Think of your home page as an overview of your business. It’s the cornerstone of your entire website—hooking visitors in, guiding them to other relevant pages, and driving them deeper into your story and offerings.
But the catch? You have mere seconds to impress them before they make the decision to stick around or bounce. Talk about pressure!
If your website isn’t up to par, you’re leaving money on the table. You need everything on your site—but especially your home page—to be strategic and aimed at conversion.
Here are my top 6 things to include on a website’s home page:
Your “navigation bar” (aka your menu) refers to the links you list at the top of your website. It usually includes things like: Home | About | Gallery | Info | Contact | etc.
You want your navigation to be clear and concise. Less is more here! Keep your navigation options simple, limit the nav bar links to your highest-priority pages, and keep the names short and to the point.
For example, say “blog” instead of “modern love stories”. Yes, you want to be creative and evocative...but you don’t want to make users guess where a menu option will take them. Even though it may seem boring, you want your navigation to be very vanilla. #holdthesprinkles
My favorite tip for home page design? Go easy on the text and heavy on the visuals. And not just any visuals—but professional, high-quality photos and video.
I can’t overstate the importance of high-quality imagery enough. The images you use have the potential to make or break your website. Point blank period. People nowadays are incredibly visual. And according to research, we process visual images almost 60,000 times faster than we process text. That’s insane, right?!
So trash those huge blocks of text. Edit your web copy to death and only keep the absolute-need-to-know information. Then format into easily-digestible, bite-sized chunks. Place gorgeous photography and video throughout your homepage to break up text and keep a user’s visual interest.
And don’t forget to include a lovely smiling photo of your own face—or your team! That will help build the know-like-trust factor right off the bat.
You have 1–3 seconds to communicate to users WHO you are, WHAT you do, and WHO you service. And if you’re a local business, WHERE you’re located.
A brand statement is the perfect way to fit all this information above the fold of your home page. It’s a clear and concise sentence that includes who you are and what you do, but also how you can meet the needs of that user.
For example, I want to communicate to my website’s visitors that I design fabulous brands and websites for small women-owned businesses. So, above the fold on my home page reads:
Give your brand a sparkling personality.
custom brand + web design for fab female entrepreneurs
This statement tells the user what I do (custom brand + web design) and who I do it for (female entrepreneurs). If they’re hooked by this statement and the big splashy imagery above the fold, then they’re much more likely to keep on scrolling!
Pssst… Wondering what “above the fold” refers to? Above the fold is an old newspaper term that describes what you can see on the front page of a newspaper that’s folded in half. In website design, it refers to the first snapshot of website content that fills a device’s screen upon landing on your site.
Strong Call To Action
Not having a call to action (CTA) on your home page is like meeting the man of your dreams and not giving him your phone number. How are you going to have a relationship without that next step?
Ask yourself: What is the action you most want your website users to take? For example, you may want them to view your portfolio...or check out your packages + pricing...or sign up for your freebie...or fill out your contact form!
Put your main CTA above the fold, or close to it. Whether it’s an eye-catching button or a form with fields—make it easy, make it direct, and make it noticeable.
Links to *active* social accounts should be on your homepage. They can live in the main navigation, in the footer, or both! If your website visitors like what they see, I guarantee they’re going to want to jump on over to your social media next. So make it easy on them.
I suggest only putting social media links to platforms you actively use. If you have a Twitter icon displayed, but haven’t tweeted since 2015? Not a good look.
Other forms of social proof that should live on your homepage include: short testimonial snippets, press feature logos, badges or awards, links to reviews, etc.
A Fabulous Footer
Your footer is prime real estate -- after all, it exists on every single page of your website! So get creative with it and think of it as your website's secondary navigation. While we want your main navigation on the top of your site to be concise, you can go all out with your footer.
I also like including a “Back to top” button, since most users are scrolling on their mobile device. And it’s a PITA to scroll alllll the way back up to the top of the page on your phone.
Yes, your home page is kind of a big deal.
Oftentimes it’s the most visited page of your entire website, and the page a lot of your visitors will land on from referring sites! Optimizing your homepage with these 6 things will better prime your site for conversion—and keep your website’s users wanting more.