First impressions really do count. Whether you’re on a date, attending an interview or selling your home, presentation matters. The same applies to websites.

Your home page will usually be the first page that visitors to your website see. If they’ve followed a link somewhere to another page on your website, such as a current blog post, your home page is where they’ll go to find out more about your business.

Home page design is therefore highly important when it comes to the whole web design process. It needs to quickly engage visitors, encourage them to stay and hopefully prompt them to explore further.

How do you go about ensuring that your home page design attracts rather than repels visitors to your website?

What does a good homepage design consist of?

There is no one template for creating a great homepage for your business website. Much will depend on your business, what you want your website to do and the impression you need your page to make. That said, there are a few basic principles to bear in mind when creating your homepage.

Set the tone

Tone is all important. It should communicate something about your brand and your business and immediately engage visitors. To achieve the right tone for your website requires some work and consideration. The first task is to ensure that the website doesn’t immediately jar with what your business offers. If what you’re offering is traditional and comforting, your homepage shouldn’t be too contemporary or radical. Likewise, if you’re offering something new and exciting, a staid and static homepage might not be the best shop window.

Think about your brand and your objectives and then consider how you can reflect that through your design choices. This will include elements such as the typography, the images you choose to illustrate your website, colour choices and so on.

Make it visually appealing

As well as the overall tone of your website you will need to ensure that your website is as visually appealing as possible. When someone lands on your website and they take a look, what are they confronted with?

Is it a clash of colours and badly positioned images, boxes of text and navigation buttons?

Or does it look coherent and compelling, with a typography choice that draws the viewer in, encouraging them to read?

Is the navigation easy to find and distinct from the other content?

Can you read the text against the background, and is it well positioned?

Buttons should stand out with clear text that emphasises what they’re for.

Include clear calls to action

The homepage should include clear calls to action. These should be easy to locate, prompting visitors to explore the website in more detail.

How can a poor homepage design impact your business?

A poor homepage design can immediately handicap your website and reduce the chances of it doing what you expect from it. Few visitors will push on to explore a website that is difficult to navigate, confusing or overly jarring. If the tone is radically different from what they expect it may prompt them to navigate away immediately. If your homepage is poorly designed and thought out, your website is unlikely to achieve any objectives you’ve set out for it.

Why is a poorly designed homepage to be avoided?

Lower conversion rates

Converting visitors into leads or customers is a numbers game. The more people find your website, the more that will read its content. The higher the number who explore your website in more detail, the more likely they are to get in touch or make a purchase. If they face any barriers along they will head elsewhere. This is why a well thought out and designed website is so crucial.

A key point in the journey from visitor to customer is when they reach your homepage. You can have the best SEO strategy in the world, but if your homepage is repelling visitors, it’s not much use.

Not only do you have to attract visitors to your website, you also have to encourage them to explore. Good design and easy navigation needs to be embedded throughout your website, no more so than on the homepage.

Can encourage people to visit your competitor websites

If people are searching for something in particular they will continue their search elsewhere if they haven’t found it on your website. This means that targeted visitors need to move quickly from the homepage to what they’re looking for, making purchasing or enquiries as easy as possible to do.

A poorly designed homepage that isn’t intuitive for visitors to use can send them elsewhere, restarting their search and ignoring your website in the search results. Even if you top the search results, they’ll scan down the list to find an alternative business.

Your homepage should give visitors encouragement to explore further across your website and increase their confidence in using your services or purchasing your products.

Can impact on where you appear in the search results

Ultimately, poorly designed websites can impact on your position in search results. Increasingly, Google and other search engines are prioritising ease of use when they rank websites. So, even if your content SEO strategy is perfect, you will still be held back by a poorly designed homepage. Good design is increasingly a key component of any serious SEO strategy.

Homepage design is a very important part of overall website design. To give your website the best chance of achieving your objectives you need professional design. At Dawn Creative, we create compelling, visually appealing and easy to navigate homepages as part of our overall design and SEO-focused approach.

Call 0161 711 0910 or email wakeup@dawncreative.co.uk to find out more about our web design services.