Looking at a website homepage as a first time visitor is like meeting a new person: the first impression matters. After the design, page layout and colour palette pass muster, the visitor will focus on the content. What they read there will cement their decision to keep browsing or to leave the website.
Writing attention-grabbing content for your homepage is not an easy job. You have to control your urge to start your sales process and you have to curb down your enthusiasm of being overly promotional about your brand. People are not familiar with your company (assuming you do not represent a worldwide-known major brand). They are scouting around your homepage to find any sign that your company has the type of products and services they need, is trustworthy and understands them.
This is why it is crucial to work on your homepage content carefully and to make sure it answers your new visitors’ most burning questions. These are:
- What Is in It for Me?
Even though you should not start selling to people from the homepage, you must give them an idea about what they will find inside your website. Say a few words about your products, post your best-selling item and add a visible button taking visitors to your products catalogue.
Without telling them to buy, you show them what you can do for them, and this will answer their most burning question.
- Can I Trust You?
This is something we all ask ourselves before we start doing business with a new company. We need proof that the company is earnest and fair in dealing with customers, that it has high quality products and implements a secure checkout procedure. This is why your homepage should include a few references to your company history, to the awards it has won (if applicable) and one or two of the best testimonials you have from loyal customers, as well as the seals of guarantee for secure payments and money back for returned products.
Building trust is easy to achieve if you really understand your prospects’ doubts and worries. In a few simple and powerful words, you can turn doubt into confidence.
- Is This Company Really Suited to My Needs?
Building rapport with prospects goes beyond winning their trust. You have to address them directly, use a personal tone of voice and a writing style that makes them feel that you know them. Your homepage copy must read like a warm welcome and invite further discussion and getting to know each other, just like when you are face to face with the prospect and trying to get them to listen to your product presentations.
For this reason, you need to adapt your content to your buyer personas first and worry about including the right keywords later. There are plenty of areas in your website where you can include keywords you wish to rank for. The homepage is all about getting people to stay on your website.
- What Can I Find on This Website?
Although it is not content per se, a clear display of the navigation menu, with clear and concise titles for each section, will help visitors get an overview of the contents of your site. Simple and easy navigation, and self-explanatory pages and sub-pages are just as powerful in getting people to browse your website as the catchiest logo or “About Us” description.
Apart from the menu, depending on your website layout, you should include cassettes with a short description and a link that takes people to the key sections of your website. Make the description clear and punchy, stirring interest and providing information at the same time.
- What Do I Do Now?
No homepage should exist without at least one clear CTA button. Many companies use several CTAs for the homepage successfully: one to take them to the product pages, one for newsletter subscription and one to take them to the contact page. Giving people several options works to your advantage: if they are not ready to place an order, the visitors can elect to send you an email, or to browse your blog and subscribe to it.