DOES YOUR HOMEPAGE ANSWER THESE 5 QUESTIONS?
After finding out that you exist, the first thing a client sees is your website’s homepage…and I KNOW that you want a homepage that makes people say, ”Holy crap, I MUST work with this person. This is the one. I don’t need to look any further.”
So how do you get there? How do you make a homepage that’s a true showstopper?
There are a few different pieces of copy you need in place if you’re going to make that happen. I know that when it comes to your homepage and branding in general, 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, colors and brand boards. Spending half a day browsing Pinterest for inspiration. I’m 100% guilty of going down that Pinterest rabbit hole.
Here’s the truth. You can hire Annie Leibovitz to take your brand photos and hire the best damn branding and design can be drool-worthy. But if the words on your website don’t clearly and simply communicate what you do and how you can help your ideal client, 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.
That’s where I come in…I’m going to help you analyze your homepage like a pro, so you can see exactly what to tweak. If you don’t have a website yet, this will help you avoid some common website mistakes. 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).
Before we dive into these 5 questions your home page should answer, let’s go over the 3 things your website MUST do:
Your website has 3 jobs:
- Instantly connect – you want to make your client say “yes, I’m in the right place”.
- Get them on your email list
- Convert as much and as often as possible
Go ahead and pull up your current homepage (I’ll wait here).
Here are the five questions your homepage should answer in order to capture your ideal client:
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.”
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.
I’ll give you a few before and after examples, and the first one is a little embarrassing because it’s mine:
When I started my business 5 years ago, I was a generalist. I had experience in marketing, editorial and copywriting work. So the headline on my website was “For all your writing, editing and content strategy needs”. Basically the most general headline in the world.
Now, my website headline reads “Website copy that stands out, for bold, personal brands who refuse to blend in”.
A web designer friend of mine had a headline that said “designed to tell your story” which isn’t bad, but I don’t know immediately if she’s a web designer, an interior designer, a wedding photographer, etc.
We dug in and figured out who she wanted to serve and what kind of feeling she wanted to convey. Her current headline is “Every businesswoman needs a wing woman” with the subheading “Branding, graphic design and marketing strategy in the wellness space”.
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?
The words you choose to use on your home page 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).
Your brand voice and tone is also super important. Are you more buttoned up and professional or casual and quirky?
Think about the kind of person you want to attract AND repel, and speak to them. On my website, I am very clear that I am speaking to clients who don’t want your typical stuffy copy.
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 home page. Choose the 3 services that light you up, you’re really good at and drive the most profit in your business. If you don’t want to do something, do NOT offer those services.
Here’s the formula to follow for creating your services: Create a headline, a little 3-sentence blurb for each, and an individual call to action for each one (you can check mine out for reference). Don’t get fancy with your headline. Show that you can solve their pain points and be super clear.
For your 3-sentence blurb, the framework should be: speaking to the problem, how you’re going to solve it and then driving the client to the next place.
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. Put contact in the footer of your website so people can always find it.
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 welcome gift or refreshing cocktail (aka 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. It’s your job as their guide to show them where to go.
As a general rule, most people probably won’t buy from you the first time they visit your website, which is why capturing their email address is so important. I’m going to recommend that you try to sprinkle in your lead magnet/opt in as many places as possible.
BONUS: I’m going to sprinkle in one last bonus question…DOES IT WORK? One of the most important things you can do is show potential clients testimonials. If you don’t have any clients yet, ask colleagues if they might be able to vouch for you. You can check out my blog post about getting killer testimonials HERE.
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.
LINKS mentioned in the show: