A website is one of the most important assets your business can have. Because of it's importance, it's worth putting serious consideration into the design and content of a business website. Over the next three weeks, we will explore best practices for web layouts.
In this first part, we will turn our focus to the area of your website most often viewed, your homepage. More specifically, we're looking at the area of the homepage that visitors can see before scrolling or taking any action on your website. In a nod to the old days of the newspaper, this area is referred to by web designers as "above the fold." Let's look at some common elements you should put near the top of your website's homepage.
Clear and Compelling Headline
The headline (or H1) is the first thing visitors see, and it should be clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. Use language that conveys your website's purpose to your audience, and include a strategic keyword for your business. It should instantly communicate what your website is about and why it matters. This will provide your web visitors a great experience and allow your website to perform better with search engines.
Humans are visual creatures, so use high-quality images, videos, or graphics that resonate with your content and brand. A visually appealing element can quickly draw visitors in and set the tone for your website. Consider using a hero image or video that relates to your message.
Concise and Persuasive Copy
The text accompanying your headline should be brief yet impactful. Explain your value proposition in a few sentences, highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Focus on the problem you solve or the need you fulfill, and use persuasive language to compel visitors to explore further.
Don't leave your visitors hanging; guide them toward the next step with well-placed CTAs. Whether it's "Sign Up Now," "Learn More," or "Shop Now," your CTA buttons should stand out and entice users to take action. Use contrasting colors and make them easily clickable. CTAs should be close to concise and persuasive copy to help the user understand the next step to access more information, products, or services.
Include a streamlined navigation menu that offers a clear pathway for users to explore your website. Keep it concise, with essential links such as "Home," "About Us," "Services," and "Contact" to help users find what they're looking for quickly. For mobile users, consider using a '
' to save space and make navigation easier.
Testimonials or Social Proof
Boost credibility and trust by showcasing testimonials or social proof above the fold. Positive feedback from satisfied customers or impressive statistics can reassure visitors that they're in the right place and encourage them to engage with your content.
If there are critical pieces of information visitors need to know immediately, such as your contact details, operating hours, or limited-time offers, make sure they are visible above the fold. This prevents users from hunting for essential information and helps build trust.
Above the Fold on Mobile v. Desktop
When designing your website above the fold, it's important to consider various screen sizes. Most users these days use mobile devices to view your site. And these devices have a smaller above the fold area than desktop or laptop computers. Because of this, it's wise to make design choices that prioritize the experience of mobile users. Since space will be limited, it's essential that you prioritize what to put at the top of the page to both improve user experience and drive conversions.
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