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10 Valuable Aspects of a Successful Homepage

By Terri Seymour
The homepage of your website is often the landing page and is critical to the success of your online business. When people land on this page, you have just a few seconds to capture their interest. This page will be a giant factor in your conversion rate which is the ratio of visitors that respond to your goal action. This goal action can be subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for your ecourse, ordering your products, etc.

Your homepage needs to contain certain elements to be successful in raising your conversion rate. Read the list carefully and check to see if your homepage meets all of the following criteria.

1. Color – The color you choose for your website can have a big effect on your visitors. The type of site you have should be a factor in the colors you choose. There are essentially two types of colors – cool and warm.

Browns, blues and greens are cool colors and can make you feel relaxed, calm and assured. These colors are good for sites pertaining to medicine, relaxation and other sites that have reassuring answers to your problems.

Yellows, reds and oranges are warm colors that bring out feelings of energy, excitement and happiness. These colors work well for exercise sites, sports sites and other energetic type sites.

Purple is a good color for fashion and jewelry sites. It emulates sophistication, royalty, and luxury, but it is also feminine and romantic.

2. Clutter – How does it make you feel when you walk into a business that is messy and full of clutter. It doesn’t exactly bring out the confidence in said business. Your website is the same way. You don’t want it to look like a junk-filled mess! Keep it simple, clean, consistent and easy to follow. Don’t fill your site with flashing banners, junk ads or fancy hard to read font.

3. Header – The header you use for your homepage is very important. You have just a few seconds to “capture” your visitor and the header can be a vital factor in achieving that goal. Make your header professional, short and to the point. You want the header to get the visitor to want to know more about you and your products/services. The header should outline in a few words what the benefits of your site are in a way that will make the visitor stay longer. Color is also a consideration.

4. Ease of Navigation – Another critical point to consider is how easy it is for people to navigate your site. Does your site feel like a maze with doubts on how to get from here to there? Visit your site as a customer and take note on how easy it is to navigate and how well laid out and simple the page is. Is your menu easy to find and follow? Is the font easy to see and read? Does one part of the page flow into another? Are your links prominent and easy to find? Look over every aspect of navigation with an extremely critical eye because people will not stay on a site that makes them feel lost and confused.

5. Use Testimonials – Testimonials are invaluable to your site because they reassure the visitor by increasing your credibility thus allowing them to trust you and your products more easily. Sprinkle a few short testimonials on your landing page where appropriate and have a section saved just for some of your best testimonials. Use detailed testimonials as opposed to more generic ones. For example: “I love your product and will purchase more” is not as good as “Your product helped me lose 20 lbs in just 6 weeks!”

6. Contact Information – Nothing makes me leave a site faster than when no contact information or email address is found. This, to me, says the person does not want to be bothered with customers, questions or anything else. I wouldn’t ever do business with a website that does not provide complete and accurate contact info. More than likely, not many people would so it is extremely important to have your contact info prominently displayed on your homepage and every other page of your website.

7. Capture Visitors’ Email Addresses – Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “the money is in the list.” In a big way, this is true. Capturing your visitors’ emails allows you to keep in contact with them so you can build that ever important relationship that will turn them into customers. Most people will not purchase anything on a first trip to a website so by capturing their emails you can astronomically boost the chances of converting that person into a customer. You can put a subscription form on every page of your site and be sure to have one on your landing page. Building a mailing list will help you market your sales, specials, etc. and will also help you build a solid customer base.

8. Call to Action – A Call to Action is a specific thing you “order” your visitors to do. This can be done with a text link or graphic. For example: Clíck here for a free marketing ecourse. You are giving the visitor very clear and concise instructions on what to do. Sometimes your visitors need a little push to complete the call to action so you would use something like this:

Provide incentives to help your visitor make the decision to complete your call to action. Have just one clear call to action. Do not give you visitors too many choices because it will just result in confusion and indecisiveness.

9. Always Proofread – Always proofread and proofread again to be sure you catch all typos, grammatical errors and so forth. Make sure all your links work and everything on your landing page is in working order and correctly done.

10. Analytics – Be sure to take advantage of your site stats and analytics. This information can be critical to making your page a success. Google Analytics is free and provides a great service for anyone who has a website. You want to see how many people are going from your landing or homepage to other pages of your site. And if they are not, try to find out why, so you can improve your homepage. Monitor your bounce rate, conversion rate and other valued information.

You just cannot throw up a website and expect to boost your revenue. You have to nurture, maintain and care for your site and always be improving it. Keep abreast of the latest trends, info and data and always be learning how to make it better. Your landing and/or homepage is critical because it often decides the fate of your site so be sure to make it the most efficient and effective webpage possible

SEO Costa Rica

3 Common Search Marketing Mistakes You MUST Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search marketing can be highly effective traffic drivers for your website. They can be a core aspect of your marketing mix. For some companies, Search can even be responsible for driving the vast majority of revenue.

So, how can Search potentially hurt a business, and actually do more harm than good?
If you haven’t built a rock-solid marketing foundation for your business first, Search could be driving prospective customers to a poor experience. In these scenarios, Search would be creating a crowd of people who dislike your brand, meaning you’ve lost them as prospects – both now and in the future.

To fix this and ensure your Search initiatives are teed up for success, avoid the following three common mistakes in launching Search campaigns:

Mistake #1: Launching Search with Weak Branding
What does your brand represent? What differentiates you from the competition? What’s your positioning in the market? Is your brand “likeable” among your target audience?
You think of Apple, and you think it’s a great brand. Now, think of your own brand. Is it a great brand – or just OK? Is it clear who you are and what you stand for? Are you likeable and relevant to your target audiences?

Building a strong brand – one that really sells – is important. With each incremental visitor that you touch with your brand, you must ensure a great experience or you risk losing customers (and possibly even your reputation). With solid branding, the business results from your Search efforts will improve dramatically.

Mistake #2: Launching Search in a Silo
Some companies dive head-first into Search, believing it to be a magic pill. However, Search is a capture mechanism, and typically only serves as one step in the overall marketing funnel. If you ignore the other steps in the funnel, you’re probably going to under-perform, no matter how exceptional you are at Search Marketing execution.

In other words, even if your Search efforts are driving traffic, you still need to be a good marketer, period. Consider:
How are you building awareness?
How are you generating word-of-mouth?
Is your messaging attracting the right audience, at the right time?
Have you explored everywhere you need to be, online and offline?
Have you integrated your marketing across channels, vehicles and customer touchpoints?
Have you nailed the close – have you given potential customers every possible reason to select your company’s products or services?

Are you doing enough cross-selling, upselling and post-sale marketing…

Mistake #3: Launching Search with a Weak Website
Is your website the ugliest thing in the universe? Is it hard to navigate, with a frustrating “maze” of information? Is “inconsistency” the only thing that is consistent about your site? If so, it’s time for a site overhaul.

When assessing your site, look at your website’s conversion rate. If you need a microscope to find that number, you’re not ready for Search. Why invest money in driving traffic to a site that’s underperforming? Instead, first focus on conversion optimization, ensuring that you’re matching your visitors’ needs. Once you know that your design, messaging and calls-to-action will lead to boatloads of conversions, it’s a great opportunity to invest your time, energy and money on Search.

Remember, Search Marketing can drive a great deal of traffic to your site and conversions for your business. However, you need to first build the right platform for your Search initiatives so that campaign results will effectively propel your business forward.

By Tom Shapiro