If you look at enough websites, and this may be the case for yours as well, you’ll find the home page tends to be show pieces given little attention since the original design. Yet, for most websites, the home page is what gets a majority of the site’s traffic.
Arriving at your site either from an organic listing or a pay-per click ad, will prospects immediately recognize your expertise? Will they immediately understand how to engage with the site as well as the call to action (what they should do once they get to the page)?
Assess your site and determine if it makes one of more these five lethal mistakes when it comes to design and content:
- Design and content assume prospects know what your site offers. It’s astounding how many “branded” sites forget to make the selling proposition and call to action clear.
- The site offers no methods for building credibility. Either more assumptions are made about what prospects are supposed to know about the company before they arrive at the site or the marketing folks plain forgot to include valuable information such as customer testimonials on the home page. Often these are relegated to some other page. Why hide them? Let the prospect get a glimpse of what other customers have to say about their experiences.
- The content is stale and has not been changed in months or even years. If you home page doesn’t offer fresh content at least monthly, then think about how to incorporate the latest news about the company, events or other continually changing types of content. Search engines like fresh content.
- Design gets in the way of selling or taking action. The home page may be cluttered, not intuitive or not take advantage of proven design placement. The golden triangle is the most valuable web page real estate encompassing the left upper corner, extending down the left side and up to the right corner, thus making a triangle. Your most important information and call to action (such as a newsletter sign up or free report download) should be located within the triangle.
- Anything clever, funny or cute that misses the mark and makes the selling or navigation harder than it needs to be will dissuade prospects for reading on or clicking deeper into your site
Breathe life into a site suffering from lethal mistakes with these five suggestions:
- If appropriate for your site, include a photo and short bio in the top left corner.
- Include some vehicle for capturing emails in the top right hand corner. This can be for a monthly e-newsletter, free report, or other incentive to help build an email list.
- All home pages should have a headline. It should make your selling proposition clear and be informative.
- Content should articulate one or two main points and benefits you want a prospect to know right away.
- It is essential to bring fresh content to the home page as frequently as possible. There is simply too much technology available to help you accomplish this goal.
- Include testimonials along the left (preferable) or right hand column to help build credibility.
The take-away from this article: design important elements into the golden triangle and change your home page as frequently as possible.