Seven Must-Have Elements For An Engaging Home Page
I work on a lot of website redesigns and write a lot of website content, and based on my experience, I have learned what you absolutely must have on your home page to ensure that visitors stay on your site.
Basically, if your home page is less than stellar, your site will be abandoned in three seconds. And guess where that visitor goes? Yup, straight to your competition.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Here are the seven must-have elements for a successful home page:
1. Who you are and what you do
Don’t bury this information! Make sure you clearly explain who you are and what you do. Place it front and center and be sure it’s designed to catch the eye and thus be one of the first things your visitors sees when they land on your home page.
2. Value proposition
Once you explain what you do, you need to state your value proposition, or the value and benefits you deliver to your customers. What makes you different? Better? Faster? Easier? More convenient?
3. Visual engagement
Your site must be visually engaging and reflect your brand. A beautiful, thoughtfully designed website makes an immediate impression and says, “We care about quality.”
Pull your web visitors deeper into your site with strong calls-to-action. Should they check out a product or service, new blog post, big announcement, make a reservation or appointment? Tell them what to do – and why.
5. Clear navigation
Instead of getting clever with page and section names in your navigation menu, be straightforward so people can easily find the information they’re looking for. Also, if you opt to have two navigation menus – one on top and one on the bottom – keep your most engaging content (that will convert web visitors into customers) in the top menu bar.
6. Clean interface
If your website is cluttered with graphics, content, or call-out boxes (like just about every news media site out there with their 3 column format), your visitors’ eyes will not know where to land. Keep the home page clean so your message does not get drowned out.
7. Contact info
Want people to call or visit your location? Put your phone number, address, a link to a map/directions, and your hours of operation right on the home page. Also make it easy for them to subscribe to your newsletter or make a reservation or appointment – put a big button on your home page so visitors can take action.
What other elements do you appreciate on a home page?
Monika Jansen is a copywriter and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, website content, and other marketing materials for her clients, who tend to be startups and professional service providers. She is a blogger for GrowSmartBiz and the managing editor of UberStories. You can follow her on Twitter (@monikacjansen) or find her on LinkedIn.