Ever wondered what sort of information you should have on the homepage of your site? How much text to have? What the content should say? We get asked that question all the time. By following a few simple guidelines you can create the perfect website introduction for your users.
- Homepage Tagline – Begin the page with a short concise tagline that explains the content of the page (and ultimately the site) with a mere glance.
- Homepage Message – As with any written piece the message is of the utmost importance. The goal of the home page text is to introduce users to the website and quickly inform them about the organization the site represents and what resources and information they can find on the site. A good way to approach this is to identify the most important items you want a user to find and create compartments (literary or literal design compartments) on the home page. This method will help in both organization of thoughts as well as homepage design.
- Number of words – The number of words found on the home page should be no less that ~150 words. These words shouldn’t necessarily be presented as a couple bulky paragraphs. Instead, each of the focus segments of the site should be represented with targeted content incorporating user friendly links. You will be surprised how quickly you can accumulate 150 words or more by following this approach. Focus on each segment, support and guide users with carefully tailored introductions.
- Links – Both graphic (with proper usability support) as well as inline links are critical to successful home page content. Specifically inline links will provide users with an immediate path to further information regarding the topic they are currently reading about.When providing inline links it is recommended that you never link the text 'click here'. Click here tells the user nothing about what they will find once they click the linked text. Additionally, search engines many times will take into account the linked words, compare to the content found on the destination page, which will impact overall page performance in search engine results. Linked text should always describe what the user will find when they click the linked text.
These steps obviously don’t cover everything but should provide a good base for creating solid homepage content for your website.