Imagine walking into a shop to buy some running shoes. As you enter through the door, all you can see is dress shoes. Not a running shoe in sight. In addition to not being able to see what you want, you are faced with a lot of clutter. Boards are bombarding you with information that you don’t need, with complicated descriptions of the products and detailed explanations of how wonderful they are.
Would you stay and shop? Of course you wouldn’t! You only came for some running shoes, but there’s nothing to suggest that you are even in the right place. The store might even have a wonderful selection of running shoes at the back, but are you going to investigate? Probably not.
If you owned a store would you maintain it in a way as described above? That’s unlikely. In the cyber world though, that’s exactly what many, many people do. If you do own a website then your home page is the entrance to your store, and it has to tell your visitors that they are in the right place, and quickly. On average, visitors to your website will make a decision on whether or not to stay in just 10 seconds or so. Your homepage has a very short space of time in which to do its job, which is to let your visitors know that they should stay.
Keep it Relevant
Among the most common mistakes that are made when it comes to the homepage is relevance. If the ad that brought the person was advertising running shoes, then your home page should be about running shoes. If they click on an ad for running shoes only to arrive at a home page that shows dress shows then they’re not going to stay. Why would they? If they wanted dress shoes, they would have searched for dress shoes. It can be so easy for website owners to go off-track and start adding things to their home page that are not in line with the reason their visitors have arrived. If the visitor thinks they have arrived at the wrong place, it will take less than 10 seconds for them to decide to leave.
K.I.S.S., or keep it short and simple, is an almost sacred term among many disciplines in marketing, and for good reason: It works. When people come to your home page, they don’t want to be bombarded with facts and figures. That can come later, if appropriate. Your home page has the simple function of letting people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Don’t forget, that you have just 10 seconds for this information to hit home. It needs to be clear, and it needs to be concise.
Although passion is a good thing when it comes to business, some business owners can get carried away with telling their customers all about what they do in fine detail. While you may love to tell your visitors all about your favorite subject, you need to remember that it’s not about you. It’s about them, and they only came to buy some running shoes.
The vast majority of sales are not made on facts and figures. They are made on emotion. Your home page needs to make your visitors feel as though they are welcome. It needs to make them feel as though they will leave happy to have shopped with you. Your copy needs to pull all of the right heartstrings that help to give a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It needs to make your visitor feel as though they will be missing out if they don’t make a purchase.
Again, this is something that needs to be done in just 10 seconds or so. This means, again, that it needs to be clear and it needs to be concise. Once your visitor has decided that they are in the right place and that they wish to stay, you can move onto the process of selling. Before you can sell them a thing, however, your homepage needs to do the job of keeping them there.
While a web designer may excel at what they are good at, it is often down to a marketer that knows how to craft your home page to encourage your visitors to stay and shop. With expert marketing advice on how your home page should be, you can be confident that your website will be as effective as possible.
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