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How to make a good first impression with your website’s homepage

Did you know that it only takes 50 milliseconds for a visitor to decide whether they want to stay on your website or not? With the window of opportunity to convert so short, it’s crucial to make a good first impression – starting with your homepage. Your homepage can make or break your user’s experience with your website, so it’s important to optimise it as thoroughly as you can.

But what constitutes good homepage design? Read on to find out our top tips for optimising your website’s homepage and some of the exclusive web design solutions offered at Bang Digital to ensure an attractive website built with user experience in mind.

The importance of the homepage to any website

Your website’s homepage should serve three key purposes:

  1. To attract and captivate visitors
  2. To educate visitors on your brand
  3. To encourage visitors to visit other pages on your website

With a small amount of time to gain their trust and grab their attention, if your website isn’t branded in an attractive way or the user experience is confusing, chances are your users aren’t going to stick around long enough to learn more about your product or service (even if it fits their solution).

Think of it this way: Your website’s homepage acts as your brand’s virtual receptionist. The homepage serves as the face of your entire website for an unfamiliar visitor and, in many cases, receives the most traffic out of any of your pages. So while the homepage isn’t necessarily the place where customers convert, it’s the place where they get that all-important first impression of your brand. And if that impression isn’t a good one, chances are they probably aren’t going to stick around.

Top tips for optimising your website’s homepage

1. Firmly establish your identity with the main message

If there’s one single line of text you can count on your user’s reading, it’s the main message. Therefore, you need to make sure it’s the first thing they see when they enter the website and that it sticks out in their mind. However, it can be difficult to strike the perfect balance and some common mistakes for many brands when it comes to the main message are:

  • Trying to be all things to all people and ending up diluting the meaning of the main message
  • Relying too heavily on convoluted jargon and marketing lingo that makes it difficult for the users to understand

Truly effective messaging should tell the users who your brand is, what you do and what your value proposition is in a memorable and approachable way. So what is your value proposition? Essentially, your value proposition is the strong statement about who you are as a company, what you do and why anyone should care.

Another important consideration is placement. Don’t place it at the bottom of the page – your visitor will most likely leave the page before they even reach it. Instead, put it in a prominent location, conveying what you do in as few words as possible. Take Bang Digital’s main message for example. Our messaging gives users a large overview as to what our service is meant to accomplish:

Finally, it should be tested. Something as important as your main message shouldn’t be left to gut feelings and guesswork. Test ways that your language can be more precise or try different approaches to conveying the value of your products and services to the user.

2. Heighten user experience by streamlining navigation

The number one priority of the user is to find what they’re looking for as fast as possible. The reason they’re coming to your site in the first place is because you have the solution to their problem or can fulfill their needs – so don’t keep them waiting. The goal of your website should be to satisfy their desire for a quick, easy browsing process and navigation is an important part of that.

From a visual perspective, the navigation should be readily identifiable and located in a logical position on the homepage. So keep it simple, clear and tidy with a flat architecture, which puts most of the content within reach in only one or two clicks. This will avoid unnecessary complexity and increase the chances of your visitors staying longer on your site.

3. Develop a clear focus with a logical layout

Homepages can quickly become cluttered with too many competing messages, images and marketing priorities. People are only able to take in so much information at once and inundating users with too much information can cause them to feel overwhelmed, which will likely lead them to abandon the site. So the best strategy is to develop a tight focus for your homepage.

Research shows that at least 50% of sales are lost when people can’t find relevant information and 40% of these disappointed visitors won’t return. Don’t let this happen to your site and avoid disappointment by making it clear where they can find the information they want.Consider what information is most important to convey to users in order to get them interested and encourage further exploration.

Website visitors scan web pages very quickly, roughly in an ‘F’ shape, according to a recent eye-tracking study. They spend 80% of their time looking ‘above the fold’ of the website and 69% of their time reading content on the left half of the page. Above the fold is the part of the homepage that’s immediately visible in a browser and is the first impression of the first impression, if you will, so start by directing their eyes to the most pertinent information here.

4. Invest in high-quality imagery

Every homepage needs to include strong visual stimulation. Visuals capture the user’s attention even before they have the chance to read the site’s message. So whether you use bold typography, custom illustration or high-quality photography, make sure your homepage has a strong visual element positioned front and centre that will grab the user’s attention immediately.

5. Don’t forget about the call-to-action

Don’t underestimate the power of the small but mighty call-to-action (CTA). One of the most important website elements, the CTA quite literally tells the user what to do next. Therefore CTA language, design and placement all need to be considered.

A CTA with confusing wording or one that fades into the background of the homepage will not entice users to click. So look for ways to make your language more precise so users have a better idea of what will happen when they click. Then, make sure your CTA is visually distinct and easily differentiated from the rest of the content on your site, perhaps with a bold colour that stands out on the page.

Bang Digital’s Rockit website solution

So now we know what constitutes good homepage design, it’s time to build your website. If you’re looking to build a high-quality website without the expensive implementation and maintenance fees, our Rockit website solution is the perfect option.

A website that’s designed for optimum performance and results without the painstakingly long turnaround time, Rockit is a great turnkey website template solution at a fraction of the cost. We have managed to find a way to deliver your business needs at a much lower price point without compromising on the quality and integrity of your website, including a high-quality homepage that’s sure to make a great first impression.

For a timely website solution that includes all the features of a custom built WordPress website, have a chat to the team at Bang Digital today.