From The Score Blog:
Your company’s website is the perfect place to introduce the world to your organization.  But you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention once they get to your site, so make the most of that time by making sure that your homepage includes the following five things:

A recognizable look

Your website should embody your business look and feel – the logos, colors, and layout should be consistent with your business cards, letterhead, and all of your other marketing and sales materials.

A description of what you do.  

Tell visitors to the homepage about your company in one or two brief sentences, including what kind of business you’re in and the features/benefits your company offers.

Obvious navigation elements

There are some bits of information that internet users are used to finding on most websites.  These are often part of a navigation bar or box that is in the same spot on every page.  These navigation elements may include links to pages titled “About Us,” “Contact Us,” “FAQs” and a privacy policy if you collect any information online.  Consider what navigation elements are right for your website and be sure to use them on your homepage.

The right tone

What attitude do you want your website to convey?  If you are, say, a law firm or financial institution, you probably want the tone to be serious.  But if you run a more creative endeavor, perhaps your aim is to be whimsical or irreverent.  Make sure that this is reflected in the design and text of your homepage.

A call to action

Above all, state your site purpose clearly on the homepage.  Do you want people to contact you for more information?  Visit your physical location?  Buy from your website?  Whatever your website’s objective is, be sure that the next step is immediately obvious.  Too often we see homepages that are cluttered with too much information, and the user isn’t sure where to go. Don’t put every piece of information that you think is relevant on your website homepage – there will be different pages for all of your details. As far as the homepage goes, less is always more.

Bryan Janeczko – Founder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed. | Facebook | @WickedStart | LinkedIn | More from Bryan