How to design a great homepage
Did you know on average it takes us about three seconds to make up our mind about a business?
After years of being surrounded by brands: the expensive, the cheap and the ugly, our brains have worked out what makes a good website (even if we think we're not sure ourselves).
You can do this in person, looking at a shopfront, or you can do it sitting on your sofa, looking at a website. It's really difficult to change opinions once they're formed, which is why big brands spend so many £1000s on their shop window displays, they're making an impression, they're inviting people in.
Your website has this role too. It's the mothership of your business. It's the place your customer will visit to research your business and where they’ll choose whether or not to buy from you.
Like it or not, they'll form an opinion about your brand straight away.
They'll make a choice to either click away (because no one has time to look around a business that isn't right for them) or they could become your biggest customer and tell their friends about how amazing you are.
The three second rule
So we've established you have three seconds to bring them in, to make a lasting impression, what are you going to do with that time?
Let's come offline for a moment.
Imagine you have three seconds to introduce your brand at a networking event, you can use colours, images, video and words. What would you take with you? How would you summarise it?
Now simplify it. Remember you only have three seconds.
This is the start of your homepage. Your shop window, the very beginning of your website.
Nailing those three seconds
Website hosting platforms (Wordpress, Shopify, Wix etc), all have great templates you can edit. You can choose your colours, text and images. Try not to get hung up on which template you should choose, instead spend your time working on your brand.
To create a lasting impression you need these unique elements, right at the top of your homepage:
- A clear, visible, unique logo and / or brand name.
- An image or video that clearly represents what you do or offer. If you offer a variety of products, choose your best-seller, or the product that best represents your business. Maybe you could choose a lifestyle image that represents your brand, rather than your products?
- A sentence explaining what solution you can offer to your customer. Why are they visiting your website? What are they looking for? Tell them you've got it.
- Clear navigation: where do they want to go next? Make it really easy for your customer to get there. If you have a shop on your website, maybe you want a big button that says 'SHOP'.
Make it easy
Think about how you access other websites, how frustrating it is when you can't find what you're looking for.
Make your words simple and your paragraphs small. No one wants to spend hours on a website and they’re going to make decisions quickly.
Plan for your customer first, it’s important to have their intensions running through your mind with every decision you make about your brand and business.
Not sure who your customer is, or what they’re looking for? I wrote a blog post that can help you with this, check it out here.
If you'd like some personalised help to work out exactly how to design your homepage, please get in touch and we can arrange a consultation.