First impressions are important in almost any setting – in person, and online. Businesses are well aware that their website’s home page is integral to drawing the interest of potential customers and representing that company to the world of online consumers, but in a relatively young and fast-changing industry, the perceived best approach takes several forms.
Businesses can lose customers by overcrowding the home page, failing to use images and graphics or making important information difficult to find. While there are a lot of moving parts and features on a website, focus your energy on making your marketing message clear and making your website easy for navigate. Read on for some tips on how to ensure those traits are present on your current site.
Customize content to convey and support your marketing message
When visitors come to your website for the first time, it’s likely because they found you through a search engine. And once they’ve found you, you need to hold their attention. Think of everything on your website’s home page as a marketing element. Every image and line of text is communicating something about your business. You can’t have these elements out of sync with one another. The best way to unify these separate features is to make sure they align with your marketing message.
Your marketing message is essentially your statement of purpose, but as it relates to customers. What needs can you satisfy? What is your value to the online consumer? This needs to be made apparent quickly. You need to have a clear understanding of this marketing message to convey it with clarity through your home page. Keep sentences short and sweet, make visuals and text energetic and avoid overcrowding pages, so the simplicity of your message can shine through.
Use mapping and design tools to maximize ease-of-use
Online consumers can be fickle. On the Internet, it takes less than a second to transition from one business website to another. Online consumers prefer the path of least resistance, so make it easy for visitors to find information, or they’ll keep hopping from website to website, until they find one of your competitors with a user-friendly design.
With that in mind, you want your home page to be easy on the eyes, with the design drawing visitors to the main feature on the page. Use visual elements to add eye appeal and restrict the use of text to the most essential aspects. Other pages on your website – whether a catalog of products for sale or various links to information – should be mapped-out to make site navigation as simple as possible. Incorporate strong internal linking to give visitors another way to quickly access information. If you’re trying to push consumers through a conversion process – whether it’s lead generation or completing a purchase – make the starting point to that process obvious and accessible.
Keep the conversion process simple and easy to use. For example, if your goal is to sell products online, your site should allow customers to simply check a box to copy their shipping information into billing information fields.
It’s sometimes tempting to flex your technological prowess on your business website, but developing a Web presence isn’t an arm wrestling competition. With online commerce continually on the rise, a strong website may well become your most valuable marketing tool. Don’t gamble with this asset – use proven marketing methods to create a site that will support and enhance your company’s online efforts.