This is a quick and dirty infographic that can help you with the “broad strokes” of a well-design home page.
Read it now, and I'll have a few comments below it:
Every webpage should have purpose. Usually, one single purpose is best. Know what you want your users to accomplish on the page and do everything to get them to do it. The design elements, copy and page structure should go towards that.
Now the home page is a bit of a different animal.
You need to move the users through your “funnel”, in the sense of getting them to move to the next pages showcasing best your products or services, BUT at the same time the home page should also “make a good first impression”.
Specifically, the home page needs to sets you apart, and build trust:
- Showcase your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – You need to make any visitor CLEARLY understand what your website is about and what makes you different. (and why the visitor should care)
- Have a strong headline – Either to show your USP, or other benefits to the user.
- Show social proof and build trust – Add testimonials, logos of clients, happy customers. All of these go a long way to show you're one of the good guys and other people trust you.
Finally, I'd say that you home page should probably include more copy than you think. Many of the HUGE wins I've had for clients when testing a new home page contained much more copy than the control, and much more copy than what you see out there. Don't be afraid to sell.
What do you think? Any webpage you want me to quickly review? Let me know in the comments!