“The importance of an effective homepage can never be stressed upon enough because usually it is the landing page of your website and it is the landing page that always decides where your visitors are going to go from there: explore your website further and transact with you or leave the website immediately to explore other options on the Internet.” – AZ Tech Consulting
Your website’s homepage is the face of your company. When potential clients first hear about a new company, they immediately log online and dig up information about them – starting with the company’s homepage. The homepage on your website acts as the gateway to the remainder of the site – all of your product information, your well-crafted marketing messages, your customer testimonials etc. If you’re homepage doesn’t cut it, potential clients will bounce out and miss out on all of the great information you’ve worked so hard to populate your website with.
Enhancing your company’s homepage UX is critical to maintaining and attracting visitors and potential clients. Now, impressing users today is no easy feat – users will only accept the highest standards of web design. To make a long lasting impression on your visitors, you need to build a homepage that goes far beyond the average website.
How are you going to do this? Here are 5 tips on how to improve your homepage usability to help get potential customers through the gates.
1. Clearly Express Brand’s Feel
In order to make the user “fall in love” with your brand, you’ll need to very clearly express the vision and “feel” of the brand. The text and design on the homepage must arouse an emotional connection that fosters “a deep, committed, and emotionally connected relationship” with the user, according to Tim Halloran, a branding expert. As Peter Drucker said, “People buy with their hearts, not their minds.” Invest in meeting with a marketing expert and graphic designer to leverage your homepage to really allow yourself to express how you want your brand to be perceived by your users.
To this end, invest in an eye-catching logo and memorable tagline. Make sure you arouse an emotional connection with all of your visitors through putting videos or high quality visuals on your homepage.
2. Streamline User Navigation
Ensure that the homepage has easy navigation and a solid architecture to enhance optimal usability. If you have a good deal of information on your website, then it is very important to include a search input box on top of the homepage to make it easy for users to access information. Make sure that the search box is at least 25 characters wide so that it can accommodate more words without obstructing parts of the user query. Also emphasize your site’s top priority tasks on the homepage.
Your homepage must be able to guide the user through the website. You want your users to absorb as much information as possible, and maximize the number of pages they see before exiting. When your homepage is highly readable, your visitors will be able to quickly digest the information you share, which increases the likelihood of them digging deeper into your website, taking a specific action and, eventually, becoming repeat visitors. Also, put a navigational map on the homepage to help the user find what he/she is looking for from the site easily, with as little effort as possible.
3. Keep Content Concise
Try as much as possible to be clear with your wording and labels and avoid using ambiguity. It is a well-known fact that web users have very short attention spans for reading articles. In fact, a study that investigated the reading habits of people surfing the web found that most people rapidly skim pages to find exactly the information they’re looking for. Most users only search for specific keywords and read articles in a non- linear fashion. The study also found out that as much as a 58% increase in homepage usability can be achieved by simply keeping the content on your homepage as concise as possible.
Shorter articles enhance readability and most users like visiting sites that are straightforward and clear. Therefore, if you want to increase your website usability, make sure to avoid long paragraphs and sentences, cutting any unnecessary information, get to the point as quickly as possible and use easy to understand words and phrases.
4. Establish Credibility
Your credibility is all you have. Even if people find the content they’re looking for, if they don’t trust you, that content is viewed as worthless. Your website homepage can cause site visitors to be skeptical about your business in a number of ways. It is therefore very important to build the credibility of your site by providing a clear “About Us” page and clearly stating your company contacts and address if possible.
To enhance your homepage usability, you must ensure that your homepage is credible by putting information that is reliable. Make sure that you’re honest about your content. Avoid putting dubious information, and double check to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. In addition, if you are an expert in your field, don’t be modest about it, let people know.
5. Maintain Relevancy
It is not enough to only place information that is clear, you must also ensure that your content is relevant. To achieve this, clearly define who your target audience is and find out what they’re looking for when they visit your site. Ensure that you constantly update your homepage by putting the latest news and updates.
Ensure that users can navigate through your site and access information that it contains easily. Following the above guidelines can greatly enhance your homepage usability and attract more visitors to your site.
For more information on factors that determine a successful homepage, click here.