Content provided by a guest contributor.
The old saying “First impressions last” may be a cliché, but as with most clichés it really does ring true. In the digital age, first impressions are more important than ever as you literally have one chance - a few seconds - to impress and garner interest from whoever has just clicked on your homepage.
“Your homepage is like your shop window – the face of your business,” says Jeremy Wilkinson, Marketing Manager at Webafrica. “When someone visits your homepage they are probably there because they need an answer to a question, a solution to a problem or reasons to choose you over your competitor – or all three! The question is: ‘Will they stay or will they go elsewhere?’”
Wilkinson highlights 10 elements on your homepage that collectively can make a positive first impression and encourage someone to stay on your website – with a view to converting a visitor into a customer.
The keywords here are: easily visible, clear and precise! By all means be creative with your headlines and subheading as long as your visitor is not confused - they should immediately be aware of what your business is about.
The primary objective of a “Call-to-action” is to encourage visitors to your site to be pro-active – whether it’s to read more about your products, order a service, speak to an agent, or simply view your product gallery. Taking action means that a visitor is one step closer to becoming a customer.
Good quality, high-res images will capture the attention of your visitors. The higher the quality, the higher the impact. Tip: try to refrain from using stock images that are not specific to your business.
Any content marketer will tell you that benefits sell better than features when marketing your products and services online. People want to know what they’re going to gain from doing business with you – so let them know right from the get-go, on your homepage.
Everything online is about being social and sharing. Make sure your company’s social media links are clearly visible on your homepage and, if possible, have a live feed display so everyone who visits your site can see what you’ve been getting up to, as it unfolds.
Word of mouth is one of the earliest yet most successful ways in history to market your business. Potential customers want to see what others think of you, your products and your customer service – let them.
Your pages on your website should be clearly visible and easily accessible. Your Home, About, Services/Products and Contact pages should always be visible to visitors, especially on your homepage.
Just because the benefits sell better than the features doesn’t mean the features don’t have much value. Features are still an important factor to add to your homepage – potential customers want to see what exactly they’ll be paying for.
The reality is that not every visitor will purchase from you after viewing your homepage. And that’s okay. But you can help them to make that decision in the near future by offering help: make additional information available that will assist them in solidifying their decision to do business with you.
Have you won an award, been nominated or voted as a favourite? Your visitors deserve to know! This creates a level of credibility that can only ever work in your favour in making an excellent first impression online.
If you are unsure about how best to implement these elements into your homepage, speak to your web designer about incorporating them all on your homepage seamlessly, without making it look too cluttered.
The content in this article has been provided by Jeremy Wilkinson, Marketing Manager at Webafrica.
Webafrica is your one-stop web shop: we bring you to the web and the web to you, from web design to world-class internet (ADSL and Fibre, business and home, prepaid and post), to easy hosting and water-tight security. Everything we do is characterised by excellent service and Mzansi-friendly prices.
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Tel: 086 000 9500