May 9, 2008

"The top five ways to grab attention and make a good first impression with your homepage."

This is a repost from 7/23/07.

The average online user spends anywhere from five seconds to 15 seconds to get an impression about a homepage that is new to them. Most of the time a user will determine that a website is useless to them by the content on the single page, and leave - never to return.

I don't want that to happen to your website, I want your website to be successful. Besides, losing any visitors is losing something valuable. So here is a quick list of the top five ways to grab attention and make a good first impression with your homepage.

Following these simple guidelines will not only ensure visitors to your homepage stay longer than 15 seconds, these methods will also create a lasting, good impression with your visitors.

Keep the focus on a single goal. Whatever the goal of your website is, that is what the focus of your homepage should be on. No matter what type of content you want on your homepage, if it isn't related - somehow - to your goal, it's pointless. Your viewers are going to be - most likely - skimming through the content of your homepage, having different messages and content can be confusing and easily convince a viewer that the website is "not beneficial" to them.

Don't lie. Don't write what you think people will want to read. Write what you have to say and leave it at that. There are only a few, select readers who will see past the baloney on your hompage - everyone else will click away with a feeling of being scammed, or worse.

Simplify. If you were forced to browse the web in 15 second intervals, you wouldn't want to come across a page that is flooded with images and a lot of text. Stating simple messages with limited images will attract your visitors, and if the small amount of content you have is good, your visitors will be attracted to the page and want to read more.

Make your visitors feel important. The easiest, and most beneficial, way to attract visitors attention is to make them feel important. Let it be known that you want to provide them with something valuable, and how it can benefit them. Be blatant about this, but - as stated previously - don't lie.

Get over yourself. Even if your website offers something completely incredible, new, and exciting, nobody will be interested if you come across as the "jackass" of all website. Your homepage should avoid stating how great you are - unless, of course, that is what the website is all about. Keeping everything about how great your website is on the About page will not deter from the goal of your website, and will help in simplifying your homepage.

You want your homepage to make attract your visitors and make great impression within the first 15 seconds. By focusing on one, single goal, not lying, maintaining a simple presence, making your visitors feel important, and not focusing on how great your website is, you can sleep comfortably, knowing that your visitors will go from your website with a great idea of what you can offer them.