sharon tanton portrait

Five ways to make your home page a hit

estate agent board

When you’re trying to sell your home, estate agents recommend clearing out the clutter to show off your best features. I think the same applies to your home page. It’s the first place new visitors land, so you want to make a good impression.

Here are my five tips for a winning home page.

1. Clarity of purpose

Your home page should tell me very clearly and simply how you and your services can help me, so share your mission in a few well chosen words. I’m talking a paragraph at most. About Us will go into more detail about you and your ethos, so you don’t need to say lots here. Keep this page very clear and straightforward.

2. Navigation

I want to know exactly where to go next. Your home page should set the agenda, so your choice of words and destinations is important. Being too clever here can be a mistake. I see an awful lot of websites, and am a fan of the ones with the easiest navigation. The home page isn’t the place to surprise me, or to be oblique. Help me find my way around.

3. Call to action

What do you want me to do now I’m here? Call you? Read more? Look at this? Think about that? Don’t go overboard with your demands, but do try and get me to engage. The right words can pull me further into your site.

4. Evidence of life

Empty houses are harder to sell, and so are empty websites. I’d like to know you’re around, hard at work, helping people like me. Twitter feeds, blogs, video content. Have something on the home page that shows me you’re in business, right now. We’re talking tasters – headlines, logos, boxes – not the whole thing. Use your up-to-date content to lead me deeper into your website, and to reinforce your expertise.

5. Room to breathe

Sometimes I use the home page as a reference point, somewhere to go back to and orientate myself. In a large website, packed with valuable content, it’s good to have somewhere clear and simple to take a breath. (It’s a bit like returning to the blurb on the back of a book you’re reading. That concise reminder of the story that grabbed your attention is useful.) So don’t overload it. Less is more.

If you want Home page help, get in touch.

4 Comments

  • 1
    February 24, 2011 - 1:59 am | Permalink

    Hi.

    I found this article through a tweet by Design Newz. G;ad I did, too, so…

    Thank you! Sometimes this stuff needs to be spelled out… especially for folks like me who think of themselves as writers.

    I tend to over-clutter. Sometimes pretty badly. Spent some time tweaking my home page per your very proper rules… could you take a peek please?

    I think it is sort of alright now.

    Peace,

    Iggy Makarevich

  • 2
    admin
    February 24, 2011 - 7:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks Iggy, really glad you found it useful.

    I’ve had a quick look at your website – you design some good stuff!

    Lots of useful content there, and loads of personality. You obviously know what you’re doing, and what a client wants to find to help them choose to work with you.

    I actually found your blog section easier on the eye than the main part of the website – just because I find it easier to read on white than black. But that might just be me, or English website styles!

    Thanks for reading and getting in touch.

    • 3
      February 24, 2011 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Wow, Sharon,

      Thanks for your kindness!

      I’ll be keeping an eye on your site for more good insight, just after I click, even…

      Peace,

      Iggy

      • 4
        February 24, 2011 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Just a note to note that the blog will be changing around quite a bit over time as I play with child themes…

        Your mileage may vary!

        But I have heard from quite a few folks on the whitish over black dark theme dilemma. There are a lot of us who like it… it does make me uncomfy when it’s brought up though… especially as I’d just changed it.

        Urgh,
        Iggy

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