You know that saying “Don’t ever judge a book by its cover”? Yeah, I am that person, the one judging a book by its cover and that’s why I’m now in a sorry mess when it comes to my to-read list. I won’t go into too much detail but suffice it to say there are currently 307 books on my pile (actual and digital books) and for every one I read, I seem to add another three at least! But this isn’t a blog post about books or reading. The point is, I make snap decisions to purchase and download new books purely because the cover catches my eye and looks interesting. There’s something to be said for those snap decisions, those instinctual thoughts about whether something is going to be good just by looking at it. And your website is no different. Aaah yes, there’s the clever segue, right? Because this is a post about one specific page on your website that really has a lot more to prove than all the others. I’m talking about your home page, of course. And here’s why understanding your home page’s ultimate goal will help you write awesome copy. Ya with me?
Let’s start with a few eye-watering (and maybe rather surprising) facts and figures about websites and home pages, shall we? All facts are sourced here, by the way. But readily found in a variety of different places online.
First up, in the US alone, the average person visits more than one hundred websites PER DAY.
I’ve got to say, that one really surprised me. I figured I maybe went onto around twenty to thirty websites in any given day at most. Although that now seems silly to me when I look up at the top of my browser and see at least fifty tabs already open. Hmmmmm…
While, on average, we allow a website around ten seconds to capture our attention, it actually takes fifty milliseconds (or 0.05 seconds) for us to form an opinion about a website we’re visiting for the first time based on appearance alone. That’s actually HALF the amount of time it takes to blink.
The overall expectation is that a website should load within three seconds before we give up and head elsewhere. What an impatient bunch we’ve become!
And, apparently, around 70% of small businesses don’t have a single call to action on their home page. The home page is where calls to action are where it’s at, friends! Go check out your own home pages, STAT, and let’s fix that immediately.
Two other really key facts I wanted to share here are:
- 86% of people want to see product and service information on a home page
- And almost half of all internet users will leave a website if it lacks a clear message about what it’s selling
So, what should all that mean to you? Pull up a pew and I’ll tell you.
Home Page Goals
A Great First Impression
Here’s the thing. For many of your visitors, it’s your home page that’ll make the first real connection with them to you and your business. This is “first impression” territory, folks! And you need to make a good one! Think about it, how many websites have you visited where you’ve immediately thought ‘Oh, this isn’t for me’? And how many of those have you ever gone back to again? I’m gonna guess it’s either none at all or maybe just one or two because you’re nice and like to try and give people a second chance.
If you don’t grab a brand new visitor’s attention and have them wanting to look through your website in those first few seconds, you’ve basically lost them forever. Of course, that’s not to say you want to be grabbing and holding the attention of EVERY new visitor. Your home page is as much about repelling those non-ideal clients as it is about attracting the right ones, after all. But you definitely don’t want to be losing those dream clients either.
Get Off The ‘Me’ and ‘I’ Train
And yes, your website is about sharing what you do, how you do it and who you do it for (as you’ll have seen me blather on about a number of times!). But, uggghhh, it’s not all about you. If your home page has more ‘I’ than ‘you’ appearing on it, then you’ve got a problem. Save that stuff for your about page. After all, that’s what it’s (partly) for!
Frankly, I’m a bit tired of seeing so much me, me, me on so many service providers’ websites. And while, yes, being able to connect with you as a person is an important element in whether someone chooses you for your thing over another person, there are ways to express your personality, values and who you are without constantly talking about yourself. Ok, rant over (for now)!
Your Home Page Has Just One Goal
When it comes down to it, your home page has just one express goal for everyone who visits your website. No matter who you are or what it is you do, your home page needs to help your visitors figure out whether they’re in the right place or not and, if they are, then it needs to help them find exactly what it is they’re looking for.
That’s it. That’s its sole purpose. It’s not to wax lyrically on your beauty, skills and intellect. It has nothing to do with digging into your photography style, your pricing or how you work with your clients. That comes later. But it is about helping people who are interested in what you do and think you might be the person to help solve their problems and want to find out more.
If there’s one thing your home page should contain… it’s calls to action! And definitely more than one of them!
To Wrap Up…
Remember, your home page has got one of the toughest tasks of any page of your website. It needs to make a great first impression and create a connection in just a few blinks of an eye so focusing on writing great home page copy is a must for your business.
One of the most important sections of the home page is the above-the-fold section. Having a killer intro statement here that grabs the attention of your visitors fast will get them to continue scrolling down the page and on to find out more about you and your business. So you better have those words nailed!
Need Help Getting Started?
Writing your home page copy doesn’t have to be as daunting as you might think. When you know what sections and pieces you need to include on the page, it makes life a lot easier to get it done and written in a way that works hard for your business.
I’ve put together a great little starter pack that’ll help you get going in the right direction when it comes to writing your home page copy.
Don’t just take my word for it! Here’s what some of my subscribers had to say about it:
I loved the home page copy starter pack. It was so easy to follow and helped me get the clarity I needed in my messaging. Each section was an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process that eliminated feeling overwhelmed and it allowed me to work in bite-sized manageable pieces. It provided a clear journey of what content to create next and why. And when I was finished, my home page looked polished and very clear on the client journey. – Barbara P.
I loved the 12 key sections because they gave me the big picture of what I needed to do, which instantly made me feel calm. I now feel more confident that I have got most of the crucial info I need on my home page. *I say ‘most’ because it’s still a work in progress! – Cindy K.
Get your own copy of The Home Page Copy Starter Pack by signing up to my mailing list below!