All blogs should include certain essential homepage elements so that readers can see if you have information that is relevant to their query. Your blog’s homepage is often the first impression potential readers have of your brand. Your homepage needs to be designed to capture interest and guide visitors to the information they are searching for.

Home page graphic

The portion of your site that is above the fold is the most valuable part of your site. You have 3 seconds to make a good impression, so invite people into your site with your hero image: an image that represents your niche, and a catchy headline that lets them know that they’re in the right place. A sub headline can quickly explain and reinforce your headline. Add a call to action that tells the viewer what they should do next.

Your header is just as important as your hero image. Add your logo, and an easy-to-follow menu. Think of your homepage as a store window. Your logo is like the store brand, and the menu is the top-level signage in your store.

Below the hero image, you should prioritize the following elements in order of importance to your particular niche. Do you have professional credentials that make you an expert in your niche? You may want to put an about me section next. Do you have a lot of subcategories to your niche, such as a recipe blog? You may want to put a row of subcategories with links to the recipes in those categories. Are people coming to your site for tutorials on a certain subject? Maybe you need a start here section to steer them to the basic foundation of your courses. These elements are like store signage: once you get into the store, how do you find the items that you are looking for?

When you think of your homepage as a window display in a store, you can begin to imagine what that should look like. It needs to be attractive and it needs to give your visitors an overall view of what they will find on your site.

This store window doesn't even need a name – you know exactly what they are selling

Essential Homepage Elements

When you visit a blog, the homepage is your guide to the content and value within. It should be well-organized and clear, setting the stage for your entire visit.

screenshot of the unbounce website, which uses homepage elements such as a clear headline, sub headline (landing page builder), and a unique value proposition with a clear call to action.
Here's a site that uses a clear headline, sub headline (landing page builder), and a unique value proposition with a clear call to action. Note that there is no menu! It's a landing page for a landing page builder.

Headline and Sub-Headline

Your headline should capture attention and concisely convey what your blog is about, making a strong first impression. A compelling sub-headline supports the headline by further explaining the content or purpose of the blog. Both need to be placed prominently, ideally above the fold, to ensure immediate visibility.

Unique Value Proposition

Map out your blog's unique value proposition (UVP) clearly. Your UVP should outline the benefits and relevance of your content, informing visitors why your blog stands out and what unique offerings they can gain by exploring further.

Navigation Menu

A well-designed navigation menu is crucial for guiding visitors to important sections of your blog. It should include links to other pages, such as ‘About', ‘Contact', and key categories. Ensure the navigation is intuitive and accessible, allowing for easy exploration of your blog's content.

Featured Images and Visuals

Incorporate high-quality featured images and visuals to make your homepage more engaging. Striking images, when paired with your content, can illustrate points, evoke emotions, and keep visitors interested. Visuals also offer a peek into the style and tone of your blog, adding to the overall design and layout.

Building Credibility and Trust

When trying to establish trust with your website visitors, remember that credibility isn't inherent—it's constructed through deliberate design and content choices. Your homepage serves as a digital handshake, so it should be designed to build a rapport with visitors immediately.

About Section

The About Section is your opportunity to introduce your business and brand identity. It's a snapshot of who you are and what values drive your business. This is where you can tell your readers how you can help them solve the problem that led them to your site.

Testimonials and Social Proof

Testimonials and Social Proof deliver validation and build trust. If possible, incorporate logos of reputable businesses you've worked with or notable mentions in the press to add weight to your claims.

Certifications

Displaying certifications, such as industry awards or membership in professional organizations, reinforces your brand’s authority and trustworthiness.

Content Presentation

When crafting the home page for your blog, be sure that the content is structured in a way that supports a seamless user experience. This means your blog should have easy navigation for visitors to find relevant content.

Recent and Popular Blog Posts

Screenshot of my homepage showing featured posts.
I have 3 of my most recent posts on my homepage so that my readers know that my content is updated and fresh.

You want your readers to immediately see your most recent posts to keep them updated with fresh content. Presenting these posts prominently helps signal that your blog is active. Additionally, highlight your popular content; this draws attention to posts that have resonated with other readers, which can serve as a hook for new visitors to stay and explore.

Categories and Resources

Organizing your posts by category makes your content accessible and navigable. A tidy and intuitive category list encourages readers to browse specific topics of interest. Also, providing a section for resources, such as e-books or tools, adds value for your visitors, making your blog a go-to destination for information in your niche.

Content Discoverability

Enhancing content discoverability through various features like search bars or filters allows your visitors to effortlessly explore your blog based on their interests. Include a smart and relevant search function that is clear and well-placed to ensure users can quickly locate specific topics, posts, or resources.

It's easy to add a search bar when using the Kadence theme customizer.

Screenshot of the Kadence theme customizer, showing the search element that can be added to your header.

Conversion Elements

Conversion elements are strategically designed features that invite action from visitors, whether it's to subscribe, download, or make a purchase. These elements serve specific goals and are optimized to enhance conversion rates, turning your visitors into leads, and, ideally, sales.

Call-to-Action Buttons

Your call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the paths to your blog's conversions. Each button should be prominently displayed with text that encourages visitors to take action. The text within these CTAs needs to be clear and action-oriented, such as “Download Now,” “Get Started,” or “Subscribe Today.” Think of these buttons as signs (remember the store window analogy?) that direct your readers towards valuable interactions with your blog. Don't use “Click Here”!

Email Signup Forms

The email signup form is a tool for building your all-important email list. Positioning an attractive signup form on your homepage can lead to a significant increase in lead capture. It's best to pair these forms with a lead magnet – an exclusive offer such as a free e-book or webinar that provides value in exchange for an email address. Ensure the form is simple, asking for no more than the necessary information, usually just a name and email address, so as not to deter potential subscribers.

Here's my best converting lead magnet:

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Offer and Promotion Displays

Featuring offer and promotion displays on your homepage can spotlight the benefits and features of your products or services. This could include timely promotions, discounts, or access to exclusive content. Clearly presenting your offers can entice visitors to engage with your content, which will boost your conversion rate. Highlight these offers with visually appealing graphics and persuasive copy to draw attention and motivate your audience to act.

Footer Design

The footer on your blog's homepage is just as important as any other element because it rounds off your site with essential information and links. Not only does it improve user experience by offering additional navigation options, but it also provides vital contact and legal information.

Contact Information

Your footer should prominently display contact information to ensure visitors can easily get in touch with you. This often includes:

  • Email address
  • Phone number if necessary
  • Physical address if you run a physical office or store.

Legal Information

Your footer should contain necessary legal information such as:

  • Copyright notice: Confirm your ownership of the content.
  • Privacy policy: Detail how you handle user data.
  • Terms of service: Outline the rules for using your site.

Displaying this legal information clearly is not only a best practice but often a legal requirement, reinforcing trust and credibility.

Technical Aspects and Best Practices

Responsive Layout

Your blog should feature a responsive layout suitable for all devices. This means that whether your visitors are on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, your website automatically adjusts to fit their screen size, ensuring an optimal viewing experience. A responsive design is not optional; it's a necessity since there are more people using mobile vs desktop.

Page Load Speed

Page load speed should be as fast as possible to maintain visitor engagement. A delay of even a few seconds can result in lost traffic, increasing bounce rates and adversely affecting your digital marketing efforts. Utilize tools to compress and lazy load images and keep plugins to the minimum required to run your site. Faster page loads not only enhance user experience but also contribute to how search engines rank your website.

SEO and Discoverability

Invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to boost your blog's visibility and discoverability online. Good homepage practices include optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. You should also create high-quality content with relevant keywords, which will help your blog rank higher in search engine results and attract more organic traffic. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular updates and tweaks for best results.

Customizing and optimizing your home page by using thoughtful design can pay off in the long run by attracting visitors and keeping them on your site.

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