What happens now?
One of two things:
The page is a hit . The visitor falls in love with it, enters the site, becomes a lead or even buys.
The page fails . The visitor is confused, frustrated or annoyed. He leaves, never to see him again.
A lot of small factors determine the success or failure of your page. From the copy to the key phrases, from the headline to the psychological factor.
As you can see, everyone is also very attached to homepage design, which strongly determines the first impression.
To make your page not a simple home, but a gateway for a future customer , you have to take care of every detail. Basically, you have to choose the best design for your homepage, make sure that the keywords work, be incisive, and to do this you have to keep many things in mind at the same time.
Put yourself in your typical user’s shoes
Leave “rationality” aside. The starting point is to create a constructive dialogue with your homepage, because it will be itself that will reveal the best practices for its design. Now we will ask you to ask 5 simple questions.
They will help you:
- Focus attention on the visitor and results
- Create clarity, not just beauty
- Being able to see beyond the visual field of your brand and your personal opinions
The answers will tell you if the best homepage design is what you are already using.
Conversely, you have to understand what’s wrong. But don’t stop here: submit all your most important pages to this test, not just the homepage. If you don’t get a convincing answer for each question, well … the opportunity has come to improve the design of all the pages.
Homepage Design: Best Practices on Visitors, Context and First Impressions
Empathy is all about marketing. Understanding your visitor’s perspective is the first step in creating an incisive page.
Best Practice No.1: Asking What History The Visitor Has
There is a story behind every visitor to your page, a story that brought it there. What are you looking for? What problem do you want to solve? What have you probably already done to solve this problem?
Ask yourself, this is the first fundamental step to take to change your perspective: put yourself in the user’s shoes, imagine his needs and what he would like to find.
Best Practice No.2: Homepage Design Tells Visitor What You Do?
The first question a visitor asks is always the same: am I in the right place? A good page answers this question in the first fraction of a second, so that the visitor will immediately be able to tell, at a glance, where he is and what you do.
One of the best practices to improve the homepage design is to make sure that the navigation titles and labels are not vague.
The vagueness, in fact, makes it more difficult for visitors to understand, at a glance, what you do.
On many sites, the small text under the title is the most descriptive part of the homepage. Funny, isn’t it? The smallest thing would actually be the most important. In these sites, it would be enough to simply invert the title and the text below to improve the communication of the page and transmit the same message in a more incisive and above all faster way.
Here too, therefore, such a small thing would make the difference: a simple modification of the homepage design will determine whether the visitor will lose interest in your content or whether he will want to know more.
Basic elements for the communication of your page
There are three ways to make your homepage explain what you do :
- Navigation. Descriptive navigation labels can indicate what you offer directly at the top of each page. On the other hand, keyword-oriented navigation also offers you a small SEO advantage (in our article you can get an idea of how important a holistic SEO NYC content marketing strategy is ).
- The title. If it is intelligent, but unclear, it does not help visitors understand where they are.
- The subtitle or body of the text. If neither of them clearly says what you do, visitors may have to look better and start reading longer content to understand what you offer. And it’s not ideal.
Take the 5 Second Test
Upload the page to Usability Hub to have it reviewed by a group of people. Ask up to three questions, such as “What do you remember?”, “What was this page about?”
Any communication gaps will be shown in the report, which can be viewed as raw data or word cloud (formed by the words found on your homepage, which grow in size depending on the predominance).
If the big words aren’t descriptive, you’re in trouble.
There are other fun versions of the 5-second test:
- The Squint Test (“close your eyes”)
- The 10 Foot Test (3 meters away from the screen)
- The “Drunk User” Test (get someone to drink and then ask them to review your page)
The goal of each test is the same: to verify that the page communicates quickly and with perfect clarity.
Design Tips on Content, Relevance and Page Structure
Now we know why they came. We told them where they are. The next step is to give them what they landed on your page for.
Your visitors are not here to admire the design of your e-commerce homepage, with beautiful photos or all the delicious features. Most visitors are here for one reason: to have answers.
They came looking for specific information, perhaps about a product or service. So we have to provide them, so they are easy to find , otherwise they are likely to abandon the page and look elsewhere.
And this is possible by including them in the best possible homepage design.
Best Practice N.3: Does the Homepage Design Contain Answers for the Visitor?
The visitor will not take any concrete action until he finds the answers to his most pressing questions. Almost immediately, he starts scrolling and looking at the page. He wants answers and is in a hurry.
If you are not sure what he is looking for, ask the sales team or anyone working on the front lines with customers and prospects. Better yet: talk to your customers.
Now there is no shortage of ideas on the essential information to be included in the design of an e-commerce homepage or a simple showcase site : they must be fundamental elements.
Best Practice N.4: How to Order Information?
Not all answers are equally important.
Some are “definitive weapons”, some are “good additions”.
Other things matter to everyone.
And some things, however, are relevant only to a few visitors.
Prioritize messages and images with this in mind.
On a well done page, whether this is an ecommerce homepage or not, the best design manages to:
- emulate a conversation with a salesperson
- anticipate the visitor’s thoughts
- Provide answers in the exact order in which the questions would be asked.
Best Practice N.5: Are Homepage Headers Useful and Important?
Among the best tips to follow to follow for page design, there is also the careful division of the sections dedicated to headers.
These tell visitors what a certain section is about. However, they are often too large and too vague and distracting from the articles in the respective section. In a nutshell: they are not useful.
Ask yourself if every header (and every element) included in the homepage design is useful and necessary. If not, remove it or make it smaller.
There are many small things that contribute to the best expression of your ecommerce website design, these are just some of the best practices for homepage design that you can try to apply right now.
Content and keywords, structure and psychology: every small gap can be a problem, but it is also an opportunity to improve.
We hope you have found at least one or two of these opportunities thanks to our advice. If you have any doubts or want to make a judgment, or have comments to make, leave a comment below. Answering your needs is the most beautiful part of our job!