Your homepage—also known as the landing page—is the very first page which anybody visiting your website is going to see. It’s not coincidental then that it needs to be the one page on your site which is perfect.
There are five basic elements which need to be included on your homepage, and it should be designed and laid out in a way which isn’t cluttered and is easy on the eye. The five elements are:
Your branding (i.e. logos and trademarks)
Your branding is represented by any logos and trademarks which you use and these need to be prominently placed on your website. Most websites place logos in the top left or center of their homepages, however, it’s down to you. It’s the very first thing which your visitors are likely to see.
A good and concise description
A punchy title which represents your brand and then a few sentences—no more than two or three—which support the title and describe, in a nutshell, what your brand, business or service is, what it does and what you have to offer the visitor.
The one thing you want any visitor to your site’s homepage to do is make their way through your sales funnel and be converted into a customer. How is this done? With a call to action! A call to action is a short message which tells your visitor to do something, such as “Get in touch with us now by clicking here!” or “Don’t miss out, visit our store and secure your limited edition product now!”
A visual element which captures attention
Whether this is a picture, video, illustration, screenshot… it doesn’t matter, but you need to have something there. A good quality photo or video which complements your branding and goes on to further describe who you are and what you do is a simple way to secure conversions.
Lastly, you don’t want your potential customer to be stuck on the homepage, you want them to explore your website and learn more about you. The best way to make this happen is to have a prominent and easy-to-use navigation system in place. It should stand out and make it obvious to your visitor that this is where they should go after viewing your homepage.
These are by far the five most important elements you can include on your homepage. If you have a site which doesn’t have all these implemented, get on it now!
Designing with Mobile Web in Mind
With the growth of smartphones, tablets and other devices which can be used to browse the internet means that webmasters need to provide a quality mobile experience to their users. Today, Google takes mobile-related factors into account when ranking websites.
Now that the mobile web has been in the mainstream for the past few years, we have seen lots of trends and factors which weigh more when it comes to mobile rankings than others, and it is important that these trends and factors are accounted for in web design.
Here are the things which you need to take into account when designing your website so that it works flawlessly on mobile devices as well as traditional computers:
Keep everything simple
Your website’s design needs to be kept clean and have concise copy for mobile devices. If your website is packed full of long copy, videos and large graphics files, this can stop your website from loading quickly which will have a negative impact on your ability to rank well.
Google only ranks sites highly when they load quickly—in as little as two seconds—as consumers tend to abandon sites which take longer than 3-5 seconds to load.
Make it responsive
All websites need to be responsive in-order to stand a chance of being ranked highly by Google. Responsive designs create a similar experience for the users of your website no matter where they are accessing it from, whether it be an old box PC running Windows XP or the latest smartphone device.
The great thing about your site’s design being responsive is that it consolidates your site so that you do not need an entirely separate mobile website, URL or design.
Think about how mobile sites are used
How do you use your smartphone? I’m willing to bet you navigate it with your thumb or index finger, and therefore you need to ensure your website is designed in a way which accommodates tapping and scrolling with minimal pinching. This is one of the most important factors for any mobile website.
If you are finding that you’re unable to eliminate the need to pinch and zoom, your content is probably too small or not optimised properly.
Don’t use tons of Java
Add your contact details and enable geolocations
With mobile websites, visitors are often looking for contact information, your address or store’s location, and the easier it is for these people to find your contact details, the easier it is for them to act when they find this information.
Mobile capabilities such as geolocation should also be enabled, as this can help visitors find directions to your nearest store, and you can also take leverage of knowing potential and past customers’ information to deliver targeted offers and promotions.