The web is the place where people go to find solutions, and because of the web, we’ve also grown accustomed to immediate results. If we don’t find what we are looking for on the first website within just a few seconds, we’ll not hesitate to move onto the next.
This is why there is so much focus on homepages. They need to be clean, easily navigated and the content needs to cry out, “Yes, you are at the right spot!” They need to be sticky … so people continue to peruse the site to get to what they are looking for.
Part of my job, as a website copywriter, is to work with the design team to help create a navigation system that helps people find exactly what they want as quickly as possible – and make your homepage sticky.
Here are 5 ways to increase your homepage stick-factor:
1. Focus your homepage on the visitor not you. All too often I see homepages written about the company: this is what we do, this is where we are located and these are all the wonderful awards we’ve won. Your homepage should not be an awareness ad. It is a place people come looking for a solution.
2. Focus your homepage HEADLINE on the visitor. Remember, visitors come to your website looking for something. Think of it in terms of real people: Mary has a leaking roof and wants to know how to fix it. Joe has clover overtaking his lawn and wants to get rid of it. “Serving Blair County Since 1978” as a headline isn’t going to wow anyone coming to your home page. Create a headline that isn’t just a description. It’s an answer.
3. Include useful introductory text. One of the biggest bad assumptions I run into is that site owners think that someone visiting their site is already familiar with their company. This is not always the case. To combat this, include some helpful information, as if the visitor is meeting you for the first time.
4. Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. Because of the limited amount of space on the home page, your content and navigation have been carefully organized – for the visitor (which may be different than for you). It is our job to make sure that we make it as easy as possible for visitors to go down the right path to get the information they are seeking. If you don’t make it simple and easy, they’ll leave.
5. Ask your visitors to do something. Your website is a direct-response mechanism. When they come to your site, you want them to do something. This may not be making the sale right away, but it does mean “clicking”to the next step. Use active verbs in your copy whenever it makes sense to do so:
- Sign up for our e-newsletter.
- Beautify your home with paint.
- Learn ways to reduce your overall utility bill.
- Download our free consumer guide.
(click, click, click, and click!)
Finally, above all else, remember that your website homepage is not the place to write promotional marketing text. This is where you want to include useful, helpful and descriptive text. You want people to 1) know they are in the right spot and 2) click further into your site to discover more about you.