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A Checklist

Here's a quick checklist to keep handy when your IT staff sets out to design or redesign your organization's web site. (For a print-ready PDF version, click here.)

Message Element

Description

Message

Even before your IT department takes pen to tablet, sit down with your marketing department and give some real thought to how you want to project the message of your company on your home page. What are the elements of your message, and how will they be displayed?

Here's something to keep in mind. Your home page should probably have a somewhat different design than the internal pages of your site. Think of your home page as the cover of a book (but not the "scandal sheet" covers found at a supermarket checkout stand). Book covers have to project a message of what's inside, without getting wordy or being cluttered with images and information. Your home page should do the same.

Call to action

Describe the important benefits ("What's in it for me?")—not features—of your product, service, or organization. Then include a "call to action" and a way to find further information.

Features

If applicable, try to give a brief example of the features of your product or service, displayed in a quick-and-easy manner on your home page.

Endorsement

If you offer a new or untried product or service, or are promoting a fresh political or social position, an endorsement from credible sources helps to position and sell the offer.

Build your list

The home page is the perfect place to ask for a visitor's email address—find a reason why a visitor should provide it. If you want to get something from a visitor, you should offer something in return. Perhaps a free demo, discount, free information, etc. is offered to the visitor in return for his or her email address.


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