Not know what to put on your websites home page? This post will go over what you should include and why.
So, here’s the deal - the home page must communicate your site’s purpose as early and briefly as possible.
But, how do you do that? Well, the first thing you can do is make sure your best assets (photos, illustrations, whatever) are the first thing a site visitor sees.
Then, focus on the actions you want your visitors to take when they first land on your site, the information they need first, and how you can help facilitate their decision.
But - here’s the issue: You have to do all of this quick so you catch the visitors attention!
On average, visitors will spend 15 seconds on your website. What this means from a design perspective is that you need to make the navigation flow clear so visitors can quickly choose the best path form themselves (and for your business).
Sometimes visitors land on your homepage knowing what they want and who you are, but sometimes they don’t. When designing your home page, you have to keep both of these groups in mind. The good news is this is actually easier than you think to do because these groups have a lot in common. Firstly, both groups want to visit a site that’s easy to navigate, trustworthy, and aesthetically pleasing. Secondly, they want the site to be fast while looking around on your site and when going through the checkout process. And thirdly, they want to be lead. Ever heard of the saying “People like to be lead?” This is extremely true for web design.
A good homepage should accommodate visitors looking for a specific outcome, while directing the attention of the ones who aren’t
A good home page must strategically flow through the content, answer questions before users even think of them, and have multiple easy to access CTA’s (more on this below.)
Let’s focus first on what is most important to have Above the Fold. (Above the fold is what the visitors see on the first section of your website before they decide to scroll)
Below is a picture of Apple's home page. More specifically, this is a screenshot of their site "Above the Fold." Above the Fold means what the visitor sees before they start scrolling - also known as the hero section.
A couple of things you should take note of (that I will talk about more) is their logo on the far left, easy to use navigation, a search icon, a cart icon, Calls to Action (CTA's), a good heading, and a unique first picture (which is called the Hero Image).
The logo should be visible at the top of your website. It’s the core of your branding and identity and is a tangible representation that encompasses your products or services and is a key piece for clients to recognize and connect with your brand.
The logo on a website often doubles in functionality as a link to the homepage, so you want it to be in an obvious location within the header.
Make sure you avoid these common logo mistakes:
Straightforward and intuitive navigation is another vital feature your website should have above the fold. It should be easy to locate with items that make sense to new visitors. Think of the navigation as a road map - it’s necessary to give visitors an overview of the content, as well as help them to locate the information they are looking for using the most efficient route.
Within just a few seconds, your website needs to communicate to visitors what you have to offer. A headline with a sub-headline should provide a clear description of your business and what you do. This is usually 2-3 sentences of powerful, memorable, and concise text that targets your viewers needs.
Still not sure how to do this? I recommend hiring a professional copywriter to write your home page headlines (as well as the rest of your site)
The goal of a home page is to pique the interest of visitors and prompt them to spend more time looking around your website. A call to action - also known as a CTA - is one way to pull people into the interior pages, begin the selling cycle, or at least initiate direct contact. CTA buttons can be linked above the fold right after introducing your brand, in the contact forms, subscription enrollment forms, or other pages within your website that provide more information. Important to note - good websites will have multiple CTA's.
Providing testimonials or customer/client reviews is another powerful way to stimulate trust and establish your enterprise. The social proof shows new visitors that you know what you’re doing and provides key insights to your product or service. Success stories are a great way to inspire a positive first impression
The Hero Image (first image on the page before you need to scroll) should also be incredibly high quality. But, it's just as important to make sure all of your images on your site are high quality. Use images(or even a short video) that clearly indicates what you offer. These images should capture emotion. Make sure you avoid using cheesy stock photos!
It's best to not only describe what you do but to connect it to why it matters to the visitor. Keep your content simple and easy to read, and avoid using industry jargon. To maintain the interest of your visitor you must, connect with them, use a brand consistent voice, and convince them how they will benefit from your product or service.
It’s not only important to describe what you do, but also how it will help people. Visitors want to know about the benefits of buying from you. Keep the copy easy to read and speak the language of your customers.
To generate even more leads from your homepage, feature a really great content offer, such as a white-paper, ebook, or guide and give them a chance to subscribe to your companies news letter.
A footer is arguably just as important as your header. When the visitors has reached the bottom of your page, they should have access to:
It's worth spending the time upfront to create a home page that's highly effective and user friendly. The above tips are very useful if used properly and will set you up for success.
As always, if you need help designing and developing your Shopify site, send me a note!