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Who What Where When Why How?

Ever go to a business’ website, scan the home page and wonder “what do these guys do?".

I ask myself this question often. Perhaps Im dim, but that’s besides the point. The problem is that business’s forget the “5 W’s + 1 H": Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?

At the very least: tell your visitors Who you are and What you do on your home page, and in jargon-free language.

Even better if you also tell your visitors Why they should choose you.It wouldn’t hurt to announce Where you are located, and Where you provide your services/sell your products to.

I live in Canada. I buy a lot of stuff online. One of the first things I want to know when shopping online is: Where are these guys located, and will they ship to Canada? It is frustrating to choose a product, get half-way through the checkout process only to find out that they don’t ship outside of US (or whatever country the store is located).

Along the same lines:
How do I pay for the product/service I purchase? Do they take credit cards online, paypal, etc? And When will I recieve my order if it is something to be shipped?

On the contact page, it’s nice to to see When they are available by phone, next to the phone number. (Hours of operation)

How do you figure out what questions to answer and how to answer them? Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor to your site. Who is your target market? What questions would be important to them?

***Please note that this post is mainly in regards to a site’s homepage. Most web sites answer these questions in depth (hopefully) within various parts of their site. But, first impressions are important.

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