How to write the home page of your website.
1 - Let your visitors know where they are.
When is the best time to build your home page?
We all have the tendency to build our site starting with the homepage ... But with a little bit of experience building websites you will come to understand that the right time to build your home page is:
- When you have listed the questions of your reader.
- When you have chosen the relevant language and key expressions.
- When you have chosen what your answers will be and have created your pages.
- When you have organised your pages, linked them together and tested them.
This is when you will most easily be able to write the homepage of your site.
You now have enough knowledge and vision of your site to make a proper home page.
A good trick, is to build your home page from the bottom up.
Just like you built your site by defining its content first, then its organization. Or in the same way you define your titles once you have documented the block or the page it belongs to... It is from the content of your site and the titles of the tabs that you should be building the content of your homepage. When building your homepage, try building it (literally) from the bottom up. (... from the heart of the page, to the introduction of your page, to the titles).
The title of your site
This title is more about identity and place than keywords. It can be the name of your company, a nice tagline, ...
The title of your page.
The title of the first page is a very short description of what you do, and contains the most important keywords, and often the name of a place. It is specifically here to welcome the reader and confirm that he has found what he was looking for. This title could very well be the most common search on Google when your readers look for what you do.
1 or 2 graphic elements
Our remarks related to the use of images on a website still apply here.
• The picture in your header is mostly about atmosphere. It is about providing your readers with a background feeling to the topic you are trying to present.
• The picture in your first block is here to illustrate your introduction. It could be your logo.
Be careful: if the first picture you present is too descriptive, the visitor may build an opinion about your subject before he has actually explored any of your content.
=> Avoid to place a big picture right on your home page, keep this for an inner page.
The introduction : Reception and Orientation
Find the sentence that works best to briefly describe what topic(s) you are presenting.
Of course don't forget the direct links towards the relevant page(s), installed right on the corresponding keywords or key expressions. This gives your reader an additional choice when it comes to the navigation of your site.
=> Remember that readers with phones won't see the tabs right away.
The Description : like a blueprint of your content.
You may not need this part if your introduction is a little long already. You don't want your readers to spend too much time on your home page, you want them to click and visit the different pages of your site.
You can see this description as a condensed version of the main pages of your site. You want to try to use the most meaningful keywords from each page. (You can still use links to your pages when relevant).
All this makes you understand that it is much easier to build an effective home page when you wrote the content of your site already.
To keep this description very easy to read and structured, you can start your mini-chapters with a Title: Select the words and click "T" in your site editor. It will make this sentence stand out to readers and to Google.
Writing the homepage like this will also give you a good opportunity to re think the organisation of the content and check that it is in a logical order for your reader.
The FooterThe footer provides the same information at the bottom of every page of the site.
As described in the article about the links between pages, the footer is an important part of a website because of its ability to present links or information that are always visible.
A good use of the footer might be a link to the contact page, a phone number, a link to a journal page to provide the latest news, a link to another one of your sites, or just a slogan...