Making Your Homepage Effective

Posted 10 September 2007 under Planning A Website

Your Homepage - A Stop Street

Your homepage is like a stop street; different types of visitors will want to go to different parts of your website.

It is important that you identify the types of people visiting your site and think about what they are going to your website to do - are they looking for information on a product? Information on your company? A map to your offices? - Your homepage should give the visitor a clear path to the area of the website they want to go to.

A good rule of thumb is the "3-Click rule" - a visitor should not have to click their mouse more than three times before reaching their destination!

Splash Pages

A splash page is the page viewed at the very root of the website, before viewing the homepage. Often a splash page consists of an animated flash sequence showcasing the brand. A splash page can be very effective in creating a memorable impression, however people who are shopping around on the web don't like to wait - make sure the visitor can get to where they want to be as quickly as possible.

Call To Action

The visitor may not always be certain of what they should do next on the website; tell your visitors what they need to do!

Be Definitive

Often with companies offering services of a complex nature, they simply assume that the visitor knows what the company does and what it offers before viewing the site. Visitors that are shopping around for a solution want to know immediately whether what you are offering is relevant to them - be descriptive, definitive and obvious.

"Click Here To Enter"

Even in this age of the internet, one still comes across websites (even corporate and travel websites), where the homepage prompts the visitor on whether they would like to enter the site - is viewing the site not the point of their visit in the first place? You should not give the visitor the option to enter unless the content is of a sensitive nature such as the sale of alcohol.

Designing For Search Engines

As the most likely page from which search engines will start to crawl your website (the process of indexing your web pages), the homepage should include links to all the major sections of your site. This is another reason you should steer clear of having "click here to enter" on your homepage.

Can your homepage be more effective?

 Contact us to find out how we can make your website more effective and help you turn your visitors into customers.

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