A company’s homepage is its face to the world and the starting point for most user visits. Your entire website’s business value is multiplied by improving your homepage, so following key guidelines for how to create the most effective homepage is of utmost importance.
The homepage is the most important page on most websites , and gets more page-views than any other page. One of the first things these users do after arriving at a new site is go to the homepage. Make the Site’s Purpose Clear: Explain Who You Are and What You Do. Following are things you can do to increase the usability of your homepage and thus enhance your website’s business value.
- Include a One-Sentence Tagline
Start the page with a tagline; it should summarize what the site or company does, especially if you’re a startup. Even well-known companies presumably hope to attract new customers and should tell first-time visitors about the site’s purpose. If your company’s general marketing slogan is bland and fails to tell users what they’ll gain from visiting the site, it is very important to have a good tagline
- Write a Window Title with Good Visibility in Search Engines and Bookmark Lists
Begin the TITLE tag with the company name, followed by a brief description of the site. Don’t start with words like “The” or “Welcome to” unless you want to be alphabetized under “T” or “W.”
- Include a Search Input Box
Search is an important part of any big website. Users typically scan the homepage when they want to search, looking for “the little box where I can type,” so your search should be a box. [Make your search box at least 25 characters wide, so it can accommodate multiple words without obscuring parts of the user’s query.]
- Emphasize the Site’s Top High-Priority Tasks
Your homepage should offer users a clear starting point for the main 1–4 tasks they’ll undertake when visiting your site.
- Show Examples of Real Site Content
Don’t just describe what lies beneath the homepage. Specifics beat abstractions, and you have good stuff. Show some of your best or most recent content.
- Use Meaningful Graphics
Don’t just decorate the page with stock art. Images are powerful communicators when they show items of interest to users, but will backfire if they seem frivolous or irrelevant. For example, it’s almost always best to show photos of real people actually connected to the topic, rather than pictures of models.
- Offer Easy Access to Recent Homepage Features
Users will often remember articles, products, or promotions that were featured prominently on the homepage, but they won’t know how to find them once you move the features inside the site. Keep a short list of recent features on the homepage to help users locate key items and supplement it with a link to a permanent archive of all other homepage features.