Article read time - 6 minutes

Your small business’s homepage is your calling card, one of the most important touchpoints your brand will have with potential customers, and an incredibly important marketing asset overall. If you choose to look at it that way, you will quickly realize that it needs to be top-notch.

However, there is more to designing a homepage than you may initially think. Let’s look at some homepage design tips for all of you small businesses out there who have chosen to use WordPress as your CMS.

Choose your message

The first thing you want to settle on when designing your homepage is the message you want to communicate.

If you are only offering one kind of service or only selling one or several similar products, this will be easier than if you sell hundreds of different products in different categories.

Try to distill your message to one key point – what is it that makes you stand out? Is it your passion, your drive, your dedication to customer service? Whatever it is, try to incorporate that message in your homepage design, and go from there.

Tortuga is an excellent example of such a message – while they sell all kinds of products, they have chosen to focus on one core message: packing light. This message ties in with all of their products and clearly communicates what a customer can expect.

wordpress design

Source: tortugabackpacks.com

Have a menu that is easy to understand

Website navigation is an incredibly important aspect of website design, and it naturally also applies to your homepage.

By helping your users find what they’re looking for, you will be doing a lot to improve your user experience. And improving user experience is also a great way to improve your website’s rankings.

When designing your menu, you want to keep it as simple as possible. Add your main categories and main areas of service, and add submenus to them if you need to. Always use language your customers will understand – no matter how cool the buzzwords you may come up with sound, you risk losing all the visitors who don’t understand them.

A good example of simple navigation is Nike – even though they are a huge brand and have thousands of products, their menu is still easy to use and you don’t need much time to find what you are looking for.

nike website

Source: nike.com

Use some kind of social proof

Social proof is a great way to tell your visitors what they can expect from you. From testimonials and reviews to displaying the logos of the brands you work with, you can figure out a way to add some social proof to your homepage.

Bear in mind that you should tailor the social proof you include to your target audience, just like you do everything else. If you mainly work with small businesses yourself, you might want to add testimonials from them, and not brag about that one huge client you have worked with, but that does not relate to most of your clients.

Keep your social proof real – don’t make it sound too polished or too glowing. You want it to be honest and truthful, and inspire trust in your visitors.

Mannequin Mall does this really well, and they have added some very big name logos to their homepage along with testimonials from other users right below. That way, they get to appeal to a wider audience and showcase some of their incredible success.

brand logos

Source: mannequinmall.com

Think about the white

White space, or negative space, is an incredibly important aspect of website design, and if you use it correctly, you can draw attention to the areas of your homepage you want people to notice. It may seem like a whole lot of unused webpage real estate, but it’s quite necessary, and it’s a staple of modern webpage design.

Making your website too colorful or too crowded will only cause your visitors to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they are being exposed to. White space is necessary to make the pages easier on their eyes, as well as to direct their gaze where you want it to land.

Basecamp is a good example of smart use of negative space – and while it’s not always white, it is certainly a clever way to reduce clutter on the homepage and provide a smoother browsing experience.

basecamp website design

Source: basecamp.com

Choose your hero carefully

The hero section of your homepage is the first thing someone will see, which is why you should ensure it is the best possible part of your website. You can keep it minimal, you can feature a video, you can add a custom illustration – you can do whatever you like, as long as it’s in line with your branding and the message you’re trying to send.

For example, if you sell children’s toys, you don’t want the hero to be dull or even sleek. You want something vibrant and colorful in your hero. If your entire website is designed in shades of blue, don’t just randomly go for a very green picture for the hero – make sure things are a match.

You can, of course, choose to do more than one thing with your hero. The Barnes and Noble website is a great example – they feature a carousel as their hero, where a visitor can check out different offers and take a look at some of the different books they’re focusing on that particular week or month.

website design

Source: barnesandnoble.com

Don’t forget the CTA

Calls to action are incredibly important – they are there to prompt your visitor to take action, and make that phone call, send that email, make that purchase. Even if you have made quite an impact, if a visitor can’t find a way to convert easily, they might just give up and leave.

How many CTAs you need to include is a different matter. Some will tell you the more the merrier, and advocate for having one at every scroll. Others will tell you to keep it a bit more minimal, and add them only after you have made an impact with other design elements – below images or video, after screenshots, and so on.

However, the choice will be entirely up to you. You know your target audience best, and you can determine what works best. You can also A/B test your CTA placement to help you figure out what makes the most sense.

For example, Salesforce has plenty of CTAs, but they are not obstructive, and they are not intrusive. They offer plenty of chances to start your free trial, you don’t have to scroll too far to get to one, but they are not too big or too colorful. In fact, they are just right.

salesforce website

Source: salesforce.com

Final thoughts

Designing a small business homepage that really works well can involve a lot of trial and error. Stick to our advice to help you cut your design time down a bit and ensure your visitors keep coming back for more.

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