Think of your homepage as the first impression customers have of your business… Think of your homepage as the first opportunity you have to make a sale… Think of your homepage as the gateway to the rest of your website… Many business owners, however, are still making the unfortunate mistake of hiring an expensive web designer to redesign their homepage without hiring a professional SEO copywriter to rewrite their often scattered and mundane copy. A beautifully designed homepage means nothing if the copy lacks luster and strategy.
Listed below are 10 key elements all of which are essential to crafting homepage copy that converts.
1. Competitor SWOT Analysis
To clarify, you DON’T want to directly mention your competitors on your homepage. Before you start writing your homepage copy, however, you might want to first identify your top competitors and conduct a SWOT analysis. What are your competitor’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? Do the same for your business also. Now that you’ve ID’d your competitors and conducted a SWOT comparison, it’s time to make yourself tactfully stand out from your competitors without directly mentioning them. Give yourself a competitive edge by emphasizing your strengths, your advantages and how they will benefit from choosing you. Avoid trying to copy or mimic their website style or even their content. Stand apart, stand above them and write about your benefits … i.e. how you can save them money or earn them money, how you save time, how you are convenient or easy to use, make confidence building statements, offer proof, offer peace of mind. These are the things people base their buying decisions on.
2. ID Your Target
Before you write, the next step should be to identify your target audience and adapt your style and tone accordingly. If you’re writing for business minded professionals, keep the language, well, professional. If you’re writing for teenagers, you might want to add a little bit of trendy lingo to your homepage copy.
3. The 5 W’s
If you’re a journalism major or police officer, chances are you’re already familiar with this popular information gathering concept. In order to make it easier for your audience to quickly gather information, the copy of your homepage should particularly emphasize 3 of the 5 W’s. This includes the Who, What, and Why of your business. Who are you? What services does your business provide? Why are you better than the rest? If you’re able to do this, your customers will be grateful that you haven’t confused and frustrated them in the first 30 seconds of visiting your homepage and will reciprocate by giving your website a real chance at winning them over. The other 2 of the 5 W’s include the Where and When of your business. Where are you located? When did you first establish your business? You might want to save these for the About Us page of your website.
4. Reputation, Results and Clients
Contrary to this heading, it’s not all about you… But, only for a very brief moment, it can be. When you’re answering the last of the 5 W’s is the perfect time to toot your own trumpet. Are you an industry leader? Do people generally have good things to say about your business? What achievements are you particularly proud of? Who are your big time clients? Go on, don’t be shy. This is your moment to brag a little. But just a little! Remember, your homepage copy needs to provide direct benefits to the customer. What’s in it for them? Don’t turn your homepage into a gloat session. It will instantly turn many of your customers off doing any potential business with you.
You need your homepage copy to position your business as the best choice in the market. Therefore, a great Unique Selling Proposition can make the difference between a blasé browser and a conversion. USP’s are all about selling the unique benefits your business can provide to your potential customers. This is particularly where your SWOT analysis comes in handy. What unique benefit can you bring to the table that your competitors cannot? The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses. Your USP needs to cut through the clutter and one way to do this is to identify your target audience’s pain and offer the prescription for that pain. Take, for example, the below scenario:
Pain: I’m so frustrated because all of these big companies are on page 1 of all the major search engines and I’m not! Grrr…
USP: Shock your competitors and boost your rankings to page 1 on Google, Bing and Yahoo!
6. Scannable Content
Bullet points, lists and paragraphs. These are all crucial when writing stellar homepage copy that is easy on the eye. Most web browsers are scanning for content that’s relevant to them. Therefore, you need to make your homepage copy easy to read by breaking the content up into manageable and digestible sections. One great way to do this is with a few catchy headers.
7. Catchy Headers
Take a moment to brainstorm a few attention getting phrases that can be used as headers within your homepage copy. Remember to make sure that they are ROI – Relevant, Original and Impactful. The last thing you want is for the customer to be bored by cliché copy that they’ve already seen on just about every one of your competitor’s websites. Take some time to create headers that make your homepage copy pop!
Short, simple and succinct. And with that, I rest my case.
9. Less Technical, More Conversational
Homepage copy should never be too technical. Simply, the truth of the matter is, the vast majority of the general public is not technical. You don’t want to make them feel like a deer in headlights. The last thing you want is to scare them away with your industry specific lingo. Write like you’re writing for someone who knows absolutely nothing about your business and its services. A conversational tone and good sense of humor goes a long way.
10. Calls to Action
Calls to action should not be confused with USPs… although they do share a commonality in the sense that they both convey value to the potential customer. While a USP attempts to sell the customer with a unique benefit, it is more of an idea or proposal. On the other hand, a call to action needs to be much more direct and convince your target audience to act immediately. Calls to action are also used frequently throughout your homepage copy and create a sense of urgency to act now by contacting the business today. When crafting your calls to action, it’s also a wise idea to use power words such as free, fast, guarantee etc.
For SEO / Copywriting services that create strategic homepage copy, call the experts at Optimum7 today for a no obligation initial consultation!