On Tuesday we chatted about how every homepage needs one top priority or goal. When it comes to people DIYing their own sites, I'm such a believer in the power of focus, focus focus to create a great homepage.
Now, I'm not saying to build your entire site around one goal (although, it's not a terrible idea), but your homepage really needs to make one monster, smash impact and I think focusing your visual and content-related efforts on one goal is a great place to start.
How do you decide what your top priority should be? Here's a handy list of questions that I've put together to help you out. You may find overlap in your answers to these questions -- that's OK...keep an eye on patterns and words that repeatedly pop up!
Create a Great Homepage
- What's the crux of your business at the moment? Are you trying to provide information, foster a community, build a readership to sell a product in the future. The purpose of your website right now is really important.
- How does your website support your business? If you have an online company, your website may be your business, but it's important to clearly know the role your site plays.
- Are your short- and mid-range plans for your business? How can your current site play into your plans for the future? For example, if your goal is ultimately to sell a lot of stuff online, you're going to need to focus on building a list and/or traffic and your homepage -- even now needs to work toward that goal.
- What's your great technical or design skill at the moment? How can you use your DIY strengths (and downplay your weaknesses) in order to make a big impact? If you don't have the technical skill to program a pretty opt-in form, then collecting emails might be a TOUGH goal for your homepage -- unless, of course, you can outsource it.
- What are some of your secondary and tertiary goals? Make a laundry list of all the goals of your homepage. Sometimes seeing what's important, but definitely not in the top spot, can help you really refine the purpose of your homepage.
Really, you need to be giving your site's goals/priorities a thorough thinking-through just like you would for your general business or a product launch.