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7 Essential Homepage Tips to Ensure That Your Site Converts Traffic into Sales

by Michael Delpierre

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Summary : Every company today has a website. But is your website compelling? Does it reach out to your potential customer base and convert traffic into sales?

Every company today has a website. But is your website compelling? Does it reach out to your potential customer base and convert traffic into sales?

Well, It Should . . .
On average, you have roughly seven seconds to get your message across before the end user abandons your website for one of your competitors' sites. We have created simple guidelines for what should—and, more important, should not—be featured on your homepage, so that you can convert regular traffic into revenue.

1) Create a Powerful Homepage Message.
Your homepage message should be a targeted, benefit-oriented statement that outlines what you can do for the potential customer. In order to properly draft an intriguing homepage message, you will need to identify the inherent benefit to your potential customer base. No one wants to hear that you are "the best"; customers want to hear why your product/service is different and what it means to them. Put more simply, customers are asking, "What can you do for me?" Answer them.

2) Focus on Clarity.
These days, with so many people searching online for products and services, your homepage should clearly identify who you are, what you offer, your core competitive benefits, and your supporting text—all in a clean and easy-to-navigate user interface. Use graphics and pictures to help illustrate what service or product you provide, and how these benefit the customer. However, the homepage should be a "no-fluff" zone. A good rule of thumb for the homepage is "less is more." Make it easy for the user to understand what you do. Too much verbiage, images, and graphics will only confuse the user. White space, good. Clutter, bad!

3) Make Effective Use of "Secondary Messaging."
After you have presented your homepage message, you will need to incorporate "secondary messaging" on the homepage. This includes any additional messages that will be used to help clarify and drive home the points made in the primary message. Secondary messaging should also incite the user to take certain steps—that is, it should be a call to action. These calls to action could direct the user to e-mail the company for additional information, phone the sales rep, download a white paper, read a recent success story, etc. The secondary message will change from company to company (isn't this stating the obvious?). A good marketer will know how to choose a penetrating secondary message.

4) Integrate Imagery and/or "Flash" to Emphasize Your Core Message.
Imagery and flash animation are important parts of your homepage. To help illustrate your company's core competitive benefits, both strategies help customers visualize how you can meet their needs and requirements. Most people are visually oriented, so your imagery/flash will quickly convey and emphasize your message. Be consistent with what you are telling your potential prospects. Align your messaging with your visual strategies. Images and flash are also great ways to eliminate clutter; by adding a visual component to your website, you are alleviating the need for additional reference text.

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