How to Structure Your Homepage

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There’s so much that goes into the creation and maintenance of a website, in terms of both strategy and content. With so much to think about, you may find yourself asking, “where do I even start?” The answer to this question is simpler than you might think. You should start where everyone who visits your website will start: your ‘home’ page.

Even a Caveman Should Get It

It’s not the color or the arrangement of the page that beckons visitors to stay put and look deeper into your offering; it’s the content. We’re big fans of Donald Miller and his web structure podcast at storybrand.com, and we love his explanation of what is now called “the grunt test”. This refers to is reducing any given homepage to the main points, simplifying the content to the extent that if a visitor saw your page for ten seconds, and was then asked to explain it, that visitor could at least grunt out the basics; for example, “cleaning service make house nice”, or “guys make story videos for companies”….etc. If you minimize the text content and write headlines that are clear and concise, even a caveman can understand your offering. This leads to better communication, a more informed visitor, and ultimately a more qualified lead.

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Keep it Top-Level

Imagine yourself browsing Netflix. You know that your interested in a spy thriller, but you’re not sure which spy thriller is a good fit. So, what information leads you to decide which titles to consider? Is it the detailed backstory of each character and the thoughtful analysis of why the plot is relevant to today’s culture…or is it the brief summary of the story, the compelling visuals, and the user ratings that say “this is what you’re looking for”?

As a general rule, you should always keep your important content top-level, so that your audience is never overwhelmed by text copy. Using accordion menus, drop-downs, multiple pages or explainer videos, you can build a home page that allows the visitor to go as deep as he or she wants to go, but refrain from forcing the visitor to go that distance unwillingly.

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Be Visual!

We wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t believe that visual storytelling is not the most powerful support structure in the marketing industry. No matter what line of work or what audience you target, all human brains LOVE a compelling visual story. Visual images and videos are processed 60,000 times faster and retained 18% longer by the brain than any written text copy. Adding video to your homepage has also been proven to result in a 27% higher click-through rate and a 34% higher web conversion rate. You don’t have to be a mathematician to measure the difference between using supporting visuals and not using supporting visuals; I think even Donald Miller’s caveman could tell you that 34 is better than 1.

An impressive photo banner, a crafted explainer video, animated graphics…even a researched selection of color and style can help your message stand out from similar messages broadcasted by your competitors. Think hard about the visuals that might make your specific story most compelling and memorable, and work to build that visual world for your visitors!

Make it Easy to Move Forward

Lastly, keep in mind that most sites are more than one page long. Your home page is your movie poster; your web site is the movie. It’s important for the whole of your website to be accessible by way of your home page so that your visitors can delve deeper into the good work that you do. This can be done by text copy referencing other, yet unseen sections of the website, or it can be done by a tactical design that leads visitors to want more information, and return to the header looking for it. Make sure that your home page guides its visitors gently in the direction of becoming a more viable lead, and eventually they may soon convert into a sale!

Questions? Contact us at 410.853.7892 or email us via info@myrender.com to get Render Perfect involved in the creation of the perfect homepage for your next website.