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Home Page Essentials: Miss These & You're Missing the Mark!

The home page (also known as "index" or ... page) ... the first thing people see upon entering your site.If it doesn't grab them - or contain certain ... -many people won't venture

The home page (also known as "index" or "default" page) is
usually the first thing people see upon entering your site.
If it doesn't grab them - or contain certain information -
many people won't venture past it... and might just leave
your site altogether. As my Mom used to say, "You Never
Get a Second Chance to Make a Good Impression." This rings
even more true when it comes to your website's home page.

So what are the essential components that every home page
really needs to include? And why are they so important?
Keep reading and you'll know in a flash (no pun intended)
whether your site is hitting the mark or missing it altogether.

1) Your First Paragraph: I can't tell you the number of sites
I've been to that don't tell me who they are and what
they do. Remember the "Five W's" when writing about your
company - Who, What, Where, Why and hoW. Tell me up front
who you are and what you offer so I know if I'm in the
right place or need to continue my search.

A good rule of thumb when creating your site content is
to look at your site from a surfer's point of view and
answer this question: "What's in it for me?" Website
visitors tend to be very directed. They land on your site
after searching for something they need and don't care
about anything else. If you want your visitors to stay,
you need to tell them right away that they've come to the
right place.

2) Consistent Navigation: You need to decide on a navigational
system. This is generally at the top or left hand side
of the page with links to every page or section of your
site. Make it clear and simple for me to get where I
need to go and don't confuse me or cause me to think too
hard about it. This can lead to frustration and an early exit.

You'll also want to include text navigation at the bottom
of the page (sometimes called secondary navigation). Another
option would be to include one of those drop down navigation
boxes that allows you to make a selection from a drop down
box and be transported instantly to that page.

3) Recommend to a Friend: You don't want to forget this
viral marketing technique. Add a "click here to recommend
this site to a friend" somewhere on the page. This can be
done easily with a CGI script or there are a number of
free services online like http://www.recomendit.com

4) Subscribe to Our Ezine: You'll also want to include a
chance to subscribe to your ezine on this page. It's very
important to your marketing efforts that you start
collecting a list of opt in subscribers who are giving you
permission to contact them at a future date.

Most people will not buy from your site on the first visit
so you'll want to get those email addresses for the
possibility of a future sale.Mail lists can be maintained
with stand-alone software or your web host may provide
this service for you, you'll need to ask. The easiest
way to implement one is to use one of the free list
services like Yahoo eGroups or Topica -
http://www.yahoogroups.com or http://www.topica.com
Make sure you include an easy sign up form somewhere
on your site - the topright hand corner will get you
the best attention.

5) Search Function: If your site is rather large you
may want to include a search function. This gives people
the opportunity to find just what they're looking for
quickly. Search can be implemented with a CGI script.
You'll also find plenty of free search functions available
online at third party sites like http://www.Atomz.com.

6) What not to Include: Things like long Flash intros,
tons of pop up boxes and music, all which can serve to
annoy your guests - causing them to reach for the exit
button. If you feel the need to use a pop up box (which
have proven to be effective for actions like reminding
visitors to subscribe to a newsletter), use the type
that only pops up upon exit. It's less obtrusive and
doesn't hamper the web surfer when he or she first
enters your site.

So how many of these strategies have you implemented on
your home page? Remember, some people will never make it
past the entrance to your site, but by incorporating the
above essential elements into your page you'll increase
the chances of a happier surfing experience for your
guest and a more effective website for you.

Article Tags: Home Page

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Merle http://www.EzineAdAuction.com
"Where some of the BEST Deals in Ezine Advertising are Made"
Buy & Sell Ezine Ads in a live auction setting!
Publishers sell off your excess inventory and Buyers
pick up some Fantastic bargains. Go now.



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