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Anticipate how they will react
Action - reaction. In your website copy and layout, get your audience to react in the way that you want them to. What questions are running through their mind? Will they do this or that?
Just like in real world, face to face selling, the sales person has to be in control of the interaction.
The image on the landing page will surely catch your attention, doesn't it? Other than that, the page doesn't motivate you to stay and look around.
Use captions within or under the image. An image of a beautiful woman who is smiling at you is guaranteed to grab your audience's attention. While you have their attention, talk about what it is they are looking for. Get them to do something.
Everything hinges on the content that you have above the fold*. In the first five seconds, your audience decides whether your site has what they are looking for or not.
* Above the fold - that part of the page that you see first without scrolling down.
Within the first five seconds, tell your reader any of these...
- The benefits that you offer
- How you can help solve their problem
- What others say about your brand
The navigation bar takes up too much space. When you have your reader's attention, they are going to look for navigation anyway. Just give it a line or two, minimize the background.
Search bar - If your site has been around for years and has plenty of content that might interest your audience, a search bar might come in handy. But for an ecommerce site that doesn't offer much content other than what they sell--you don't need a search bar.
Because, data shows that traffic to ecommerce sites almost always comes from a keyword search. A search bar is like giving up control as to how your audience behaves in your site.
They found your site looking for that keyword, if they don't find it, why do you think they'll spend more time searching for it in your website?
Path of least resistance? Hit the back button and continue searching.
Instead of a search bar, tell us about the deals that you offer, promotions... better yet, use that space to highlight a recent client testimonial.