Live from the B2G Catalog Summit: There’s No Place Like the Home Page

Although it’s called the home page, you don’t want your Website visitors to get too comfortable there. According to Amy Africa, president of Williston, VT-based Web consultancy Creative Results, the home or entry page should simply be a stopover for customers on their way to other parts of your Website. “If the user is on your landing page more than 30 seconds, you’re doing something wrong,” she told attendees at the 2004 B2G Catalog Summit, held Nov. 11 in Chicago.

An effective launch page, Africa said, is one that encourages visitors to quickly and easily find the products and information they’re looking for. So for starters, it needs to download as quickly as possible. If a prospective customer is coming to your sluggish site from a speedier one, he’s going to lose patience before he gets to involved in the shopping process.

To encourage visitors to drill deeper into your site as soon as possible, Africa suggested using banners and boxes on the home page in addition to more-traditional links. The home page should also offer a link and a phone number so that the visitor could contact you via e-mail or telephone immediately if he were so inclined. And ideally, she said, you should change your home page every day, to encourage prospects and customers to visit more frequently.

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