Your ‘Start Here’ page is very important and has to be designed perfectly

Everyone who lands on your blog is going to be confused. Think about how you felt when you first landed on a new site. You probably had no clue what was going on and it took you a while you catch up. Once you’ve been reading a site for a few weeks you feel like it’s a part of you, but that’s definitely not the case in the beginning. Especially for someone who isn’t as Internet savvy as you are. They will be like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
If you don’t do anything they could turn around and walk away. Who knows if they’ll ever come back? What can you do to solve this problem and bring them up to speed much faster? If you have a look around a few popular blogs you’ll see that they offer a ‘start here’ page in their main navigation bar. It means anyone who comes to the site will instantly know where to go. It’s on this page that you give them a crash course and provide everything they could possibly want.

A gateway to a successful blog

That’s how you turn someone into a devoted follower of your blog. It’s definitely not easy and not everyone will want to stick around, but there’s things you can do to increase the likelihood of them following you. Lots of people get it wrong and wonder why they don’t have much readers. You don’t want that happening to you, so let’s see how you should design the perfect ‘start here’ page.

Tell them what’s happening

When someone lands on the page you should welcome them. They need to know exactly what’s happening. You need to think about it from their point of view. They have no idea what your site is or how it can help them. This is your chance to put their mind at ease. You’re about to give them some great information, so tell them what they should do and what they need to do. Don’t forget to thank them for choosing your site. I bet there’s a lot of other ones out there that speak about the same thing, but it’s you who has their attention.

Break it down into sections

Your website will be packed full of articles. You can’t just give someone twenty links and expect them to look through everything. At least not right away. Think about some important sub-topics you speak about and you can have around 5 links for each one. This is going to make it much easier on them, because they’re going to feel a little uneasy when they see a block of links. They can do their best to digest each one at a time and move onto the next one when they’re finished.

Give an explanation of each one of your links

Don’t just give them random links. How do you feel when someone gives you a load of random links? You might go down them choosing the ones that sound more appealing and forget about the rest of them. If you write a few sentences under each one explaining what it’s about it means you have more words to try and tempt them into reading. Think of these sentences like a miniature sales page. Don’t just write anything, the words need to be carefully crafted.

Include an opt-in form

You definitely need an opt-in form on the page. It’s going to be one of the most popular pages on your site and something the majority of new visitors will read. You need to capture their email address while they are still intrigued. Just add it somewhere in between all the other information. It would probably be a good idea to include more than one. You definitely need one at the end, but maybe one somewhere in the middle would work too.

Jacob Shelby is the author of the interesting article. He works with PenTech Consulting. It is an SEO company in CT which helps to develop its clients website.