Lights On: How Compelling Is Your Website's Home Page?
Let's be honest. People go to your website to get a “feel” for who you are. Yes, they want to know what services you provide, but more than that, they want to understand your personality, your brand and what you stand for. A well-branded home page positions you and gives you an edge in increasingly competitive markets. This is done with emotion leaving readers wanting to learn more about your purpose-driven business.
"People want character on the page; it has to have meaning"
- Kelly Cutler, Chief Executive, Marcel Media
Sadly, however, many web pages fail in this respect. Instead they look and read like a brochure or a newsletter. Way too much information, for the short-attention span of most viewers today. They don’t want to read much as they would rather be entertained.
We preach every day that with simplicity comes power. Less is more. But what is ironic is that while most people we talk to agree with this premise, yet when it comes to their website they spent so much time to build, it doesn’t apply. Somehow the old page is sacred.
Is it the money invested, that the business or organization doesn’t want to waste for a front-end refresh to create a more compelling site? Is it the politics of still working with the web designers and developers that created the original “look?”
One way or another, you are doing yourself a disservice by perpetuating a web design that does not differentiate or break through the clutter. A lost opportunity to tell your story with emotion.
Here are some indicators your web front end needs a refresh in today’s over communicated world:
1. Does the home page have multiple blocks of text on it?
2. Does the home page have multiple images, often photos?
3. Does the language or voice on the page reflect a business or academic style of writing?
4. Are you confused with so much information that you don’t understand the singular mission of the organization?
5. Is the font traditional or old-school vs something fresher?
6. Does the page leave you without much feeling?
7. Does the page look like everyone else’s home page in the industry?
8. Is your page missing an opportunity to ask for feedback, join social networks or an email newsletter?
Even if your website works, that doesn’t mean you are not in need of a front end refresh. And the cost of a new, cleaner and more compelling home page may be more affordable than you think, as we aren’t talking about back end development.
So bring some imagination to your website. Use emotion to differentiate your product or service. Chances are good you'll then have a compelling message and value proposition that makes your readers want to learn more.
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