No business can escape the powerful influence of the world wide web. If it is not via your website that potential customers can glean more info about your business, then it can be via a Google review.
So, if you want to make improvements to your website, a good place to start is with your home page – the page that your website visitors will probably view first. If designed correctly, your home page can be a strength. However, if you do not know how to put your home page to good use, it can instead put your business at a disadvantage. By implementing the following essential elements, you can create an attractive home page that will help to motivate your website visitors to stay longer on your website.
Designing your home page
Make your website content relevant
As a business owner, you need to identify what your target audience views as important and valuable. This knowledge will help you to boost your sales, both online and in-store. However, grabbing the attention of Internet users is not the easiest task. Your goal should be to share the most important info – what your users are looking for – with your website visitors first.
For example, you will want to share with them photos of your products, pricing, and product reviews or testimonials. Not only is this the type of info that people are most likely searching for, but by doing this, you will also boost the credibility of your business and your products and services.
Identify how eager your audience is
One of the most significant differences between a home page and a landing page is that the purpose of a home page is not to sell your products and services directly. Some website visitors will want to start matters in earnest, while other visitors simply want to find out what your business can offer them. Your loyal clients, for instance, will not mind a longer text, while other visitors will prefer more visual elements and less copy. So, the trick is trying to gauge how eager your target audience is to start shopping straight away.
Spark curiosity in visitors
The best home pages manage to evoke certain feelings. Whether it is to laugh or even cry, you should concentrate on which emotions you would like your target audience to experience. A home page that does not spark some curiosity will not motivate visitors to check out the other website pages.
Make it beautiful
Although Internet users do not have the same tastes with regards to website design trends, it is still important to concentrate on the appearance of your website so that you can rest assured that the first impressions will not drive away your target audience. As a matter of fact, there are certain website design practices, such as simplicity, that all home pages should adhere to. If you only manage to keep it uncluttered and use only a couple of fonts and colour combos, you are already on your way to making it beautiful.
Include a powerful call to action
At the end of the day, your business website needs to be functional. One way to boost its functionality is to include a powerful call to action on your home page. You can, for instance, offer a free trial version or consultation to start a relationship with your website visitors. If you simply want to find a way to stay in contact with them, a call-to-action button that encourages them to sign up for a weekly newsletter will work too.
Luckily there are countless call-to-action prompts that you can include in your home page. Though, make sure that your hyperlinks take your visitors to where it said it would and remember to test which of the CTAs are the most successful.
Designing Your Landing Page
Just like a home page, your landing page will also be one of the first encounters that your target audience will have with your business. In short, it needs to share info, motivate your visitors to take a specific action, and reveal the identity of your business – landing pages are a vital web development tool for ecommerce websites. This is no mean feat, but with the help of the following practical web design tips, you can create a better landing page for your website.
Identify the goal of your landing page (there should only be one)
If you need to design (or redesign) a landing page for your website, your first step is to identify the objective of your landing page. When a visitor has landed on your landing page, there are various things that you can encourage them to do. Such as:
- Watch a video.
- Read your content.
- Click on a specific link.
- Share some of your content on their different social media pages.
- Complete a form.
Your goal could even be so bold as to get them to complete a purchase then and there. Once you have identified this goal, all the different elements on your landing page should work together to ensure that this goal gets realised.
Create it for your target audience
Similarly to home pages, your landing page should be designed for the specific target audience that you have identified. Although this sounds self-evident, businesses many times forget about the people who will be the ones using the website – good website design is always focused on the user.
By making sure that your website copy is written in the right tone and including visuals that your target audience can connect with, you can boost conversions and engagement. So, start by asking yourself if men or women will mainly use your website. Then, try to determine if they will mostly be older or younger and whether or not they reside in a specific area. Just by identifying these three factors, you are already much better equipped to make your landing page more relatable.
Include powerful images
One of the best ways to get your website visitors more engaged is to include powerful images. Captivating videos that will spark curiosity are just as effective in creating a great first impression. Research shows that including videos on our landing pages can increase your conversion rate by 86%. You can, for instance, incorporate some interaction between your headline and the facial expressions of the people in the photos. It is with the help of quirky elements like this that you can motivate your website visitors to stay on your landing page for longer.
Write captivating text
The majority of landing pages have a headline, body of text, call-to-action prompt (many times taking the form of a link or button) and footer. The secret is to make sure that all these different levels of text captivate your website visitors and motivate them to complete the intended action (in other words the goal that you have identified for your landing page in step one).
The most powerful headlines use only a couple of words to capture the attention of visitors. Although the actual body of your text (the primary message of your landing page) will be longer than the headline, it should still be short and sweet and to the point.
To help you keep it as succinct as possible, it is best to place your standard info like your contact details and links to your different social media pages in the footer area. Although this important info will only appear in the footer, including it can help you to portray your business as trustworthy.
Make sure that the call-to-action prompt is clear
Your web design elements should make the next step clear to your visitors. A call-to-action prompt that is easy to see and understand is key! As soon as someone lands on your landing page, they must not be confused about what it is that you want them to do. One of the most common (and fatal) mistakes is simply taking it as a given that your website visitors will complete the desired action that you would like them to take.
If you do not know how to convey this, you can use an instruction such as “scroll down for more info”. You can also include an animation such as letting the colour become darker when someone hovers over a particular section to indicate that he/she can, in fact, click on that section for more info. Alternatively, a button or form that needs to be completed will also do the trick.
Add suitable branding
Many times landing pages become less effective as their appearance is not at all similar to the appearance of the rest of the website. In short, there should be some visual connection between your landing page and the primary website with a similar use of web page design elements.
One way to achieve this is to add suitable branding that is easy to see, preferably in the footer area. You can also achieve this by including the same header that appears on your web pages.
Use your navigation to identify keywords
Whether a simple brochure website or a large ecommerce store, your navigation should inform website visitors precisely what it is that your website, to a large extent, will deal with. Extra keywords can be used very effectively as navigational elements to offer your website visitors with more info and give them more direction.
Create an order
As mentioned earlier, effective landing pages will make it very clear to website visitors what it is that they are supposed to do. In addition to that, website visitors also need to know where they must look.
To help you create this sense of flow, you can include levels of imagery, typography, and branding that will help your visitors discern right away how they should set about interacting with your landing page. In short, it should be clear how the landing page should be used. That is why using a call-to-action prompt such as “scroll for more info” can be so effective as it helps to convey the route that your visitors must take.
Modify your content to suit particular users
Thanks to the inherent qualities of a landing page, this page is to a certain degree rather specific. In many instances, the goal that you have identified right at the beginning will be more specific than the goal of your home page.
If you can, it can be a good idea to customise the content of your landing page by, for instance, using geolocation tools. This way, your website visitors will be greeted by the info that is more accurate for their particular area. It might call for a little bit more effort on your part, but the chances will be better that your website visitors will actually engage with your website.
Give thought to the source of a link
Effective landing pages are created in such a way that its text and images are specific to that source of traffic. This means that the source of your landing page link will have a powerful influence on the design of your landing page. After all, when a person clicks on a link that pops up in the feed of one of their social media pages, they are looking forward to being greeted by relevant content.
A few last points to ponder
When you are designing your home page, the secret is to design it for your target audience. Your focus should always be your target audience! However, to be able to design your website for them you will need to understand what makes them tick and, therefore, you should embrace the idea of gathering their thoughts with regards to specific components of your home page.
With regards to your landing page, it is key to know where the traffic comes from and, similarly to designing a home page, what Internet users are searching for. This knowledge will equip you to identify the right goals.
At the end of the day, there is a reason why it is sometimes best to stick to more familiar patterns like placing the headline in the middle and the logo in the upper corner. By sticking to customs like these, you can create a natural flow and visual hierarchy, which will help your website visitors to figure out immediately which actions they should take next.
For more information on our web design services, get in touch with our friendly website design Melbourne team.