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Homepage Checklist: Do You Have These Ten Items That Make Your Site Easy-To-Use?

We all know that first impressions count. If two individuals were interviewing for the same corporate job, and one showed up for the interview in jeans and a t-shirt and the other in a three-piece suit, which one do you think would be considered first for the job?

Your company homepage is much like the clothes you would wear on a job interview. Itís the first thing your prospects and customers see, and it get more views than any other page on your site.

It would make sense, then, to be sure your websiteís homepage has the necessary key elements that have proven invaluable.

According to Dr. Jakob Nielsen, Principal of Nielsen Norman Group, there are 10 elements of a great homepage, including:

  1. A one-sentence tagline that summarizes what the site does or what you do. This makes the siteís purpose clear to the user.
  2. A window title with good visibility in search engines and bookmark lists. Start with your company name and follow with a brief description of your site.
  3. One distinct area for corporate information. An ďAbout UsĒ section is a good way to give users in-depth information about you.
  4. Keeping all high-priority tasks on the homepage. The main tasks users undertake should be placed here for easy access.
  5. A search function. Most users are comfortable using a search input box, so be sure to place it where itís visible and make it at least 25 characters wide to accommodate more than one word without obscuring part of the inquiry.
  6. Showing some of your best or most recent content on the homepage. Specifics are always better than vagueness.
  7. Beginning link names with the most important keyword, which makes it easier for your users to find what theyíre looking for quickly.
  8. Easy access to recent homepage features. Keep a short list of recent features on the homepage.
  9. Since users tend to think graphics are ads, donít use too many bells and whistles on important homepage items, or they may be skipped over completely.
  10. Meaningful graphics that show real people connected to the topic.

There are many companies that will ensure youíre using Nielsenís tips that make your site easy-to-use, including Web Builder Express.

In addition to those elements, Web Builder Express also features a breadcrumb trail, which allows users to see how they ended up on a certain page in your site, as well as how to get back to where they started; calendar functions; page change notifications; fill-in forms; mailing lists; and much more.

Web Builder Express even offers a comparison chart of their services versus their competitors, which includes pricing, so users donít have to leave the site to do research.

By making sure your homepage has the 10 elements recommended, your users will be happy. And happy users are a good thing.

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