Not to be too cliché, but when it comes to website design, especially your home page design, most likely “you’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy”.
Most of us have been conditioned to believe the most important element in the design of a website – including the home page – is its visual appeal… the “sizzle”… the “flash”… the “gloss”.
Now, don’t get me wrong. An aesthetically pleasing homepage is important, but it’s just the “icing on the cake”. As websites, and the use of the web as a marketing tool have evolved, there are other aspects of a good website home page that need to be “aced” before the “cake is iced”.
Three important goals of a good marketing home page are to “Greet, Meet, and Treat”. Let me explain…
- Greet – When someone lands on your home page you want them to feel like they’ve just walked in your door and that you are glad they have arrived. You want to greet them in a way that makes them feel like there is a warm and caring person (or people) behind the site not just a business wanting to sell them something. Too many websites, including their home page, are just on-line brochures, telling the visitor all about themselves (or their company). Imagine walking into someone’s home and all they do is talk about themselves. (Yikes!)
- Meet – Many (if not most) websites are designed so that the home page immediately introduces the company…what they do or what they sell. That’s NOT “meeting” someone. (Surprised?) What “meet” in this case means is “meeting them right where they are”; asking your visitor what they are looking for, why they came, and how you can help them. To do this, design your home page with the visitor in mind. You can do this through questions (that are linked to specific pages with answers) or even by using the layout and design of the page itself.
- Treat – “Greet, Meet, and Free-Give-Away-to-Grow-Your-List” just didn’t have a very good ring to it, so “treat” it is. If you haven’t guessed, in a perfect world you’ll want to get the email of every visitor to your site (and their permission to continue sending them educational emails.) The most effective way to do this is to “treat” them to something of value and get their contact information in return. For example, e-books, special reports, coupons, discount certificates, free products, videos, complimentary consultation… whatever makes the most sense for your business. (And I repeat– PROVIDES REAL VALUE for your prospect!) If you do this well, you’ll get about 10% of your site visitors to provide you with their information… which is considered a great sign-up rate.
These ideas illustrate only a few concepts for creating an effective homepage. Learn more by working with your local Business Advisor!