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Home Pages Need to be Visitor-Centric!

Are you actively telling people what to do next once they have arrived on your Home Page?

Some Website Home Pages offer a variety of options and links, but few help readers move forward. Visitors are left on their own, to decide which of the various links to follow.

Passive links are sometimes appropriate, usually on sites which are essentially product catalogs. But in most cases this passive approach will reduce your conversion, simply because you are failing to create forward momentum, and this is critical to any conversion expectation.

Identify your key second level pages and then create prominent links on the Home Page horizontal and vertical navigation bars that drive people forward. Give these links high priority, and include an active verb as the first word. Wherever you look on the page, you are being directed to do something, to move forward, and to reach the next step. Telling people what to do is the first step in creating momentum and converting visitors to buyers.

Are you making your first-time visitors’ feel comfortable and confident?

When visitors come to your site for the first time, they will feel unsure about you unless you are a nationally recognized brand. They will need reassurance. They need to know they can trust you. And they want to know that you really can give them what they are searching for.

There are numerous ways to build trust, including the use of third party seals from organizations like the Better Business Bureau Online.

Are you fighting company stakeholders who insist on complicating the page?

This isn’t a problem for small companies. But as soon as a business has more than one department or division, the heads of these departments will start fighting for their own block of “real estate” on the company’s Home Page.

As soon as this is allowed to happen, when you start carving up the Home Page in order to find space for the company’s stakeholders, bad things are sure to come.

First of all, instead of your Home Page being visitor-centric, it becomes company-centric. When this happens, your designers and writers will find themselves forced to create the page in order to please your company, instead of making your visitors happy. And before you know it, you have one of those dead, corporate blah blah Home Pages.

Everything on your Home Page should be visitor-centric. All the words and design should work to attract, engage and hold onto each visitor.

Any other approach will have a disastrous effect on your conversion rates.

Goldilocks has more Home Page elements to share with you and here is the next topic, take a look!

In case you missed the earlier posts in this series, you can visit them now

Previously on the Goldilocks Blog “Did You Know!” she discussed:

Have a great day!

Home Page Navigation: Make Your Links Count!

When people visit your site, you want to help them find what they came for. The main focus of your Home Page navigation is to provide category level links. Follow these guidelines to help your visitors find the stuff that will interest them.

  • Give your visitors a “20,000 foot view” of what your site sells so they can drill down to specific subcategories
  • Add links to your most used tools or buying guides
  • Provide links to return policy, customer service, shipping and privacy pages

Here is some sure fire ways that will make your visitors run away from your site

  • Jam every category and subcategory on your Home Page
  • Push product level promotions. If you only have a few products, you can ignore this.
  • Use overly generic stock photos. This screams unauthentic.

Is it easy for your visitors to find the pages they are searching for?

Unless you have a single product or service, you are going to have to help people find the second-level page that best matches their immediate interest. If 80% of your visitors end up going to just three or four of your second level pages first, make links to these pages easy to find on your Home Page.

This sounds obvious, but Home Pages are often cluttered with too many featured links. Use your navigation bar links and buttons to provide access to all areas of your site. But make a feature of the links that best serve the needs of the majority of your visitors. Other second-level links are listed within similar groups, to make it easier to locate what your visitors are looking for. The top “money” links are given a primary position on the first screen. When you have a site with hundreds or even thousands of products, it’s important to help people find exactly what they are really searching for.

If there are four or five products or categories that a majority of your visitors want, give those links special prominence on the first screen. Then, if you have a large number of categories, group them by product type or theme, so people will be able to scan the list headings and zero in on their area of interest quickly.

Goldilocks continues her discussion on Website Home Page essentials on the next post as follows

In case you missed the earlier posts in this series, you can visit them now

Previously on the Goldilocks Blog “Did You Know!” she discussed:

Have a great day!