homepage design best practicesWe all look at hundreds of homepages each month and how many do you really remember? Really give this some thought because I want you to tell me how many you remembered in the comments section. The point is that most of the homepages we look at everyday are not rememberable or remarkable.

Most homepage designs are too complicated and don’t do a good job of guiding a visitor to what they need or are trying to find.  The reason for this is because the person who created and designed the homepage didn’t have concrete goals.

1.  Goals

The most important thing in life, let alone marketing, is to have goals for things you do. Goals enable you to understand if what you did had a positive or negative impact. Homepages have to have clear goals to be effective and multiple people need to be involved in creating the goals.  Your goals should include concrete numbers and be specific.

Schedule a one hour meeting with your sales, customer service and marketing teams to discuss the goals of your homepage. It’s all about collaboration because you’re going to get new visitors, repeat leads, and customers landing on your homepage.

2.  Simple

Now that you have your goals documented, brainstorm on how you can achieve those goals with a simple, clean homepage. I bet you might remember Facebook’s homepage, right?  The homepage is simple!

I’m not telling you to copy Facebook’s homepage, rather ask people that have never seen your homepage before to test the design. Ask them to look at the page for five seconds and see what they can remember.  An inexpensive way to test your homepage is by using fivesecondtest.com.

3.  Calls to Action

Facebook has one and so does every well-designed homepage. In fact, depending on your goals, you should have two, three or four. The calls to action should contrast with the rest of the page and really “pop-off” the page.  They should be one of the things your visitors remember and you should have several to help guide and educate visitors about your company and products.

4.  Whitespace

If you don’t have whitespace on your homepage then people won’t likely remember anything after five seconds. I’m not saying you literally need the space to be white, but a majority of the homepage should have nothing around its headlines, calls to action, menu items, logos and more. Think about using a contrasting background color to draw people's eyes to the things that will help you achieve your goals.

5.  Links

Your homepage can’t have a high-bounce rate.  Here’s a goal:  keep the bounce rate to less than 50%.  It’s imperative that people go deeper into your site and have a pleasant experience. You need to have a lot of links on your homepage. They should be in the header, menu, content, images, calls to action and footer. You want to provide a simple way for people to find your product info, educational content, about us page, contact page and blog. 

Watch our homepage webinar and download our homepage resources.

So how many homepages have you remembered? What are some of your favorites?

Image credit: insidenorthpoint.org

Originally published Jul 26, 2011 3:29:00 PM, updated January 13 2014