January 16, 2019

While many visitors may enter your site for the first time through a blog post, your homepage is the virtual front door of your WordPress blog. When someone visits your site directly through your main URL, it is the first page of your website they will see.

Your homepage represents the first opportunity to make an impression. In mere seconds, visitors need to be able to quickly figure out if they are in the right place and whether or not your blog is what they have been looking for.

Defining the purpose of your website and homepage is the first step in creating a blog strategy that will attract new readers and future clients, customers, and partners.

Your Website And Homepage May Have Different Goals

While the overall goal of your website is to persuade visitors to hire you, buy from you, or learn from you, the goal of your homepage may be to simply get visitors to realize they are in the right place and click past the homepage to click through your blog posts, increase ad views, or visit your core sales and conversion pages.

Trying to make a sale right on your homepage is like asking someone to marry you on the first date! It’s probably not going to happen because they don’t know you yet, they haven’t decided if they like you yet, and they haven’t built any trust in you yet. As a result, they aren’t ready to take action.

Set Aside Time To Focus On Your Homepage

Set aside time to focus on the homepage as a whole and decide what you need to communicate on it. We recommend at least a few hours to first get your ideas and messages out on paper and get a rough idea of what your homepage may look like.

work with your team to mock up your homepage design

Then walk away and come back to it in a day or two with a fresh perspective. The goal is to refine the page organization and ensure each element, image, block of content, and call to action button has a clear purpose to move a new visitor past the homepage into your site.

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How To Create An Effective Website Homepage

Here are a few blog homepage design tips to help you get started:

Keep It Simple And Clear

Don’t try to tell your entire story and communicate everything you think someone needs to know in one giant homepage. Keep your content simple and focused while you drive them further into your website to explore and learn more.

Use Basic Language

Don’t try to be too creative, clever, or cutesy. Instead, focus on making sure a new visitor can get a quick snapshot of what you do in 5 seconds or less.

Make It About Your Client

Your homepage needs to answer the questions:

  1. Is this what I am looking for?
  2. Am I in the right place?
  3. What are my options?

Remember, you want to get them interested enough to click to the next page

Treat It Like The First Step

A date is the first step, not marriage. Getting people to your homepage and interested in learning more is the first step, not a sale or opt-in! Be sure to create clear paths (funnels) through the site to your conversion pages and tell them exactly what to do next with crystal clear calls to action.

Make Content Easy To Access

Give visitors more than one way to reach your most valuable content. Include links in your website navigation menu, in the page content, and in the footer or sidebar. Don’t forget social media links.

responsive design

Use A Lot Of Visuals

No one wants to read an essay online. Photos grab attention faster than text, so use strategic visuals that reinforce your message to add interest to the page.

Prioritize Information

Everything on your Home page can’t be big and bold and crammed at the top of the page — if you tried that, nothing would stand out. Instead, once you have decided exactly what your home page must communicate, prioritize the information so you know what needs the most attention, and what needs the least. Make sure your content marketing plan echoes your priorities set for your homepage.

Tell A Story With Your Homepage

Ticking with the idea that your homepage is the virtual front door of your WordPress blog, one of the easiest approaches to creating an effective homepage design that encourages visitors to stay longer and look around is to tell a story.

tell your story on your blog homepage

Hopefully, you’ve already carefully planned your blog’s navigation menu that includes links to the most important content on your website. If this is true, you’ve already got the outline for your homepage story done.

  • An effective homepage design begins with a brief statement or headline and sub-headline that clearly communicate who the blog is for and what the blog is about. This is meant to introduce new visitors to your site and help them quickly figure out if they’re in the right place.
  • After that, as the visitor moves down the homepage from top to bottom, the content blocks or sections should tell the same story the navigation tells, but in a more descriptive, compelling, inviting way—and each block/section should include a link. This way, visitors can access your most important content in the navigation menu or in the content when they feel compelled to do so.

Take A Look At Your Homepage

Now, what about your blog’s homepage? Does it tell your story? Is it simple, clear, and all about your readers? Is it visually interesting? Is it easy to access your most important content?

If you answered no to any of these questions, maybe it’s time for you to revisit your homepage and set aside time to rethink your new visitor introduction strategy.

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Todd Terwillegar
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