Anatomy of a Homepage
The perfect homepage is simple:
tell me who you are,
what you do,
and what you want me to do next.
And just for the sake of repetition, even though you’ve heard it: simple is deceptively difficult.
Again I say, simple is difficult.
Because at the end of the day, this is ALL the info I need.
I just need to know who you are, what you do, and what I should do next.
The rest is icing.
Let’s take a former client as an example and break it down:
(note: I did both branding, copy, AND web design for Ashley, but for the purposes of this post we’re just breaking down the homepage).
There’s a logo, a clear navigation and a welcome message - awesome!
LOGO: You don’t NEED to have your logo pop up first thing, but there’s a reason most website have a clearly defined logo within the header or within the navigation bar.
NAVIGATION: Whether or not there will be dropdown menus, I have a clear idea of where each link within the navigation bar will take me. Unless you’re well renowned and world famous, don’t rely on a quippy sense of humor - that may work with an audience base that’s totally in the know, but frankly, I’ve yet to find a cryptic nav bar that I loved.
(oh look, there’s that SIMPLE theme again!)
WELCOME: I’m welcomed into the page immediately by Ashley herself. This letter also cues me into her writing style and her voice - and the fact that the written word is probably very important to her, which may mean that blog is something I definitely want to check out.
WORK WITH ASHLEY: With just a cursory skim of this welcome letter I can gather that Ashley loves working with others, which perfectly leads into the next big section on the scroll. Rather than a number of options to work with her, the fact that there is only one offering her is of note. I can always click on the “Work With Me” link in the Nav Bar, but this feature lets me know that this is her focus right now.
BLOG: she’s got a blog! Awesome! And links to favorite posts - even better. I hate having to dig for the gold.
PODCAST: And if I don’t want to read through it all, oh look, a podcast link!
SUBSCRIBE: having a way for folks to sign up for your newsletter list is ESSENTIAL on your homepage. An email is an incredibly precious commodity, and if your visitor deems you worthy of such a gift, make it EASY for them to give it to you.
To sum up:
I know exactly who this person is, what they do, and I have avenues to get this information. Depending on if I want to listen or to read her wisdom, Ashley’s given me blog and podcast options, and I know her current offering is something called Nourish Your Soul.
In short - I have all the information I need! It’s a homepage! Hallelujah!
And just for funsies and reference - a side by side of her old DIY page vs after.