8 Ways To Make Your Homepage Design More Engaging
The homepage is probably the most visited page on your website. It happens to be one of the most critical pages, too. With one good look at the homepage design, potential customers should know what your business is about.
Unfortunately, many website homepages don't provide that great first impression you would hope for. That's a problem that impacts customer acquisition. This guide will discover eight strategies to make your website homepage design more engaging.
1 – Maintain a straightforward design
People have natural scanning patterns when reading a book or content on a webpage. The Nielsen Norman Group reveals that there are four main patterns that people use to scan copy:
- The F-pattern, which is the most common left-to-right pattern
- The Spotted pattern, wherein users fixate on different emphasised text and links
- The Layer Cake pattern, wherein users fixate on headers, subheaders, and images.
- The Commitment pattern, wherein users read every word of a page.
The graphic below provides an excellent overview of the various scanning patterns.
You should design your homepage design around these text-scanning patterns. Craft your website knowing that visitors will be scrolling down to read more.
Notice how we consider these factors on the Lform homepage. You can see the site menu has the primary CTA on the far right. That follows the end of the left-to-right scanning pattern that people who speak European languages do naturally.
Then, we have a design that considers the classic F-pattern above the fold. Again, we have a prominent CTA in a critical position.
Your homepage design should complement the way people naturally consume content. You will find it easier to get people to take your desired action when you do this effectively.
You should consider the number of elements on your page too. Let me give you an example.
The clean interface of this homepage design makes it easy to consume the content. You should use a non-cluttered interface that tailors to a natural left-to-right downward pattern. The layout is optimised for content and media consumption.
2 – Consider the Layout of Your Page
When a visitor comes across your webpage, they should be able to make their way to the information they’re seeking. A good website design agency will design a homepage that highlights all of the vital information you convey.
You should use proven page layout designs. You want to explain to a visitor what you do, what you’ve done, and why they should go with you.
Ideally, you should clearly explain your offering above the fold. Again, the Blendjet site provides an excellent example of how you should do that. The headline on the page explains the product offering.
When you read the headline, you know the kind of company Blendjet is – it makes portable compact blenders.
Below the fold, you can offer a product or service breakdown next. Product comparisons say something along the lines of – “Other blenders are big and clunky. You can’t bring traditional blenders to the gym.”
You should highlight critical aspects of your business at this stage. For example, how long does your battery last? How loud are your speakers? Is your product waterproof?
You get the idea.
After the breakdown, you might want to throw in some key statistics. How much time have your customers collectively saved? Has your service increased learning by 50%? How many accidents have you helped prevent?
That kind of data serves as social proof.
You can reinforce the impact of this type of social proof with testimonials.
That is the basic flow that brings your visitors through a compelling introduction about your brand. You can expand on this if you use a long-form sales page.
Everything else, such as the company history, who runs the company, and where people can contact you, will be separate sections of your website outside of the homepage. Now that you have your webpage layout, let’s discuss your Calls To Action (CTA).
3 – Make your calls to action prominent
Your CTAs should be clear, obvious, and should pop out from the rest of the homepage design. Your visitors must also know what you want them to do and the steps you want them to take.
One element of this is common sense.
If you want your visitors to schedule a meeting with you, place a button at the centre of the banner that says “Schedule A Meeting.”
A good rule to follow is to make your CTAs contrast from the background. You can use the colour wheel to pick suitable colours that will work with other elements of your overall design. To be honest, you will probably already have this fixed in your brand guidelines.
You should include multiple CTAs on your homepage.
The CTAs should align with your messaging. So, you would place a CTA above the fold, then a second CTA after the product breakdown, then a final CTA after your testimonials. In that way, it’s made clear to your visitors what you want them to do. Moreover, you provide CTAs when they are more likely to take action.
4 – When it comes to content, less is more
A person should skim through your website and still understand what your company’s about. As mentioned earlier, you want to explain who you are and what you do in the minimum number of words above the fold.
Take this example from gaming solutions company Logitech. They feature their wireless line with a header that says “No Wires. No Limits.” They’re essentially showing that their wireless products have boundless performance.
You should understand the company messaging at a glance.
When it comes to copy, there are many principles to follow. ‘Less Is More’ just happens to be one of the more important ones. It may be wise to invest in a copywriter if you’re not confident with your writing abilities.
5 – Embrace whitespace
Another good principle to follow is to embrace whitespace.
Embracing whitespace ensures visitors aren’t overwhelmed with slabs of text that feel hard to read. The sight of an enormous paragraph makes you tired just looking at it. Large chunks of text don’t aid recall or comprehension either. It also frustrates readers who can’t keep track of what line they’re on.
You should make your content easy to browse instead.
Take, for example, the general contracting app Bamboo. They use white space to separate paragraphs that showcase a different unique selling point of their services. This method makes it easier for visitors to digest content.
A good principle is to use bullet points or segmented groups of text. That way, readers aren’t overwhelmed.
White space also draws attention to something. A famous example would be Apple’s minimal approach to its product features. Notice how the absence of elements draws more attention to the few elements on the layout.
Embrace whitespace. Not including things is not a waste of real estate.
Take inspiration from how Apple uses white space and apply it to your own website’s design. Use it to highlight copy and product images you want your visitors to focus on.
6 – Add vibrant colours to your website’s design
Using vibrant colours on your website homepage design can leave a positive impression. However, you should use vibrant colours selectively. If everything is vibrant, then nothing stands out.
In the same way, when an entire blog is typed in all-caps, then nothing is emphasised.
Going back to the colour wheel, select what colours you want to use.
You can see analogous colours on the homepage (essentially similar colours). So we have shades of orange, alongside yellow. These colours complement each other while standing out against the white background.
You can read about colour theory if you want a deeper dive into what colours to add to your homepage design.
7 – Use eye-catching, easy-to-read fonts
The fonts you use on your homepage are essential. Strategically use varying fonts for different header types and body text. Serif fonts, fonts with a stroke flair known as a ‘serif,’ are fonts that give your webpage a dignified and classy look. The most popular serif font is Times New Roman.
On the other hand, Sans Serif fonts don’t have added strokes. Without a ‘serif,’ these fonts are cleaner, making your webpage look more basic and minimal.
For a consistent look throughout your homepage design, optimise your font pairing. You can pair serif headers with serif body text and sans serif headers with sans serif body text. It is possible to pair serif headers with sans serif body text, but rarely vice versa.
You have more creative freedom with headers than with body text. The reason for this is relatively straightforward; you are sharing less information. That means that it’s ok to make people concentrate a bit on what you are saying.
Here’s an example from Wattpad, a social storytelling platform. Their header, “Hi, we’re Wattpad.,” is in the Arial Rounded MT font, a sans serif font. This rounded, smooth font complements the brand character but still manages to be readable.
You can make your headers stand out with substantial bold fonts like ‘Arial Black,’ ‘Segoe UI Black,’ and ‘Montserrat Black.’ Though these aren’t flashy, they’re clean and easy to read.
You want to prioritise readability over the display factor with the body font. It’s best to keep your body font consistent with its immediate header font. You can use font pairings to find what would work best with your heading font.
With your body font, make sure it has ample kerning. That is the space between each character of a word.
Too little kerning will make your content tight and uninviting, while too much will make your content too broad, like a Snellen chart at the optician’s office. The same goes for vertical space between lines and paragraphs too.
8 – Use video and rich imagery to entice users
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content. According to Duct Tape Marketing, having a video on your landing page can boost conversion rates by up to 80%.
Using media on your homepage can help you highlight stories and ideas much better than text alone. Like watching people play a board game and explain it, media can also help your customers understand what your company brings to the table faster.
You won’t be getting far with conversions if your webpage is text-heavy. Paint a picture with imagery and diagrams rather than just writing your content. Logitech fills its website with rich imagery of products. Users can see what the products look like as they read the marketing copy of the homepage design.
Using a video as your header background is also an effective way to engage visitors. The video should not detract from the messaging, though. You want to use videos that explain what you are offering to customers and explain the benefits of a product or service offering.
Bottom Line on Homepage Design
Your website homepage design provides an overview of your company. You should design your homepage for first-time visitors unfamiliar with your company. You need to clearly and quickly explain what your company does.
When designing your homepage, give it a straightforward and inviting design. Design around natural text-scanning patterns, and don’t overload the homepage with elements. Use readable fonts and strategically add bright colours to highlight the critical content. Also, use whitespace to give your visitors a pause and call attention to key content.
Let your visitors know the action you want them to take. Place your primary CTA at the top and bottom of your homepage design. Don’t make your content wordy and flamboyant. Make the overall homepage experience easy to understand.
Most importantly, add imagery and video. With video being one of the most engaged forms of content on the internet, it is not up for debate whether or not you should have one for your home page. Applying these tips will improve your conversion rates, and see to it that more leads will resonate with you as a problem solver in your industry.
Author Bio: Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner & Head of Business Development of Lform Design. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients' core values. Ian can go mountain biking with friends or spend time with his family when not at the helm.