In the spirit of ending on an up-note, here are 3 “Don’ts” and 3 “Dos” that will immediately improve your homepage ten-fold, making it more effective in selling your services and bringing people back!
- DON’T: Tell me all about your company on your homepage. This is the number 1 mistake I see on small business websites. No offense, but first impressions dictate your product must be showcased above all. Tell me “all about you” on a page called “about” so I can learn about your products and then choose to learn about you or at least move your “about me” paragraph to the very bottom or you homepage after your menu / list of services. (DO: Strategically placed “bits” of information that enhance your homepage but only if they add specific value to your product.)
- DON’T: make visitors search for answers, try to give them what they’re looking for within 1 click. One way to gauge how easy it is to navigate your website is to walk someone who’s never seen it through it. If you have even the slightest bit of trouble taking them through typical scenarios your website may be too complex and you’re probably losing visitor’s interest fast!
- DON’T: make your visitors work or wait! This is especially important when your visitors are on cell phones. Some of my pet peeves are: Long drawn out video introductions, pre-roll on video (please use post roll), large images that must load, clutter.
- DO: Be sure “What you do” is clear and prominent! By simply glancing at your homepage I should know exactly what your business does, what differentiates you from others and how much it’s going to cost. Avoid blanket statements that mean nothing: “The Biggest Selection” …selection of what? If your slogan doesn’t reflect exactly what you do / have / provide / etc., it needs to take a back seat on your homepage to one that does. Play dumb if you have to and make it that obvious!
- DO: Put your menu or list of services on your front page! The word “menu” or equivalent should be above the fold for quick identification and as a courtesy to mobile users who will have to wait even longer if they have to click to get there – key for restaurants, entertainment venues and other services!
- DO: Post something weekly. New information gives a website energy and purpose. It shows you have something going on and you care enough to keep everyone in the loop. If you hit the right information you will start to get customers checking in with your website to see what’s going on. This could be a very good thing for your business! You don’t need to post some huge amount of information or make a novel out of it, it could even be one or two lines if it’s relevant. Consider something useful like specials, events, a new recipe, discounts for the week, shipments you’re expecting, schedule changes, when you won’t be available, when you will be available, etc.
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