Start Here Page. Do you have this one, too?
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An earlier post published on AffiliatePrograms.com detailed the inherent benefits of using a resources page which does wonders for building affiliate income. This type of page collects the tools and resources you use to get the most from your topics in the niche. Visitors discovering this page are given a clear path as to which tools and pool of resources to choose from which is why it does well at converting.
The other page I wanted to mention was a start here page.
You can consider this page as an introductory guide to your website. It houses your best information.
A start here page works so well because visitors often have a difficult time deciding where to start. If they were to land on the main blog feed they may be confused which post to read. They could hop over to the popular posts but even these aren’t always the ones you’d want to give them a complete understanding of the niche or what you have to offer.
Let’s recap before we begin:
- They’re very easy to create
- They give you the ability to display evergreen content (and collect series-style posts)
- They can be used to push affiliate products covered in posts like reviews or round-ups
- They’re great for internal link building
- They can help you understand the community through analytics and feedback
Sounds good, right? Let’s get one started …
The Making Of: Start Here Pages
The creation of the start here page follows much of the same process as we have covered with creating resource pages.
- Using analytics to determine popular posts
- Examining social shares to see which caused the most buzz
- Calculating comment count on posts to find which had active discussion
- Finding a mix of posts which recommended products or services
- Scoping the competition in the same niche
The information will speak for itself. I believe the crucial element that makes a great start here page is how you divide the content. It needs give a complete spectrum for the visitor.
This is how I would divide the page. It not only gives them a glimpse at the different “levels” of the topic but makes it so it gently guides them into the niche without many hurdles. Novices can start from the beginning, intermediate half way, and advanced content for the die-hards.
It also presents a variation of ways to earn an affiliate commission:
- Novices are likely to find inexpensive products/services since they’re testing the waters
- Intermediates are looking for the next step and ready to make a higher investment
- Advanced individuals are selective but have big budgets for investing
If you plot out your progress through the niche you will find that content and resources go hand-in-hand.
Take these into consideration as you’re developing your website and start here page. You will notice a wider selection of tools and resources as you began but slowly you refined you selection.
I think you generally get the point of a start here page. It collects the variable degrees of learning and understanding the niche. It takes them from start to finish (or at least how far you have come).
The best way to explain this, though, is by example …
Start Here Example
Click to see the full sized picture …
Take a subjective look at your website.
If you were fresh to the site, and having never done extensive research on the niche, where would you start? Pay attention to your gut reaction and how you scan the site. Do this for others in your niche.
What you may find is an inability to grasp the subject within those first few crucial minutes.
Now go to a site that has a start here page.
Don’t you feel directed?
You feel as if you’re on the right path – ready to get started without having to muck about in an archive page or endlessly scouring the popular posts and interlinks.
This is the type of experience you’ll want to deliver to your visitors.
Hook them in by telling them exactly where to start.
Guide them through the basics, intermediate, and advanced topics of your niche.
Bring them to the resources.
Convert them into community members.
Then drive home the affiliate promotions.
The start here page takes only an hour or two of your time.
Don’t skip this important page in your projects.