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You know that I'm always extolling the virtues of an all-round website marketing approach that doesn't just focus on search engines? Well, you'll be suprised to hear there's a big problem with this.
The big problem with this is that it assumes your website is ready to start receiving lots of visitors in the first place! Before you start marketing your site you need to know..
How To Destroy Your Homepage And Turn It Into Dynamite
The sad fact of the matter is that most homepages on the web suck. They're not just "below par" - they are downright embarrassing. Now I'm not saying yours is one of them but I'll stick my neck on the line and say that yours is not 100% perfect.
So what can you do? Well - it's time to get a sledgehammer and destroy your homepage. Don't pussyfoot around - just take a big run up, a huge swing and smash the thing to smithereens. Level it to the floor. It's the only way to get it right.
Why Destroying Your Homepage Is The Right Thing To Do
By destroying your homepage you will then start with a blank page - the only way to truly get inspired and come up with something completely different.
You see the problem here is that your homepage is probably the result of months of tweaking, tidying, cluttering, cleaning, dusting, re-tweaking and re-cluttering. Your homepage usually ends up as a combination of all the things you think are important but as a result can often end up looking more like a messy attic than a welcoming reception into your business.
3 Ingredients You Need To Turn Your Homepage Into Dynamite
Ingredient No. 1 - Headlines
You've read a newspaper right? (Here's hoping..). Imagine trying to digest all that information without headlines to draw your attention, differentiate all the separate paragraphs and give you a clue as to what the detailed description beneath are all about? It would be impossible to read.
If you don't have attention-grabbing headlines on your homepage that's what you're doing - making your page impossible to read. And remember - "Welcome to Widgets Inc." or "Welcome to my homepage" are not headlines! Write something that makes me ask "How do you do that?!"
Ingredient No. 2 - Proof Is In The Pudding
You will never make a single sale in your life unless you can establish confidence in the buyer. One of the easiest ways to establish this confidence is to show them proof. Now the tricky bit here is that you haven't got pages and pages of opportunity to do this - you can't start waxing lyrical on your homepage.
What you need to do is hit people with quick shots of hard, cold and irrefutable proof right away. Proof that what you sell works. Proof that they should listen to you. Proof that if they leave your website right now their life will be worse because of it. But I'm not in a position to tell you exactly what shape this proof should take - hell, it's your business not mine! If you haven't got lots of proof - you're in trouble and possibly in the wrong business.
Ingredient 3 - One Single Individual Sole Lonely Non-plural Stand Alone Call To Action
What is your website for? What are you trying to do with it? Whatever your ultimate desired end goal for each visitor you need to make this clear to them right on the homepage. Don't just leave them floating around looking at information making their own decision about where to go on your site and what to do! Why? Because the chances are that their decision will be to get out of there at the first opportunity because you've not told them what you want them to do.
People like to be led. So lead them!!
"I want to sell you X on this site"
"You need to sign-up now and your life will never be the same again!"
The above are both good examples. Don't be scared and British about it - shout about your motives and desires on your homepage. Otherwise - don't come moaning to me when your visitors aren't doing what you want them to do. They're not psychic you know!
Michael Cheney is Author of The Website Marketing BibleTM. Take the Free 7-Part Course "Internet Marketing Made Easy" and get your free sampler of 'The Bible' here: http://www.websitemarketingbible.com/marketing/
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