The phrase ‘first impressions matter’ has rarely been more appropriate than when talking about your website homepage.
A poorly designed page can give off the complete wrong impression, and like a bad restaurant, cause customers and potential customers to leave and likely never return. So let’s look at seven proven, and straightforward, elements you should consider when looking at your homepage.
1: The font-keep it simple
Recent US research by Creative Market indicates that 71% of the Top 1000 fastest growing companies use a sans-serif font on their website. The top three sans-serif fonts that this research identified were Arial, Helvetica and Open Sans. Sans-serif fonts offer better readability on low resolution screens and mobile devices. After you’ve chosen the font, choose a colour and again, keep it simple. Pure black is the most popular option, though dark grey variants also can work well. Then, get the size right. It’s important to consider how your page will be viewed, with a massive amount of traffic now likely coming via mobile devices. The most effective font sizes are 13pt, 14pt or 16pt.
2: Don’t clutter the homepage
Your homepage should clearly direct the visitor to where to information lies, so focus on the design rather than trying to cram in too much content. The average word count on an effective homepage is in the region of 605 words.
3: Refine your response time
Like poor design or bad navigation, a slow response time will also cost you customers. A fast site is a successful site, with an average response time of less than two seconds. A slower response correlates directly to a higher ‘bounce’ or swift exit rate. This is another good reason to keep your homepage relatively simple, they load faster. The average size of the data on a successful homepage is 66971 bytes.
4: Optimise for multiple devices
A fast-loading, easily navigable homepage focuses on usability, meaning there aren’t “flashy” objects that get in the way of browsing; such as flash banners, GIFs, animations, pop-ups, or overly-complicated and unnecessary elements. They are also mobile-optimised, which is an simply essential these days.
5: Monetise your page with a call to action
An effective homepage uses primary and secondary calls-to-action to direct visitors to the next logical step and convert them into customers. Examples include “Free Trial,” “Schedule a Demo,” “Buy Now,” or “Learn More.”
Remember, the goal of the homepage is to direct users to dig deeper into your website and move them further down the path of engaging and purchasing your product or service. Clearly sign posted calls to action tell them what to do next so they don’t get overwhelmed or lost. More importantly, call-to action behaviour turns your homepage into a sales or lead-generation engine, and not just a nice looking element of corporate collateral.
At Universal Media we can help you design a homepage that works, with compelling content and an unbeatable user experience. Click here to get in touch for a free consultation.