Redesigning Your Homepage? 10 Common Mistakes You Need to Avoid
If you need a new homepage for your website or you’re considering a redesign, it’s important to take the time to get it right. Your homepage is typically the first experience potential customers have with your business and you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. Unfortunately, many businesses still make basic design mistakes that increase bounce rates and damage conversions. To make your homepage a more effective marketing tool for your business, here are 10 of the most common design mistakes you should aim to avoid.
No Clear Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
It sounds like industry jargon, but a UVP is one of the most important features of all great homepages. Without it, visitors will struggle to understand what your business is all about. Put simply, it’s a brief statement that:
- Describes what you offer.
- Names your target audience.
- Highlights the benefits of your product or service.
- Explains why you’re better or different from the competition.
A strong UVP will convince more visitors to explore other pages on your site. You don’t have much time, so be clear and concise. Otherwise, you’ll lose visitors as fast as they can click the “back” button.
Tip: Place your UVP near the top of the page and use a large font so that it’s one of the first things visitors see.
Some businesses can get away with using complex language, but it should be avoided most of the time. If you’re trying to quickly get your message across, the last thing you want to do is confuse visitors. Not everyone will know your industry as well as you do, so keep it plain and simple.
Tip: Keep sentences short, avoid long words if possible, and double-check your grammar and punctuation.
It’s not just the clarity of your language that matters; the visual appeal of text is also key. Some businesses make the mistake of using fancy fonts or a variety of colors because they think it makes their company look more interesting. Usually, it’s just unreadable and comes across as unprofessional.
Tip: Unless you’re an experienced graphic designer, stick to standard fonts and make sure the font sizes can adjust to various screen sizes.
An Intrusive Logo
Many business homepages feature a large company logo in the header. There’s nothing wrong with displaying your logo, but it shouldn’t take up too much space. Most visitors to your site don’t really care what your logo looks like – they just want information.
Tip: Reduce the size of your logo so that more valuable information, such as your UVP and contact information, are the most prominent elements above the fold.
No Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
Homepages that lack a clear CTA above the fold are likely to have higher bounce rates. Visitors simply don’t know what to do next. Do you want users to visit another web page, sign up for your newsletter, or read your latest blog post? Whatever you decide, use only one or two CTAs; you don’t want to confuse visitors with too many choices.
Tip: CTA buttons should stand out on the page, so use a solid color that contrasts well with the background. And use simple, benefit-driven statements. For example, “Download My Free Guide.”
No Lead Capture Form
If you forget to include a lead capture form on your homepage, you’re wasting a good opportunity to build an email list and generate leads. To encourage signups, give away something for free in return for visitors’ contact details. It might be a discount on their first order, or free content.
Tip: Use a simple, one-line lead capture form that highlights the value of your free offer.
Whether visitors want to know your company’s history, view product prices, or see reviews, make sure they can easily find what they’re looking for with a clear navigation bar. The easier you make it, the more likely it is that visitors will explore more of your website.
Tip: Use only five to seven menu items. This makes the navigation bar easier to read and doesn’t overwhelm users with too many choices. Use drop-down menus if you have too many categories to list.
Not Displaying Trust Signals
Trust signals include things like testimonials, reviews, company awards, and social media metrics. If visitors see any of these, they’re more likely to trust your business and feel comfortable making a purchase.
Tip: Clearly display the logos of clients you have recently worked with. If you’re a newer business, show the logos of any publications or media outlets that have mentioned your business.
No Clear Contact Information
Can potential customers see your contact information on the homepage? There are still many businesses that get this wrong. Their email address is hidden in the footer, or their phone number has a tiny font and is hard to find. If you want people to contact you, insert the information in a prominent position.
Tip: Put your phone number or email address in the top right-hand corner of your homepage, and make sure it’s clearly visible on any screen size.
Too Much Clutter
Your UVP, CTA, and lead capture form are arguably the most important elements on your homepage. Don’t distract visitors with too much additional information that is best reserved for other pages of your site. The same goes for images – too many can be distracting. Stick to one quality visual that reinforces your company’s image and aligns with your homepage messaging.
Tip: Use enough white space between page elements to make the homepage more scannable. Visitors will be able to quickly digest the most important information and are less likely to bounce off your site.
Is Your Homepage Helping Your Business?
These are just some of the most common homepage design mistakes made by businesses today. Whether you’re creating a homepage from scratch or you want to refresh your current one, avoid these mistakes and you’ll ensure it’s built for long-term success.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” homepage, but if you follow these guidelines you’ll have a more user-friendly homepage that engages your audience and supports the growth of your business for years to come.