Monday 25 June 2012

Getting Customers through Your Virtual Front Door

If you purchased a website, congratulations!  You made an excellent investment in your online business.  I am sure you expect to get a return on that investment, but may not know how to accomplish that.  The first step is to establish goals on how you will greet your customers when they land on your home page. And if your business has an existing website, do you have goals established and are they effective?
It’s true what they say about first impressions – you get one chance to make a good one!  Nearly every customer who visits your site lands on your virtual front door. This page should immediately grab their attention and have them take some action. These initial interactions are how you will start earning that return on your investment.
With this information in mind, what do you want customers to know or do when they first arrive on your website?  You should have two to three main goals on this page.  You don’t want overwhelm your visitors. The benefit of setting specific goals for your home page is to make it easier to write accurate content to support your goals. Goals and content go together like peas and carrots.

Your home page should have an overarching purpose:

  1. Informational: To build customer awareness about your brand, product or service.
  2. Revenue Generating: To generate sales, acquire new customers or leads.
  3. Cost-Savings: To provide an alternate way for new and existing customers to find or contact you.

Based on that purpose you can create your home page goals.  

For example:

1. Is your goal to build customer awareness about your brand, product or service (Informational)?
  • If customers are asking for your website and you don’t have one, creating an informational home page is a prudent goal.  Success would be evident in reports from customers that they found your home page helpful. You can even ask them to let you know if they think it was helpful.
  • Let your visitors know what’s new.
  • Provide information about your business and what you do.
  • Showcase some of the work you do — provide examples and images if feasible.
  • Build trust by spotlighting appropriate memberships you belong to, like the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce.

Consider any of these ideas. Then your call to action can bring them to other pages within your website.

2.  Is your goal to generate sales, acquire new customers or leads (Revenue generating)?
If your goal is to have your website function as part of your advertising strategy, then you want to provide information, but also to solicit responses, on your home page.  Success would be seen in the acquisition of new leads or customers acquired through the website.
Consider …
  • Providing an overview of what you have to offer.
  • Giving away something customers consider valuable right on your home page.
Presenting reasons and benefits why they should do business with you.
3. Is you goal to provide an alternate way for new and existing customers to find or contact you (Cost Savings)?
Do you want …
  • …to funnel customers to a specific action to take?   For example, provide a clear call to action so the visitor knows what to do.
  • …to provide contact information (phone or email) directions or hours of operation?
  • …to guide them to other pages (view testimonials or finished products or jobs)?
  • …to request or find additional information instead of calling you?
    Then your home page is a good place to start.
Remember, what is important is supporting your customers and their needs. Your business is to solve your customers’ problems, and your goals should reflect that. Having an effective home page with tangible goals can turn new visitors into repeat customers.
Do you have goals established for your home page? Are there other goals that should be considered especially for a home page?

Article by  networking exchange blog

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