Never underestimate the power of your Web site’s home page. If it’s attractive, is engaging without talking too much, makes Emily Post proud and takes your number, then your home page is a keeper. Just like a great first date.
How do you design a fetching home page? It must be visually interesting. Prominently feature a picture of your product or the service you provide, whether you design children’s apparel or manage a car and limousine service, breed dogs or lead eco-tours. To communicate a product line or tell your service story, program your site to rotate images. Don’t scrimp. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures that are aspirational. That is, visitors to your site will want to buy and experience what you’re selling.
A captivating first date keeps the chitchat to a minimum. The same is true of a well-designed home page. Too much copy confuses and turns off your Web site’s visitors. Place your company’s mission statement and your bio in an "About" section, save the details for your product pages, and create separate tabs for your shipping options and customer testimonials. Home page copy should be brief and tempting – and link to other pages where visitors can delve deeper.
Nothing spoils a first date – or a home page – like bad manners. First, proofread your home page. Are there spelling mistakes and expired offers? Potential customers may wonder if you’ll make similar lapses when processing credit card transactions or delivering orders in time for the holidays. Second, practice proper home page etiquette. Welcome visitors to your site with a sincere greeting and a thank you for stopping by. Then pull out a chair so they’ll stay awhile, by making your home page easy to navigate.
Don’t leave your Web visitors guessing if they’ll ever hear from you again. Home page essentials include an email capture field and social media icons. Tell visitors that if they enter their email address, they’ll receive company news and special offers. Then email them within 24 hours. If visitors become a fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, thank them via Wall posts or tweets.
Your home page is the first impression that many potential customers have of your business. The design should include an interesting visual and meaningful copy, good manners and a promise to stay in touch. Small business owners can then turn their home page visitors into long-term customers.