Thursday 11 September 2014

Effective & brilliant homepage examples - Part 1

The homepage of a website is usually the very first page a visitor will see when they visit your website. It's effectively your shop entrance and visitors will judge it within seconds.

There's many things an effective homepage should do (as detailed here by Hubspot). But one of the main things it should to is encourage your visitors to move further into the funnel. So you need to tell them what you want them to do with clear call-to-actions (CTA's).

Here's some examples of websites (in different markets) that have great homepages.

Example 1:

UK company providing web services such as domain names, web hosting and email accounts.

Click the image above for a full page screenshot

What's good about it?

There are so many things we like about LCN's homepage. And we're not biased just because we're customers!

1 - At the top of the page above the fold (see screenshot above) there's a changeable 'banner' with one slide telling me what they can do for me; 'Everything you need to succeed online'. This message is for me and is something I can relate to.

2 - Further down the page I'm presented with a testimonial from Twitter (above) which tells me a) how good the support was and b) that that customer felt compelled and motivated to share their experience with others.

3 - If I scroll further down the page there's statistics to give me confidence that this company can easily host my website no problem (Gigabytes hosted this year - 6132.68).

4 - And the average support call wait time is less than a minute (which is important to me).

5 - Then there's another review along with a link to 216 other external reviews (which means these reviews can't be faked). Google will like this and it gives me even more confidence.

6 -  Finally 3 links to social networks and what each network will help me with.


Example 2: Monster Pet Supplies

Supplier of pet products (cats, dogs, horses, small pets, birds, reptiles).

What's good about it?

It's aesthetically pleasing to look at. Easy to navigate. And just a pleasant experience.

1 - The phone number is clearly displayed at the top of the page with the message 'Happy To Help'. The shopping basket is also very visible in the top right hand corner of the page.

2 -  There's a lovely clear search bar (essential for ecommerce websites) placed prominently at the top of the page.

3 - The 'Food Finder' navigation is a great idea. It's clear by this (and the left hand menu) that they sell mostly to dog and cat owners.

4 - I know right away that there's Free Delivery if I spend £29 or more.

5 - Just below the fold there's a row of 5 best sellers with the option to buy once or schedule every 1, 2 or 3 months. This is good for me as a customer and good for Monster Pet Supplies repeat orders. (The product pages have this same option).

6 - Towards the bottom of the page there's useful information for me about delivery costs, the 'Monster Promise', newsletter signup and incentivising me to tell a friend about Monster Pet Supplies.

7 - There's also links to recent blog stories and a banner asking whether my pet blog could make the top 100 pet blogs.

8 - Finally there's clear links to their social media channels.


Example 3: Thynk

UK based IT Training Company delivering world-class training.

What's good about it?

The Thynk website balances brand positioning and advertising perfectly. Thynk’s brand promise; their reason-for-being “de-cluttering the world’s best training” is communicated immediately and emotively.

Most businesses rattle on about what they do and I, the reader, have to work out what they actually do for me.

Not with Thynk IT training. As they say – “When all you get is all you need, what you learn today – you can use today”. So they’ve even de-cluttered their messaging. Perfect.


Example 4: Freshbooks

Online accounting, invoicing and billing software for small businesses.

What's good about it?

Very clear and concise. As with the example above, Freshbooks homepage tells me straight away whether this product is for me or not. And the clear green CTA (call-to-action) button tells me I can try before I buy..

If I scroll down the page the website give me a reason to stick around.

1 - Shows me how easy it is to send invoices. And there's that lovely clear CTA button again with the same message.

2 - A little further down there's 4 reasons why I should use Freshbooks and answers some questions I'd have. The user review gives me even more confidence in the product.

3 - After scrolling further through a serious of screens with lovely imagery and more features I get to the following which actually shows me the support team!

4 - Finally if I'm not already convinced I'm told which other products Freshbooks works with. Oh and there's that lovely call-to-action again.


Example 5: JUST EAT

Order takeaway food online from over 20,000 UK food delivery restaurants.

What's good about it?

Dead simple and easy to use. You land on the homepage and know instantly what to do. Nothing more to say other than I love this homepage.


Example 6: Mr & Mrs Smith

Online directory of hand picked luxury boutique hotels.

What's good about it?

For lovers of the finer things in life. This homepage tells me immediately whether I'm in the right place or not.

1 - Beautiful imagery and clear call-to-action (CTA) are the first things I see. I want to explore further.

2 - Regularly updated news on the homepage keeps not only me happy but Google too.

3 - Lovely web copy, well placed social media icons and the use of video gives me plenty to have a nosey at.

4 - Nice use of links in the footer take me directly to an area of the website that interests me.


Example 7: Grants Whisky

Scotland’s oldest family-run blended scotch whisky.

What's good about it?

As with all alcoholic drinks websites I visited the age verification is the first thing I see as the homepage. So this age verification screen needs to be brilliant if any website wants me to take the time to enter my date of birth. (I know it only takes a few seconds but people are impatient and if they don't like what they see they won't stick around).

Grant's Whisky have a beautiful age verification screen. Out of the 30 or so websites from the top 50 drinks brands I checked out it was the best.

1 - Visually it's classy with lovely imagery. The image of the 2 glasses filled with whiskey over ice feed my imagination. I could be anywhere drinking a Grant's and with anyone, this homepage doesn't dictate where I am. (Chivas have a pretty good homepage too).

2 - There's not much copy on the page so it really needs to be crafted... and Grant's page copy is spot on.

3 - The drop down functionality to enter my Country is good too. It lists the most popular countries first so I don't have to scroll all the way down to choose United Kingdom.

4 - And the 'remember me' check-box is pre-ticked which I like.

5 - Finally upon entering the 'real' homepage it doesn't disappoint. And it won't disappoint you either.


To be continued...

Next week we'll create part 2 with examples of brilliant homepages of household brands.

Thank you for reading.

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