9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Website’s Homepage

Posted at November 25, 2019 at 4:13 pm by Manoj Kumar

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Website's Homepage

Because it serves as the root directory for navigation, your homepage will likely attract more traffic than any other page on your website. Both new and returning visitors will use it to locate other pages. If your homepage is poorly designed, however, visitors won’t stay on your website, resulting in low traffic and equally low search rankings. To design an attractive homepage that yields results for your online business, you must avoid these nine critical mistakes.

Info-graphic 9 Mistakes to avoid when designing your homepage

1) Using Flash Animation

What’s wrong with using Adobe Flash animation on your homepage? While it was commonly used on websites during the 1990s and early 2000s, Flash has largely been phased out. Adobe’s once-popular format for animated film is now blocked by all major web browsers. If you use Flash on your homepage, visitors will be prompted to download and install a browser plugin to view the animated content. Some visitors may proceed to install the plugin, but others will abandon your website.

2) Too Many Links in Navigation Menu

You can use either a sidebar or top navigation menu when designing your homepage, but you should limit the number of links in it to a reasonable amount. Including too many links the main navigation menu creates a cluttered design while subsequently hurting your homepage’s usability. When a visitor sees 50 or more links randomly placed in the main navigation menu, he or she may feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices. Rather than scrolling through and reading all the links, the visitor may simply leave your website.

3) Not Conveying What Your Website Sells or Offer

If your homepage doesn’t convey what your website sells or offers, it won’t drive many conversions. For a high conversion rate, you must design your homepage so that it tells visitors what your website sells or offers. A brief one- or two-sentence mission statement will help you guide visitors through your website’s conversion funnel. You can include this information in the header or below the header; just remember to emphasize it. Using a heading tag with larger font size and different font type than the body text, for example, will make your mission statement stand out on your homepage.

4) Displaying a Feed

It’s not uncommon for homepages to display a feed of existing articles or posts rather than new and unique content. In fact, all WordPress websites use a post feed for the homepage by default. Only after configuring the content management system (CMS) will it display a static homepage with unique content. The problem with feeds such as this is that they are considered duplicate content. Therefore, displaying a feed may restrict your homepage’s search rankings, as search engines strive to show pages of unique content at the top of their search results.

5) Including Few or No Images

Don’t forget to include plenty of images on your homepage. Text-only homepages aren’t particularly attractive nor engaging. Their monotonous appearance discourages visitors from taking action, which means a lower conversion rate for your website. You can and should use text on your homepage, but it’s important to include plenty of high-quality images as well. In addition to a header image, add images to the footer as well as the body of your homepage.

6) Using Autoplay Videos

There’s nothing wrong with using videos on your homepage. According to Renderforest, homepages with at least one video have a 20 percent higher conversion rate on average than their counterparts without video content. If you’re going to use one or more videos on your homepage, though, you should give visitors the choice of whether or not to watch them. Many web browsers automatically mute autoplay videos with sound and disable autoplay videos with sound. And because of their intrusive nature, search engines frown upon the use of autoplay videos.

7) Concealing Your Contact Information

Don’t try to conceal your contact information on your homepage. Assuming you use your website for commercial purposes, you should clearly display your contact information on the homepage. Visitors often look for contact information on business websites. It’s a sign of credibility that shows visitors the website is operated by a legitimate business. If you conceal or don’t display contact information on your homepage, visitors will view your website with greater scrutiny.

8) Using Slider

Another mistake to avoid when designing a homepage is using a slider. Also known as a carousel, a slider is a type of horizontal slideshow consisting of multiple frames. Each frame typically has a thumbnail and text, and each frame is typically linked to another page on the website. The slider automatically cycles through the frames at a specific interval, such as five or 10 seconds. Visitors can click a frame to access the page to which it’s linked. Research shows sliders are a poor choice for homepages, as well as other web pages, because of the negative way in which they are perceived by visitors. Sliders automatically cycle through multiple frames, so visitors may struggle to click a specific frame. Furthermore, most sliders don’t render or function properly on mobile devices; they only work on desktop computers. If a visitor is using a smartphone or mobile device when accessing your homepage, he or she won’t
be able to see or use the slider.

9) Overlooking On-Page SEO

Don’t overlook on-page search engine optimization (SEO) when designing your homepage. Without on-page SEO, your homepage will likely rank low in the search results where it generates an insignificant amount of search traffic. You can encourage Google and Bing to rank your homepage higher by tweaking some basic on-page ranking signals, such as the title tag, meta description, heading tags and image alt text.

You only get one chance to make a strong and positive first impression with your website. Neglecting to design an attractive, user-friendly homepage sends the wrong message to visitors. They’ll assume the rest of your website is poorly designed, which will deter them from taking action. For your website to drive conversions, you must use an attractive and user-friendly design for the homepage.

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