April 1, 2020 | Sean Foo
Your homepage will probably be the first thing your visitor will see and that means you will need to capture their attention, make it as friendly as possible to understand and navigate all while showcasing your business in the best light as possible.
Once visitors come to your homepage, 86% desire information about your products and services plus more than 52% want to know more about your business.
All these need to be done within 60 seconds, in fact, it could be less than 15 seconds!
While this might seem like a tall order, it is actually very possible to accomplish if you have a game plan – which is exactly what this guide will help you with!
The 6 Principles Of Writing A Home Page
1. Be concise and to the point
2. Focus on the big benefits & use specifics
3. Utilise positioning copy
4. Pay attention your navigation & labels
5. Obsess over your headlines & subheadings
6. Strategically use SEO keywords
The principles above will help you guide your copywriting efforts when it comes to your homepage. While you might be tempted to splurge down every piece of information on your homepage – don’t!
With people having the attention span of a goldfish in this modern world, always write in a way where every word you put down has a purpose.
1) Be concise and to the point
Grabbing and keeping your visitor’s attention is key and the best way to do it is by getting straight to the point and keeping your copy concise.
Whether it is your hero section description or your product headlines, less is always more.
Not only will your visitor quickly understand the idea you are trying to convey, modern web design is all about ‘white space’ or breathability – and that means allowing your reader to focus on your message without feeling overwhelmed.
The amount of information to showcase is what is needed to accomplish your goals that could range from discovering more about your customer success story to the features of your product.
Basecamp keeps their master headline nice, short and to the point, conveying what they solution can do, allowing customers to work remotely, plus how comprehensive it is, all-in-one.
2) Focus on the big benefits & use specifics
Yes, you know your product and service is probably the best around – but your visitor doesn’t know that and you can’t just brag about how great it is (it’s just not believable).
You will have to show them the value of your brand and services by going into specifics about the big benefits that they can enjoy.
The specifics can include:
– Highlighting a feature that delivers the benefit such as “Reduce your delivery time with our island-wide storage points”
– Zoom into a specific tangible benefit such as “325% your conversions & ROI”
– Focus on a specific problem such as “Increasing your customer support team’s productivity by 30%”
The more hard facts and figures you can showcase, the more believable your homepage copy will be.
Close.com highlights a specific feature of their solution, a sales workflow, to help make their big benefit of closing more sales, much more believable.
3) Utilise positioning copy
While it is important to highlight the big benefits to draw in visitors and compel them to read on, your homepage is all about setting the tone and impression of your business and brand as a whole.
What you are trying to do is to create an image of your business – showcasing how credible it is and how your visitors can trust your brand and what it can deliver.
Robinhood, the financial investment app positions themselves as a pioneer and innovator in their industry, helping to build trust in an industry where credibility and new solutions are valued.
4) Pay attention to your navigation & labels
Your visitors come to your homepage to discover other parts of your website, from your blog to the product pages, and that means your navigation has to be clean and intuitive to use.
By utilizing good descriptive phrases when you are writing your navigation labels, you get to optimize the traffic your homepage enjoys to the rest of your website as well as increasing conversions leading to a higher amount of sales.
Paypal’s navigation bar makes it simple for first-time visitors to navigate through their website by putting a quick description of what the label will be leading them to.
5) Obsess over your headlines & subheadings
While you think every single line of your copy will be read, the truth is that 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy and only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
That means if your headline isn’t compelling enough or attention-grabbing enough to pique the interest of your reader, the rest of your copy won’t get read – that means they will leave your website outright!
So focus on your headlines and subheadings to really capture your reader and get them curious enough to learn more. That can be through reading the rest of your copy or navigating deeper into your website.
Instapage uses a compelling headline that highlights a highly specific benefit with zero downsides that resonates with their target audience, making for a highly effective headline that will at the very least get their visitor exploring the rest of their homepage.
6) Strategically use your SEO keywords
I’m sure you want your homepage to rank well on search engines like Google right?
That will mean taking the time to conduct keyword research for your business and what your prospect will search to find your business.
With your list of SEO keywords, strategically inject them into your homepage copy – but don’t overstuff it! Google is smart enough to figure out the context of your website and there are other parts of your website that will help boost your overall rankings as well.
Remember, don’t let your SEO keywords take away any impact or the flow of information that you want to convey to your reader.
The 6 Main Sections Of A Homepage (and how to write them)
1) Your Hero Section
The hero section of your homepage is the first thing that your visitor will see and it’s main purpose is to showcase what your business (or big solution) delivers.
This is done mainly by putting the big benefit (that truly matters to their audience) front and center delivered through concise and hard-hitting copy with highly relevant visuals to support the message.
Writing your hero section will hands-down probably be the hardest part of your homepage to write, but let’s make it easier with 3 simple guidelines:
– Select the most relevant and biggest benefit your brand or solution can deliver and get specific.
– Describe how it is accomplished with the sub-copy. This is where you can weave in some key features that make the big benefit happen.
– Always end with a call-to-action with action-driven copy (telling people what to do). It could be to a product page or to start trying out your service.
Sprout Social has a fantastic hero section that incorporates all of our 3 guidelines above, making it simple to understand while justifying to the reader how believable their solution is in delivering the big benefit.
2) Your Social Proof
If you are trying to convince someone of your business credibility, the strength of your brand and the effectiveness of your solution, you better be prepared to showcase social proof!
The question is what type of social proof should you choose?
When it comes to homepages, the key is to use broad-based social proof – after all, the overall traffic that visits your homepage will be from a variety of sources. That means you will need to cater to a wide range of your visitors.
Great examples of social proof that fit those include:
– Media Mentions & Features
– Customer Count & Number of Products Sold
– Customer Brand Logos
Yes, we know ratings, influencer endorsements and customer testimonials are also social proof, but that is for another section that we will talk about later down below.
But for now, the question is how do you write and structure social proofs for this section? Simple – you combine them!
WooCommerce does this well by mixing the different types of social proof together by highlighting the number of customers they have plus customer logos big and small.
In today’s competitive landscape, go the distance with your social proof!
3) Your Main Selling Proposition
No matter the type of business you are in, selling services or an awesome product or a kick-ass platform, there is something that makes your brand stand out from the rest of the competition.
And you have to showcase that in your homepage copy!
It allows your visitors to immediately understand your unique selling proposition and might be the only thing they remember when they go window shopping and browse through the rest of your competitors.
GetResponse highlights one of the strengths that matters to their ideal customer – email deliverability. By giving a specific statistic, they make the claim much more believable.
4) Your Various Services & Product Ranges
There are a thousand ways you can feature your services and products on your homepage, but here are a few writing guidelines you can follow:
– If you have a clearly defined set of customer personas, you can tailor those solutions to each of them. Eg. Package A for students, Package B for working adults, Package C for seniors.
– You can always feature product by product like Apple, but you will have to use the traditional benefit plus features justification method. Just make sure the benefit is hard hitting and play up the uniqueness of your features that are delivering the end result.
– A riskier play is to lead with the features and then talk about the benefits that they can deliver. This mostly works for products that have something that isn’t common or truly novel.
Sprout Social cleverly showcases their solutions by segregating them into the various roles that they cater too.
5) Your Customer Testimonial Section
When it comes to determining how credible your brand is plus the effectiveness of your solutions, nothing beats have a well-crafted testimonial section.
This is where you can go more specific into the type of success stories you want to showcase to your visitors.
They can be anything from endorsements from notable influencers in your industry to testimonials from the biggest name (eg. Fortune 500) clients you managed to snag.
The key in writing them up so that your reader will investigate more is to pique their interest and the number 1 way to do it today is to showcase the fantastic results they are enjoying or a before & after results showcase.
SEMrush showcases their customer testimonials well by highlighting the results they are enjoying plus notice that their success stories are from big brand names and from a variety of industries?
This is intentional which is to cater to the widest available audience possible!
6) Your Call-To-Action
No matter the end goal of your homepage, whether it is to collect emails, get your visitors onboard a free trial or sell a product outright, you will have to structure your call-to-action that reduces friction.
What is meant by reducing friction?
Basically that is to make it as simple and as instructional as possible for them to follow, make it beneficial for them to take action while removing any potential objections or worries that they might have.
Buffer’s call-to-action combines an instructional command ‘Get Started Now’ together with the benefits of a 14-day free trial.
In addition, they remove the fear most online customers will have – the need to put up their credit card details plus the worry of not being able to cancel easily.
Call-to-action is about getting your visitor to take action, so be as upfront and as clear as possible.
Make A Great Impression With An Incredible Homepage
Your homepage is one of the most important pages of your website – it determines where your traffic will flow and more importantly, the perception of your brand and business.
So take the time and effort to carefully create the best homepage that you can, your conversions and sales will thank you for it!
Need more guidelines for writing your best homepage possible?
Here are some resources to help you accomplish it:
– Learn if you need to use a home page or landing page. Don’t confuse the two!
– Need a list of social proof to use? Learn the 8 types of social proofs your website needs for maximum impact.
– Writing for a B2B audience? There are unique rules you need to follow, learn the principles of B2B copywriting before you write a single word.
Need help crafting your homepage from scratch? Get in touch with us and let’s work magic together!