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5 steps to a Great Home Page

The first thing a visitor sees of your organization is often your Business Website.
The first thing a visitor sees of your Internet Website is often the home page.
A good homepage will help turn the casual visitor into a repeat visitor.
A great homepage will help turn them into customers.

1) Keep it Short and Simple

The KISS principle states that simplicity should be on one of the main design goals and anything that is unnecessarily complex should be avoided.
Visitors to your Business Internet site want information served up to them in usable chunks.
Often they do not know what they are looking for, so offering small items with a link to learning more is an excellent way to avoid overcrowding or cluttering your home page.

2) Tell them what to do in clear and dazzling terms

Attention spans are shortening.
Expectations are increasing.
As a result your home page must provide all relevant facts and presented in an enticing manner.

Make your title dazzling
There is a world of difference between “some good practices for the home page of your website” and “5 steps to a Great Home Page”

Be clear
Your visitors will come from a widely varying background.
Your content, your images, the look and feel of your site must appeal to as wide a range of audience as possible.
Even seasoned Internet surfers expect clear, accurate directions from your home page to whichever page contains the information they are seeking.

The navigation choice is key to a fantastic business website
This is essential for a great home page.
If you want to keep people on your website they must see immediately how to find their way through your pages to the contents they want.
An important rule is to ensure every page within your Internet Website links back to the home page.
Visitors will always be able to find their way back to your great homepage and so will not get lost and leave your Business Internet Site to a competing one.

3) Tell them where to go in a simple, intuitive manner

A Great Home Page makes everything simple.
Following the KISS principal, move information to other pages (for example: About Us, Our Products, Contact…)
This will ensure a great looking home page which is short and simple. It also allows you to focus on details for each individual page, and not mix content.

The way to access these pages must be displayed clearly and intuitively for the largest number of visitors possible.
Any visitor who has to look or click more than 3 times to find the information he requires is a lost visitor.

A tip is to ask around your friends, colleagues, peer and family.
Watch them see and use your front page for the first time.
Ask them if they consider it a Great Home Page.

If not, why not?
If not, how can you make it great?

4) Earn their trust

The beauty of the Internet is that everyone competes on the same playing field.
Smaller businesses are now able to operate in the same marketplace as larger organizations where before the advertising or rental costs would never have allowed this.
It is therefore vital to present your best side.

First-time visitors do not know you or your organization or what you do.
They have the choice between many competitors and so in order to keep them interested on your website and in your organization, you must follow some basic rules:

Reveal yourself
In order to stand apart from your competition you must reveal why the visitor should choose you.
What makes you special? What business advantage can you offer?

Although you should not go into too much detail on your home page, a Great Home page will reveal enough information to reassure the visitor.
It must also show clearly how to reveal more if the visitor wants to find out further information.

Be contactable
An Internet site is a fantastic way to present yourself and your organization.
It offers details of your products and services and can be a mine of information for visitors wishing to learn more.
However nothing will replace the human touch.

Ensure your contact details are clearly visible on every page, including telephone, postal address, and any other ways of contacting you (Skype, FaceBook, Twitter…)
This demonstrates you are not a faceless organization, but that you have a human side as well.

One important tip is to include the hours of when these ways of contacting your business are available.
It is very frustrating to repeatedly ring a telephone number and get no reply, because Wednesday is half-day closing.

Colour choice
If you chose boring colours, visitors will think your home page is boring.
Always chose minimal and complementary colours for your home page (pairs of colours that are of “opposite” hue in an officially recognized colour model).

A Great Home Page will instantly make the visitor feel at home and so will encourage him to explore more of your Internet Website and organization.

5) Make sure it works

It is astounding how many websites do not work properly.
It is amazing how that first negative impression will stick.
In hugely competitive markets, that first impression is vital.

All links to all pages must work
If a visitor clicks on a link, it is because he actively wants to go to that page.
The deception of seeing a “Page not Found” error is usually enough for him to leave your Internet site.

Check your grammar and spelling
There is no excuse with today’s tools and technologies to present anything which contains poorly constructed content.
A shoddy Internet Site will convey the impression of a shoddy organization.
The result is that the visitor will be uninterested in your business and will go to one of your competitors.

‘A picture speaks a thousand words’
We have all heard this adage many times, but consider how really true this phrase really is.
A picture tells so many things. This may be more so in business. Your choice of all images must work within the framework of your website.
Your choice of images on the first page of your Internet site is even more important to ensuring you have a Great Home Page.

Concluding thoughts on Great Home Pages

Each Home Page is different.
Each Internet Website is different.
However there are rules all Great Home Pages follow.

By following the steps above you will ensure your Home Page is seen as a Great Home Page by the maximum number of visitors.

There is one last thing to add though.
Keep writing!

Constantly write new content. Do this on a regular basis.
People come back to websites that change.

Never give up and keep improving your Business Internet site home page little by little.

AB Publish can help you Create you own Great Home Page by offering an intuitive interface that allows constant enhancements and developments to your Business Internet Website.

Mon 14 March 2011 10:03:20

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