The homepage (the front page of your website) is where you and your company get to make a first impression and we all know what they say about first impressions.. It’s the first place new visitors come and where old visitors come back. You must cater to both types of customers. There are a few things that are essential to your homepage and each is explained below.
Navigation is the most important part of your homepage. It doesn’t matter what else is on your site, if the visitors can’t get there. On your homepage your visitors need to be able to reach every part of your site. Your links on your navigation bars should be the same on every page. Your visitor will then know how to get back to whatever page really interested him. When users cannot find what they want they simple look at another site. This is a fact. Your links on the navigation bars should also be simple (one or two words) but descriptive. Use text for navigation not buttons. Buttons look great but they take time to download and you don’t want your visitors to leave before they can see the whole page, do you?
Branding is another essential element for you homepage. I am sure that your small business has a logo and it’s pasted on everything you can find, to promote your business. Well, it should be posted in a predominate place on your website too. We all know that branding is words or a mark of a company (such as a logo) that shows the consumer the identity of the producer of the product/service. Showing your logo on your homepage reminds users exactly where they are.
Last but not least is content. Content is also very important. You must remember to write your content like you are speaking to your visitor as it creates a better connection between your website and the visitor. Your homepage content must be fresh and interesting to make them want to read more of your site. You might create links to the inside of your site in the text. Also, you will want to include in layman’s terms exactly what you or your company does. You would be amazed how many websites you have to search to find out what their purpose is.
These things should get you started on building your homepage. There is one rule that I have learned. It is the KISS rule (Keep it Simple Student). Your homepage does not need to be flashy with all types of images, and flash design, or blinking. Most people like sites when they are simple and easy to understand. You must remember who your audience is. Therefore you need to speak in their language.