Your home page, also known as a landing page, is where it all begins. It is the first thing readers see when they arrive to your blog.
An effective landing page allows readers to stick around and click through your site, follow you (via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and spread the word to others.
If you are looking to build an effective home page, follow these eight steps:
- Provide a strong headline. Give your readers a reason to stick around
- Have a defined niche. Be specific in what you are offering
- Provide great content. Great content + great site = success
- Place important information above the fold (this is the top portion of your site before scrolling). Studies show that 80% of web users spend their time looking at information above the fold. Keeping your most important information within the viewable area will let readers know what you have to offer
- Keep it clean. Avoid clutter. Clean up those sidebars; make them visually appealing. Avoid dark colors, light text, music and flashing/distracting signs
- Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm readers by offering too many options. Calling for too much action = inaction
- Keep readers on your site. Avoid guiding readers off your site by adding links to other sites. Keep them engaged within your site
- Keep your page short. Most readers often prefer sites that get straight to the point. Too much scrolling down a page can be a turn off
Home pages are an important part of how readers get to know you and your brand. Invest the time to build an effective home page, be specific, experiment, optimize and measure it (via metrics). The numbers will tell you when it is not working.
Home pages are the greatest marketing tool for your brand, and your reader´s first impression, so make the most of yours.