Your Perfect Home Page Checklist

The perfect home page

Your homepage is the most important page on your website and you have .05 seconds to make a good first impression. How is your website doing? In a case study of more than a 1000 websites, 96.2% of websites failed the first impression test.

That case study also uncovered this important information: in 2.6 seconds, participants scan a webpage before landing on one section…

… the logo. Participants then spent 6.48 seconds there until moving on.

Sounds like a lot of time staring at a logo, right? My guess is that the eye is taking in more than just the logo, but that’s where they started. Is your logo prominently displayed at the top of your home page and does your logo have that kind of interest-holding power?

Next, the participants’ eyes traveled to the navigation menu and stayed there another 6.44 seconds. Other research says that the best navigation menus have 7 items or less. Use sub-navigation to handle the rest of what you want to feature to website visitors.

The third place where the eye-tracking software showed the participants went is the headline. The rule of thumb is still true – your headline is read five times more than any other copy. Always focus on the new visitor and optimize your headlines for that person.

The next place the eyes go is your call to action. What are you asking visitors to do?

The fifth place is your search box. This is an essential element of your home page because it allows visitors to browse as they wish.

Duane Forrester, the Senior Project Manager at Bing says,

“Your goal should be that when a visitor lands on your page, the content answers all of their needs, encouraging their next action to remain with you. If your content does not encourage them to remain with you, they will leave.”

5 Best Practices for Your Perfect Home Page

  1. An attractive and engaging logo at the top of the page is the place to start. Place it either in the top left corner or centered.
  2. How is your navigation menu? Here’s what’s best: put it across the top and keep it simple – no more than 7 items is best. Don’t use drop down menus – they can be annoying to website visitors and they can be difficult for search engines to crawl.
  3. What’s your headline? You’ll notice that on tonyseel.com, we’re set up as a blog with a headline for each post. Headlines, short content snippets, and engaging videos are all good for capturing interest.
  4. Do you have at least one call to action? This can be done with pop-ups, but it’s also good to have a call to action in the right sidebar or centered on your home page.
  5. Do you have a search box? You may have noticed on my home page that there is a search box near the top of the right sidebar. That’s an excellent place for yours.

You may have noticed that in the image above, there are several different home page designs. There is no one way to do it. How you put together your home pages needs to be perfect for your business. I hope this helps.

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