I’ve worked on a number of brands at different stages of their lifecycle. And depending on the stage, they need a different type of web site organization. Marketing is about moving a consumer closer to a sale.
A fairly common definition of steps to a sale is covered by the acronym AIDA: awareness, interest, desire, action. For an unknown brand you don’t achieve awareness just by having someone on your website; they must know what the company does. Does the brand pass the Is-Does test?
Once there and aware how does one create interest? Typically with some context about a product’s usefulness or a unique function that captures the imagination. A website home page must pass the interest test, if none exists.
Third, if a brand has met the A and the I, we must tackle the D, desire. Often ads and websites load up on benefits to achieve desire. This can border on bragging and quite often diminishes the Interest factor. Be wary of shallow, common benefits. Also beware of pile on.
Action is where the money is. The best action is click to buy. Or go to store to buy. But some actions are brand positive and moving closer to a sale, say, like a prove comparison or a feature comparison. That’s action. Feel something thane do something.
Knowing what stage you’re in and not covering tread upon ground is key. Coke doesn’t need to work on awareness. Know where you are — and design your web home page experience accordingly and you are doing your visitors a service. Otherwise you are bombarding them with the kitchen sink and ceding the experience to search and whim. Peace.