Top 10 things your homepage should have

Running a business, overseeing a non-profit’s marketing, or branding yourself on your blog in the hopes of landing a new job? Make sure your website has these 10 things. Some might be no-brainers, but if your website’s lacking them, its visitors will wonder if you have a brain.

  1. Your logo. Make sure it doesn’t look like it’s part of an ad banner, and make sure it’s not squished or pixelated. If you have a personal website, create a logo for yourself or hire a company like Lead the Pack to design one - it’s more affordable than you think.
  2. Impressive graphics. Most of your site’s viewers have the capability to view big, bold images. Great pictures can do more for your audience than lots of text.
  3. White space. “Impressive graphics” doesn’t have to mean “no white space” (and “white” doesn’t have to mean “white,” as you see on Giving images and text room to breathe adds simplicity to your design and doesn’t overload visitors. To see an example of a popular site lacking white space, check out Myspace: even after a massive redesign, the homepage is still an ADD nightmare.
  4. A “Search” box. If visitors to your homepage feel like they’re on the right track, they’ll stay on your site until they find what they’re looking for. A search function helps them find things faster.
  5. Intuitive navigation. The ability to explore without aim can be as important as the ability to search for specifics. Don’t overload visitors with too many options; instead, use your navigation to lead them down the paths they’re most likely to explore. For business and non-profits alike, starting with your mission and services makes sense.
  6. News. Show people that you’re still around. At the very least, make sure the Copyright year in your footer is current, and replace outdated content on the page ASAP. At best, include live streams of news, ideally from your blog.
  7. An obvious call to action. Non-profits? “Donate now.” Businesses? “Shop now.” Job seekers? “Check out my portfolio.” Whether a big, bold link or a pretty button, give visitors something to do immediately.
  8. A reason to tell a friend. Follow our tips, and your story-telling graphics and news should be enough.
  9. Sharing options. Is your most important need to spread the word about something you’re doing? Make it a simple call to action by giving users the ability to share via Facebook, Twitter, and email.
  10. Contact information. If there’s no button to your “Contact Us” page, or if your phone number/email info isn’t on your homepage, you apparently don’t want people to contact you. So why do you have a website?

Need help with anything or everything mentioned above? Contact Lead the Pack today so we can help you with your website’s homepage design. (This isn’t our homepage, but that last sentence used tips 7 and 10!)