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How to create an effective Homepage?

Questions:

  • How do I create a homepage quickly and efficiently?
  • What can visitors do here?

Description:

The start page is the heart of your website and the most visited of all pages. On the start page, users should be able to find their way around as quickly and easily as possible. That means you have to convince them of your company and your offer. However, it is not only about making a competent and serious impression. The start page is especially the point of contact for returning customers who are looking for specific information (offers, news). Here you can find out what your homepage should offer.

Solution:

Explain who you are and what you do

If your company happens to be Coca-Cola or Tesla, you can skip this paragraph. Joking aside, let's assume that your company is not known to everyone and that you also want to use your internet presence to make your brand and your offer better known. The ideal place for this is the homepage of your website. Here you should answer the following questions:

  1. Who am I?

    This doesn't mean the people behind a company (that's what the "About Us" page is for), but a representation of your brand.

  2. What do I do?

    You have to make it clear what you actually offer.

  3. What can visitors do here?

    Does the website primarily serve to present your company and its services, or do you also have an online shop or further advice pages where users can find out more?

Highlight unique selling points

Especially on the start page of your website you have the opportunity to show your best side. An effective method to attract the attention of your target group is the "Elevator Pitch", i.e. summarising a big idea in a few words. The elevator pitch should include interesting facts, preferably presented in an emotional way and with meaningful imagery. Make an effort and explain to people why they should buy from you. What is your motivation, what are your qualifications and what makes you particularly interesting. Define your USP, tell your story!

Serve your target group

You should be clear about who you want to address with your Internet presence. So the website as a whole should address this target group as precisely and consistently as possible. Please note:

  1. Speak the language of your target group. 

    Feel free to use technical vocabulary that is likely to be familiar to your customers. You can also adapt the tone of voice. Important: the texts should not come across as too promotional, as many visitors will quickly click away.

  2. Are your partners companies (B2B)?

    In this case, a more factual tone is called for, although this does not necessarily mean that your texts should be dry as dust. You can, however, use very specific technical vocabulary and go into technical detail about the features of your offer.

  3. Is the target group the end customer (B2C)?

    Then you can be more emotional and more personal.

News, specials, special offers

The start page of your website must be exciting and up-to-date. The returning guest should have the feeling: something is happening here. Especially if you run a webshop, you would do well to present constantly changing offers and news on the start page. This way, the user will visit the website regularly and perhaps even become a regular customer. Please make sure that this area offers the customer real added value. This could be a special discount promotion or an announcement about the upcoming delivery of a particularly popular item. However, you can also simply present a blog post with a particularly high information or entertainment value.

Call to Action

Calling users to perform a certain action is a popular and efficient means of turning a random visit to a website into a qualified contact (= lead). In order to comply with the "Call to Action", the user must disclose his or her contact details. Tried and tested means here are:

  1. CTA - Shortage

    A time-limited, free use of a subscription service, a paid app or software.

  2. CTA - Free Download

    Free download of an e-book, a case study or a checklist

  3. CTA - Appointment Scheduling

    Appointment for a free consultation

Responsive design

The design and controls must be responsive and usable without limitations on all output formats (desktop, tablet, smartphone). Scoring points on a large screen with high-quality photos is easy. In most cases, however, the user:in will find you on the smartphone while sitting in the underground. So the challenge is to create a site that is also convincing on a small monitor.

Tips und Tricks:

Ease of use and user experience

In technical language, also UX design for a user's experience on a website and UI design for the visual design of visual applications. Both are closely interwoven. UI design is about very concrete, visible and usable elements such as the design of the buying process in an online shop. The user experience, in turn, results from the experience of using the UI design. The topic of accessibility of a website also belongs here and is the masterpiece for a UX/UI designer. Incidentally, accessibility for online shops will be the legal standard from 2025. This development should be viewed positively throughout. After all, if users with disabilities can get along well on a website, non-disabled users will do at least as well. Accessibility is also rewarded by Google in terms of visibility and ranking.

Continuous updating

Of course, it is enormously important to constantly check all elements on the site for up-to-dateness and function and to revise them if necessary. Fatal are things like special offers that are no longer valid, outdated event notices, Christmas greetings far into the New Year or links that lead to a 404 error page. This not only looks unprofessional, but also leads to a poorer ranking on search engines.

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