I’ve been doing a few home page reviews lately. One of the things I’ve noticed is how many websites don’t make the most of those first few seconds their page loads up. Don’t get me wrong, plenty have an eye-catching image, but so many don’t think about the first words their visitors see too. Which is why I’m going to show you how to write a powerful intro statement for the home page of your website.
Are you ready?
Making an impact
I’ve talked about ‘above the fold’ before but I’ll say it again. When a new visitor arrives at your website, you have mere seconds to make an impact. Then they’ll decide whether they’re staying to look around or they’re clicking off to another website. Seconds.
In that time, the only thing they will see is the section of your home page that sits above the fold. Just a few inches of prime real estate and a few seconds to grab their attention and persuade them to stick around, at least for a little longer!
A strong, eye-catching image is a good start, but it won’t necessarily tell the whole story. And so words become vital in completing that package. The trick is to come up with a short, easy-to-read statement. But it needs to convey a lot of information, which is where the challenge comes in!
Coming up with your statement
So, how do you write these magical words that will intrigue people enough to stay on your website a little longer?
There’s no easy answer to this question I’m afraid. But I’ll do my best to guide you on how to put together a killer intro statement!
Let’s start with what information this statement needs to convey.
There are three things you need to let your visitors know in only a few short words. They need to know what it is you do, how you do it and how you’re going to help them.
That’s a lot of information to share, so it comes down to having to be clever about what you say and how you say it.
So, this is a bit of a process…
Grab a notebook and pen and give yourself some time to think and scribble down ideas.
Start by writing exactly what it is you do, and what you class your job title as. Then try to expand on that a little more. Think of other words to come up with how you would describe your work. Use descriptive words. I like using a thesaurus, which can sometimes inspire new ideas and words as well as trying to come up with your own. Also, have a Google and see what other similar businesses have written on their websites. I’m not suggesting you copy them but look to them for inspiration.
Next, write down how you do what you do. Again, be descriptive. Use interesting language to explain your business. But, at the same time, make sure what you’re writing isn’t too ambiguous or confusing. The point is to get your point across quickly but in an imaginative and intriguing way.
Finally, list a bunch of ways you help your clients. Think about what it is you give or provide for them. But also how you do it in a way that suggests people should book you and not someone else. What do you do to help them in only the way that YOU can?
Let’s look at some examples…
Perhaps you’re a wedding photographer. You specialise in high-end weddings of couples who hate having their photographs taken. So you might say: ‘Wedding photography for the classically sophisticated in a totally candid way.’
Or maybe you’re a website designer. You mainly work with local stores with a passion for helping the environment. So you might write: ‘Local web design for locally-sourced businesses, with eco-friendly credentials.’
Another example. You’re a virtual assistant for female business owners, who never misses a deadline. So you could say: ‘The girly VA with one eye on the clock!’
On my website, I used to have: ‘Pictures or a thousand words… why not both? Creative copywriter, storyteller, word slinger and photographer. All rolled into one.’ This got the point across that I was both a copywriter and photographer, a message that was important to me at that point. You’ll notice it’s not there anymore. I’m reworking it right now but I’ll update it when it’s done!
All these examples show that you can tell people what you do, how you do it and how you’re going to help them in a few short words. They’re quick to read and they should be up there, above that fold with a punchy, eye-catching image to draw your audience in enough for them to wonder… ‘What if?’
If you can get them thinking that, even for a moment, you stand a better chance of them hanging around longer and scrolling through your home page.
And that’s when the REAL work of your home page can begin!