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That's why your homepage should include teasers for inside pages of your site. For instance, you could have a tip of week, linked to a web page on your site with an article explaining it. Good navigation (list of links to four to eight most essential web pages on your site) is also a must.
For both new and returning visitors, always give a prominent place to a featured product or service (or two or three) with a picture, one or two-sentence description, and a link to its own web page or its place in your "products and services page," catalog or shopping cart.
You should also always feature a satisfied customer. It's great if satisfied customer can send you a picture of himself or herself. But no matter what, always include a testimonial quotation, and a link to a case study or customer story on its own web page, which you should definitely find time to write or have written for you by a website content provider.
Title Don’t title your homepage “Welcome to [name of your site].” Don’t include that message anywhere on your homepage, in fact. It’s a waste of space. This was normal in 1996 but it’s pretty passé now. Everyone already knows they’re on your site. What you need to tell them is what they can do there. Try something like “Buy, Study, and Discuss Widgets.”
Also make sure your title incorporates any keywords you think people might use to search for your product or service on internet. Search engines decide how to categorize pages largely based on homepage title and first heading text.
Length Ideally, first few paragraphs of homepage (the ones aimed at new visitors) should not be more than 100-350 words total. The teasers for inside pages targeted to returning visitors should not be more than about 100 words each.
Making Sure Your Website Has Best Homepage Possible Before your homepage goes live, test it out on a few people. Don’t just ask your volunteers how they like your homepage. Courtesy may prevent you from getting an honest response. Instead, ask them to find how to buy your latest product or if they understand what’s most important development in your company recently. If they can navigate to correct page within about eight seconds (the average human attention span on web), you’ve done well.
You may just want to hire a website copywriter, online copywriting firm, or website content provider to create your homepage for you. After all, you wouldn’t build your own office building, would you? Of course, that’s not an entirely fair comparison—more people will see your business website homepage than will ever see your office building.
Joel Walsh is the head writer for UpMarket Content (http://upmarketcontent.com), a website content firm serving business sites. You can find more information on writing a homepage, including a template, along with the rest of the seven essential web pages for business websites, such as the "about us" and "product and services" pages, at http://upmarketcontent.com/content-templates.htm