We often use the content in the following post, when explaining designs and layouts to clients who. We make it easy to understand why homepages and doorway pages are so important for new visitors to your site.
Probably the most important one being “You have less than 5 seconds to catch your customers attention.” If the design or interface of the web site or application confuses you will repeatedly lose valuable customers.
A company’s homepage is its face to the world and the starting point for most user visits. Improving your homepage multiplies the entire website’s business value, so following key guidelines for homepage usability is well worth the investment..
We use an article by Jakob Nielsen that was written back in 2002. It is very easy in the Web 2.0 bubble to over-complicate things, these points bring things back to basics and enhance your website’s business value at the same time.
To increase the usability of your website we advise the following easy steps to take:
- Include a strapline or one sentence tagline
- Write a window title containing keywords from the pages content, good for the search engines
- Group similar content into meaningful categories
- Include a search box, another tool for people who may prefer navigating to content this way
- Emphasize the sites main tasks
- Useful meaningful graphics, something that is associated with the content
- Provide new and fresh content directly on your homepage
- Don’t overcomplicate ‘format critical’ content, especially navigation
- Begin link names with the most important keywords, don’t forget these are ‘action items’
These aspects can be continually reviewed by analysing site and visitor statistics. We can find which are the most popular pages, as well as the least popular, exit pages.
Of course, like search engine optimisation, the content should not be forgotten. It is an ongoing process, and the difference in using professionally copywritten content should not be underestimated.