Customers encounter your website from different sources. Sometimes it is best to give them a place to start.
So often, we design our marketing to lead prospects or visitors on the journey we want them to take. We create our websites with home pages to tell our stories. And, in the end, we hope they achieve one or more of the conversion goals we’ve set for our businesses.
The problem is that we aren’t completely in charge of how a prospect navigates our page or consumes information once they find our online presence. They may be searching for answers they don’t fully understand yet. It’s our job to help them find what they’re seeking as easily as possible.
Let’s say a friend shares your blog post on Twitter, and one of her connections--who happens to be a great prospect that doesn’t yet know about you--decides to click on that post. The blog post might cover one small aspect of what you do, but that’s not exactly the linear route you designed in your sales and marketing strategy sessions, is it? You hoped everyone would begin at your comprehensive homepage and move on from there.
That’s why business owners have begun adding a very powerful way to help orient and then guide visitors that happen to stumble on their site: the “Start Here” page. A Start Here page, especially one that is easily accessible on your menu or sidebar, gives your visitors direction on where to go next, then gives them all of the information to start their customer journey.
A useful Start Here page allows your new visitors to understand better what to do to get what they want, which is how you get what you want. You can even design your page to split your audience to give you more customization options. The more you can collect about what they may want, the better equipped you are to give it to them.
For example, if you serve several distinct markets, you could show them the various ways they could interact with your business based on their interests. At Duct Tape Marketing, we serve small business owners and marketing consultants, so a Start Here page for us might ask our visitors to identify which camp they fall into, so we can personalize the journey for them. We can then use our CRM to track clicks on each link, giving us the opportunity to give them specific content and automated follow ups that are customized to their section of our audience.
A Start Here page can help your business orient your customers in a really powerful way and even allow you to gather more information before they even begin their journey with you. A clear direction to a place to start will even boost your website’s bounce rate, as new visitors will know where to click next rather than navigating away from your page.
Think about adding a Start Here page to your website today. Tell your customers how to get what they want, and you’ll begin to see dividends.
This article was originally published on Inc.com.