3 Quick Tips to Improve Your Homepage

    February 5, 2004

Everyone who has a website struggles at one time or another with how to improve their home page. Although many visitors enter through pages deeper in your site, your home page is often a visitor’s first introduction to your company or organization. For that reason, it’s important to start off on the right foot.

Here are three easy ways to improve your home page:

1. Focus

If you have a large site with a fair amount of information, there is a strong tendency for the home page to become unfocused and cluttered. The temptation is to try to say everything that needs to be said all at once. This often leads to a smorgasbord of links, announcements, special offers, or ads.

While you may want to present everything up front, that approach will be detrimental to the effectiveness of your home page. Visitors can only evaluate so many options at once, and they’ll do better if you take a more organized, focused approach.

Instead of trying to say everything on the home page, take a critical look at your site and see if there are ways that you could bring more focus to the page. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does your home page have three columns? If so, are three columns really necessary, or are you trying to present too much information all at once?
  • How many distinct items does your home page emphasize? Are there ways to relegate some of that info to pages deeper in the site?
  • Are all of the items on your home page actually related to one another, or are there items that really don’t fit with the overall focus of the site?
  • Will visitors be able to absorb all of the material presented on your home page, or are they likely to get confused?
  • Is your home page clearly organized?
  • Will visitors be able to understand the overall purpose of your site and what you want them to do, or will they get lost or distracted trying to figure out what to do?
  • 2. Empathize

    Your ability to empathize with your visitors will tremendously impact the success of your home page. When visitors come to your site, they should have a sense that you understand their individual needs and can relate to them in a way that is comfortable for them.

    For this reason, much of your time should be spent studying your customers.

  • What are their reasons for coming to your site?
  • What is their level of knowledge about your products or services prior to coming to your site?
  • How do they make decisions about whether or not to buy your product?
  • Make it your goal to empathize with your visitors as much as possible. Then focus on making your site reflect your visitor’s needs as much as possible. The more you concentrate on empathizing, and the better your site reflects your knowledge of your visitors’ needs, feelings, and habits, the easier it will be to win their loyalty as a customer.

    3. Promote action

    If your home page isn’t focused on eliciting an action from your visitors, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity.

    Visitors want you to tell them how to take action. They need to see what they are supposed to do. So tell them!

    The content on your home page should be riveted around getting visitors to pursue some course of action–whether that means buying the product being advertised, signing up for a service, or getting more info.

    Make sure your home page includes a clear button (or multiple buttons) to take the next step. And don’t be too subtle: Give a clear, strong, compelling invitation to act.

    Does your site have the essential ingredients that make customers buy? Jamie Kiley can help you find out exactly how your site needs to be improved. Sign up for a site review today at http://www.kianta.com.

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