Create the Perfect Home Page
By Amy Africa
If your company is like most, 80 percent to 90 percent of the people who visit its Web site today will not make it past the page they came in on. Usually, this happens because you don't give users what they're looking for the instant they arrive.
Something to Look at
One of the first things customers look for on a home page or entry page is an offer—a reason to stay. In the upper right-hand quad of your site, you need to give the customer something to focus on. Deals, especially limited-time deals, work best, but you also can use this area to promote a special product or service. Use anything with a deal or a deadline to create a sense of urgency and get people to focus.
Customers also look for:
>How to get around.
>A place to contact you and a little bit of intro copy.
>Evidence that someone just like them has already been there. Pictures of people, customer testimonials and reader reviews all make good evidence.
The customer also will look for something to buy. So, 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. This is imperative, even if you have a very complicated product. Your entry page is the window of your store—you've got to show shoppers something they want to touch and feel.
In the right-hand column of your entry page, give your customers many little attention-getting sales pitches: top-sellers lists work well, as do product features, tips and so on.
You also should include self-banners in the middle column of the top and bottom of your site. Self-banners work like regular banners, only instead of promoting other people's products and services, they promote yours.