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Put Your Homepage To Work!

Your homepage is probably the most ... page of your whole Web site. Yes, even more ... than your order page (or the pages where you pre-sell ... program ... first page most

Your homepage is probably the most important page of your
whole Web site. Yes, even more important than your order
page (or the pages where you pre-sell affiliate program

The first page most of your visitors will land on is your
homepage. If your homepage doesn't grab your visitor's
attention, your order page will be useless. You can have a
super hot design. You can have the fanciest e-commerce
package in the World. You can even have the most desirable
widget for sale.

But if your homepage doesn't pull your visitor's interest
and push your sales offer (without being pushy), you will
lose an enormous amount of sales.

There are two aspects of your homepage that affect its sales

1. Design
2. Copy

As always, the most important thing in this exercise of
Internet marketing is: KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.

Here are a couple of highly effective design and copy
strategies you can use to boost the sales power of your all
important homepage:

1. Keep vital elements above the fold. "Above the fold" is a
term borrowed from newspaper lingo. It means the area that
readers see first (which means the top of your homepage), so
it is the most important area. Basically, this area does the
work of grabbing your visitor's attention while your main
copy is loading. You should place your Unique Selling
Proposition, logo, and an attention grabbing headline above
the fold.

2. Work your headline to perfection. Your headline is the
most important piece of copy on your homepage. Make it
totally irresistible. Here's a "secret" tip for headlines:
don't give the opportunity for the reader to escape your
headline. For example, "Do you want to make money online?"
isn't a good headline, because it gives a way out for the
reader. How about: "Learn all you ever wanted to know about
making a fortune on the Internet". Much more powerful.

3. Offer something for free on your homepage. An ebook,
newsletter subscription, special report, etc. An effective
strategy is to use free books in conjunction with newsletter
subscriptions (i.e. "subscribe and get this free ebook"). At
least if they don't stay at your site this time, they'll be
reminded to re-visit when you send your newsletter.

4. Optimize your homepage for super-fast loading. This is
very important. One of the primary reasons people leave Web
sites is because of slow loading. Keep the total size of
your homepage below 40kB.

5. Reduce animations. In fact, eliminate animations
(especially banners) from your homepage altogether. They
distract from your copy and don't do anything to improve the
sales power of your homepage. So what if they look cool? Are
you in it to look cool or make money?

6. Get rid of outbound links. Why the heck link AWAY from
your Web site on your homepage? If you don't want people
leaving your site, then don't provide them with an
opportunity to do so. As simple as that.

7. Put up testimonials. Find something nice people have said
about your business and put them up as testimonials on your
homepage (ask for permission first of course). Subject to
approval of the person who sent you the testimonial, include
the name and email address of the person at the end (and
their URL if applicable). Testimonials are very important
credibility builders. You MUST use them (if you haven't
received any shining testimonials from your visitors, you're
probably doing something wrong).

8. Keep re-working your copy. Your homepage copy will be a
work in progress. It will take up to several weeks to get it
right. You must constantly read through it and make
adjustments, each time making it tighter and tighter. Do NOT
write about yourself or your company on your homepage. It's
all about your target audience and their needs and wants.
Focus on the BENEFITS that your product has to offer. And
don't try to get your copy perfect in one go: that's
impossible. You need to leave it for a couple of days, then
re-visit with fresh eyes, re-work, leave for a couple of
day, re-visit, re-work and so on and so on. Until your copy
is totally leak proof.

9. Finally: TEST TEST TEST! This is probably the most
important aspect of doing business online. You must test
everything you do, and if it doesn't work, you need to try
something else. If you for example change your headline and
sales suddenly increase significantly (and you haven't
carried out any major marketing campaigns), then your
headline is probably a winner. To be absolutely sure, revert
back to the old headline for a week or so and check if sales
drop. If they do, then you definitely have a winning
headline, so stick with it. Yes, you might lose some money
reverting to the old headline for a weekHealth Fitness Articles, but as a result of
knowing what works you'll be able to apply it and increase
your sales.

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Said Rouhani is the editor of the
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