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How to improve your website’s homepage

You should view your website as a virtual store or showroom for your business. When you first visit a store, the purpose of the store is usually self explanatory, regarding what it sells and the services it provides. You will also notice the general layout of the store and how it is designed.

The same applies to a website. A visitor should understand immediately what the website is about, how it can be helpful for her/him, and will it have a positive impact on the visitor and encourage them to remain on the website and investigate further. 

The storefront of a store can entice a visitor to go in. Think about it, a storefront is the first impression of a shop and if the storefront is well built, it will attract more visitors. The same applies for any website’s homepage. If someone visits your website, nine times out of ten they will land on the homepage so it is important that the homepage meets a certain standard so that the visitor will navigate further throughout the site. 

We cannot stress enough on the importance of a good homepage. Today we’re going to have a look at how to improve your website’s homepage.

How to improve your website’s homepage

1. Modern web design

This is pretty straightforward. Just imagine visiting a website designed in 2005 compared to a website designed in 2021. An outdated web design can give the impression that your business is either not up to date, or lacks attention to details. 

In this context, is important to know: 

  • it takes 2.6 seconds for users to make the first impression of a website 
  • 94% of the first impressions are based on visual and design
  • 88% of visitors won’t return to a website if they have a bad experience.

(Source: websitebuilder.org)

Pretty impressive data, isn’t it? The truth is, nowadays it is not enough to simply have a website, you must be sure your website follows the standards set by the industry. This will help your business get more conversions. 

For example, we went back in time to provide you this rare picture of Amazon’s homepage in 2005. Back then this was the look of a standard homepage, but can you imagine visiting an e-commerce website with such a design today, would you purchase from it?

How to improve your website's homepage Modern Web Design

This general rule applies to the entire website, but especially for the homepage – as the digital storefront – it must be perfectly designed, with quality photos and images, an attractive and consistent design.

2. Informative and fresh content

A well designed homepage and website is just the starting point. There are other factors you should really pay attention to. The content of the homepage should be clear, highly informative and attractive to the visitor, as you want to maximise the conversions and transform the visitor into a client.

The content must be up to date. Imagine visiting a website in February and a Christmas offer is the first image you see. Out of date content looks bad for the website, scheduling a monthly reminder can be helpful to provide up to date content on the homepage.

3. Page speed

In the digital marketing industry it is widely known that if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load on mobile more than 50% of visitors will leave the page

To achieve this result, be sure that your website observes the following best practices:

Good host

Who has started it all is holding the battle. A good host is vital to provide a quick website, as it is directly responsible for ensuring quality access for all the visitors of your website.

Optimise images

Heavy images will affect your website. Be sure to provide well-sized images, possibly in .webp or .jpeg format.

Lazy load

Lazy loading assists in loading only the displayed section and delays the remaining, until it is needed by the user. This will save resources and improve the page speed.

Caching and minifying code

Pretty technical here, but be sure your website has a valuable caching plugin and CSS and JS are optimised.

4. Mobile responsive

Recently, we spoke about the best practices to optimise mobile navigation for Northern Irish websites. There we mentioned that mobile navigation accounts for approximately 50% of web traffic worldwide since the beginning of 2017. 

It is clear that mobile navigation has become as important as desktop, if you wish to maximise the conversions on your website. For this reason, web designers have had to focus hugely on mobile design and performance, adopting the best practices to excellent results.

Ensure your homepage is mobile responsive; this may not give you the edge over your competitors, but will make sure that your website respects the standards set in recent years.

5. Provide a clear Call To Action (CTA) button

The Call To Action button is often the direct path towards a conversion. A good practice is to be sure that it is clear to see, strategically placed to help the visitors to easily click it if they wish. A good idea could be to use a specific colour for your main CTA on the menu – obviously aligned with your branding’s colour palette.

6. Branding

According to Tom Goodwin, “Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people”.  This is a clear but pretty general definition, as to achieve this result it requires a structured strategy.

Anyway there are general elements you can start with to build good branding on your business’ website.

Images are a good starting point, but we have to consider that throughout the website you can provide different types of images. 

Among the most important aspects of your website, you need to provide your logo. We cannot stress enough the importance of an effective logo for your business. This is not only about your website or your online presence, this is about your brand’s identity.

Providing to the users a coherent, consistent and quality logo gives them a clear understanding of who you are.

Another must-have position is the favicon, this is the little icon placed on browser tabs. Considering the dimensions of the favicon, you should provide just the image of your logo, as text would not be easily read.

The favicon sits on the top, near the tab’s title, as a simple company logo used to mark the website itself, while on the top of the page is where your brand’s complete logo is placed. This is a smart and easy way for branding.

Also we highly recommend to be coherent with your photography. Imagery and photography can perfectly represent your brand identity. Not only does this boost brand awareness and visibility, but it allows engagement with potential and existing customers. In essence, we seek to produce striking graphics and aesthetics that will catch people’s eye across all platforms and networks. Good graphics speak a thousand words!

Conclusion

There are many ways to improve your website’s homepage as highlighted above. A well-built homepage will lead to an increase of conversions on your website. In general, a website built using a UX and UI oriented web design can help your business grow in terms of both branding and website conversions. 

If you think your website needs to improve in terms of mobile navigation, here at Rapid Agency we deliver our bespoke SEO, Digital Ads, Email Marketing and Web Design services in Belfast that will help to improve visits for Northern Ireland websitesGet in touch with us, we are happy to help!