Posted Monday, September 27, 2004
From the moment a visitor arrives, your front page conveys a feeling to your visitor. From the look of your site, the wording, and the colors you use, your home page projects a message to your potential customer about who you are. First impressions are lasting. It's very important for your site to project an image of professionalism and invite the visitor to want to know more by gaining the reader's attention, capturing their interest, creating desire, and calling them to action.
Here are the key elements to creating a dynamic front page:
= Professional Graphics
= Company Logo
= Draw them in with leading questions
= Show how your product meets those needs
= Build trust with testimonials
= Tease visitors with goodies
= Follow with your guarantee
= Call them to action
== PROFESSIONAL GRAPHICS ==
When people shop in a store, the music, the décor, and the display create an inviting atmosphere for your business. Recreate this experience on your web site with graphics, pictures and visual imagery in your sales copy.
Web site graphics play a big role in projecting a professional image to your visitor. Not only can graphics visually please a visitor, but they can also provide a sense of security. If your graphics are of shoddy do-it-yourself variety, customers may question your business' integrity, be leery to buy your products, or wonder if your order page is secure.
Perhaps you're ready to take your existing site to the next level with a web site makeover. For minimal cost, professional graphics can literally transform an ordinary site into something truly exciting.
Try to match the color scheme and graphics of your site to your business culture. Are you casual and friendly? Are you high tech? Are you corporate?
Pick a logo and color scheme that reflects this to your customer.
Other Graphic Tips:
QUICK LOADING -As a rule, your home page should be under 80KB in size, and take no longer than 20 seconds to download with a 56k modem.
CROSS BROWSER COMPATIBILITY - Test your site with several different browsers and at various screen resolutions.
COMPLEMENT - DON'T DISTRACT - Your graphics should not distract from the site's content. If you are using a colored or tiled background or excessive animation it can makes it hard for visitors to read your text.
== COMPANY LOGO ==
Your logo is a distinguishing mark for your company. A strong logo will create a lasting image which clearly identifies you, differentiate you from the competition, and conveys a sense of professionalism and reliability. Place your logo predominantly at the top of the home page so visitors can immediately identify that they have arrive at your company web site.
== MOTTO ==
Think of a motto or slogan as a headline for your web site. This tells visitors WHO you are, HOW your product will benefit them, and WHY you are the best.
For example: Providing the highest quality coffees for private label
== DRAW THEM IN WITH LEADING QUESTIONS==
Sales copy needs to GRAB your visitor's attention, create an INTEREST, and call them to ACT.
So how do you grab their attention? Create questions related to benefits your customers might realize from your product. Think about WHY someone would want to buy your product and HOW it helps him or her. This will hook them.
For example here are some leading questions:
-- Would you like to bring your business online?
-- Need to add some pizzazz to your existing web site?
-- Are you looking for reliable web hosting?
-- Want to drive traffic to your web site?
== SHOW HOW YOUR PRODUCT MEETS THOSE NEEDS ==
Follow the leading questions up by telling them how your business will GIVE them those benefits. You've caught their interest; this will reel them in. See example below.
If you answered "YES!" to any of these questions and you're serious about business on the net, call me at (888) 212-3255 to learn how KCD web development, hosting, and promotional consulting services can help you achieve success!
== BUILD TRUST WITH TESTIMONIALS ==
Now tell them WHY they should buy. Sprinkling your sales copy with testimonials will break up your sales copy and add interest. There's nothing more powerful than the words of a satisfied customer to build trust in you and your products.
Here's an example of a small testimonial used as a teaser to the full testimonial page:
My home page says (http://www.kcustom.com)
"#1 Rated Design Firm by Brian Hogan of Adventures in Advertising, Click Here to find out why"
This is linked to my testimonial page.
= TEASE VISITORS WITH GOODIES =
Think of your home page as the cover of a book. You've got to make it exciting enough to make them want to open the book and read. Tell visitors a little about your company, newsletter, and any articles, resources, tips, or free reports your site has to offer. This will draw visitors DEEPER within your site.
== FOLLOW WITH YOUR GUARANTEE ==
Reduce the risk of purchase by offering a product guarantee. This will do two things: it will show the customer that you believe in your product, and it will build trust thus making them more likely to purchase.
Here's an example of a guarantee:
Unconditional No-Questions-Asked Guarantee
You have my personal guarantee, that the Widget will do X, Y, and Z for you, that we back your purchase with a no-hassle, 100% money-back guarantee.
== CALL THEM TO ACTION ==
It's time to close the deal and ASK for the order! What is the next step you want the visitor to take? Should they call for information? Do they click here to order?
Place the link to your secure order page in a VERY VISIBLE place. Remind them that it's a SECURE order page. Time sensitive offers (and if you order by midnight tonight, you'll receive a special bonus) can entice visitors to act now.
Offer visitors your contact information. Include your phone number, fax, address, and spell out your email address (make your email link clickable). It is crucial to put your contact information on the home page so people don't have to hunt for it.
Motivate visitors to take that next step by offering a free consultation, a discount or piling on the bonuses. If you don't have a bonus, create a joint venture! Find a company whose services complement yours and agree to cross promote each other. Then make a bonus swap! Not only will you gain giveaways such as ebooks and free reports, but you'll also get lots of exposure.
== OTHER QUICK TIPS ==
Here's some other web design tips to keep in mind:
=Check your spelling and grammar. Let someone else proof your site too! They'll catch things you've missed.
=Keep navigation simple. In addition to your top or side buttons, add a set of text links to the bottom of the page.
=Frequently test your links. (http://www.netmechanic.com) and (http://websitegarage.netscape.com) offer this service for FREE!
=Make your page easy to scan. Use headers to break up your text into digestible chunks. This way if a visitor scans you page, he can grasp a quick sense of what your site is about. Similarly, using bullet points will lead the visitor's eye down the page.
== SUMMARY ==
Take the time to ensure your web site incorporates quality graphics, good sales copy, and a strong call to action. And remember to periodically reevaluate your front page to see if it still measures up. After all, you've just got one shot to grab your visitors attention or else "CLICK". they're gone.
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