When it comes to your homepage, it’s easy to get caught up in the visuals and the layout. After all, that’s the fun stuff for most entrepreneurs, right? Dreaming about fonts and colors and brand boards. Spending half a day browsing Pinterest for inspiration.
Yep … even though I make my living slinging words, I’m the first to admit that I love all things photography and design. I’ll go down the Pinterest rabbit hole for hours if you let me.
However, the fact is, your photos can be amazing and your branding and design can be drool-worthy. But if the words on your website don’t do their job (and if the information isn’t presented in the right order), then your hopeful customer — that person who came to your website looking for a potential solution to their very real problem — may never get past the front door.
I don’t know about you, but that thought makes me sadder than the end of Titanic (THERE WAS ROOM FOR TWO PEOPLE ON THAT WOODEN PLANK, ROSE!).
In this blog post, I’m going to help you analyze your homepage like a pro, so you can see exactly what to tweak. The goal is to make sure your dream customer lingers long enough to end up exactly where you want them (hint: clicking “buy” or “book now” isn’t necessarily the answer).
Go ahead and pull up your current homepage (I’ll wait here).
Here are the five questions your homepage should answer.
1. What do you do?
Sounds super simple, right? And yet too often we get hung up on trying to be overly creative and clever and we miss the mark in our headline. As Donald Miller from StoryBrand says, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.” And that is oh so true.
The instant someone lands on your homepage, they should think one of two things:
Either, “OK, I’m in the right place. This person offers something I want or need and I like their vibe.”
Or, “Nope, this isn’t for me.”
If your headline and subhead don’t clearly and simply communicate what you do, you could be losing potential clients on a daily basis.
Take a few minutes now to evaluate your current headline, subhead and intro section. Better yet, ask someone who doesn’t know what you do to look at it. Ask them, without explaining, what they think you do.
2. Who do you do it for?
When you see a preview for a new movie or TV show, you kind of instantly know if you want to see it or not, right? The music. The visuals. The voiceover. The actors.
Your website should have the same effect on your visitors. The images and language you choose to use should make it pretty clear who your services and/or products are for and who they’re not for.
This can be done a few ways.
You can either identify your audience directly (e.g., busy moms who want to get back to their pre-baby weight) or more subtly through your language (e.g., get back into that pair of skinny jeans you haven’t been able to wear since before baby #1).
Similarly, if you’re targeting a millennial crowd, you’re far more likely to throw in a little relevant slang versus if you are targeting baby boomers.
Read through your copy and ask yourself: Is it speaking to your ONE dream client? And if you have multiple dream clients (say you’re a photographer for both brides and business owners), do you have a clear and distinct path for each of them to take?
3. What specific services do you offer?
The less work (aka clicking around) your website visitor has to do to find out how you can help them, the better.I recommend highlighting your top three services right on your homepage. Create a headline, little blurb and individual call to action for each one (you can check mine out for reference).
4. How can I get in touch with you?
This one seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how frequently it’s overlooked. On every page of your website, it should be clear how to get in touch with you. Use the word “Contact” or “Let’s Talk” in your navigation (Resist the urge to get creative here. Stick with the obvious). And weave in calls to action buttons throughout.
5. Where do I go or what do I do next?
When someone comes over to your house for the first time, do you just let them wander aimlessly until they find the bathroom or the living room? I hope not. More than likely, you take their bag, offer them a drink and lead them to the living room or wherever you want them to go, right? You might even give them a tour.
You should do the same thing on your website.
Soon after they arrive, offer them a freebie (checklist, PDF, fun quiz, etc.).
Use each individual section of your website to tell the reader what to do or where to go next. Do you want them to learn more about a specific service? Give you a call? Fill out an intake form?
Don’t assume they know where to go. You’ve gotta guide them like the Pied Piper.
So there you have it. I hope this post helped you see some pretty simple ways to improve your homepage without spending too much time or precious moolah. If you want to get inspired by some copy before and afters, head on over to the Makeover Gallery.