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The Perfect Sales Homepage

 

The Perfect Sales Homepage 

 

The public home page of your website exists for one purpose and one purpose only. It is there to persuade visitors to your site to convert into customers or subscribers by making a sale, subscribing, or even just signing up for your free newsletter. It is a call to action, which is the first step in building a relationship with your customers that will lead to a long and fruitful partnership.

As part of our mission to give our visitors and clients as many tools as possible to help them create successful and sustainable online businesses, we have created this simple reference guide for you to use each time you update your homepage for members and non-members alike. It is broken down into four parts and is designed to be an all-purpose tip sheet.

The most important thing you have to realise is that you have only eight seconds or less to convince a visitor to your site to act. The internet has created a very fickle generation who will quickly move on from your site, never to return if you don't make your case quickly and convincingly.

 

1)     Page Layout

  • Your logo belongs in the top left hand corner. People expect conformity and eye tracking research shows that this is the first place visitors to a website look.

  • Place your keywords and search terms at the top of the home page copy. If visitors have come from a search engine or Pay Per Click campaign, then they need to be reassured that they are in the right place

  • Remember the Golden Triangle. It is the most scanned area of the page. It starts in the top left hand corner, moves to the top right sand then down diagonally to the bottom left, just above the fold. The fold means the area of the page visible without scrolling. Never ever force visitors to scroll horizontally on your site. Your home page and in fact all the pages on your site should be viewable completely on an 800 x 600 screen resolution. Place your USP (Unique Selling Point) firmly within the golden triangle.

  • Your call to action (login, buy product, subscribe, newsletter sign up, etc.) must be presented in contrast to the rest of your page. The call to action must stand out from the web page from over six feet away! If the site is in warm colours, make the call in cold colours, for example.

  • Use the far right column for testimonials.

  • Partner's logos and associates should go at the bottom of the page. They give your site credibility and gravitas -- include things like Alexa ranking, Hacker safe, W3.org compliant, etc.

  • Do not present links to external sites on your home page. Don't give your visitors the option to leave your site and go elsewhere. Allow them to explore your site first before sending them on.

  • Make sure your privacy policy is accessible from the home page, this give your clients confidence in you and your site.

 

2)     Writing Style and Content

  • Make sure your Unique Selling Point (USP) is placed in the middle of the Golden Triangle. You USP is what differentiates you from your competitors. A comprehensive USP will describe the market, your competitors and the main differences between the competition and you.

  • People reading on screen have a tendency to scan instead of reading all the text so keep your paragraphs short and use lots of white space.

  • Use lots of headers to guide your readers.

  • Bullets are a great tool and make your copy much easier to read. Also, search engines prefer bullets instead of long paragraph text.

  • If you need to insert an image into your home page copy, make sure that it reinforces the text. It is easy to lose sales by having the wrong image on the page.

 

3)     The Form

  • Keep it simple. Use as few fields as possible to make sure people can complete a form quickly and easily. A newsletter sign-up form for example should just contain Name and Email.

  • List the benefits of completing the form or action. Tell them exactly what they are going to get when they sign up, subscribe or purchase.

  • Ensure you save the form to a database or email marketing service. Make sure you send them an email as soon as possible after the action is taken. A lead's effectiveness drops over time. Ideally, contact them within minutes of them signing up.

 

4)    Landing Page Mistakes to Avoid

  • Random graphics or text not related to the home page; keep it relevant and consistent.

  • Long complicated forms; make it easy for people to act on your message.

  • Fancy, hard to read fonts. Stick to a clean 'San Serif' font such as Arial.

  • Navigation away from the site.

  • Putting important sales messages below the fold.