A modern and memorable website homepage design is one of the most valuable marketing assets you can have as a business. Essentially, it is your virtual storefront. It is the first thing your potential customer sees and it will either compel them to continue learning more about your product or service... or it will deter them and result in a missed opportunity.
Remember, users take less than 10 seconds to decide whether they trust your company based on the design of your website. If your homepage layout isn’t up to standard, you’ll fail to turn your website visitors into buyers— completely defeating the primary purpose of your site.
Many small business owners make the mistake of underestimating just how critical their website homepage design will be in terms of online performance, not realizing that 38 per cent of all visitors leave a site if they encounter a visually unattractive web page.
If you want to avoid making this same mistake and ensure your front page web design works in your favor, I recommend following the guidelines below.
The 5 Golden Rules of Website Homepage Design
1. Be Mindful of Logo Size and Placement
The size and placement of your logo may seem trivial upon first consideration, but it is actually a key aspect of designing a homepage. In fact, your website visitors are 89 per cent more likely to remember your logo if it appears in the traditional top-left position on your homepage. And, as a general rule of thumb, the optimal dimensions for a logo are 250 pixels wide x 100 pixels high. The more you know!
2. Prioritize Nuisance-Free Navigation
Aside from a cluttered or uninviting homepage layout, one of the most damaging design flaws you can make is failing to optimize your website navigation. You want your visitors to be able to find precisely what they are looking for after arriving on your homepage. If they encounter issues with finding the information they require, they’ll likely exit your page and reroute themselves to a competitor’s site.
To fully optimize your website navigation, you’ll need to consider the configuration of your main menu, the links you include in your homepage footer, and the number of call-to-action buttons— among other features.
3. Use Graphics in a Meaningful Way
Yes, graphics are an excellent way to capture the eye and intrigue your audience, but they should not be used frivolously and they should never take precedence over the functionality of your site.
This is one of the most crucial homepage design best practices, as it is also one of the most frequently overlooked. Sometimes, less truly is more. Ensure that each visual component on your website serves a purpose or supports the greater goal of a particular web page or piece of content. Images and other design elements that seem “out of place” will only confuse your visitors and negatively affect their user experience.
4. When in Doubt, Stick to a Hierarchical Structure
We’ve all heard the saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, and when it comes to the wireframe of your website, this couldn’t be more applicable. Too often, business owners venture far outside the box simply because they want to make a statement— not realizing that detouring from tried-and-true homepage design best practices can actually hinder website performance more than it helps.
Most people expect websites to be organized in a hierarchical way, with the most important information at the top of the page. They then expect to find sub-categories of content that are organized in a logical sequence. If this isn’t the case, the user may become frustrated, leading to higher bounce rates and less conversions.
5. Optimize User Flow to Support Your Ideal Customer Journey
How your website visitors maneuver their way through your site should always align with your desired customer journey. When brainstorming your front page web design, you’ll want to list and prioritize the actions you want your audience to take. Is there a special offer you want to highlight? Do you want your visitors to book an appointment online? Or would you prefer if they called? Is building your e-newsletter subscriber list important to you? Determining which actions are top of your priority list will help you direct traffic in a seamless, uninterrupted way and will make it easier to identify dead ends or design elements that impede user flow.