Need some pro tips to create a high impact homepage design? These seven essential elements will help you turn your old design into something more modern, useful, and beautiful.
Your business website exists for one big reason—your customer. And most of those customers are going to land on your homepage because they need it to navigate your site. As a small business owner, you need to know how to design a homepage that is functional and pleasing to the eye.
Tackling a new design is no easy task! People study for years to become great web designers. Luckily, with a quick crash course in basic web design, you’ll create a striking homepage for yourself using a website service on your hosted site.
Here are seven essential tips that will help you build an eye-catching homepage design from scratch. Follow this advice, and you’ll turn your underperforming homepage into a lasting first impression!
#1: The Rule of Simplicity
There is one indisputable rule in modern website design—simple is better. It’s tempting to want to fill your homepage with special effects, moving images, and too much information. The problem is that this makes your homepage hard to use for the one person who matters, your customer.
- Simplicity makes people happier, smarter, and more likely to spend money.
To keep your homepage simple, remember why it exists. This page orientates your customer and shows them where to go. It attracts the most website traffic and drives sales for your products and services. To achieve simplicity in your design, follow these tips:
- No distractions, ads, or clutter
- Exclude long carousels, accordions, and pop-ups
- Keep special effects to a minimum (no Flash, ever)
- Your above-the-fold space is for a single idea
- Keep your text blocks simple, one idea at a time
An excellent benefit of a simple homepage is that it’s easy to update and maintain. This saves you time and money in the long run and gives your customers a page they can use!
#2: The Wisdom of Visual Hierarchy
A strong website redesign means that your homepage layout will focus on the visual hierarchy as a priority. These wise rules were created to help designers make better visual decisions, and they will teach you how to arrange elements according to their importance.
- Color and contrast (bright colors attract attention, so does dramatic contrast)
- Typographic hierarchy (which text to read first, large text wins)
- Size and scale (large elements are seen first)
- Rule of thirds (better balance for framing your images)
- Rule of odds (placing a surrounded element in the center emphasizes it)
“White space” is also an essential rule—and it speaks to the use of negative space in your design. Check out these amazing small business website designs that use white space well. Remember, the less cluttered your homepage looks, the more effective it will be.
#3: The Purpose of a Call to Action
Your homepage should have a few clear call-to-action (CTA) prompts so that your customers can decide what action to take. Your business website will perform better when customers act on your CTAs.
- Call-to-action prompts should grab attention in your design.
- Place buttons strategically throughout your page.
- Your CTA must be deliberate and guide visitors to the desired outcome.
- Use less than three words.
Some examples include adding “buy now” under a key product promotion showcase or “find out more” which points to a landing page. The best homepage layout tips for CTAs are to make them a part of your brand, make them prominent, and use them to achieve your goals!
#4: The Meaning of Engaging Content
A modern homepage design prioritizes quality content that engages visitors from the moment they land on your page. Your homepage’s engaging content should be split into deliberate sections, and it works best if you focus on various formats—image, video, text, and slideshow content.
- Segment text into small blocks of content (be authentic).
- Create compelling headlines and subheadlines.
- If a video, slideshow, or image says it better, use it.
- Avoid using too much stock photography.
- Use social proof for credibility (testimonials and reviews).
To engage your visitors means to grab their attention, to create genuine interest, and to invoke curiosity. Your content should lead up to your CTAs, which will convert your curious visitors. If your content doesn’t engage your customers, your calls to action won’t work.
#5: The Flow of Navigation
Your new website navigation will determine the usability of your site. This, combined with quality homepage content and design, leads to customer sales. If your navigation is hard to understand, your customer won’t find all of your products, content, and services.
- Add a logical menu at the top or to the side of your page.
- Use descriptive menu and navigation titles.
- Breadcrumb navigation from your homepage is the best.
- Link your logo to your homepage (clicking it returns the user to the homepage).
- Have a complete footer with links to important information.
The goal of your homepage navigation is to flow simply, logically, and easily in a predictable direction. A sticky nav menu stays on screen no matter where your customer goes.
#6: The Function of Social Media Buttons
Your homepage design will benefit if you add social media buttons to the right places. Any attractive website will have brand messaging that is worth sharing, and you are also a budding brand that wants to inspire a community through follows.
- Add social media buttons to your header or footer area.
- Add buttons to specifically sharable pieces of content on your homepage.
Make sure that you pick a design that matches your small business identity. Larger buttons do get more clicks, so balance the design with your need for higher conversions.
#7: The Goal of a Newsletter Signup
Any future-thinking online store will want to secure the details of the visitors who land on their website. When a customer gives you their email address, you can continue to engage with them using email marketing and promotional techniques.
- Place your newsletter signup box in a prominent location on your homepage.
- A typical location is in your right menu bar below the header.
- Your signup box should match your identity and invite engagement.
- Tell your customers you won’t send them SPAM.
- Keep your customers updated when they sign up to get your newsletter.
Web design best practices, such as adding a newsletter signup box to your homepage, will help you continually build a community that you can engage with and sell to as you grow.
With these seven tips, you’ll be able to build an eye-catching homepage on your own. All you need to get started is a reliable website hosting service that offers you an easy website creation method.
Your homepage design will speak directly to your customers about who you are and why you do what you do. Make it an essential part of your small business online presence and become the store you always knew you could be.
Start your homepage design with these pro tips, and you’ll close more sales online!