Optimize your website homepage

Contributors

@brandon-leuangpaseuth @paul-boag


Business Benefits

Improve user experience, increase engagement, and decrease website loading time.


Remove distractions and reduce the user’s cognitive load.

Introduce a lot of white space into the page. Reduce duplication of messaging or navigation. Remove looping animation. Remove any elements that are not absolutely necessary in getting people to act.

Optimize the page for speed.

  • Optimize images.
  • Reduce the use of JavaScript libraries.
  • Limit the use of fonts.
  • Use a content delivery network like Cloudflare.

Make the page easy to scan and improve readability.

Break content into chunks, with each chunk having a clear heading. Keep the language simple; consider running it through a tool like Hemingway App. Make use of bold, italic, lists and other typographic styling to ensure users can quickly scan it. Increase the line-height of copy and ensure a high contrast between foreground and background. Make sure copy is large enough to easily read by your target audience.

Create a strong visual hierarchy on the page.

Ensure important elements are larger and nearer the top of the page. Use imagery to draw attention to critical calls to action, for example, a person looking towards the call to action.

Use color to further emphasize important elements.

You cannot rely on color alone, as many people are color-blind. However, you can use color alongside other techniques to draw the attention of users. Use contrasting colors on important elements.

Stick with layout conventions for a high-performing homepage.

For example, people expect to find search in the top right and navigation immediately below the header.

Invest in high-quality imagery that is relevant to your offering.

Do not clutter a page with imagery that does not provide value to the user.

Consider your site aesthetics carefully.

Be clear on the feeling you want to communicate with the design, and survey users to ensure you are successfully communicating that feeling.

Introduce design delighters to set yourself apart from the crowd.

A design delighter is a design element that isn’t strictly necessary, but makes people smile or ensures your site is memorable. It might include hidden Easter eggs, custom illustrations, use of animation or humorous elements. For example, there is a hidden bear in the Toblerone logo, which has generated a lot of free publicity for the brand.

Relentlessly test your homepage to continually improve it.

Use session recorders like Microsoft Clarity to identify potential problems. For example, do users click on non-clickable elements or scroll past critical content? Once you have identified a problem, use A/B and usability testing to explore possible solutions.