Creating a Compelling Home Page

April 18th 2013       Sally Ormond       elements of a home page, how a home page works, Powerful home page

The home page of your website is also frequently, the page most visitors will first land on, which is why it has to be as powerful as possible.

But having said that, it’s probably not going to be your main sales page.

Look at it this way, when you walk into a department store all the goods are displayed in different departments so its easy for you to find what you want. Your home page is like the store map you see by the escalator, telling you what floor to go to. It must be captivating and show the visitor that they’re definitely in the right place and then lead them to information they need, which will be on one of the internal pages of your website.

But before you launch into writing your copy, you must first decide what you want your visitors to do”

  • Buy something
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Fill out your contact form

Let’s start by looking at the elements that should be on your home page.

1. Content

This should always be written in the second person so it directly addresses your reader.

Start by telling them what you can do for them and what your website is about. That means it must be focused on the benefits your product or service will give NOT on your business.

2. Trust

If you don’t establish trust, you won’t sell anything.

The best way to do this is be completely transparent. Show your full contact details (email, phone and address), show a picture of you so they know who they’re dealing with and show testimonials and past work (either as a portfolio or case studies).

This is an example of the home page for my copywriting business showing these elements:

Powerful home page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Double click to enlarge image)

 

3. Call to action

The call to action (or actions, you can have more than one) tell  your reader what you want them to do next. Don’t leave it to chance thinking they’ll work it out for themselves, if you do they may leave and head off to a competitor.

4. Navigation

The navigation has to be clear as it will encourage your readers to explore your site further. Plus, if it’s at the top of your page it will be visible throughout your site making it easier for your readers to find their way around.

5. Links

The links are important to help your visitors get to the information they need quickly. But too many will overpower them and they won’t know where to go next.

Oh, and make sure they all work, there’s nothing worse than clicking on a link that’s broken.

 

There are a number of other elements you can introduce such as search boxes and video, but the ones you’ve just read about are the bear essentials you need to give a good impression and help your customer find their way around your site.

Tags: elements of a home page, how a home page works, Powerful home page
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