How to write a great homepage

The shop window of your business: how to get it right.

How important is your homepage?

We mentioned in a previous edition that your site’s homepage was like the shop window of your business. 

Well, if that’s the case, then your homepage’s content is the friendly shopkeeper who welcomes you at the door. Engaging, helpful and will encourage you to stick around.

It's often the all important first impression of your business for your potential customers. Here’re a few tips on getting those all-important words just right:

Images being loaded onto a website illustration

Image isn’t everything

Image is key. The first thing that will register in your potential customer’s retina won’t be the carefully-crafted content, but the overall aesthetics of the website.

A good first impression will be made with the quality of the graphics, the layout, and the general feel of your homepage.

However, once you’ve got past that initial visual impact, it’s important that your opening missives are engaging, approachable and representative of your brand. Whether it’s a first-time visit, or a returning customer, you want guests to your website to feel comfortable and confident.

For those new to your site—and your business—there might exist a natural sense of skepticism. Unless you’re a nationally recognized brand, a ubiquitous name that consumers feel they already know, there will exist an air of uncertainty. 

Give them reassurance! Build a framework of trust with a potential customer by using the right kind of language, tone and personality within your homepage’s content. All customers really want is to know they can rely on you and provide the service and product they’re looking for. This is where the energy of your copy should focus. 

Conciseness is priceless

In a virtual world dominated by micro-storytelling and short video-sharing apps, it’s clear that your average internet user’s attention span isn’t what it used to be. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to keep your homepage copy nice and snappy—or risk losing a potential customer forever. 

Or, at least, until you’ve streamlined your content.

Don’t waste time filling your homepage with whopping great monoliths of text. Strip back on the details; tell the visitor exactly what your website is all about in your opening gambit. Keep things concise and focused. 

Three-hundred words is more than enough wiggle room to outline what your company has to offer and encompass all those essential keywords. Save the dense, detailed stuff for the internal pages.

Message 'offline' in a bottle at the beach

Don’t believe the hype—think of your customer

What’s in it for me? That’s the number one question bubbling at the forefront of any visitor to your site’s mind. What can you do for me? They’re not remotely interested in reading long company histories—not yet, anyway.

To engage the customer, first you must know your customer, so the old Chinese proverb (probably) goes. Put yourself in the headspace of the person clicking on your homepage and imagine what they’d like to read. What is likely to interest them? 

Remember, in most cases, your homepage isn't a sales page. So pump the brakes. Avoid hype and hard-sell tactics. Instead, write simply, honestly and with clarity. Make your customers feel at home.

Finally...

Writing is a skill, an artform. We cannot all be great at everything, if you fear that your ability to turn a phrase isn't quite up to the challenge, then pick your copywriter wisely. It's important that your brand personality comes across in your content - so you'll need to give them not just a sense of what you would like to say, but a sense of how you would like them to say it. 

If you're not sure that your homepage content is really selling your company ethos to your customers, you'll notice a high bounce rate and low engagement metrics on that page in your Google Analytics. 

As always, if you need any help then feel free to get in touch

Posted by Becky Cockman on February 22nd 2021

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