Your home page is not a doormat.
Image by David Wulff via Flickr
There are a lot of web sites out there with a home page like a door mat with a big frilly “Welcome” sign emblazoned into it. We all know how people use door mats, right? They wipe their feet on them and then go inside the building to accomplish their task. A piece of plastic carpet with the word “welcome” printed on it is just an inexpensive way of not meeting someone at the door and welcoming them yourself. Now let’s think about the home page of a web site. Better yet, let’s think about the home page of your web site. If you have a “welcome” message on your home page, when was the last time you changed it? If you answered anything less than one month you can pat yourself on the back, if not, please read on. Keeping in mind how long it’s been since you last made a change to the message you’re publishing on your home page and think about the following:
- Have the needs of your site visitors changed?
- Have the fears or desires of your site visitors changed?
- Has the industry you work in changed?
- Are you doing anything in your business to help address these changes?
- Anything you’re doing to help them accomplish their task, in light of recent changes?
If you’re not sure about any of the above questions, think about phone or in-person conversations you’ve had with potential customers recently. Are your potential customers asking you different questions than they were a month ago? A year ago? Do they express the same needs/desires/fears as last month? Last year? The content on your home page should reflect changes in your customers, your industry and your ability to help. I’m going to step out on a limb and make a broad statement: Pitches that worked last year won’t work so well right now. For your internet marketing, there is little reason to let bristly carpet with a generic phrase be your customers’ first impression. Meet them at the door. Be ready to talk to them about what they need. If you want a great web presence, start with being present.