The homepage is a critically important page for a lot of reasons.

  • It’s one of, if not the most, visited web page that we have on our websites.
  • It’s also the starting point for where people try and understand our brand and our company and what we do.
  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression — that’s why your homepage is undoubtedly one of the most important web pages on your website.

In the old way, we’d promote all of the major sections of the site on the homepage. So you might have had a homepage

  1. check out our blog,
  2. here’s our product,
  3. here’s this other thing that we’re doing.

This is totally wrong in 2017, because we can make all of those major sections easy to navigate to and find. We can focus very uniquely on just one section, on just the most important things that the most important customers and visitors are trying to get answers to and what they expect when they get to that homepage.

How Long should the HomePage be?

From the SEO point of view, at least 300 keywords. There is some evidence that longer pages of 1,000 to 2,000 words rank higher.

In the old days, the Home Page had most PageRank and was more likely to rank for our target keywords. Current ranking algorithms have become more sophisticated and will rank the main pages for a keyword rather than the Home Page.

This means that the Home Page can be focused on just a few keywords. Furthermore, there was a time when the advice was to feature your main content above the fold: More people search with mobiles than desktops and so the above the fold accounts for very little.

Great navigation is a key to website success. A second important feature must be your Call To Action. There is little point in attracting busloads of visitors if they do not call you, leave there contact details or buy from you.

What Makes a Good Website Homepage Design

  1. The design clearly answers “Who I am,” “What I do,” and/or “What can you (the visitor) do here.”
  2. Do not make your visitors think: Avoid technical terms the majority of visitors will not understand.
  3. You have less than 10 seconds to show visitors that your website answers their needs.
  4. Your website must be responsive – it can be viewed equally well on large monitors and small mobile screens.
  5. Have a compelling Call To Action.
  6. Update the Home Page every few weeks at least.
  7.  Design fashions change – currently it is about large wide images at the top perhaps with a little superimposed text – Autumn 2017.
  8. Long paragraphs should be avoided. Use bullet points and images to break the them up.
  9. At every opportunity, provide reasons to establish Trust: People buy from people they trust and like.

What about images and videos?

Images should make your pages visually attractive. In the early days of the internet, modems were very slow and images were to be avoided. Broadband has changed that but large images can still slow the download speed which has an adverse effect for visitors and ranking.

The header image for this website is full width (1925×606) and this is 262Kb which is acceptable.

If you need more than a few large images, there are plugins such as lazyload, jetpack (Photon) and CDN that be helpful. You can check page download speeds at https://tools.pingdom.com/  – aim for less than 3 seconds.

Coding for embedded videos is short and videos can increase your authority and visitor time on site which helps with SEO.

 

Examples of Great Home Pages

IT Support – Fitzrovia

Excellent Features

  1.  Modern Wide Header Slider with
    • A great set of videos – each lasting a few seconds.
    • Unique selling points.
  2. Inclusion of client case studes indicates reliability and authority.
  3. Clear Call to Action buttons.

Plumber – Tradesmen (Erg Plumbers)

Positive Features

  1. Modern wide header image.
  2. Smiling people – welcoming and confidence building
  3. Clear Calls to Action.
  4. Unique Selling Points – Benefits: –
    1. Fast response time.
    2. Guaranteed.
    3. No call out charges.

Business Coach – Jill Konrath

Why It’s Excellent

  1. Great modern wide header image – colour masked to allow clear superimposed text
  2. From the headline and sub-headline,
    1. It’s clear what Jill Konrath does
    2. and how she can help your company.
  3. Demonstrates her reputation:
    1. The large audience and image of her book.
    2. Her endorsements from major media including The New York Times, Bloomberg and Forbes.
  4. Clear Calls to Action buttons

Solicitors – Law Firm – Professions GCA Solicitors

Great Professional Features

  1. Clean Simple Logo.
  2. Modern wide header slider of images.
    1. The images tell the story.
  3. Easy clear navigation.
  4. Clear Call to Action buttons.

Travel – airbnb.co.uk

Why It’s Fantastic

  1. It consists of the location and date search type that a lot of visitors come searching for, right up front, assisting visitors to the rational next action.
  2. The search type is “clever,” suggesting it’ll auto-fill the user’s last search if they’re logged in.
  3. The primary call-to-action (“Search”) contrasts with the background; but the secondary call-to-action for hosts shows up above the fold, too.
  4. It offers tips for excursions and getaways. Airbnb users can schedule on the very same site as their accommodation to get visitors more ecstatic about booking their trip on the website.
  5. It similarly reveals which of these suggestions are most popular.

Finance – mint.com

Why It’s Dazzling

  1. It’s a very simple style with a strong, no-jargon heading and sub-headline.
  2. Wide header image.
  3. The homepage produces a protected, easy-going vibe, important for a product handling financial details.
  4. It also consists of basic, direct, and compelling call-to-action copy: “Sign up free.”
  5. The CTA style — the protected lock icon emphasises the safety message again.

Restaurant – Food – 4rsmokehouse.com

Mouthwatering

  1.  Integrated with excellent photography, and videos.
  2. The heading “Brisket. 18 years to master. Yours to savour.” sounds like an experience worth trying.
  3. The parallax scrolling guides you a trip through the services, menu, and people having a fun time– a fantastic use of this popular design trend.

Business Computing – dropbox.com/business

Why It’s Fantastic

  1. Dropbox rollovers its easy style and branding.
  2. A big, pertinent image with supporting copy, and a “Try totally free for 30 days” call-to-action button.
  3. Dropbox’s homepage and website is the supreme example of simplicity. It limits its use of copy and visuals and accepts whitespace.
  4. Its sub-headline is simple, yet powerful.

Doctors Health Clinic – Meadow Park Street Surgery

Great Features

  1. Large Header image – in fashion autumn 2017
    1. Image is a picture of Glasgow – location of the clinic.
    2. Image has colour mask allowing great simple text that explains the website.
    3. Clear calls to action – Phone; Prescriptions; Appointments and Registration.
  2. Simple text with plenty of white-space that is pleasing to the eye.