Last week I started a new series of articles designed to explore the different areas of your web site that can have an impact on how well you are able to sell to your visitors. This week, we'll be focusing in on the home page. Home Page Every website has a home page, even if itís just a one-page site. The home page is the single most crucial page of a site because it is the page most likely to be viewed, as well as the page most likely to send people away if they donít like what they see. It doesnít matter what you have beyond the home page if you canít get visitors to click past it and into your products or services. Your home page must accomplish several things: Establish Your Brand Your visitorís need to immediately know where they have landed (who are you), what you do or offer (broad concepts), and you must be able to touch them in such a way that they will be interested enough to click deeper into your site and/or return at a later point. Show What Youíve Got Visitors need to quickly be able to find the specific products or services they came looking for in the first place, with a clearly established path to take them to the relevant pages. If you canít direct them effectively from the home page, you lose them at ďHello.Ē Generate Interest If your site is not compelling, all the information in the world wonít get them to click any further. Your copy and layout must generate enough interest and give them the desire to keep digging. Convey Trust Trust is an important element in the sales process. Your home page is often the first impression your visitors get of you. If your site comes across as a slick salesman selling a used car out of an impound lot, chances are visitors will bolt. Donít Give Information Overload Pace yourself. Donít try and give too much information on your home page. We know that every additional click a user has to perform causes visitor loss, however putting too much information on a single page can also confuse them. Sometimes forcing them to click is the surest way to establish active interest.

Next week, we'll look at internal pages that are essential to getting across vital information about your business. Find out how seemingly simple pages like "contact us" and "about us" content can make a difference in the way you do business online.

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November 2, 2005

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Creating a Marketing Focused Website that Sells - Part 2