A website homepage with a blue button.

Design That Delivers: Key Elements for Building an Unforgettable Website Homepage

Did you know your website’s homepage is likely to be the most viewed page on your site? There’s also a good chance it’s the first page your visitors will land on. Think of your homepage as the front door to your business; you want to make a great first impression that guides your visitors toward taking meaningful actions.

My goal is to walk you through the key elements your homepage needs so you feel confident building your site. And once you incorporate all of these must-have elements, I’ll share some additional nice-to-have elements. Maybe it’s the teacher in me that likes to offer extra credit, if you will.

The Essentials: Fundamental Features of Your Website Homepage

Create Captivating Headlines and Taglines

Writing engaging headlines is one of the key homepage elements that can draw visitors in and keep them engaged. If your homepage is the front door to your website, then the headline is the big, eye-catching sign above the door. It’s the first thing that visitors see and can be the deciding factor between staying and exploring or clicking away. Your headline needs to be a showstopper—concise yet intriguing, reflecting your brand’s core essence and clearly communicating what you offer.

Consider your homepage headline as your brand’s elevator pitch. If you’re a content strategist, your homepage might display your logo alongside a headline such as, “Ready to craft content that actually drives client engagement?” This statement not only clearly communicates your services but also forms a compelling call to action that resonates with your target audience.

Yet, a captivating headline is only half the story. A tagline, though smaller in size, is just as impactful in defining your brand identity. Think of your tagline as a catchy slogan that encapsulates your brand’s mission and values.

For example, if you have a fashion brand, a short phrase or tagline can quickly tell your audience what your brand is about. A tagline like “Redefining Style, Elevating Fashion” would tell your fashion-conscious customers that your brand aims to reimagine and improve style and fashion.

Communicate What Makes Your Brand Special

To make sure you leave that lasting first impression, you’ll want to by defining your unique selling proposition (USP.) What sets your brand apart from the crowd? Why should your visitors choose you?

Once you nail down your USP, feature it prominently on your website homepage. Use clear language to explain the specific benefits you provide, avoid using industry jargon, and focus on how you help customers.

Next, add visuals like photos, videos, or graphics to bring your message to life:

  • Show happy customers enjoying your product
  • Create a video demonstrating your service
  • Use infographics to compare your benefits

With engaging content and visuals, you can effectively showcase why your brand is valuable. Make it crystal clear in concise, simple language. This helps visitors immediately grasp what you’re about so they become loyal customers.

Person drafting brand identity on poster paper

Show Off Your Brand’s Personality

While you want your site to look professional, don’t forget to infuse it with your brand’s personality, too. This gives visitors a feel for the real person or people behind your business.

There are many ways to showcase your brand’s personality on your website’s homepage. If you’re a solo digital entrepreneur, for example, you could:

  • Write an informal “About Me” section sharing your backstory. How did you get started? What do you enjoy outside work?
  • Add a photo of yourself so visitors can put a face to the brand.

Or, if you’re a part of a team, you could:

  • Add staff bios so visitors can get to know each employee.
  • Create a video with employees talking about what they love about their jobs.

Giving visitors a peek at your brand’s personality makes your business relatable. It transforms your site from a generic space into a warm environment visitors enjoy spending time in.

Make your homepage inviting by highlighting the people, stories, and details that showcase the essence of your brand. This personal touch goes a long way in making a connection with each visitor.

Ensure Clear Navigation and Accessible Layouts

One key to a good website homepage is intuitive navigation and layout. You want visitors to easily find what they need. Here are some tips:

  • Include a menu bar at the top with clear labels for key pages like “Home,” “About,” “Contact,” etc.
  • Have a search bar so visitors can quickly find products or info.
  • Structure your layout cleanly without clutter. Leave lots of white space.
  • Place important info like your services in eye-catching zones.
  • Ensure buttons and CTAs stand out.
  • Check that text and images don’t overlap in confusing ways.
  • Don’t forget to test your site on mobile devices!

An organized, user-friendly homepage keeps visitors happy. They should never feel lost or frustrated.

Prioritize navigation and layout in your design. A few simple tweaks can make your site much more accessible. Visitors will stay longer and come back more often when your site is easy to use.

Use Calls-to-Action to Engage Visitors

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons or links that encourage visitors to take next steps on your site. These are powerful tools to engage your audience. Some examples of effective CTAs include:

  • Start Free Trial
  • Sign Up Now
  • Learn More
  • Shop New Arrivals

Make your CTAs stand out visually on your homepage. Use contrasting colors and larger font sizes to grab attention. Place them strategically in high visibility areas, such as below your headline, near featured products, or on opt-in forms.

Write CTAs using action words like “Start,” “Join,” or “Learn.” This motivates visitors to click. You can also explain the benefit of clicking. Test different CTAs and placements to see what works best.

Use Opt-In Forms to Collect Leads

Opt-in forms allow you to collect visitor information, which can help turn one-time visitors into loyal followers. There are many ways to add these forms to your website homepage, including:

  • Pop-up form
  • Embedded box
  • Sidebar widget
  • Footer section

Position forms in high-visibility spots so they are easy to notice to ensure they stand out visually.

You’ll want to ask for your visitor’s Name, Email Address, and potentially their Phone Number. In exchange, you would offer a discount code, a free product, or something worth the exchange of personal data… because no one wants to give this out for free just to be added to your email list!

Keep your forms short and simple, and avoid asking for too much info upfront. You can collect more details when you connect further. The goal of opt-in forms is to gather visitor information for future communication.

Create an Easy-to-Use Menu

Your website menu allows visitors to navigate between pages. A clear, visible menu is important for a smooth browsing experience. When designing your menu:

  • Include labels for your most important pages like “Home,” “About,” “Contact,” etc.
  • Use brief but descriptive titles so visitors know what they’ll find on each page.
  • Keep the menu consistent across all pages.
  • Place the menu in an obvious spot, such as the top or side of each page.
  • Make sure menu links are visible and easy to tap on mobile.
  • Test that menu links work properly and direct to the right pages.

Taking the time to create an intuitive menu pays off. Visitors will be able to effortlessly access key information on your website’s homepage when you remove friction from the browsing experience.

Add Social Media Buttons

Social media allows you to connect with visitors beyond your website. Include social media buttons on your homepage to link to your profiles.

Benefits of social buttons:

  • Visitors can easily follow you on their preferred networks.
  • It strengthens your brand presence across multiple channels.
  • Visitors feel more connected when they engage with you socially.

Tips for adding buttons:

  • Place in a visible spot like the footer. (Note: I don’t recommend putting any social media buttons in the header, or else people might leave the homepage of your website for another platform before they even explore your site!)
  • Use official brand icons for instant recognition.
  • Ensure the buttons link to the correct profiles.
  • Test that the links work on desktop and mobile.

Social media expands your digital presence. By adding social buttons to your homepage, you make it simple for visitors to interact with your brand and become loyal followers across channels.

Optional Add-Ons for a More Engaging Homepage

We’ve covered the key elements every website homepage needs, and now I’d like to recommend some additional “nice-to-have” features that can add a little extra sparkle to your digital front door:

  • Customer Testimonials: Positive reviews from happy customers can help to build trust and credibility for your brand.
  • Awards and Certifications: Showcasing any awards, accolades, or professional accreditations can also boost your brand’s authority.
  • Resource Links: This could include links to your top blog posts, e-books, or any other educational resources you offer.
  • Live Chat Functionality: Offering real-time support can enhance the user experience.
  • Video Content: Including a brand video or product demonstrations can make your brand more relatable and memorable.
  • Animated Elements: Subtle animations can add visual interest and enhance user engagement.
  • Interactive Features: These could include quizzes or calculators, which not only engage users but can also provide valuable data.

My advice is to choose only the extras that align with your goals and audience; you don’t want to clutter your homepage and add things just because you can. If any of the features listed above pique your interest, I’d love to cover them in future blog posts. Let me know which potential homepage elements you’re curious about!

Crafting Your Unforgettable Business Website Homepage

Those are, in my opinion, the essential elements your website homepage needs, along with a few optional extras for that additional wow factor. Each element plays its part in crafting an engaging and memorable homepage that not only showcases your brand but also resonates with your audience and helps you meet your business goals.

But where to start, you might ask? Well, don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! I’m *this close* to releasing a Website Content Planning Workbook, Designed to Shine Online, which will walk you through all that you should include on your homepage and other main pages of your website.

By following along with the planner, you’ll identify your website purpose and goals, define your unique value proposition, plan your site layout and navigation, create content for your core website pages, and so much more.

Let’s start building that irresistible business website homepage together. If you happen to be reading this blog post now, it means my workbook hasn’t been released on Amazon yet, but do send me a message, and I can let you know as soon as it’s ready!

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