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What is the most important element of a website?

1 Comment · elements of a website

The first screen (or the first eyeful) is the prime selling space of your website, and what you put in it makes or breaks its success.

Do not confuse the first screen with the first page, which is often referred to as the home page or the landing page of a website.

The first screen is only the part of the page that appears on the screen when you land on a website; it’s the screen you see before you scroll down or sideways.

In a print newspaper, its counterpart is the information above the fold, which draws maximum readership.

Often, the first screen is the first, last, and only thing people see on a website before they click away.

For this reason, don’t make the mistake many companies do of putting, a large logo or your company name in gigantic letters on that screen

Some companies do this for branding purposes, but in most cases the company name and logo don’t have to take up hall of the first screen.

Your logo doesn’t need to be large–it’s not a selling feature. While it may stroke your ego, it won’t increase your sales. An oversized logo wastes valuable selling space.

In my years of surfing the web, I’ve observed that the majority of commercial websites that do have headlines have weak, uninteresting headlines, and, as a result, they are missing a critical opportunity to draw and keep website visitors.

I started tile body copy with tile following question: “Why do some online businesses make money so easily on tile web–while you try everything possible and get barely enough customers, sales and profits?” I do this because when you ask a question, the brain is compelled to answer it.

Readers are more likely to believe an idea that their brain seems to have come up with on its own than an idea that is presented from outside.

Never underestimate the power of your reader’s imagination. Compare the impact of the following two examples (one a question and one a statement):

1. What if there were a way you could convert 15 percent, 25 percent–even 50 percent or more–of your website visitors into customers, how much more money would you earn as a result?

2. Your business can convert 15 percent, 25 percent even 50 percent or more–of your website visitors into customers and earn a lot of money.

Notice that the statement makes a claim that a reader may or may not believe. Contrast that with the question, which introduces the possibiliy of an ideal scenario and allows the brain to draw it’s own conclusions and paint its own pictures.

I like to use “What if . . .” questions or “Imagine what would happen if . . .” or “Think hack . . .” that way, you let your readers envision the scene for themselves.

Robert Collier, publisher and author of several books, most notable of which is the Robert Collier letter Books, which many cosider the bible for writing sales letters, said, “The reader colors that mental picture with his own imagination, which is more potent than all the brushes of all the world’s artists.”

The things that people imagine about your product or service often exceed reality.
Notice that I featured a powerful testimonial very early on the web copy. Why?

This puts a blanket of credibility on the rest of the copy. Therefore, everything the visitor reads from that point on is influenced by that glowing testimonial, which makes it more believable.

Keywords: selling space, first screen, first page, home page, landing page, logo, branding, commercial websites, headlines.


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