Home Sweet Home: What Your Website's Homepage Should Include

By November 14, 2013Websites
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You’ve probably heard it said, “A first impression is a lasting impression.” This is not just true when meeting new people or during interviews. It’s especially true for your company’s website. You want to grab the viewers’ attention, draw them in, and show them right off the bat that you’re what they are looking for. But how do you do that?

I recently read a book by Steve Krug about web usability, titled Don’t Make Me Think. The title says it all. Think of your potential clients first, and what they will look for when they visit your website. If your homepage is cluttered with links and incoherent blocks of text, you’re making them think too hard, and they will leave your page. With that in mind, here are a few basic things that every homepage should include, no matter what.

Navigation

Let’s say you have a rough layout; the first important element is navigation. You can have it in a sidebar or across the top of your page. The navigation can be done any way you choose. It’s a great way for users to find specific pages within your site without too many links cluttering up your homepage. It is unwise to set your navigation at the bottom or to the left, as most viewers look for it in the other two areas. A quick tip is to make your logo a link back to the homepage for easy access.

Search

Not everything will fit in your navigation bar. And you may have external links to documents or spreadsheets, or even hidden pages within your site. To make sure your viewer can find these pages, keep a search bar on your homepage. It must be visible at all times so if users get stuck, they can search instead of getting frustrated and leaving your page.

Brand Summary

Your homepage must provide a clear and impactful description of your organization—what you stand for, what you do, how you value clients, etc. The biggest turn-off to potential clients is landing on your homepage and wondering, “Wait, what is it that they do?” You need a call-to-action, whether through visuals, text, or video. Make your homepage exciting, clear, and concise. Express your passion so your audience sees you as a professional company that cares about its products and services.

Contact

Just like a business card, your website must provide your contact information. If you don’t have it on your homepage, or at least a link to a contact page, you are failing to support your online audience. Otherwise, potential clients will come to your website, see your brand, understand your mission, and want to get on board with what you do—but they’ll have no way to contact you! Get your contact information out there as fast as you can and keep it updated.

These four simple elements can transform the way people see your business and keep them more involved with your website. Remember, don’t make them think—make them a client.

Sam Neudeck
Sam Neudeck
Front-End Developer
Learn More about Sam!

About 212 Media Studios

212 Media Studios is a full service marketing agency, based in Warsaw, IN. Providing services such as SEO, social media management, print marketing, branding, and videography, 212 Media Studios specializes in helping businesses of all sizes catapult their marketing and brand awareness to the next level. To learn more about 212 Media Studios’ services visit our services page or contact us with special requests or for more information.