Website Homepage Design Workshop

Let Nancy Horan & the Mequoda Website Scorecard Make Your Home Page Perform Better in less than 90 Minutes…

Dear Publisher,

Unless a visitor comes into your site through a targeted result from a search engine, the first impression you’re likely to make with a new website visitor is on your homepage. This is where you can do one of two things:

  • Confuse the visitor and drive them away or
  • Engage the visitor and keep them on your site

First impressions have never been more important than on the Web. The increase in broadband availability and the increase in user expectation have resulted in a fantastic explosion of technology and complexity.

The age of the Internet has also created many websites that are like older homes that have been remodeled again and again with no master plan for making the rooms work together.

It may give you some relief to know that best practices in website design and execution are often a simple case of common sense. That, and an understanding of your audience’s expectations and perspectives.

For our Website Homepage Design Workshop, we’ve put together a scorecard for you to use on your own homepages. We’re also featuring four website design reviews that we conducted during the live webinar.

With the homepages we review, we’ll run through the scorecard and offer suggestions to better maximize website conversion rates, increase page views and otherwise clean-up your own homepages.


The Website Design Scorecard

To create the 14 Website Design Guidelines, we’ve reviewed hundreds of websites and interviewed dozens of website publishers. We’ve conducted a series of expert usability reviews and actual user tests to determine what we believe to be the top 14 best practices for the running a Mequoda system.

While these 14 guidelines are by no means the complete list of website design practices, they are essential to sound, effective website design. We’re sure that implementation of these practices will result in happier, more satisfied, readers.

In the first half of our Website Homepage Design Workshop, we run through every piece of the scorecard and show you examples of online publishers doing a good job, and ones that aren’t doing so great.

Our scorecard reviews the following 14 guidelines:

  1. Strategic Intent – Is it clear what actions you want your users to complete when they come to your website? Sign up for an email newsletter? Click on a sponsored advertisement? Subscribe to a paid membership website?
  2. Content Webification – The internet is not a book or a magazine. Have you taken the steps to “webify” your content? Are you offering videos, podcasts or other digital platforms for repurposing your content?
  3. Relationship Building – Are you making it easy for a subscriber to get on your email list? What type of language are you using to convert website visitors into subscribers?
  4. Community Building – Do you encourage interaction between editors and users? How about between users?
  5. Persistent Navigation – When a user decides to dig deeper into your site, is your website template consistent? Or does the user think they’re being brought to an entirely different site depending on what they’re exploring?
  6. User Task Depth – There are four main tasks that every user should be able to complete from your homepage. Are you making these tasks easy to complete?
  7. Affordance – Do you make it clear which objects and text on your website are links and are meant to be clicked? Good affordance requires a website publisher to understand how different age groups expect a website to behave.
  8. Labeling and Language – Do you use jargon on your website, or are you labeling your navigation and links so that visitors understand where they’re going when they click a link? The added bonus here is that key phrases and words that your audience understands will also improve your ranking in search engines, as they have been designed to evaluate relevancy as a “human” would.
  9. Readability – Web users tend not to read pages to determine if the content is relevant to their information search. Instead, they scan the page seeking information or clues to where they might find what they are looking for. Are you giving your site enough spacing, along with the right font, for easy scan ability?
  10. Organization – Keeping critical marketing information and contextual navigation “above the fold” is essential. Are you making it easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for at first glance?
  11. Content Freshness – It’s a proven fact that search engines prefer regularly updated and new content. Are you simply dumping your periodical content onto your website, or are you keeping a regularly updated blog?
  12. Load Time – How long are visitors waiting on your site for it to load? How long will users wait to get the information they’re looking for?
  13. Aesthetics – The average user expects professional websites to be clean-looking, information-rich, and intuitive. Is the design appropriate for organization that the website serves? Layout, colors and typefaces determine the site’s personality and image.
  14. Brand Preference – Does your website design support your brand? Are your colors, typeface and URL consistent with the user’s mental-model?

After discussing the scorecard, and reviewing 28 different online publishers that either do, or don’t score well on these best practices, we have a few websites review for publishers like yourself.


About our speaker, Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan serves as Systems Director for Mequoda Daily, Vida Y Salud and Church Volunteer Daily.  She is an expert in website design, usability and online systems integration. She has recently completed website design reviews for Better Homes & Gardens and Computerworld.

She is well versed in the Mequoda best practices, WordPress, and WhatCounts Email management software.

Prior to working for Mequoda, Nancy has held various technical positions. She has over 15 years experience in Engineering Management and Product Management at Brooktrout Software, Sytron Corporation, Banyan Systems and Data General Corp. Her past technology expertise includes telephone systems, backup software, networking systems and business applications.

Nancy holds an MBA from Bentley College and a BA in computer science from Boston College.

Order the Website Homepage Design Workshop

By the end of this 90-minute webinar on CD, you will have a complete 14-step scorecard to work with in order to evaluate your own sites and competitor sites.


Best of luck in your future endeavors,


Kim Mateus

Member Services Director,
Mequoda Group, LLC

Order Now:


Featured Speaker:

Nancy Horan

Picture 20
Systems Director
Mequoda Group


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