Do’s and Don’ts of Constructing a Landing (Home) Page

Having reviewed hundreds of web sites (yes I do have a life), I feel compelled to provide a few tips on some do’s and don’ts regarding the design of a web site.

 

Regardless if you are a one person or thousand-person enterprise, your web site represents you and your company.  So be aware that your design and the information that you place on your site will have a major impact on your potential customers.  Or, as the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. 

 

Home Page Design – Key consideration

 

If you remember or do anything, make sure your home page is done correctly.  This is probably the single most important consideration in developing a web site.  Two major reasons are: statistically this page will be the most visited and therefore it is critical to present you and what/who you are.  If you miss this, it is highly probably that you will lose a potential customer.  For those enterprises that have a sales force or resellers, they can explain who you are and what you are selling and most likely hold the potential customer’s attention.  But for those who rely on a web site to promote and/or sell a product or service, if the viewer has to “click” more then twice (getting to be more than once) to understand what your are about, you have just lost a customer.  As I like to say, with a poorly designed web site you are just a few clicks away from sending a potential customer to your competition.

 

So what makes a good home page?  

 

Dos

*Have who you are and your value proposition displayed clearly and structure it so it STANDS OUT.

 

*HAVE               white               space      so    the         viewer           can        read       or                  see        what           you       do

 

*Have well defined taps for navigation.  I would estimate that every fifth site I have reviewed has no navigation scheme at all or it takes hours to page around.

 

*Ideally, have within your URL a noun or verb that describes what you do

 

* Provide an easy way to contact you and NOT just email

 

*Have a call to action on at least one page or you most viewed page

 

*Keep the web site active!  Have updates such as blogs or articles so that viewers will see that you are for real

 

*Have someone you trust review your landing page…someone who will offer constructive criticism.  Don’t be surprised if it takes weeks to develop a good home page, in the end it is worth it.

 

 

 

 

Don’ts

   

*DON’T   load up the home page with everything from the Library of Congress

Again, if a viewer has to look very long they are long gone.

 

*DON”T go online with your web site and have pages under construction.  First of all this sends a message that you don’t know what you are doing, that you have not thought things out and thus why do business with this company.

 

*DON’T have your home page take a long time to be displayed.  Remember not everyone has a high performance computer that can load fancy graphics or graphics and tons of text.  Again, they will definitely be hitting the most used key, the backspace.

Remember you can be one “click” closer to a new customer or two “clicks” from one less customer.

 

DON’T have outdated information or worst, incorrect information on your web site.  Remember, you have the potential for millions to view your organization, and this along with other don’ts, will surely destroy your image.

 

Well, there are many more do’s and don’ts and I have mostly concentrated on the home page, because this is where it starts ….if one does not do this well the rest will be academic. 

 

How does your home page stack up against these do’s and don’ts?

 

Until next time, surf on!

 

 

RHL  6/30/09

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