First impressions are critical. Your “homepage” creates the first impression, it immediately tells your story and allows you connect with your visitors. You cant just jump to design without thinking through your process, your story, the answers you need; to provide directions and how to build trust with your customers. Make sure your homepage is welcoming, looks professional, builds trust, answers questions and provides clear directions.
Many people and visitors, who are considered as potential customers, will look at the web presence of your company before deciding whether or not to do business with you. The “homepage” being the most important page on your website, it gets more views than any other page of the website. In many cases, people follow links which they get from search engines and other referral websites and this connects them to your homepage. Therefore, designing and defining your home page is the most important thing that can be done in web designing and development.
Some guidelines that should be followed in creating the ideal homepage are;
Start with a clean slate, a formal process and have a solid plan because proper marketing needs strategy and execution. To help formulate your plan, you have to know the answers to some critical questions that helps define your target market. Ask yourself these questions and documents your answers so you can revisit them and validate your actions to them. Questions like;
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to provide some strategy to your process and in turn it will aid you in planning ahead, making sure your process is in line with your objectives and goals.
Unless you already have an impressive and established follower base , a complex home page is not the way to go. Don’t make your visitors work to find the information they are seeking, because they won’t. Keep your home page simple and clean with Easy-to-read text, a short informative tagline and clearly labelled sections that make navigation pretty easy.
A good tagline for your company’s website is a perfect tool for marketing. A tagline summarizes the whole website. It doesn’t really matter if the website is either well known or not, the use of an attractive tagline is essential in attracting new visitors.
The term “keep it above the fold” refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper that features an important news story; that section of the paper is literally above the fold. But in this context, the term refers to the part of the home page that is immediately visible in a browser. It is the part that visitors see without scrolling ; It is the “first impression of the first impression”.
It is important to note that what is above the fold on a smart phone or tablet is different from what is above the fold on a laptop. So your homepage design needs to work across all devices and operating systems. Thus, you should take the time to draft a layout that compliments all of them.
One of the most common mistakes web developers make is the use of colours which lack meaning. Unique colours naturally attracts people, but in the case of a website this may fail to work. Your choice of colours can have psychological effect on your visitors and how they interpret and engage with your homepage. Poor use of colours not only sends visitors away from your website, it can also have a detrimental effect on how you communicate the temperament of your brand.
Likewise, use of effective graphics and images should be a powerful communicator when they show the products that interests the users. Images should be relevant to the website’s purpose in order for them to have an impact on he visitors. You should note that your colour palette should not be complicated than it needs to be. \when in doubt, keep it neutral and don’t be afraid of white space.
In the same way that your colour and graphics can have a psychological effect on your visitors and greatly influence how they feel about your brand. The first step to choosing a homepage font is truly knowing your business. You just understand your product or service and the kind of brand you want to build around it. You can achieve consistency by avoiding the use of too many different fonts and by opting for and legibility over elaborate flowery fonts. Simply put; If you have text that you want your visitors to read, then make it easy for them to read.
For an effective homepage, you may have to rely greatly on the web developer that you choose; reputable web developers will ensure that your website is attractive and has a great impact on the reader.
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