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July 2010
It’s Time for Home (Page) Remodeling
By Kip Cozart

     Just within the past twelve months, customers have started to interact with your Web site in dramatically different ways. Today, visitors are accessing your Web content through a great diversity of devices such as smart phones and iPads, and they are searching for information using a broad range of different online resources including social media sites and multimedia portals.

     If you haven’t retooled your company’s home page recently, you are probably witnessing a decline in your Web site’s critical sales and marketing performance and you are very likely missing important new opportunities that can speed, expand and enhance your overall customer experience. It’s time to spruce up and modernize your home page design. Think “Home Improvement.”

     Multi-platform connection… Today, customers use a growing variety of appliances to access your Web site and each can significantly alter the look and functionality of your Web presence. For instance, iPhone and iPad users cannot view content or navigation that is animated using Adobe Flash programming, and different devices cannot support other common design features.

     Starting with your home page, construct a series of different page presentation views that are created specifically for each leading appliance. Then, embed a device recognition application, such as DeviceAtlas, into your home page that can automatically detect how a visitor is connecting and redirect that customer to the appropriate page version that will best convey your information.

     Social Media Integration… Make sure to cross-promote supplemental content that you post through other online media channels, including social networking portals like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and MerchantCircle, blogs and mini blogs such as WordPress, Blogger or Tweeter, as well as e-commerce and coupon promotion sites like Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Groupon.com and SocialLiving.com.

     Now more than ever, visitors rely on your initial welcome page to serve as their “home base,” leading directly to all available sources of information about your company from a central, organized location.

     Single “Call to Action”… Information overload is an increasing problem for communicating with today’s online audience. In the past, companies tended to offer customers numerous choices for interaction on the home page (submit a form, participate in a survey, chat by text with a salesman, call a phone number, browse a catalog, view a video segment, download a PDF file, register for a contest, subscribe to a mailing list, and so on). Nowadays, too many choices presented all at once too often results with no action taken at all.

     Instead, consider promoting a single “call to action” on your home page. Under this approach, the customer perceives a clear and definite invitation to interact within the very first moments of the Web site visit and makes a conscious decision to carry the conversation further. Then, position additional call to action appeals throughout the rest of the Web site on a page-by-page basis.

     Stay tuned…additional home (page) remodeling tips coming next month!

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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