Your homepage is, more or less, the gateway to the rest of your content for your users. If you aren’t communicating your message in an effective way, then all your users will inevitably leave your page without taking any actions, most commonly referred to as a “bounce”. We want to guarantee that visitors will give you a homepage click and continue their journey through your site.
There are many ways to guide a person to take a dedicated action on your website, but I’m going to go over the three most effective ways to influence your traffic.
1. Have a Good Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is one of the most powerful ways you can influence how your user behaves on your page by guiding their eyes to the most important content based on your use of color, font size, as well as other design elements that help call out special benefits for your users to utilize.
While this concept seems like it’d be intuitive, it can take time to naturally have an eye for good visual hierarchy.
I usually break down a site based on two important things: how in depth is their color palette, and how many font families are being used.
Your color palette should only accentuate the message you are trying to communicate, not distract from it. A good rule of thumb is to have a more subdued palette with 1 or 2 (at most) accent colors that grab your user’s attention.
An example of this could be The Home Depot. They use values of black, grey, and white, with a primary accent color being orange all across their website.
By training your users to look for distinctive colors that associate with your messaging, they will inevitably start to look for those accent colors as visual cues for important information, buttons to click on, etc.
Another way to create good hierarchy is using a limited amount of fonts. By limiting your website to a maximum of 2 font families, you can easily distinguish between headlines and body copy which helps users skim for the most important content you want them to read FIRST.
The Rule #1 Investing website does a good job of showing visual hierarchy through distinctive colors, and limited amounts of fonts.
2. Consider the User Journey
If you have a CTA (Call to Action) on your homepage, you typically wouldn’t advertise a high dollar product. If users are hitting the homepage, there’s a good chance they may be visiting your site for the very first time and may not be ready to spend a significant amount of money. One exception would be if you’re an e-commerce site.
Instead, try offering some free content on the homepage to open the doors to your brand and explore your site further.
Some great examples of free content could be your top blog post, your most helpful lead magnet, or possibly a free webinar.
This makes your user feel welcomed, valued, and supported. Ultimately, they will leave your site feeling positive and willing to come back for more.
3. Have One Dedicated Action Above the Fold
Mind the fold.
The fold goes back to the printing press days when newspaper companies would intentionally print compelling headlines and their most important content above the literal fold of the newspaper.
This process was done so that people walking by could immediately see the most interesting content and be motivated to purchase.
The concept of putting your best content above the fold is still used today for web design as your “fold” is your most valuable real estate on every page of your site and should call for your user’s attention in some way or another.
Many sites utilize this space to advertise a flagship goal of getting you to subscribe to their newsletter or to an event page.
Here’s an example of how some big companies utilize their homepage and above the fold design:
MailChimp does a great job of keeping the main action that they want the user to take at the top of the page, above the fold, front and center. They use a headline with the dedicated user end goal and a “Sign up free” button.
VWO is another good example of a great above the fold presentation.
These sites are great examples of utilizing visual hierarchy and directing your eye to one primary goal. As you can see, their goal is a free action or as simple as getting an email address. They don’t want to bombard their users with a bunch of high dollar products right from the beginning.
By using these simple methods, you will immediately see an improvement in your users interaction with your site and can “guarantee the homepage click”.
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Are there design elements on your website that are getting great clicks? Leave a comment below and let me know what works best for you.