The Ultimate Checklist for Planning your Homepage

11th Nov, 2016

| by Nanditha Vasudev

Every Website starts with a homepage. However, this is one page where you have no idea what to put.

Your options are unlimited. There are many tough choices to make…

You need to decide on the type of content you want to post…

Identify the various elements that you need to include…

Put them in the right order…

Figure out a way to enhance the experience of your users…

Come up with a strategy that will help you achieve your objectives…

All this might make planning your website, seem like an overwhelming task; but it need not be. Here is a checklist that can help make your task a whole lot easier:

  • Logo: This is the first thing your visitors should be able to see when they land on your website. Place your logo on the top-left, from where your readers usually begin to read. Make sure you leave adequate amount of white space around it so that it stands out

 

  • Menu: This is something which helps your users to navigate across your website. Make your menu as minimalistic as possible with few important options through which your users will be able to go to the section they are interested in. For smaller screens you can hide your menu behind the Hamburger icon.

 

  • Special Entry: In case there is a special section on your website that only authorized members may access, make sure you come up with a way to help them login. The login section should ideally be at the top of your home page.

 

  • Hero Shot: The main image or the hero shot that you use on your home page should be clear enough to tell your users what you exactly do. It should be able to eliminate wrong users and enable the right users to take the desired action. Keep it straightforward and simple.

 

  • Headline: This is the main element that has the power to make or break your website. You can place this above or below your Hero Shot or you can even include it within your Hero Shot. It should be benefit-oriented, while being ultra-clear.

 

  • The CTA or Call-To-Action: This is the button that helps you convert your visitors into your customers. It should be clear, concise and visually prominent. Make use of Active Language while designing your CTA and make sure it tells your visitors what they get when they click on it. You can place this below your Hero Shot or even include it within.

 

  • Introduction:This is the section which helps you create a dialogue between you and your visitors. While making it benefit-oriented introduce your business to your users in a friendly way. Make use of the right keywords so as to optimize your website for the search engines. You can also use a few internal links.

 

  • Portfolio: Users always like to see what you have done before doing business with you. This is where a Portfolio gallery comes into use. Make sure you showcase your products or services with the right descriptions.

 

  • Blog: Direct your visitors to your content hub or blog by displaying the most recent posts. To do so, you can use a stack of rows, a list, a grid of tiles or thumbnails.

 

  • Pods:Dedicate a few pods or sections in order to include things that seem valuable to your visitors. It could be books, products, awards, news, staff profiles or client lists.

 

  • Social Proof: This will tell your visitors that your products or services have been approved by many, which in turn establishes your credibility. In this, you can include reviews, testimonials, award emblems, client logos, trust seals, press mentions and stats.

 

  • Features & Benefits: Mention the key features and benefits of your products or services in a list, as rows or as a grid of pod. You could even adopt the ping-pong presentation, which is quite popular.

 

  • You: This is one section you should include if you are promoting your personal brand through your website. Include a brief bio, a video, an introductory passage or even a quote with a good photograph of yourself.

 

  • Subscription:You can make use of a third-party service or even a plugin to offer email subscriptions. You can include a pop-up, a Call-to-action that takes your users to a landing page or a form that is embedded within your home page.

 

  • Offer: Putting up an offer to give out an eBook, a coupon, a free trial or a guide could be a great way to generate leads for your business. You can make this your CTA, include it within your Hero Shot or even dedicate a section of your home page to provide this.

 

  • Resources: You can showcase your resource library by dedicated a section of your home page to free and paid resources. This is sure to increase your click-throughs.

 

  • Search Function: In case there are too many pages on your website, it makes sense to provide a search function that will help your visitors go to the exact section they are interested in. Put this up on the top-right of your home page.

 

  • Additional CTAs: There is no hard-and-fast rule that your home page should consist only of one CTA. You can include multiple CTAs to cater to the information needs of your visitors. Make sure they are in contrasting colors so that they call attention.

 

  • Keywords: Optimize your website by including keywords in your title tag, headline, menu options, body copy as well as your alt image tags. This will provide the necessary SEO juice to your home page.

 

  • Footer: This is a very important section of your home page that gives your users, fast access, to the information they are looking for. This needs to have links to all your web pages. Do not forget to put up your contact information here.

You don’t have to include all these 20 elements on your home page. Nevertheless, it is very important to determine what your users want and include those elements that will help them have an excellent experience on your website.

Nanditha Vasudev

Nanditha Vasudev

Copy Editor

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