What Makes a Great Homepage in 2023 - Login Lockdown

What Makes a Great Homepage in 2023

Travis Jamison
May 10, 2023

Your website’s homepage is a critical part of your sales funnel. It’s often the first branded asset potential customers encounter, making it vital from a brand-building perspective. 

Your homepage also represents the first opportunity to pitch your product or service and let visitors know what sets you apart from your competitors.

It’s the starting point for visitors who want to explore your website further. It’s also one of the pages where returning website visitors tend to click on a CTA (call to action) to start the conversion process when ready.

The design and optimisation of your homepage must be strategic, so you can hire a software development partner to create it. 

So much goes into the design of your homepage – color, fonts, voice, copy, calls to action, customer testimonials and reviews, contact details, and more. 

It all has to fit your brand image and work together to draw customers in and make them want more.

If you’re preparing to design (or redesign) your brand’s homepage, we’ve prepared some considerations and tactics for you to keep in mind.

Color scheme

There’s a psychology behind the colors companies choose to represent their brands. Colors make us feel a certain way. Associations form when we see certain colors with items. Companies capitalize on this. 

For example, if your company deals in tech, your image may be sleek and modern, with a clean, simple design and a color scheme of gray and black on a white background. Maybe you’ll add an accent color for interest, but nothing bizarre or off-putting. 

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However, suppose your company sells eco-friendly products, and you’re dedicated to fighting climate change. In that case, you’ll probably incorporate shades of green, brown, and‌ a bright accent color like orange, yellow, or maybe pink.  

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When creating your homepage, consider how you want your customers to feel and what associations you want them to make. Then choose colors that fit your brand and stick with them. 

Like in the example given here (i.e., Beyondmeat), the colors you choose need to be highly-contrasting to ensure people with certain vision impairments (namely color blindness) can properly access information appearing on your site. You can use an accessibility tester to ensure your color scheme is accessible.

A clear expression of benefits 

Value-based marketing is often much more effective than features-based sales copywriting. Yes, your product team may have spent countless hours developing an amazing set of features, but what does this mean for your potential customers?

From a marketing perspective, focusing too much on what you’ve built isn’t nearly as effective as focusing on what these features mean for your target audience. This is an incredibly important concept to remember throughout the homepage design process.

When designing and writing copy for your website homepage, ask yourself: “What is the main message I want to convey to my audience?” This message should always relate directly to how your product or service addresses buyers’ needs and concerns. 

If you’re still unclear on how to describe your product and how it meets your audience’s needs, you may need to develop your brand’s buyer personas. Creating detailed buyer personas is an important part of your going-to-market strategy and should give you the insight to talk about product benefits meaningfully.

Let’s look at a homepage that succeeds at presenting its product features as customer benefits.

Bay Alarm Medical built its product on a foundation of several moving parts. The product won’t exist without a reliable physical product, a complex technical ecosystem, and a knowledgeable support staff.

However, the homepage only refers to these things in the context of a value proposition they’ve identified as their customers’ primary need: Trust.

The brand decided that every primary message on the homepage must convey trust and credibility. This message sets them apart from their competitors and provides the emotional foundation for their sales process.

A professional web designer would have compromised the message’s effectiveness if the website homepage wasted time on illustrating exactly how the product or service functions. They even frame video testimonials where television presenters unbox and discuss the product as trust signals reinforcing the brand’s main selling point.

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Balanced product descriptions 

Aim to strike the right balance with how you describe your product or service. You’ll want to avoid overwhelming your homepage visitors with too much information or jargon they may not be familiar with.

To improve a visitor’s experience on your website, provide enough relevant information to let them know you can solve their pain points. If you succeed at this, they’ll keep exploring. If you make them feel uncomfortable at any point, they won’t. 

Your website’s homepage should never be as detailed as specific product or service pages. It needs to focus on top-level information for top-of-the-funnel users. Striking this balance is a crucial aspect of web design. You always need to present your visitors with a clear product description that aligns with their intent on that specific page.

The homepage is unsuitable for a deep dive into the nuances of your product or service because most website visitors aren’t interested in this information at this point in their journey.

For example, check out Semrush and its minimalistic product descriptions. They show you every aspect of their extensive toolset but don’t go into too much detail. Instead, they only tell you the basics and how you can use each feature.

All audience segments will understand these descriptions, and they can go on exploring the rest of the page (and website). They won’t get bored with long-winded copy and already understand the tool’s basic functions.

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Engaging calls to action 

The calls to action (CTAs) you use on your homepage must be engaging and effective. You don’t want to use the generic “click here” or “buy here” formula. 

Instead, personalize your call to action as much as possible and align it with your messaging. You need to design each one so the user recognizes it as an action button and is enticed to click on it.

Here’s how to craft a high-converting call to action:

  • Use action words: now, today, etc. 
  • Highlight the benefits of conversion: showcasing the value of the action is incredibly important.
  • Use a bold color that stands out (but still fits your color scheme) and makes your call to action easy to notice.
  • Draw a user’s attention to the call to action by reducing the amount of clutter around it and placing it in an area of white space.
  • Use a font that matches the rest of the homepage but is slightly different. You can add more weight, make it larger, or use a variation, among other web design techniques.
  • Speak to the visitor. “Get yours today” sounds much more persuasive than “buy now,” for example. So does “join our club” compared to “sign up for our newsletter.”

If you create multiple CTAs, ensure they don’t look the same. For example, change the button’s color and shape. You want it to be obvious where the action will lead.

Take a look at SmartLook and their CTAs. They’re vibrant and easy to notice but still match the rest of the page. They also highlight the benefits: “Try it for free,” “without a credit card,” or get a “one-on-one demo.” It’s super simple yet highly effective. 

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Sophisticated intuitive search functionality

A study by Econsultancy revealed that websites with a search function convert up to 1.8 times more effectively than a website that doesn’t offer a search feature.

Website search can significantly boost user experience, leading to happy, satisfied customers who are more likely to return. It’ll also help you understand your shopper’s needs better. You can use the results to refine category and product names or expand your inventory.

And while late-stage customers usually use search, you must set it up to cater to everyone. Only data-driven search will tick all the right boxes and provide the kind of UX you aim for.

Let’s look at a search bar that ticks all the boxes. Shop Solar Kits has truly hit the ball out of the park. Here’s how:

  • Visitors can immediately see popular searches and products when they click on the search bar. Even if they’re not experts on solar energy, they’ll know where to start their search.
  • The autosuggest feature helps visitors discover the various kinds of products the brand offers. 
  • Users can instantly filter search results by brand and price, and the results are visible before you even hit enter.
  • Site visitors can filter results based on price and relevance to find the product they want in seconds from the homepage.

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Specialist endorsements 

Product reviews are a great way to level up your credibility, but they’re more appropriate on product pages. For your website homepage, aim to get an endorsement from an independent specialist or relevant body. 

Endorsements show your homepage visitors that they can trust your band and that you’re good at what you do. A true expert would never attach their name to a disreputable brand, so getting a pat on the back from the right people can go a very long way. 

Take a look at Somnifix and its homepage. They have a great endorsement from Mark Burhenne, a family and sleep medicine dentist. He clearly knows the industry, and his quote isn’t about the product, but the effects of mouth breathing. A product that aims to prevent it, like the one Somnifix is selling, thus becomes more appealing.

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You can also showcase endorsements that certain governing bodies have awarded your brand. If your products are organic, vegan, or cruelty-free, displaying the appropriate logo will be all you need. 

Take a look at Lush for another great example. They clearly tell their customers that their products are 100% vegetarian, not tested on animals, ethically sourced, and handmade. 

Potential customers can then read up on these policies and why they matter to the company. If you care about any of these causes, the simple icons on the website homepage will ensure you’re more likely to convert. 

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Contact details 

Every business website needs proper contact details to prove legitimacy. If all you offer is a contact form, chances are your new visitors will start to think you may be running a scam. 

Including just your email address isn’t enough, either. You’ll want to show your customers that you’re available in person and honestly care about their concerns and complaints. If they have a question to ask, they need to know where to direct it and when to expect an answer. 

A brand that’s nailed this is Clockify. They have a live chat option at the bottom of the screen. They’ve listed their physical address and phone number, so you know they’re legitimate. But what really shows their commitment is their “world-class customer support” section.

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From there, they direct you to their contact page, where you can choose between email, live chat, or a phone call. But they also tell you they’re available 24/7, and their response times are less than an hour.

If you are considering using their product or service, even though it’s free and you don’t need to overcome a transactional obstacle, you can be sure your questions will be answered. 

Further contributing to Clockify’s availability are the social media links in the homepage’s footer. Social support has become a standard component of customer service, and these icons go a long way toward giving the band a greater sense of accessibility. 

Detailed earned media spots 

Many brands brag with an “as seen in” element on their website homepage. They usually list all the biggest publications like Forbes or The New York Times. However, how can a website visitor know that the news outlet actually featured the brand? Anyone can throw a logo on their homepage; why should you trust it? 

You can always link to the articles, but that’ll drive traffic away from your homepage and require visitors to read an article they probably don’t have the time for. 

A much better solution is what Gili Sports did on their website homepage. They feature a very brief snippet from each of their media mentions, which serve as superb testimonials of the quality of their products. If Forbes says they’ve built something special, you can bet their product is awesome.

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Social proof 

Speaking of testimonials: customer testimonials and reviews are elements of social proof you should consider featuring on your homepage. You can also use customer videos and case studies. 

Choose the format you think would sway your potential customers most effectively. 

Who do they want to hear from? Their peers? Experts? Influencers?

Let’s look at some examples of brands that have gone the extra mile with social proof.

Mannequin Mall has a great review flyout showing product and brand reviews. It’s an amazing way to expose customers to the quality of the products before they even hit a product page. 

Most brands reserve product reviews to product pages, banking on the fact that customers will get that far into the website. But what about those who don’t? A solution like this is simple to implement and very convenient for new visitors unfamiliar with your brand. 

They don’t have to click through several pages to gauge the overall quality of a brand’s products. The social proof is right there for them to browse on the homepage. 

The mannequin retailer has also extended their social proof in this element to include general reviews of their site and their products. Most e-commerce websites prioritize their products when displaying customer reviews, which is a nice touch that makes the brand seem even more reliable.

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Another great example is Baremetrics. This analytics platform chose to highlight their available integrations and the logos of the companies they have worked with. 

Since they’re dropping some big names, it makes them easy to trust.

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Wrapping up 

Before mapping out a homepage design, consider the points covered in this post. Of course, you might not be able to (or even want to) feature all of these elements. Just make sure to discuss which would be the most impactful with your team and members of your target audience. 

Also, remember that A/B testing plays an important role in homepage design. If possible, consider rolling out certain design elements incrementally and testing different versions of these elements against each other.

Once you find the right combination of optimized elements, your homepage will work for you day in and day out. We wish you success!