The Anatomy of a Homepage

The Anatomy of a Homepage

Web design becomes more and more important to successful businesses each day. As customers become increasingly reliant upon websites to signal business legitimacy and purpose, it is vital to your business that your homepage’s anatomy is top-notch. We’ve included ten strategies for ensuring that your homepage(also known as a landing page) is ready for even the most skeptical visitors.

Confusing sites don’t work. It’s that simple. Make every element of your page easy to access and intuitive. Try this… have somebody who knows nothing about your organization test out your  homepage. Ask them to find certain elements of your page. Was it easy for them? Or was your site too busy, confusing, or detailed? 

  1. HERO IMAGE – The word “hero” suggests the meaning of this image. Put simply, if everything else is wrong, this image alone should save your website. It should tell your story in and of itself. It should instantly connect to your visitor, convey to them what your mission is, and persuade them to engage further in your site. 
  2. NAVIGATION BAR – This list of links at the top of each page is there to help you “navigate” the different areas of the site. It is important to the design of your homepage  since it allows users to quickly visit parts of your website . Without one, it would be extremely difficult to explore someone’s website.
  3. DROPDOWN MENU – This menu is often a sub-menu from the navigation bar that allows the user to choose one of the options from a list. Once clicked, the menu “drops” down to show the user various options. Website content is important, but only if your visitors can get to it. Your menu should be easily accessible, located at the top of the page, and out of the way. A dropdown menu allows for all three. 
  4.  SEARCH BAR – Some visitors truly are looking for one thing. Though the homepage is intended to direct them to a certain idea or ask, its detailed nature should not repel visitors who know exactly what they need. Including a search bar on the landing page allows for those who know what they need to get to it, and get to it fast.  And maybe something on the web page will catch their attention in the meantime!
  5. HEADER – This is truly the first element of your home page that visitors will see. It runs across the top of your page and appears on every page of your website. It will grab their attention for one reason or another, so take control over that reason. Frame the visitor’s experience, starting with the very first words that they read.
  6. SUBHEADER – You want your secondary headings to be effective and distinct, but they shouldn’t distract from your main header. Ensure that your secondary headlines follow a logical sequence that flows from your main headline. Make them informative enough for the reader to navigate through your information to the information that they’re seeking out.
  7. CALL TO ACTION – So, your visitor has read the headline. They understand the “mission.” Where do they go next? You should answer their question with a “call-to-action” button that is easy to spot and easy to click on. Because our culture is so driven by the idea of convenience, the most convenient causes to support are the ones which receive support the most. Examples of a call to action might be “Book your next adventure.” or “Join our community”. 
  8. FOOTER – The role of the footer is simple. It should be used for navigation to other parts of your website. Most websites have detailed footers, even more so than the dropdown menu. Generally, every element or page of your website should be listed and linked in your footer, including your organization’s contact information.
  9. THE FOLD – This is technically the middle of the homepage. When you open the site, the bottom of the screen where you can no longer see anymore content is “the fold”. It is important that when your homepage is viewed, parts of your website do not get caught in the fold.  That way, these elements can be seen right when the page opens. It is important to allow blank space for your fold so it does not tamper with the look of your web page.

Phew, all in all, the idea of a successful homepage design can be overwhelming for everyday business owners. Our hope, by dissecting the moving parts and pieces, is that there is a better understanding of a homepage. These important elements are necessary for your homepage to become a well oiled machine. But at Creative Juice, we know these criteria like the back of our hand. Contact us to begin working on your kick-butt website today! 

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Michael Drew Turner