How to Make a Good Homepage

Many of us, when starting to build a website for the first time, think along the following lines:

“My homepage, the first page of my website, is here to say everything about me and my activity, in an all-encompassing and convincing way!” Unfortunately, this is a terrible way to begin.

Here are some of our favorite ways to think about creating an effective homepage.

5 Quick ways to think about your fantastic future homepage

It has taken our team, many of whom are experienced web designers from various countries, years of experience and several hundred websites to understand that there is a simpler route to a great homepage.

We know that experience is hard to pass on, but we still dream about helping SimDif users to start creating their websites in a positive way.

So, instead of drowning you in the theory of a good homepage, we'll try a more friendly approach – a thought exercise – with tips that we think will give you the right beginning.

Put yourself in your visitor's shoes

● Your visitors will read a few words and understand where they just arrived.

● They will recall why they came to your site, and what question they have in mind.

● They will try to quickly go to the page that answers this question.

If you build your homepage as a welcoming hub, guiding people to the pages that you made just for them, you will be on your way to turning your website's visitors into customers.

Guiding visitors to the right next page also helps Google judge your site clear, useful, and worth putting in search results.

Forget about your homepage

We mean it!

Start by creating your other pages. They are far more important, at least in the beginning. Each page of your website should focus on one aspect of your activity and answer your potential customers' questions about your offer.

Then, build your homepage:

● Begin at the bottom with 2 or 3 Mega Button blocks to showcase your most important pages. SimDif Mega Buttons offer a nice preview of the title and first block of where they take your readers.

● At the heart of the homepage, write a few lines to describe your activity. This is easier to write after you have worked on the rest of your site! Each time you mention a page, put a link on the relevant words. Visitors and search engines like these links – they reinforce what you say, and help your visitors learn more about you and make their decision.

● If you have a core product or promotion, put another Mega Button near the top of your homepage to take visitors to this offer.

● At the top of your homepage, just under the header, write your Page Title. For the homepage, it should summarize your main offer. It's easier to find the right words to tell the world what you do after building your other pages. The searches people use to look for what you do on Google – before they know your name – are a good guide.

● Choose a header image. It's tempting to do this at the beginning, but it's much easier to find inspiration later on. SimDif gives you various ways to showcase your header image, which appears on every page of your website. Check them out!

● Last but not least, right at the top of the page, write your Site Title. It appears on every page, and stays visible when visitors scroll down your page to remind them where they are. Make it your business or organization name, with your location if relevant, or perhaps one or two keywords. Keep it short and to the point.

Your homepage is the train station that visitors first arrive to

What do people look for when arriving at a train station, and how can you give your visitors the website equivalent?

● Confirmation:
A traveler on a train sees the name of the station, realizes it is time to stop, and takes action.
=> Your website's site title, at the top of every page, serves this exact purpose.

● Information:
"What now?" is the next question. The answer comes by scanning for what is available.
=> The title of the page should outline what you offer, concisely, in words your "traveler" expects. These will often be the words they typed into Google to find what you do.

● Orientation:
Nobody wants to stay on the platform, jostled by the flow of passengers.
=> Links are the answer! Put some links in your first block to point to all the great things people can discover in your website.
=> Links with previews! Once you have created your other pages, use the Mega buttons waiting for you at the bottom of your homepage.

Guide visitors to the important pages of your website

● Label your menu tabs clearly: Use short, clear and easy to understand labels.

● Organize the pages in your menu into groups: Bring order to your menu by putting the most important pages at the top and grouping related pages together.

● Summarize content from your most important pages: Create sections with clear headings, brief summaries, illustrative images, and links to the pages.

● Put links in your text: Place links on phrases in your text that clearly describe what your visitor will find when they click.

● Add space to make things clear: Use images to break up text, and titles with a large font size to make your homepage scannable and easy to understand.

Tailor your homepage to the type of website you are creating

While there are some key principles of a good homepage that apply to most websites, the type can influence which content to prioritize:

● Business Websites: Focus on highlighting services, products, and what’s unique about your business or brand.

● Blogs: Highlight recent posts, popular categories, and a subscription form.

● Portfolios: Feature your best work, customers' testimonials, and your bio.

● E-commerce Sites: Showcase featured products and promotions, and offer easy navigation to product categories.

=> Spy on your competition, but instead of simply copying the layout and ideas, think about where your business is different and where it’s similar.

8 Metaphors for understanding how to create an effective homepage

● A Welcome Mat
Your homepage should greet visitors and instantly convey what your site is about. Think of it as their first impression of you. But don’t write “Welcome to ...” in your page title! It won’t help your visitors or Google understand what you offer.

● A Reception Desk
Anticipate your visitors' needs and point them in the right direction. Your homepage should provide clear navigation to help people easily find what they're looking for.

● A Shop Window
Showcase your best offer on your homepage to entice visitors to come in and browse the rest of your website. Use compelling images and language that reflects what's most special about your business.

● A Friendly Conversation
Speak to your visitors in a warm, relatable tone that puts them at ease. Focus on their needs and interests, using simple language that's easy to understand.

● A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book
Offer multiple enticing paths for visitors to explore your website based on their goals. Use clear calls-to-action and empower them to tailor their experience.

● A Sampler
Provide a taste of your site's best content on the homepage. Whet visitors' appetites with a balanced mix of options that makes them eager to dig in and explore.

● A Tour Guide
Give visitors a clear route to follow through your website and highlight key destinations. Provide helpful waypoints to must-see content.

● A Confident Handshake
Project trustworthiness and competence right off the bat. Show visitors how others have reviewed you, and make it easy for people to connect on social media.

By approaching your website homepage through these lenses

You can start to build a website and homepage with SimDif that will meet your visitors needs, without wasting your time on false starts.

This is only the beginning of the help you will find inside of SimDif as you create your site. SimDif has FAQs, guides, video tutorials, and an inbuilt AI assistant which is available if you want help with content ideas and with writing titles.

With a little creative thinking and user-first design, you can create a homepage that's a pleasure to visit and achieves the results you would love to see.