Clicks That Count
The user also will look for good, easy ways to get around, a place to contact you and a little bit of intro copy. Eighty percent of users scan text online as opposed to reading it, so the only place you can get everyone to read is in the intro copy of the entry page.
The customer also will look for something to buy. If you're not selling something on your entry page, fix it fast. You need to showcase three to five featured products with pictures, headlines, a little bit of copy, price and buy now/more information buttons. Your entry page is the window of your store—to get someone to come in and look around, you've got to show them something they want to touch and feel. Otherwise, they'll keep walking.
In the right-hand column of your entry page, you'll want to give your customers lots of little attention-getting sales pitches: "Top 10 Bestseller Lists" work well, as do little product features, tips of the day, and so on.
I also recommend including self-banners at the top and bottom of your site. Self-banners work just like regular banners but instead of promoting other people's products and services, they promote yours. They're meant to look like mini-advertisements, so simple animation and bold colors, such as red, yellow and black, work best. If you need a good example of self-banners check out www.autosportcatalog.com or www.hellodirect.com.
Remember, the No. 1 goal of your entry page is to get the customer to drill. It's your job to get them to pick and click something they want to see as fast as possible. If you don't do that, they're history.
#2. Killer Navigation
Navigation accounts for at least 40 percent of your success online. It's important that you offer your customers several tiers of navigation: top navigation, bottom navigation and left-hand navigation. Contrary to popular belief, there's really no such thing as right-hand navigation.