iZest

The Anatomy of a Website

8 Things That Every Successful Homepage Needs to Have

Designing a website is hard work but like most things, a pattern starts to reveal itself. The structure of a website can be complicated and complex but every successful homepage will contain a similar structure or anatomy. Here’s a simple breakdown of the 8 things that every successful homepage will have on their page.

1. Logo

A website is highlighting your brand and company. Make sure that people are always aware of the site that they are on by having the logo placed on every page of your site. How prominent and where to place the logo are up to you but don’t go overboard with the size.

2. Search

Don’t underestimate the importance of search functionality on your website. It can solve problems with cluttering by allowing you to remove links and keep the page looking clean. Additionally, it can never be assumed what a person will be looking for on your site. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this feature turned out to be utilized more than you thought.

3. Link to Social Media Channels

It may be worrying to drive people off of your site but in today’s world, people want to see that you have a presence on social media. Try not to hide these links on your contact page as it makes it harder for people to find. If people like what they see, they’ll be back on your site sooner than you think.

4. Navigation

Similar to providing search functionality, a homepage has to recognize it’s role on the overall website. People will head there first but ultimately, most of the content they are looking for is on a different page. Make it easy to find this information with a navigation bar above the fold of your website. The categories on that bar need to be based on your site and the needs of users. Bearing that in mind don’t overcrowd this section, that’s what why the search bar is still necessary.

5. Compelling Images

A picture is worth a thousand words and that is most true on websites. People are very visual so your site needs to include high-res photos (with a low-file size) to help draw the users in. If possible, play around with the ability to create a short video. You’ll still need to write some copy but it’s important that the visuals help to tell the story.

6. Headline and Subheadline

A few simple words have never been more important. A good headline will tell users what to expect from the website and that is crucial. Simplify your headline by removing jargon and focusing on the audience that is not only most likely to read it but to engage with it. Secondly, create a sub-headline to convey what it is that you do and offer. It can be a little longer than the headline but try to keep it sweet and simple.

7. Engaging Content and Copy

Good copy and content are important for two reasons. Reason number one is SEO, by using critical keywords on your homepage, you’ll help to improve your ranking in search. Reason number two is that people will still read it. Yes, users are known for their short attention spans but if the copy and content are relevant and concise it will be read. This is why it’s important to write copy that is keyword rich but still enjoyable to read by the average person.

8. Call to Action

The homepage is only the beginning. Think about the next step that you really want users to take on your site. Is that signing up for an email, shopping on the site, or registering to be a user? Successful sites are able to get users to take that next step in the process.

Building a good website is hard and goes so much further than the 8 items outlined above. If you’re looking to create a site or recognize that your page needs an upgrade then contact the experts.