One of the most visited sites on your website will be your home page. A home page is pretty straightforward. It is the page that any visitor of your website can click to and find out exactly who you are, what you offer and how they can solve the issue they came to you with.

In theory, it sounds pretty simple. But in reality, it can quickly get complicated when you are in the mind of your visitor and trying to solve their issues in a sequential order on your website with a strategic design.

Okay, take a second to breathe. That was a bit much.

via GIPHY

Here is the thing, not every home page will be or should be designed the exact same way. BUT I do have a formula that you can follow to get yours pretty close to perfect the first time around. I always suggest tracking and tweaking when it comes to strategic web designs.

Sidenote: If you are looking for an easy way to track the eyeballs on your site grab a heat mapping tool, like the one from the guys at Sumo.

Navigation Menu

So what does your home page need to have? At the first top of your home page, you should have a navigation menu. I know this sounds obvious but sometimes it’s skipped because this is treated as a landing page.

Your navigation menu also needs to make sense. Don’t give everything cute names. Make it obvious where they are going to go if they click a link.

It’s also important that your navigation menu isn’t cluttered. It should only direct folks to the logical steps from your start here. So having a link to your archives probably won’t serve them best.

Primary Call to Action

Directly below your navigation is your prime real estate. This will be what grabs the attention of the page so you need to capitalize on it. If someone landed on your homepage what is the one action you want them to take.

Your primary call to action needs to speak to this. It needs to capture their attention. Tell them exactly what to do. What they are going to get and send them on their way. This is the primary purpose of your homepage. Getting a visitor to take a very specific action.

But, there is always a but, What if they have already signed up for your freebie or they simply aren’t interested. That’s okay let them scroll.

Highlights

This next section is what I like to refer to as the site highlights. This is typically the key points of my website. These help folks solve nearly any issue they stumbled on the website for.

Highlights could include your services page, products, blog, courses, you name it. I like to keep the highlights to 3 or less. I find that typically addressing each highlight towards where a person is on their journey with me will be covered by these highlight points.

If you want to learn more about setting up your reader’s journey I highly recommend a post by Hailey Dale of Your Content Empire.

For example here at The Creative Boss, our highlights include services, blog, and courses. This is targeted towards where folks are on during their journey. If they are just starting out the blog is a great place to start, if they know exactly what they are looking for a course will be their best solution and lastly if they are ready to hire a web designer they can get to the services page in one click.

The point of the highlights section is to get visitors where they need to go on your site in a few of clicks as possible.

About Section

Moving past the highlights it’s safe to assume if someone is still scrolling down the page they might just want to know more. More about what you offer. More about you. More about your mission. And having a shortened version of your about page is great here. It gives a broad overview of your business while also directing them to the about section.

Your about section should include a photo of the person or persons running the show of your business. It is a great place to let visitors know that there are real people they are interacting with and you aren’t some huge corporation that probably doesn’t give a flip about them.

You are your brand. Even if you operate with a team, you should be at the forefront. And let everyone know that.

Secondary Call to Action

If they are still scrolling down the page they probably need a little coaxing to towards the next step. So if you primary call to action and highlights doesn’t solve their issue what else do you have to offer? Maybe they are looking for a community? A way to contact you? Whatever is the next step towards building a relationship with you, assuming the first attempt wasn’t exactly what they were looking for utilize this section.

Here at The Creative Boss we actually have two secondary calls to action. The first leading folks towards a free course to help them build start their own blog and the second inviting them to join the community. These are both appealing for different reasons and depending on where someone is on their entrepreneurial journey will dictate which action they take, and sometimes they take both.

Footer

Lastly is the footer. I feel like some folks totally nail the footer and others leave a lot more to the imagination.

Your footer may be the first person a visitor scrolls to if they are looking a semi-specific piece of information, like if you offer an affiliate program or your address if you are a brick and mortar business.Your footer can also serve as a summary of your site. Your key points can be linked out from the footer with just text-based links. It is also a great place to link to your social media channels.These are places that you wouldn’t mind visitors clicking off to but it’s definitely not your top pick for the next destination.

With that in mind designing your footer can be a bit tricky when it comes to balancing how much information to add. At certain point to tip the scale and it is a congested looking mess.

Taking it to Paper First

The most important thing to remember when designing your home page is the primary purpose of your site. A great page design is focused on a single goal and takes advantage of the few ways a person can go to reach that goal.

If you are unsure of how to start with the design of your page, grab a sheet of paper and a pencil. Working with the digital doesn’t mean to skip the analog. You will be surprised how much easier it is to design when you are away from a screen and just jot the general ideas in their crudest form without worrying about aesthetics.After you have mapped out your page on paper then you can move to designing in digital. This why the Divi theme makes it so much easier for non-designers to design their own websites with ready to use templates and drag and drop boxes for simple designs.

If you are still unsure of how to design a home page and simply don’t have the budget to hire a designer (ahem.. The Creative Boss) then the best thing you can do is check out your favorite websites and analyze their home pages and see how you can incorporate the layout into your branding and give your site the sense of direction your visitors are desperately craving.

Sarah Crosley

Sarah Crosley

Founder of The Creative Boss

After years of trying to run an online business I have seen quite a few ups and a whole lot more downs. I spent hours every day researching how to make a go at some elusive, passive income. I felt like it was something that was just a myth, and then I figured out what the real meaning of passive income was: to work smarter, not harder. It’s not just sitting around watching the dollars pour into your bank account, but you can create products that will sell and still be sitting on the beach or at home in pajamas, and I want to share with you what worked for me. I don’t want you to spend years trying, failing, and throwing in the towel.

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