38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the design is lacking. With numbers like that, it’s crucial that your homepage design is putting its best foot forward. But what makes for good homepage design and how can you make your website stand out?
Here are 8 amazing design tips to get your website’s homepage looking its best and engaging customers.
Your home page should answer 3 questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- and/or What can you (the user) do here?
Branding is the most effective tool you can use to answer question one. Your brand should be prominent on your homepage. Your audience should be able to glance at it and know immediately who you are.
Displaying your logo prominently is only step one of the branding process. You should also look for ways to visually brand your whole design. A great brand comes with a signature look and feel.
A signature color palette, imagery composition, and content tone can all work wonders for making your homepage look and feel like yours and yours alone. This, in turn, will help people engage with you and your brand.
Make It Responsive
Internet users are becoming increasingly multiplatform. That means your website needs to look its best no matter how your audience may be viewing it.
The gold standard for ensuring one’s website looks good on mobile, desktop, or tablet is a responsive design. This means your layout adjusts depending on the resolution of the screen, rather than targeting specific devices.
Designing your website responsively isn’t just a boon for your audience either. Google actively penalizes sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Your SEO and your user engagement will thank you for implementing a responsive homepage design.
Use Authentic Imagery
People remember images far better than they do words. Choosing the right imagery for your homepage design isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s also key to creating a lasting impression in the minds of your users.
Which isn’t to say you should buy stock images in bulk!
Audiences are becoming increasingly savvy to the use of inauthentic stock photography. Smiling freelancers posing in cafes are more likely to hurt your reputation than help it.
Your homepage imagery should tie directly into your brand. If you have a brick and mortar location then investing in a photo shoot of the area for use on your homepage will be a boon to your user engagement.
Images that present your brand in an authentic way will go a long way to helping your website stand out from the crowd.
It can be all too easy to slip into the habit of highlighting too much on your homepage. The problem with highlighting everything, of course, is that you end up highlighting nothing.
This practice can also lead to your homepage design ending up cluttered and overwhelming to boot. 88% of people (more about this here) won’t return to a website if they’ve had a bad experience, so you want to avoid this at all costs.
Instead of implementing two sidebars and a slider, think minimal. Present your audience with a clear UI that’s easy to navigate.
Also, keep your calls to action clear and concise – lean away from pushing too many options that might overwhelm your visitors.
Display Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that’s particularly effective when used in marketing strategies. It describes the way a person will assume the actions of others in an attempt to behave correctly in a given situation.
There are many ways to leverage social proof in your homepage design. One way is to display positive feedback and testimonials from your customers.
If you have a particularly large presence on social media then displaying your follower count can be a great way to encourage user trust through social proof as well.
Pay Attention to Readability
The most beautiful imagery in the world won’t save a website that can’t be easily read. How you lay out your written content and the web font choices you make can make or break your homepage design.
You should pay attention to your text’s alignment. Left aligned text is the most readable and should be used for any content that’s longer than a header. Right aligned text is the least readable and should be used sparingly.
Your font size and line spacing choices should also be made with readability in mind. Also, ensure that the length of your text falls within best practice standards. Each line of text should be 45-75 characters per line.
Include Clear Calls to Action
Your homepage should be the beginning of your customer’s journey. To avoid it becoming a dead end you need to display clear calls to action.
An effective CTA will be both action and benefit orientated. You shouldn’t just tell people to “click here” or “call now”, you should give them the incentive to do that action. “Get my eBook” is a much better CTA than the two previous examples.
Also, ensure you’re not overwhelming people with too many CTAs. Giving your users too many options can lead to choice overload and decision fatigue.
Test, Test, Test!
Use Google Analytics to death if you have to! You must ensure you’re testing the effectiveness of your homepage design decisions at every step of your development and beyond.
Keeping track of analytics and setting goals is the best way to understand what design elements are working and what should be pulled back to the drawing board.
If in doubt, read up on current design trends and industry studies. There are very few metrics the design and marketing industries haven’t measured.
Savvy reading can be a great way of leveraging other peoples’ metrics for your own designs.
Good Homepage Design Is Essential
Your homepage is often the first thing your users will see on your website. It’s essential that it’s presenting you and your business at its best.
With these 8 design tips, you’ll ensure your homepage is serving your customers a beautiful experience and your business a great first impression.
Looking to stay on top of the current design trends?
Here are 9 online communities to get the latest ones.