A Scenic Tour of the Online World

How to Build a Great Home Page

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Forgot the fancy Flash animation. What you need is a way to guarantee that the people you’re looking for – and who find you – can find what interests them.

So what should you do to build a great home page?

Dial for Dollars
Start by thinking about it as a cold call – make your point fast or you’re going to hear that “click” sound a lot. (And see a painfully high bounce rate in your analytics results.)

Paint a Target
Know who you’re trying to reach, what motivates them to spend the time to find and look at your site, and what issue you need to address.

Answer Obvious Questions
They need your help, or they wouldn’t be looking. But there are things that will be making them nervous about doing business with you. Address those issues up front.

Understand Your Goal
Is the site going to generate leads, close sales, or simply rack up page views to support advertising metrics? Make sure the home page supports that goal by leading he conversation where you want it to go.

Control The Narrative
It’s a non-linear medium, but you should be thinking one step ahead of where your visitors are likely to want to go. Make those links easy to find, help map out the next steps for them, and walk them through the process to the conclusion they – and you – are after.

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