The Home Page of any website is the page the majority of your visitors are likely to see first. For this reason, the Home Page needs to act as the entry portal to the rest of the site.
It needs to attract your ideal prospects, and repel the people you don’t want to have as customers.
It needs to establish you as the expert in your field for your target market.
And it needs to draw those ideal prospects quickly into the deeper pages on your site to find the answers they’ve been looking for.
When you’re writing the text on your Home page you need to consider all those functions…
You need to write for the first time visitor rather than the repeat visitor.
Consider how people come to your website. Perhaps they found you in a search engine when they entered a specific search phrase; perhaps they’ve followed a link from an article, a social media page, or someone else’s recommendation; they may have entered your url from your business card or a print advertisement. All of these people are first time visitors.
They don’t yet know anything about you. They have questions they think you may be able to answer but, to them, you are “just another website”.
People who already know you, those who have bookmarked your site or are coming from an email link you’ve sent them, will already have a good idea what you’re all about and will have chosen to follow you. These repeat visitors will easily forgive your Home page being written for first-timers.
The first-time visitor needs to know he or she has landed at the right place as soon as they arrive or they’ll be hitting the back button and going somewhere else.
So write for the first-time visitor. And that means, don’t assume they will know anything about who you are, what you do, or why you do it – nor how that could help them! Your job is to let them know those things.
What’s the purpose of a Home page?
- Let the visitor know enough as soon as they arrive that they recognise you may have the answer to their questions
- Direct them as quickly as possible to an inner page on your site which will answer those questions
- Capture the details of anyone who could be a good prospect for you so that you can keep in touch with them and maybe sell to them further down the road.
So, how are you going to do those things?
Let me explain.
This image is a rough guide to what you might want to have on your Home page. (Quick disclaimer – I’m not a designer as I’m sure you can tell!)
To start with you need a Headline to draw your ideal prospects in to read on. I wrote an article about headlines a little while ago – you can find it here: How to Write Headlines That Work.
Include a picture and/or a video so that your visitor can start to get to know you as a real person not just a faceless website.
Then include a few paragraphs to let the visitor know what you can do for them. Remember, this should be from their perspective not yours. So it’s not about what you do and how long you’ve been established, it’s about how you can solve their problems and bring them the benefits they’re seeking.
Over in the right hand column I’ve suggested you have a signup box to build your list. These days it’s not sufficient to just have a signup box! You need to have a free giveaway that will be valuable to your ideal prospects. They can download it after they’ve given you their name and email address.
This giveaway could be a tips booklet, or a short email or video course, or an ebook. Whatever it is it needs to establish you as an expert in your field and be useful to your ideal prospects.
Then once they’ve given you their details, stay in touch. Send them useful, interesting emails at least twice a month so you remain top-of-mind with them. And make them offers of your product or service to entice them to come back.
In the main text section I’ve then got three boxes – you could have 2 or 4 or more. The purpose of these areas is to introduce the different areas of your business to direct your visitor immediately to the right area to answer his initial inquiry. As you can see, there’s very little text in these boxes together with a link to a different page which then goes into a lot more detail about each area.
And that’s about it – all you need on your Home page.
Keep it clear, keep it uncluttered and make it attractive in both words and design, and you’ll find your website starts working more effectively for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any suggestions about what you’d put on a Home page please add your comments below.