It’s your home base, your shop window, the cover of your company’s book that you’re bound to be judged by. It has to catch your visitors’ attention within milliseconds and offer each of them an intuitive journey to arrive at the answer to their question or the solution to their problem. It wears all the hats and speaks all your visitors’ languages.
So your homepage is not a page to take lightly. A lot of elements go into an exemplary business homepage; and to include them all without overwhelming your visitors takes some delicacy, some planning, and a lot of willingness to test and test some more.
We’ve looked at a lot of homepages to showcase some of the best of them for you. Here are five of our favorites, along with some reasons why they’re so good:
1. Milk Makeup
We used Milk as an example in our Best Practices for a Great Online Shop Homepage; and it’s wonderful to see that the makeup company is constantly recreating its homepage. Here’s what the page looks like now:
Best elements of Milk’s homepage:
They offer deals, sales, and specials above the fold. Visitors are offered two deals before they even move a finger to scroll down: a free Mini Blur Stick for customers who place orders of $50 or more (this is in the banner copy), and a Valentine’s Day special of 3 lipsticks for $30. Offering these specials up-front is a wise move on Milk’s part. (We only wish their CTAs were bolder.)
They’re clear about their buyer persona. By the time they’ve scrolled halfway down the page, a visitor has no doubts about whom Milk’s customer persona is: millennials and post-millennials creating their own distinctive identities, who consider makeup an accessory to self-expression, and who want their products chemical-free and cruelty-free. A clear buyer persona means more visitors feel directly spoken to, which in turn means more conversions:
They prominently display their best-sellers and award-winners. On the whole, Milk categorizes their products remarkably well. This is what a user sees when they hover over a menu item in the main navigation:
But Milk takes their categorization game up a level, offering best-sellers and award-winners as discrete categories, and putting their best feet forward on their homepage:
SFCD, a digital agency that focuses on UX and UI design, has—unsurprisingly—a remarkable website. Here’s their homepage:
Best elements of SFCD’s homepage:
They offer links to case studies and web projects. SFCD’s homepage links out to four case studies, three apps, and one website—but not before offering visitors a snippet about the reason that company hired them, and a taste of what they, in turn, produced. Their homepage is essentially a working portfolio:
They give a breakdown of what they do. “Web design” can mean a wide range of things; SFCD ensures that there’s no ambiguity about their process. It’s broken down into seven discrete elements; and the company describes what each element consists of:
They make it easy to contact them. Every time a user scrolls up the page, SFCD’s menu appears with a single menu item (“work + contact”). In effect, users are invited to get in touch with the company no matter where on the homepage they are. Plus there’s an unmissable call to contact the company at the bottom of the page:
Ahrefs offers a tool set for SEO analysis and backlink indexing. Their homepage looks like this:
Best elements of Ahrefs’ homepage:
They offer a straightforward headline with a clear value proposition. Ahrefs’ copy speaks directly to the prospect, helping them envision how their lives will be made better by Ahrefs’ product. While a prospect may not know how Ahrefs works yet, they’re clear about what it does, and the benefits they’ll experience upon becoming a customer.
They have a standout CTA button. There’s no missing the call to action on this homepage. Ahrefs offers it twice—once above the fold and once toward the bottom of the page—so prospects don’t have to scroll back to the top if they decide to start a trial. The button copy opens with a powerful verb (“Start”), and tells users unambiguously what they’re getting into when they click:
They understand the power of social proof. Nearly half of Ahrefs’ homepage is dedicated to this phenomena. Note the copy to the right of their primary CTA in that first image (“1,327 users joined us in the last 7 days.”) They also display logos of reputable companies who use their product, and testimonials from authorities in their fields:
They show the product. Prospects get to see what Ahrefs’ user interface looks like. This is an excellent way to give visitors an idea of how the product works, so there are no surprises or disappointments when they sign up:
They display data. Ahrefs doesn’t just offer social proof; they also offer statistical proof, with some numbers bound to impress their prospects:
They have keyword-friendly copy. (What else would you expect from an SEO company?) One thing that strikes us about Ahrefs’ homepage is the section titled “Learn SEO with Ahrefs” at the bottom of the page:
“SEO,” “SEO tips,” “SEO audit process,” “link building,” “backlinks,” and “easiest keywords to rank for” are all keywords Ahrefs obviously hopes to rank for. And incorporating them into anchor text makes Google’s crawlers all the more likely to pay attention to them.
Vroom is a used-car sales company. Their homepage looks like this:
Best elements of Vroom’s homepage:
They’ve got a great hero shot. Vroom dispenses with basic images of its vehicles and offers lifestyle content instead. This evokes a feeling that Vroom’s prospects likely want to experience: happily among a community of friends, enjoying their carefree lives (and their car, which contributes to their carefreeness).
They prominently list the benefits of their service. Vroom spells out specific benefits prospects will experience with their service: “Home Delivery in California,” “Save 8% on Average,” “Easy Financing.” The company did well to shout these out so high up on the page:
They state their company values and show their people. “We believe buying a car should be fun, easy, and affordable,” the page reads. Below this is an image of Vroom’s employees, which helps clarify who that “we” is. These are great ways to humanize the business:
5. World Wildlife Fund, Australia
The non-profit conservation organization’s homepage looks like this:
Best elements of WWF’s homepage:
They feature stunning imagery. WWF’s homepage is a visual delight, from that remarkable hero image down to the images above the footer. They’re an excellent example of the fact that “non-profit” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “unprofessional-looking.”
They offer clean navigation with a standout menu option. The menu is limited to 6 items that stand out against the blue of the hero image. The option farthest to the right—”Adopt or Donate”—is the same color as their primary CTA, signaling that it’s the most important menu item. WWF gets to keep its homepage clutter-free, since each of these options leads to its own page:
They allow visitors to easily follow them on social media. In their footer, WWF includes icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube; the organization follows best practices by doing so. But they also offer a standout CTA to visitors scrolling past their photo gallery:
They include a signup form at the bottom of the page, which is unmissable because it’s positioned beside one of their most stunning images. That’s lead generation at its finest:
This list is hardly exhaustive; but between these five, the essential business homepage elements are pretty much covered. If you’re working on yours right now and need more detailed recommendations about how to proceed, don’t worry; we’ve got your company homepage covered.
In the meantime, head over to these pages and take a closer look. If the business is doing due diligence (and we have a sneaking suspicion they are), you’ll probably find new iterations of their homepages. Take notes on what they’ve changed, and guess at why they’ve made those changes.
After all, you’ll learn as much by taking notes from the businesses who play the homepage game well as you will from any catalogue of “how tos” we can give you.