The homepage of your website is just as important as the storefront of an offline retailer. It’s the first thing web visitors see when they visit your home on the Internet. First impressions are critical, and you only have one chance to influence those who land on your homepage. This page says a lot about your brand and the integrity of your business.
If your website isn’t performing up to expectations, the homepage may be the problem. Thankfully, this can be fixed without embarking upon a new full web redesign of your site. Here are a few things you should consider when thinking about web design for your business.
Know What Appeals to Your Target Audience
Internet consumers are a picky bunch. Much research has been done on how things like color schemes and fonts affect audiences. There is often a temptation to try something unproven that is flashy. You would do better by researching the tastes of the demographic you are trying to reach.
The smallest aspects of web design can impact your bounce rate, the amount of time customers spend on your site, and click-through ratios and conversions. Wernher von Braun said that “research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” Don’t neglect this part of the process. A firm skilled in web design will employ a thorough research process.
Functionality is King
Aside from visual appeal; functionality is the single most important aspect of websites home page. The Internet is an attention deficit medium. Web visitors want to be able to access the information they need in a hurry. Your homepage should provide a clear map for visitors so that they can reach the areas of your website that interest them.
This is where hiring a professional web designer makes financial sense. The professional firm will make sure that your visitors can get from the homepage to product descriptions with a minimal number of clicks. Frustrating your visitors creates a bad impression of your brand, and they are unlikely to return.
Use Your Homepage Intro for Brand Messaging
The images that you use on your homepage are an excellent opportunity to convey marketing and brand messages. Think about combining text and slideshow photos to stress what problems you can solve for the consumer. They have visited your website for a reason. Show them that you understand that reason and are willing to help.
A Call to Action is something many website owners neglect to include on the homepage. This is a mistake. The visitor is there because they have an interest in what you are selling or the service you provide. Give them an opportunity to respond right away by putting a Call to Action on the homepage. Learn more about Calls to Action.
Avoid Stock Photos in Favor of Custom Ones
A major mistake made by many website owners is the use of stock photography. It’s easy to find images, and they can be affordable, but nothing stamps a business as run of the mill like stock photos.
The extra money that you spend on custom photos will pay dividends in customer engagement. Your web visitors need to feel like they know the person they are buying from. A word of caution, if you take the photos yourself, make sure that they are worthy of placing on your site. Amateur photos are just as bad as stock images.
Give Your Brand a Color
Have you paid attention to the way color is used by popular brands? Quick? What color is the McDonald’s arch? It didn’t take you long to answer, did it? The yellow arch is an iconic symbol. You can do the same thing for your brand by strategic use of color.
By choosing some company colors and using them on your homepage you are creating a powerful mental association with your web visitors. The point here is to give your brand its own identity, one that will stand apart from your competitors.
Use Animation for Engagement
The problem with a static homepage is that it’s static. It doesn’t capture the attention. When you use animation you are engaging with the visitor. They are more apt to remain on the page long enough for your message to resonate.
You have to use animation wisely. Too much can cause your page to load slowly, and that is devastating. Less is more in this part of web design. Keep it simple but effective.
Implementing these tips can breathe new life into your website’s homepage. Remember, getting professional advice is never a bad thing when it comes to web design.
Contact us if you need assistance with updating your website’s home page web design.