A homepage can quickly get out of date as your business moves on and you really don’t have much time to grab the attention of a visitor to your site; five seconds, maybe less? So the look of your homepage is crucial to your success.

I often see the need to tweak my homepages here and there (monitoring the effects with those lovely analytics), so before you take fright and click off somewhere else let me reassure you; even if you don’t have the time or money for a re-design here are some ideas that are easy and quick and will help to get you the business you want.

Most of us scan homepages rather than read them, so your uniqueness and your intentions need to be extremely clear. Here are some ideas to get you going.

Space

More space is good! Viewers are NOT going to read in-depth descriptions of your product or service on the home page, they are going to decide if they like and trust you, and that takes just a couple of seconds. So have a look and see what you could edit out.

Statement

Does your site state what you do in one sentence? Would a viewer ‘get’ what you offer at a glance? Try re-working your description so that it is short and conveys your unique service or product without jargon, fluff or platitudes. Write it in the language of your niche market.

Next step

Is it clear at a glance what you want your viewer to do? That might be to sign up to a newsletter, give you a ring or buy a product. A change as simple as using a contrast colour, enlarging the font a little, or leaving more white space around the ‘call to action’ can make all the difference.

Above the fold

Are all the important things visible on your screen without having to scroll? Not all screens are the same size or proportion so it’s worth taking a peek at your site on a friend’s computer to check.

Look Alive

Your website is a great way to showcase your latest activity and show the world what an up-to-date groovy business you are. If you have a page on your site with a blog, the latest research, your CPD, industry news,  you can signal this on your home page. ‘Get the latest news” ‘Try February’s recipes’ and so on. You can also insert your twitter feed, or your favourited tweets which show what you’ve been up to.

Images

OK, I know I said these would be quick and easy but here is the ‘half’ bit because it’s more something to think about. Real images of real people get a far better response than generic images from a photo library. Your images should make your heart sing and resonate similarly with your niche market. Have a think about whether the images on your home page grab your viewers attention, and if they don’t start to think about a creative alternative.

I am assuming that you have a site you can edit yourself fairly easily, so you can make these changes (and if you don’t give me a ring!). If you rely on someone else to keep your website up to date, you can still use these ideas as a way of thinking about your next re-design. Let me know how it goes.

Kate helps small business owners take charge of their websites and social media at fruit nation. You can email her on kate@fruit-nation.co.uk find her on facebook  and twitter  Linkedin andGoogle +

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