Research has shown that the average visitor spends 8 seconds on a site before deciding whether or not to leave. What does this mean for you? This means you only have 8 seconds to impress and inform a potential customer before they ditch your site for good. A good first impression is vital to your business’ site, and you only have one chance, and eight seconds, to make it.

With this being said, you may be wondering what should or should not appear on your website’s homepage. Below we have outlined what to include and how to include it.

Company Description and Featured Products

The key reason a customer is coming to your site is to find out more about your company and the products and/or services it offers. Be sure to include a brief description of what your company actually does, not simply vague fluff. The keyword in the previous sentence, though, is the word “brief.” The home page is not the place to write a long blurb about your company’s history or founders — that information should be left for the “About Us” page.

Also on your homepage you may want to feature a few key services or products that you offer, either your most recent, or your most popular. However, try to limit the number of featured products; you want to get your product out there, not overload visitors with too many items. A short, bullet-point list often works well.

News and Events

Including news and upcoming events on your homepage is a great way to let visitors know that your site is up-to-date. Make sure not to leave items from 2001 under “Recent News.” Also ensure that the news and events section does not take up too much space on your homepage. Simply show teasers of news and events, and link visitors to a page dedicated to news and events. That way, new visitors can click on ones they are interested in and not get overwhelmed by the amount of information presented to them.

Customer Interaction

A great way to lend immediate credibility to your site is to incorporate logos from well-known customers, press, or affiliated companies. You may also want to include “call-to-action” buttons to get immediate responses from your customers. This will direct them to do something on your site (like sign in or sign up), thus ensuring they will stay longer than those 8 seconds.

Homepage Visuals

Your homepage’s overall visual appeal is also key to attracting and retaining customers. To learn more about enhancing your website using graphics, you can read this article. One key thing to take away from the post is making sure your file size is not too large. Simply dragging the image to shrink or stretch it does not change the file size. The file size depends on how large the image is when you initially upload it to your website. Some images may take three or four seconds to load, which means you are throwing away about half of your precious 8 seconds.

Another element relating to the visual appeal of your homepage is making sure that the visitor does not need to scroll left-and-right to access information. This is usually a turn-off to first time visitors since it requires them to exert unnecessary effort. Another thing to keep in mind is “the fold.” The fold is basically the part of the website your visitor can see before having to use the up-and-down scroll bar. This is the most important section of your page, so include the most important info in this portion. At the same time, be sure not to cram too much information here.

Final Tips on Homepages

Having a great homepage is vital to retaining visitors and getting them to explore the rest of the content on your site. Remember that new visitors decide whether or not your site is worthy of their time within 8 seconds. Here are some final tips for optimizing those 8 seconds:

  • A clear navigation bar — Should the visitor decide that your page is worth their time, you want to make it easy for them to visit the rest of your site. The navigation bar also gives a clear preview of the type of information that your site contains.
  • Be clear and concise — Include brief descriptions, not long ramblings on your homepage. Try to make sure there are only 100-350 words total. Remember that if you wish to elaborate on anything, you have other pages on your website on which to do so.
  • Be audience-conscious — Be conscious of your target audience. Remember that you have to attract new customers as well as maintain the loyalty of older ones.
  • Update often — Update your site often so visitors are kept up to date on your products and/or services.
  • Preview and test — Make sure to preview your homepage before publishing to ensure it is the image you want to present to your customers. Also test the page to make sure that all links and images work, and also skim for typos.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Webs’ Social Media Marketing Manager. Get more from Irina on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

76 Responses

  1. Reply
    M. M. B
    Jul 15, 2011 - 04:37 PM

    Excellent information!!!!! I’m using it right now!!!

  2. Reply
    Georges
    Jul 16, 2011 - 06:24 AM

    Thank you for this information. For example, in my site, I had emphasized the main focus, which is Ideology [ subjective/objective] and on views for those that enjoy soccer. If you desire to express your views or comments on these above-mentioned topics, you may visit: http://www.22222.webs.com/. Again, thanks to “webs.com staff” for highlighting this fact.

  3. Reply
    dan
    Jul 16, 2011 - 08:03 AM

    Thanks for the great info !!!!

  4. Reply
    adventuremaine
    Jul 16, 2011 - 08:04 AM

    Keep up the great work

  5. Reply
    Leah Mobius
    Jul 16, 2011 - 09:54 AM

    Great information, I have been trying to redo my home page for a while. This really helped.

  6. Reply
    Animal Pawprint OFFICIAL!
    Jul 16, 2011 - 10:15 AM

    Very good advice for animalpawprint.webs.com.
    I hope to see more like this :-).

  7. Reply
    James (CyberNetTV)
    Jul 16, 2011 - 06:29 PM

    The hardest thing to do with a website, is trying to tell your customer/visitor information about your website that they will understand. Because when you build a site, you know all and everything about it (where to go for what), but you’ll have to visualise what a first time customer will first see from your site, and try to make important information obvious, without typing a large offputting block of text.

  8. Reply
    fernando
    Jul 16, 2011 - 09:46 PM

    I have a hard time applying what you mean, i mean for member interaction, my site all that it has are videos and pics, cant imagine how to promote something like that on the home page.

  9. Reply
    Reuben Olabode
    Jul 16, 2011 - 10:50 PM

    Good day to you sir i have no any comment.But i like your service just continue. May GOD help you Thank you and bye for now

  10. Reply
    arvind
    Jul 16, 2011 - 11:42 PM

    this is a new site,
    so i want to be make a very largest company.

  11. Reply
    Dragonscale0819
    Jul 17, 2011 - 02:07 AM

    i am going to use some of these ideas on my homepage. thanks webs.

  12. Reply
    Myuwant
    Jul 17, 2011 - 07:31 AM

    Nice webs,i have always tried to make my hompage shorter so website can load fast otherwise it’s always annoying.

  13. Reply
    Lillian Viera
    Jul 17, 2011 - 11:54 AM

    I am a volunteer for our school’s Parents Club and need to edit our web page. I cannot get to it via the new Webs page with the login and password. It seems to know who we are but it doesn’t take me to the page to edit.

    It was desgined a while back via Freewebs….maybe that’s making the difference.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      the Webs Team
      Jul 18, 2011 - 01:35 PM

      @Lillian Viera: Feel free to contact our support team if you need assistance. You can contact our support team via http://support.webs.com

  14. Reply
    Annette Manaclay
    Jul 17, 2011 - 04:21 PM

    I am new to having a website and had no idea how to set one up or what to put on it. The article was really helpful. Thanks.
    Annette

  15. Reply
    R.C.M
    Jul 18, 2011 - 12:26 AM

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  16. Reply
    mahfuj alam
    Jul 18, 2011 - 02:04 AM

    I appreciate the way of writing the information. It’s exciting indeed.

  17. Reply
    Harimurti S
    Jul 18, 2011 - 07:09 AM

    Good Afternoon…
    Dear Sir.
    Thank you for yours helpfully and guidance me until now..

    Best Regard
    Harimurti S

  18. Reply
    rehman
    Jul 19, 2011 - 09:01 AM

    i’m gonna do my best in this thank you webs putting this info up i keep reading all the blogs so that i can keep my site living

  19. Reply
    Dada
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:54 PM

    Thank you so much. That was very helpful, think I’ll do that right away.
    Thank you, webs is so much fun :-)

  20. Reply
    Justus K.
    Jul 20, 2011 - 07:34 AM

    What a brilliant idea! I’ll use it.

  21. Reply
    Fabian
    Jul 20, 2011 - 07:51 AM

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  22. Reply
    Maddalena
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:33 AM

    Thanks, the article was really helpful I will use some of these ideas on my site.
    thanks again.

  23. Reply
    Aleksandr
    Jul 22, 2011 - 04:54 PM

    Very interesting and cool!)
    Thanks you very much!

  24. Reply
    Elliot
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:18 AM

    Thank you, updating my website made easy yet again by webs!

  25. Reply
    zahid
    Jul 28, 2011 - 02:36 AM

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    U WANT
    Jul 28, 2011 - 03:12 AM

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  27. Reply
    arjun prasad
    Jul 28, 2011 - 03:55 AM

    best and like it. arjun prasad

  28. Reply
    James
    Jul 28, 2011 - 04:20 AM

    Great – shame there are still issues loading pics on the home page due to browser issues, which make my site much harder to edit.

  29. Reply
    Jean Bosco Nsengimana
    Jul 28, 2011 - 04:46 AM

    Thank you so much

  30. Reply
    karthikeyan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 08:03 AM

    I like this and it is very useful to every one

  31. Reply
    Colette
    Jul 28, 2011 - 08:06 AM

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  32. Reply
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  33. Reply
    uthayakumar
    Jul 28, 2011 - 09:05 AM

    thanks for information

  34. Reply
    Martin
    Jul 28, 2011 - 09:56 AM

    Now that you have given these tips on making the site more appealing, how can I add an interactive prompt like “learn more” on my site?Thank you

  35. Reply
    michael
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:05 AM

    Excellent information in improving our websites… This will surely help me get more visitors and clients… Thank you so much!

  36. Reply
    David
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:28 AM

    Thanks webs for the updates…so far so good

  37. Reply
    Cohart Photography
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:30 AM

    Great tip! I too have found success in traffic to my website being more consistent by adding an ‘About Us’ summary, Blog & Twitter RSS feed. It makes it easier for our customers to interact and feel more connected to us!

  38. Reply
    Elijah
    Jul 28, 2011 - 11:50 AM

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  39. Reply
    korzeti
    Jul 28, 2011 - 03:57 PM

    Well, I don’t understand…I make like button from Fb …but I see that only when I’m login at Fb, just see icon” public content, pls login to see” In your case is visible all the time what can I do ??

  40. Reply
    Robert
    Jul 28, 2011 - 04:58 PM

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  46. Reply
    maya
    Jul 29, 2011 - 06:04 PM

    this information is pretty useful :) good for my site, http://seldun.webs.com/

  47. Reply
    zahiruddin
    Jul 30, 2011 - 01:46 AM

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  50. Reply
    GJ Monfort
    Jul 31, 2011 - 08:33 AM

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    Jul 31, 2011 - 10:35 PM

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    Aug 01, 2011 - 12:27 PM

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    Md.Mamun Hossain
    Aug 02, 2011 - 12:20 AM

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  54. Reply
    Armson Panesa
    Aug 03, 2011 - 09:04 AM

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  55. Reply
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  56. Reply
    rapheal
    Aug 04, 2011 - 01:07 PM

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  57. Reply
    Dr Clandestine
    Aug 06, 2011 - 05:24 AM

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  58. Reply
    fazal
    Aug 06, 2011 - 05:58 AM

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  59. Reply
    Latoya
    Aug 08, 2011 - 08:04 PM

    These tips definately makes sense and ill certainly incorporate them in my website to enhance my viewer ship.

  60. Reply
    Linda
    Aug 09, 2011 - 02:31 PM

    This is wonderful info! I’m contacting my group and fellow website editors right now and seeing how we can improve upon our home page and the rest of our website. Thank you! :)

  61. Reply
    nana kesse
    Aug 14, 2011 - 10:35 PM

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  63. Reply
    Rapeepan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 09:33 PM

    I like picture graphic wording W E B S I T E text 3D with construction equipment very nice idea ;)

  64. Reply
    Luis Gallego
    Aug 05, 2013 - 05:10 AM

    Very good article… I’m trying not to miss any tip while building my website. Thanks a lot!

  65. Reply
    jervice cj
    Mar 14, 2014 - 05:38 AM

    Excellent information!!!!! I’m using it right now!!!
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  66. Reply
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    http://tuning--carss.webs.com/
    Apr 11, 2014 - 04:56 PM

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  68. Reply
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    Apr 25, 2014 - 03:40 AM

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  69. Reply
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  70. Reply
    microsoft
    May 15, 2014 - 07:07 PM

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  71. Reply
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    May 28, 2014 - 05:27 AM

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  72. Reply
    Eric Reyes
    Jun 15, 2014 - 10:26 PM

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    • Reply
      Sarah Matista
      Jun 17, 2014 - 09:43 AM

      De nada! Gracias por su comentario.

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