04 Apr How to Master an Effective Home Page Like a Pro
With all the websites out there, and more and more appearing every day, you may ask yourself, “How can I make my business stand out from the rest?” First, you have to think like a pro, a golf Masters championship winner like Tiger Woods for example. The man isn’t called Tiger for nothing! Second, you have to believe you can win the tournament, despite the many good players out there.
Now the first few holes of a round may not matter so much to the players, but they do matter to the audience and particularly the cameras. If you don’t immediately come out playing well, making birdies, creating excitement, and showing you’re the best, you begin to lose TV time and followers. The cameras move on to show someone else, and the crowd moves on to follow someone else– the person who is leading, the best in the field at the time.
The same concept applies to your website’s home page. If a prospect doesn’t get an immediate great first impression from your site, they will move on to the next player in the field; namely, your competitor. Lead the competition by creating excitement with every stroke, and consistently making those game-winning birdies. Stay at the top of the leader board, and always be in the spotlight by creating an award-winning homepage as part of your website.
This begins with creating a site that will draw in the crowd. So, what are the tricks that will not only keep you in the game, but consistently shooting low scores (remember: the lower, the better in golf 😊) with the occasional hole in one? Below are some tips that will keep you thinking like a winner, guaranteeing you will bring home that trophy and put your business in demand.
The Game Plan
Think about when you visit a website’s home page. What is your viewing pattern? Do you get your initial impression from the overall look of the site? The colors, the photos, what jumps out at you? What do you do when you like what you see? Do you then drill down to see if there is more to the site than just the “attractiveness” of it? If you immediately find it too busy or hard to navigate, do you continue to try or do you move on? Does it contain the information that you are specifically seeking? And, most important of all, when you try to find details, can you, and easily? Once you find this useful information, do you then think, “hmm, I think I will contact these people.” Here is where so many sites never even make the cut.
If you don’t have prominent and easy to locate contact details, you might as well pack up your clubs and go home. Include all contact options: phone, fax, a general company email, and particularly a personal email to a staff member or two. A visitor should never have to question how to get in contact with you.
Provide Useful Information
Think deeply about what your visitors might have questions about regarding your business. Include a realistic FAQ section, and don’t forget about reviews or testimonials. Be intentional when choosing which testimonials to put on your site and make sure that they are easy to relate to. People rely on these more than you may think and can seriously be a tipping point for potential customers when making their decision to go for product A or B, from company C or D.
Keep the Design Simple
Don’t go crazy with your design. If you find more than a few great pics, don’t feel obligated to use ALL of them. Remember, one picture can say a thousand words. But feel free to use a relevant image in place of text to keep your design clean and free of information overkill. Keep fonts and colors to a minimum. You want to draw in your visitors, not scare them to the point they feel they are incapable of separating the individual elements of your site and feel overwhelmed by the chaotic design.
Engage your visitors. Give them the option to sign up to receive regular email updates in the form of a newsletter. Make this option easy and clear to see. Along with offering a section on your site for visitors to sign up, include a questionnaire that could give you insight into the demographics of your visitors. And remember, ensure these emails have quality information that readers will be compelled to follow up. New products, services, regular discount events. And any positive company information.
Think about this; how about offering a “Client Focus” section in every email newsletter? Choose one of your current clients and write a small blurb on them and their business. Always sneak in a few notes about your role in their success. They will appreciate the publicity, and you will get a mention also.
Sure, you may have a decent round and make a few birdies, but if people can’t find you, or a link is broken when they do click on the “contact us” button, you become a bogey player and there is no getting back onto the course. So keep in mind design, contact details, and regular monitoring of links to ensure they work.
Art is Imperative
How satisfying is it to listen to a Masters round without watching it? Who would prefer radio to TV? Same with a website. Having attention-grabbing and appropriate graphics to illustrate your company and its products and services will do way more to draw in visitors than a text-heavy site with no interesting images. For example, if you are selling golf clubs, include high-quality, actual images of what you offer, taken from all angles, to accompany the text. Keep descriptions to bullet points, or short paragraphs.
Maintain a Social Presence
More and more sites are creating links to other forms of social media. One of the biggest two are Facebook and Instagram, but others are equally important. It is possible through social media to also have a way for visitors to contact your company via messaging. And although you’re keeping your company website up-to-date, and it will be the first go to place for prospective clients, other social media outlets can bring instant news to people who are constantly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So, these options are a valuable way to get your name out there on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day.
Time to Win
You have your game plan. You’ve had plenty of practice and experience to learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ve bought the best clubs to assist with winning the tournament, and you know how to gain the most recognition and interest from visitors. Now, it’s all about keeping an eye on the other players, and adjusting your strategy from there.