provided.
Let’s talk about its location. Even if the navigation bar is hidden, it still needs to be easy to find and somewhat obvious. The menu icon, also known as the hamburger icon, is most commonly used in mobile sites, but it can also be used in any size device. It’s intuitive for the user to try to find the navigation bar on the top, or on the left or right corner of the page when using the menu icon, so placing the navigation bar elsewhere might keep the user from navigating through the rest of the site.
What about the page titles that go on the navigation bar? Sometimes we want to break the mold and be creative with these titles, but remember, you want the user to easily find information throughout your site. So, there is nothing wrong with using commonly known page titles, such as “contact us”, or action titles, such as “start here.” Keep it clear and simple.
CTAs, or call to action, are buttons with action words that direct the user elsewhere in your website. These are important because you can push information and guide the user through their navigation process.
The homepage is where the user gets to know you on a superficial level. Here is where they find the overview of your business and the services you offer. However, that’s not always enough. This is where your CTAs come into play. Use them to guide the user to the other information they are looking for. Also, not every user is looking for the same thing, so having a few CTAs on the homepage will allow you push different things to different users depending on what they’re looking for, such as directing them to your contact information or to download a brochure.
For example, if you’re selling products on your site, you might want to use a CTA for your “New Arrivals” category so you can sell your new line of products, and another CTA for “Clearance” so you can push the old inventory out. Or, if you’re an accounting firm, you might want to use a CTA to guide the user to request a pricing quote of your services, and another one to take the user to the testimonials or credentials page.
Your elevator pitch
Unless your business is Gucci, or you’re The Pope, you’ll need an introduction.
Any user landing on your homepage needs to understand what your business is or has to offer them. The way you display this information doesn’t always have to be text; you can also use infographics, videos, or animations. Also, don’t be afraid to put a summary of services or other big accomplishments that will make a very good first impression. Just like a resume, you want to make sure the user knows all the good things your business offers, and that you can provide the solution to their problem.
Easy-to-find contact info
When possible, provide a link to the contact information on the navigation bar. Also, it’s very common to find contact information in the site footer, or at least a link to the contact information. To be on the safe side, use both: a contact information link on the navigation bar and on the footer.
Next time you think about redesigning your homepage or your entire site, don’t forget about these four elements. Also, don’t forget about us! Studio Brand Collective is Houston’s finest agency for web design and development. Contact us today for a free consultation.