If you set yourself up properly, when users click through an ad for your product or company on another site, they end up on your main page. This is your chance to grab their attention and keep their attention. You’ll find plenty of tips for building, testing, and improving your site, but it all boils down to one word: focus.
Hard selling belongs on your main page, but it’s a special kind of hard sell. You must take your visitors by the hand and guide them to what you want them to do. In the days before the web, consumers simply read and/or watched ads, which marketers could at least imagine led smoothly and directly to a sale. But it’s quite rare for a person to go online, type a URL into a browser, visit that single site, accomplish a task, and leave the web completely.
This is what you’re up against when you create your main page. Your main page needs to grab your visitors’ attention, hold onto that attention while giving them what they want and expect, and persuade them to do what you want them to do: buy the product, sign up for the newsletter, what have you. In marketing, this is sometimes referred to as the three C’s: capture their attention, communicate the value of your offering, and close the deal.
A main page is actually a “second impression.” The first impression is the ad through which the visitor clicked to arrive at the main page. Since they left one page to go to another, it behooves you to make sure they know they arrived at the right place. Tell your visitors that the main page is relevant to what they clicked through. Use the same colors and logos if you can. Use the same title as you used for the original ad. If you made a particular offer in the ad, it should be clearly visible on your page. Some main pages that visitors arrive at through sponsored links on search engines even include search text: “You searched for Gibson guitar,” for example.
Once your visitors know they’re in the right place, it’s your job to keep them focused. Most people have a shorter attention span for online activities than they do for offline things. That’s even true for something as simple as reading. No matter how good your monitor is, it’s still much more enjoyable to read a book or magazine offline than it is to read online. This makes users restless; they’ll fidget, and fidgeting can mean they click away from your site if they’re bored.