Your home page is like a gateway. Usually it’s the first page your audience sees and your one chance to make a good first impression.
If your visitors can’t immediately find what they’re looking for, and they don’t get a good feeling about you, you can bet your behind they’ll be off to find someone who does.
So how do brands win customers? It’s simple, they use words that seduce.
They tickle an itch, and present the solution to scratch it. In other words, great copywriting aggravates your readers’ problems, and announces your product or service as the golden egg they’ve been waiting for.
It’s all in the words you choose.
Follow this 7-step process for creating effective home page copy.
Define your audience
Identifying your ideal reader requires more thought than what age they are, where they live, their gender, and income.
This doesn’t tell you what really matters to them, what their dreams are, or what plays on their mind until the early hours.
You need to dig deep. Consider a person that you know will benefit from your products or services. Make a list of their fears and aspirations.
In your home page copy you should aim to address their inner voice. You should describe their problem in detail, using their language, communicating how they really feel about it.
When you show that level of insight into your audience, they feel like you’re speaking directly to them. It becomes far more personal and persuasive when you bridge a clear connection.
Pinpoint your unique value proposition
Your visitors need to instantly recognise who you are and what you do, as soon as they click on your website.
If you can’t communicate the value you offer, your visitors aren’t going to stick around to find out more about you.
Your value proposition sums up what you’re offering in a few simple words. This works well in the form of a headline before readers delve into the body of your page.
It acts as an introductory piece to tempt visitors to read more about you. Don’t be cryptic – focus on being clear and transparent.
Brainstorm your value proposition ideas in just 6 – 12 words. Make it enticing but obvious.
If you’re going through the trouble of writing your persuasive content, you want people to be able to find it.
You need to get the search engines excited too.
If you’ve done your ideal reader research and you’re using the language they use, you’ll naturally be better positioned in Google when people search for your products or services.
Writing highly targeted copy has a greater chance of being SEO friendly. So usually, when you please your readers with great copy, you inadvertently please the search engines too.
However, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little keyword research to be sure you’re hitting the mark with your search terms. Use Google’s keyword Planner or Wordtracker to see which keywords most people use to describe what you offer.
Check out competitor sites and consider the language they use to describe their services. Then think about which terms you can incorporate for the best effect.
Benefits over features
Features don’t win the heart and minds of your customers, benefits do.
Nobody chooses to buy a shampoo because ‘it makes your hair clean’, they buy it because it ‘restores split ends’ or ‘locks in colour intensity’.
Benefits reveal how your offering will make your customer feel. They communicate the transformation and how it will make their lives better.
To start with, write a list of all the features of your products or services. Now think about each feature in terms of the benefits they offer. How does it help solve a problem?
It’s not about you
Many businesses make the mistake of waffling about their story – how great their new service is, their fabulous new team member, or that they’ve been in business 10 years. It’s all ‘I’m’ doing this or ‘we’re’ doing that.
Do you really think that’s what your customer wants to hear?
They’re not interested in you; they only want to know if you have something they want. You do that by speaking from the customers’ point of view. Stop using ‘I’ and start using ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.
Always satisfy your customers’ desires first. Your visitor may want to explore your company profile, team page and history at a later stage.
Trim the fat and edit
There’s nothing worse than viewing a website only to find spelling and grammar mistakes. It looks unprofessional and harms your credibility.
Be sure to use an extra pair of eyes to spot silly errors before you publish.
But your editing stage should be more than simple proof reading. When you edit, you should be focussing more on refining your copy to make it persuasive, targeted and believable.
- Double check your value proposition to ensure it’s clear and concise.
- Scan your copy for any missed benefits that are crucial to your message.
- Ensure your copy is scannable by breaking up long paragraphs and adding subheads.
- Remove the fluff. Cut down sentences that will have a greater impact with fewer words.
Satisfy the sceptics
When visitors come to your site, they may not know anything about you. How do they know if you can be trusted?
People are generally sceptical about businesses. They refuse to take statements as fact until they can see the results for themselves.
If you’re making claims about how amazing your product is, you need to back it up with proof.
This simple addition will reinforce your credibility and make your message believable.
If you say your software helps businesses increase their traffic by 40%, include a link to a case study or testimonial to prove this claim.
Your copy needs to squash any resistance and make no room for objections.
So, that’s the last pillar to make your home page copy irresistible.
Of course, if you need a helping hand, I’m always here to help you master your message.