Whether you’re rocking a DIY website, looking to improve your professional website, or just starting your first website, your homepage is a great place to start your thought process when it comes to improving your bounce rate and lead generation.
Search engine traffic can put a prospect on any page of your website, but we tend to think of the homepage as the launchpad of a website. Your homepage should be an introduction to what your company does, explain the goods or services you provide, speak directly to your target audience, and guide the visitor to click to continue through your website.
Identify your target
Who is your ideal customer? Can you get specific about your target audience by age group, gender, location, basic biography, and region?
Let’s say that your ideal customer has the following characteristics:
- Is a 35-50 year old woman.
- Has 3 children and a dog.
- Is a home owner in Halton Region.
- Has a full-time job.
What can we assume about this person based on these four facts?
- Busy! Super busy
- Has money to spend on solutions
This is the ideal candidate for a business that helps out around the home – for example, a cleaning service, dog walker, childcare – or a business that solves problems this person encounters – for example, home repair, electricians, lawn maintenance, and landscaping.
The process we’re going through is creating a persona. You’ll use this persona to identify your ideal client when doing the other tips for your site. Take a few moments to fill out the attached Persona-Worksheet for your ideal client. The worksheet includes an example based on the ideal client we just discussed for illustration.
REMEMBER: it’s not that there are NO OTHER CLIENTS available. By focusing on this persona, who represents your BEST client, or the person you want to be your BEST client, you can fill your docket with BEST clients. That’s how you become successful and get busy!
Write some content!
Your homepage – or any web page for that matter – should have at least 300 words. That’s the recommended minimum amount of content so that it has SEO (search engine optimization) value for search engines like Google and Bing.
Great, we know how much content we need, but what do we write and how should it sound?
You’re going to speak directly to the Persona you created in STEP ONE. Explain how your company is different/superior/magical and then introduce your service or products. It’s very much like the elevator pitch that you use while networking: the more you tell people about the difference you make to their lives, the more likely it is that you catch their attention.
I like using information buckets for products and services. Think of it as little containers of info broken into chunks, where each container represents a product or service. You might add a graphic to each bucket.
The bucket approach is great because they are easy to scan and select from. It’s a quick way to funnel readers off of your homepage into a product or service page—and then hopefully a sale!
What should we avoid when writing content?
- Technical jargon
- Industry insider language
- Buzzword bingo
- Fluff just to reach your 300 word limit
REMEMBER: you need to speak plainly and in the language of your target Persona.
Headlines = Conversions
What if I told you that less than 12 words can turn your readers into buyers?
That main heading on your website is important; a Headline is much too valuable to waste on text like “Welcome to [insert your business name here].”
If you focus on your persona, what do you want to say to visitors in big, bold letters?
The art of the headline can fill multiple articles on its own, so let’s look at some formulas from Joanna Wiebe at Unbounce. that you can use to create great headlines for your website:
- Get the [Rarely Seen Adjective] Power of [What Your Product Does] Without [Pain]
Get the Astonishing Power of Eye Tracking Technology … Without the High Costs
- [Adjective] & [Adjective] [What You Are / SEO Keyword Phrase] That Will [Highly Desirable Promise of Results]
Clean & Modern iPhone App Design Templates That Will Set You Apart in the App Store
- We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Promise of Results]
We Promise Just One Thing: Get More Clients from Social Media
- [Known Competitor] [Does This Undesirable or Unimpressive Thing], and [Your Brand Name] [Does This Highly Desirable or Impressive Thing]
Google Analytics Tells You What Happened, KISSmetrics Tells You Who Did It.
- The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Highly Desirable Outcome or Benefit]
The Only Web Copywriting Guides Made Exclusively To Improve Your Sales
Take five minutes and write headlines for your business using the template provided.
Act Now, Before Time Runs Out
If your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for in under 3 seconds, they’re gone. This is why an organized, clear homepage is so important. However, without some direct instructions, it’s likely your visitors will just “bounce” off of your page.
What’s missing? A call to action.
A Call to Action or CTA is the thing you want the client to do. You might want someone to call, fill out a form, send an email or buy something. Pick one!
Here are some examples of Call to Actions:
- Want to make your website better? Want to find out what makes your visitors leave? Find out with Crazy Egg
- Call now for your free estimate: 1-888-123-4567
- Start your free trial: [NAME FIELD] [EMAIL FIELD] [Let’s do it! button]
More is NOT better when it comes to a Call to Action: multiple Call to Actions on a page can be confusing or lead to decision paralysis in your visitors. It’s best to choose your most persuasive Call to Action for each page.
Using what you know about your persona and why this person is visiting your homepage, brainstorm Call to Actions for your site, what makes the most sense?
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now you know who you’re creating your homepage for, what the page will say, and how to convince the visitor to connect with you. It’s time to create your homepage!
Opal Gamble races fast cars and builds remarkable websites. With a career starting as an Online Communications Specialist, Opal has been playing with web technologies since 1999. She has a degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, with a focus in Computer Science and Math, from the University of Waterloo. She is the lead web developer at Design & Develop.