What Makes a Good Homepage?

Your homepage is your handshake to the digital world. Like its real world counterpart, it’s critical you get it right. Be firm, but don’t squeeze. Look the other person in the eyes. And please don’t make it too long. Over the years, you’ve probably perfected your handshake. You’ve done this because you know the first few seconds of meeting someone can shape every interaction afterwards.

And yet there are so many bad homepages — bad handshakes — out there. We’ve all visited a site, truly interested to learn more, only to balk at the lame design, walls of text, and convoluted layout. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Expectations have grown very high. People don’t have the time and the patience to dig through page after page to get the information they want. So your digital handshake has to be strong, clear, and focused.

“But wait,” you say, “I sell a very technical, expensive product. My clients do a ton of reading and research. This isn’t some cheapo consumer product. They do have time and patience!”

Having enough resources and information on your page is critical, yes. But having a good homepage isn’t about what you make available. It’s about how easily people can find that information and how you entice them to seek it out.

Think of it this way. If a prospective client needs 10 minutes on your site to understand your value but 1 minute on your competitor’s site, don’t you think you’ll miss out on more than a few leads?

Take Paper’s landing page. Pure gorgeous design. It invites you to explore it. You get the impression that they are highly professional, up-to-date, and a premium brand. Most importantly, their landing page video, combined with a brief amount of text, tells you exactly what they are about in less than a minute.

My favorite thing about the site is that its principles can be used by anyone in any industry. I get that not every company is equipped to create a beautiful website with stunning parallax elements and graphics. But Paper’s formula is very simple:

  • Lead with a video that previews their product, providing a basic understanding without going into all the technical details. Now that I’m intrigued, I want to know more.
  • Outline the product’s specs. I still don’t know everything, but a 30-second read clarifies a lot.
  • Give a specific call to action. Throughout the page, I’m able to download the app directly or dive deeper to get the information I need.

Entice your audience. Make a statement about who you are. And be quick. You’d never pitch your product without a good handshake, right?

Written by Joe Lee, Content Marketing Specialist