Homepages can be hard to write. As the very first page most of your website visitors will see, they have a lot of work to do. They have to introduce your business, show your products, show how your business and products can help the visitor, and convince the visitor to read other pages of your site.
Like with your About page, you need to make sure you’re giving your readers the best possible chance to go deeper into your website, and hopefully, eventually get them to buy.
So with that in mind, here are some tips on writing a homepage that works.
1. Spend Enough Time on the Headline
While your homepage is the first page your visitors will see, the headline is the very first sentence they’ll see. It has to grab them and give them a reason to keep reading.
You might think you can just bang out a headline once you’ve finished writing the actual copy, or even come up with the headline first and go from there. But you can’t, sorry. You need to spend time constructing your headline, maybe even as much time as you spend writing the rest of the page.
Knowing your unique selling point is important. Your headline should point out the thing that makes you stand out from your competitors. Condensing this into a 6-12 word sentence will take time, so make sure you spend enough of it on getting it right.
2. Tell the Reader What’s in It for Them
Website visitors don’t care about you. They’re not on your homepage to find out what you do. They’re there to find out what you can do for them.
So, don’t spend too many words telling them about you, your product and all the special features it has. Make sure you tell them about the benefits these features bring to them.
A feature of a copywriting service, for example, is to write your website copy and blog posts. That’s great, but it’s not going to sell anything.
A benefit of having a copywriter write for you is that you don’t have to worry about getting all the grammar right, and you don’t have to worry about finding time in your schedule to update your blog every week. A busy person who doesn’t have great writing skills would be much more likely to hire a copywriter after hearing that.
3. Use Images and/or Videos
We live in a very visual world, and as much as I hate to say it, words don’t hold all the answers (but they do hold most of them). Breaking up your homepage with images will make it easier to scan, which we all know is what people do before they decide to read a full page.
Don’t just use generic stock images, though. Your business is not generic, so why should your homepage be? Use an image that’s personal to your brand, like a photo of your office or even your team.
Videos are a great way to introduce yourself as well. Make sure it’s short and to the point and, like the image, personal to your business. This is a great way to connect with the reader and get them to identify with you on a more individual level.
4. Be Friendly and Conversational
Since the homepage is likely the first page a visitor is seeing, it’s possible that they don’t know much about you, your brand, or your products. So, there’s no point in filling the page with industry jargon and product descriptions, confusing your readers before they get a chance to become customers.
Keeping your homepage conversational and friendly, explaining what you can do for them in language they can understand, is much more likely to convince them to stay on your site and look at more of your content.
5. Have A CTA (or 2)
So, you’ve got your headline perfected, your copy worded in the exact way your customer speaks, and your images personalised. Your readers are loving your homepage, lapping up every word, and dying to find out more. You’re done, right?
Not even close. You can have the most amazing homepage on the internet, but if you don’t use it to send your readers to another page, then what’s the point?
Having a CTA is one of the most important factors for a homepage (or any page, for that matter). You need to make sure you’re giving your reader something to do once you’ve wooed them with your words, otherwise they'll just leave your site and forget about you. Send them to your blog, or products page, or even your contact page if you’re confident enough that they’ll go.
It’s worth having a couple of CTAs for different customer profiles or stages of the buyer’s journey as well. There’s no point in sending everyone to your product page when not everyone is going to be ready to buy.
Having a clear and easily accessible navigation bar is important as well. Make it as easy as humanly possible for your readers to go deeper into your website instead of bouncing off to another site.
6. Use Testimonials
This might not be suitable for every business, sometimes it’s easier to have an entirely different ‘testimonials’ page on your (easily accessible) navigation bar. But having testimonials on your homepage is a great way to build trust with your readers.
People are more likely to believe someone else telling them how good you are than you telling them yourself. Other people are much more trustworthy, in a customer’s opinion.
If you can add a name and an image to your testimonials that’s even better, as they add a personal touch and make them seem more credible.
Your homepage is there to help your website visitors understand what you’re about so that they want to find out more.
They need to know what you do, why they should buy from you, and what to do next. Make it as easy as possible for them to find out this information, and you’ve got a winning homepage, right there.