Website Homepage Design

4 Tips for Creating an Effective Home Page for your Website

Website Homepage DesignCrafting the perfect home page is both an art and a science; however, there are simple things that business owners can do to ensure their home page quickly engages visitors. After all, the goal of the home page is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website. The home page needs to be appealing enough to get visitors to want to take the time to do that. Here are four strategies that small business owners should utilize when creating the home page of their website.

Include your business name, address, and phone number in the header.

Provide your company’s information right off the bat by putting it in the Header. This establishes trust and is also important for SEO health. Larisa Thomason from NetMechanic wrote: “You’d think this would be automatic, but many sites don’t include this vital information. Many visitors hesitate to do business with a company that won’t provide a phone number. Search directory editors look for contact information too; they may reject your site if you don’t provide it.”

Have a relevant, provoking graphic and call to action.

Every effective home page uses primary and secondary calls to action in order to direct visitors deeper into the site. There are many key phrases that work great as part of a call to action. For example, “Learn More”, “Act Now”, “Special Offer”, or “Don’t Miss Out”. CTAs get visitors to click through to what they need to do next and, more importantly, turn them into sales or leads. A good rule of thumb is to include a CTA early on the home page and an even more aggressive one towards the bottom.

Offer navigation to only key areas.

Listen, your home page is not meant to provide every last detail about your business, products, and/or services. As stated earlier, it should serve to compel visitors deeper into your site. By limiting navigation to key areas it keeps the experience simple, logical, and easy to follow. This makes for a pleasant user experience which is more likely to result in a visitor getting to those areas of your site that turn them into a customer. Key areas differ based on your type of business but can include a Services area, a Locations page, or a Coupons page.

Include a testimonial.

Testimonials work best if they are sprinkled throughout your site. That being said, start that sprinkling right on the home page. It’s a great way to welcome new visitors and qualm any reservations they may have about your products or services. It also adds an immediate human connection in an online environment where, let’s face it, it’s difficult to engage emotionally. By beginning the visitor experience by introducing them to a customer who is one of your company’s biggest fans, you’re sure to put them at ease and make them comfortable digging deeper into your website.


Jim Sampson, Private Party Advertising Manager at PennySaver USAJim Sampson is the Customer Support Manager at PowerSites®, an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success. PowerSites® is a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Local Business Listings.

Marketing vs. Advertising: It’s Important to Know the Difference

In an era when 8 out of 10 small businesses are destined to fail within the first year, it is essential that these business owners understand the difference between marketing and advertising and their unique importance to their overall success. A lot of times you will hear the terms used interchangeably, and this is fundamentally incorrect. If used, and understood, correctly as standalone functions you can quickly see how the two can effectively augment businesses to help drive conversions, create sticky customers who identify with your brand, and act as a catalyst for revenue growth.

Marketing

474373035When a small business looks at what their marketing efforts should be, it is quintessential that they understand marketing is the process of readying their products and services for the marketplace by portraying a brand that speaks to their targeted consumer base. The first step for establishing a marketing strategy for a product or service is to truly examine their target audience by identifying their needs and values. Once the target demographic is determined it is important that the small business uses the influence of those consumers on determining the brand elements (i.e., colors, logos, etc) to push the products or services in alignment with the needs of the consumers.

Marketing Tools

  • Website – In an era where more and more people turn to the internet to digest content and look for products and services, there is little doubt that your website should be considered your cornerstone of your marketing plan.
  • Local Business Listings – Leveraging the power of a Local Business Listing service will help get your business listed within the framework of search engines, mobile, and directory sites that all factor into local SEO for your website. This product will also give you the ability to brand your business across a wider network of web presences.

Advertising

451929683As noted above marketing is the way that you push and convince potential customers in the marketplace that you have the right product or service form them; however, advertising is how you reach and communicate to those potential customers the existence of your products and services. A small business must take their marketing efforts and determine the advertising channels they want to pursue to reach their target demographic. Some of the most popular advertising channels leverage the tools of print, radio, television, and the Internet, which all provide an efficient path to communicate a brand to a potential consumer. Obviously, most advertising channels do not come free, so for a small business with a tight budget, it is important to know which channel is best suited to reach your target audience effectively.

Advertising Channels

  • Social Media – Social media is a highly effective and largely inexpensive tool that should be readily leveraged by a small business to spread the word about what your business has to offer. Local businesses should pay particular attention to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter as these platforms will let you acutely focus your advertising money on trying to reach your target audience.
  • Search Engine Marketing – Leveraging the power of paid advertising across the major search engines (i.e., Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) allows a small business to serve location and keyword based ads to consumers that are readily searching for products and services. These highly customizable and targeted ads will allow your small business to put itself in front of more consumers in an effort to get them to engage and convert with your business.

If you have any questions on how the suite of digital products offered by PowerSites® can help you support all of your marketing and advertising needs don’t hesitate to contact us today, or reach out to your existing Account Executive directly.

 


Lynn Hughes, Product Manager at PowerSites®Lynn Hughes is the Product Manager at PowerSites®, an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success. PowerSites® is a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Local Business Listings.
Single Page Website Design

The Rise of Single Page Web Design for Small Businesses

Single Page Website DesignIn the world of web design there are new trends that develop all the time, with some having staying power and some just being flash-in-the-pan concept designs. The ones that have staying power have the potential to evolve what we consider today to be the best practices for web design. In the realm of looking at a readily growing trend for small businesses it is time to give some real attention to the concept of single page web design. Single page web design is exactly what it sounds like, as it is literally just the creation of a single page website that leverages anchor tags and a longer scroll to navigate through one page of content rather than having individual pages of content created for each aspect of the site or business.

For a small business that is trying to create an online presence for itself there are numerous benefits that can be leveraged from taking a single page website design approach for their site, and we will briefly explore a few of these below.

Content is King

Now more than ever with Google’s Panda 4.0 algorithm update the emphasis is being placed on the QUALITY of content and not QUANTITY of content. If you’re a small business that has a couple of core functionalities you shouldn’t stretch your content out by creating extra pages with limited information on each of them, as the lack of content on each page can be very off-putting to web visitors. Instead of creating a ton of pages with thin content a small business should take a look at clean single page design that can present the core services and products of your business to the online consumer in a very clean and effective manner.

Quick Site Digestion

With the rise of mobile, and the evolvement of the human mentality in general, web users more than ever want to find what they’re looking for and they want to find it now. With a single web page design you give everyone that visits your site all the information they need in a single page without forcing them to jump around and navigate from page to page, and potentially missing what they’re looking for. This leads to a better user experience as they can quickly view the site and it increases the opportunity that that web visitor will positively interact with a business – and in the world of websites and business – user interaction is critical to long term success.

Increased Conversions

The purpose of a website is to inherently brand your business online and to drive the generation of new leads. The definition of leads will vary from business to business, but they can include things like calls tracked through a call tracking number, form fills, coupon prints, map views, etc. Depending on the business, a different emphasis will be placed on each type of lead, but one unquestionable fact is that when a user comes across a site that has quality content, is easy to digest, and is visually stimulating that they are much more likely to engage with the business. Through the use of a Google Analytics tag a business can easily track the increased conversions that they are generating through this style of site design.

A single page design is not an end all be all solution for every small businesses, but this style is readily growing from just being a trend to being lumped into a more selective group of being a viable website design best practice.

 


Lynn Hughes, Product Manager at PowerSites®Lynn Hughes is the Product Manager at PowerSites®, an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success. PowerSites® is a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Business Directory Listings.