By Kate Wilson

To keep a website engaging (and effective), it’s important to follow emerging design trends. This is especially essential to the most frequently visited page on your site:  the homepage. Your homepage is the first thing most visitors see and is the primary influence over their initial impression of your website.

With that in mind, consider the top homepage design trends for 2015 and make your homepage as engaging as possible:

Page Lengthening
The term “above the fold” describes the area of a webpage that visitors see without scrolling down. Prior to the emergence of smartphones and tablets, placing the most important content above the fold was widely advised.

With the advent of smartphones, however, scrolling has become increasingly popular. Most users prefer scrolling rather than waiting for new pages to load, so expect homepages to contain more content than ever before. Note how Contentverse provides visitors with all of the most essential information on one page.

Unique Typography
Google Fonts launched in 2011, allowing users to play with various styles. Expect a greater emphasis on interesting typography this year, especially as web browsers continue to expand the typography styles that are readable across devices. For example, see how Benoit Challand showcases unique typography and modern design on their homepage to entice visitors to remain on their page.

Instant Interaction
Instant interaction is already prominent on many business homepages – denoted by a chat box popping up in the bottom right corner featuring a company representative asking if you have any questions. This tends to increase leads, as anyone with curiosity can easily get a question answered and then instantly becomes engaged.

Similarly, it’s likely that more websites will begin to highly value the importance of contact information on a website’s homepage. A good example of this is how Holt AG Solutions has their phone number listed prominently on their homepage. It’s essential to make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact you.

Ghost Buttons
Ghost buttons are a sleek new way to link to another page. These buttons blend into a website’s template and can be a very attractive homepage feature, combining aesthetics with utility. Boyer & Ritter make smart use of ghost buttons by placing them in a sleek row.

Flat Design Templates
Emphasizing simplicity, high-quality photos, sharp colors, concise texts and easy-to-read fonts and icons, flat design templates are an emerging trend for homepages. The flatness resembles a sleek-looking paper, removing any form of intimidation that dull or over-stuffed sites suffer from. See Built by Buffalo for a great example.

Kate Wilson is a marketing writer who loves helping small businesses create compelling content.  For more on writing and small business marketing, follow her on Twitter @kateowilson or check out her blog.