I’m sure you already know this.
Your Home Page is one of the most important assets of your business so you should pay close attention to it.
It’s the first impression that a person has of your business and what will determine that they stay to find more about you and what you offer, or leave in the blink of an eye.
The Home Page is often also the Landing Page of your business, that is, the first page of your website with which a potential customer is going to have contact.
It should be interesting enough for that ideal customer so that in less than 5 seconds he understands the value your product or service offers and the benefit he can derive from it.
So you decide: either work very well that first impression and have many more opportunities for people to be interested in you, or leave it to luck.
Tell me, how many times have you won the lottery?
Exactly. Leaving things to luck gets very few results.
Since you have a website and you are paying a yearly hosting, you want it to help you attract and sell to more customers, don’t you?
Then let’s get to work and see step by step how you can turn your home page into a magnet that attracts attention and generates the desire to contact you or buy directly from you.
The most important sentence
You risk a lot with the headline of your home page. It’s what’s going to determine whether the person who lands on your site stays or leaves.
And you know, the longer a person stays on your site, the more chances you’ll have that they will contact you or directly buy your product.
Those 6 or 12 words of your headline are golden nuggets and that’s why you have to spend a lot of time thinking about them and also testing them.
Don’t despair, this isn’t about being super ingenious and hitting a Coca-Cola-like ad tagline.
Your maximum concentration should be aimed at thinking of a headline that says a lot in a few words, but above all that expresses the main benefit that your ideal customer takes away if she keeps reading.
Nobody said it was easy.
But in order for you to have a clearer idea of how to achieve it, we are going to systematise the process of creating a headline that obtains the result we are looking for: attracting the attention of your ideal customer.
Because your purpose is not to sell to everyone, but to your buyer persona, that person to whom your product or service is designed for.
Well, let’s get on with it.
The process of creating a winning headline
The first thing you have to do is to think about who your ideal customer is and what they really want.
As I always say, knowing your buyer persona is essential for your copy, and all your promotional efforts, to get results.
It’s a matter of thinking about what worries your ideal customer, or simply what they want to better enjoy life, and explaining how you can provide the solution.
Take a sheet of paper and draw a table.
Stay away from your computer, as things appear to us in a clearer way when we write them by hand.
It’s also good for your eyes!
Form 5 columns on which you are going to write:
|Feature||Unique?||Pain point that solves||Benefit||Priority|
Feature: Here you have to write down the main features of your product or service. For example, if you are an adventure travel company, a feature could be kayak tours.
Unique: Are you the only agency that offers kayak tours? Surely not. But maybe you are the only agency that offers rafting experiences with a fish barbecue at the end of the tour.
Pain point: The pain point is the problem or desire of your potential customer. In this example of the adventure travel company, it would be boredom, monotony, doing the same stuff as anyone else.
Benefit: Rafting offers something different and exciting to do, something to tell others and publish on Instagram.
Priority: Here it’s a matter of giving a priority from 1 to 10 to each feature. You need to take into account the benefit it brings to your customer and the uniqueness, i.e. the priority your customer would give to such a feature with regards to the benefit she gets.
To understand this point better let’s have a look at my home page headline.
Persuasive texts to attract international customers
Probably not, although I don’t know other copywriters specialised in the international market.
|Pain point that resolves
Low sales to international customers
As we have seen at the beginning the headline has to specifically address our ideal customer and express the main benefit of our product or service.
This is my headline:
Win more international customers with convincing words
The headline is clearly aimed at my ideal client, professionals and businesses who want to sell to international customers. The benefit is to sell more. The pain point is not knowing how.
It’s a super simple headline.
Yet I changed it 7 times in order to test it.
And here is the most important point. You have to test.
So after you’ve written your list of benefits and pain points, sit down and write at least 10 titles.
The more the better.
Don’t get into a funk if some of them are very bad. You’ll ponder that later. Now in this step the important thing is to write as many headlines as you can think of.
Once you have them all and you can’t come up with more, leave them to soak as I like to say and go for a walk or do something else.
The next day come back and take that list again.
Now you’re going to discard (but don’t delete them because we can use these ideas for the rest of the copy) the ones you like the least and keep only 3.
Check with friends, family or your favourite customers which headline they like the most and stick to that one for now.
If you see that it’s not giving you any results, test others. Change the headline and check analytics to see if the bounce rate decreases and if contacts and traffic increase.
At first it’s hard to see these results because every business starts with little traffic to their website.
However, it’s very important to test.
Sometimes just by changing a word the results can take an unexpected turn.
Use the Thesaurus to look for more zesty words instead of those that we use too often.
Ok, now that we have one of the most important things on the page, let’s move to the next step.
In the introduction, you have to use the messages you have discarded as headlines as a basis and develop them further.
Always keep in mind the problems (pain points) of your ideal customer and empathize with them.
The most important part of the introduction is that the potential customer feels that you are talking to him directly about his specific problem and that you understand him.
He must feel that by keeping reading, he’ll get some kind of benefit.
There is nothing better to trust someone that feeling that person understands us and can help us.
List all the problems that can arise from that initial problem your potential customer landed on your site for.
Let’s look at an example to understand this better.
Fizzle is a company that (I quote their description of themselves because it’s perfect)
Fizzle is an all-in-one business building solution for people like you who want to create a profitable, sustainable, meaningful business.
They offer trainings, workshops, books and everything a person needs to start a business.
Their headline is very good because they address the main pain point their buyer persona has: They don’t like what they do and dream about doing something more meaningful”.
In just one sentence they grab our attention with a powerful message which expresses the main benefit.
Now you may be thinking: but my product doesn’t solve problems, it’s something that people just want to have. For example clothes, a gadget or a trip.
True, but there’s always a benefit the customer can get from buying from you.
You need to express that benefit in a suggestive way on your home page.
Take the list you made at the beginning and write about all those benefits you couldn’t include in the title, expanding on their great value.
Something that can help you express those benefits very well are images.
And I’m not only talking about high-quality professional photos of your product or of yourself, if what you sell is a service, but also about creating images with words.
This is a technique that sales experts have been using for years: make the potential customer see himself enjoying the benefits of your product.
Use a metaphor to explain a complex concept so that the person who reads it understands it better and can picture himself enjoying that benefit.
Let’s see an example to understand better this point.
On this post you can find a lot of good examples of using metaphors to describe a feeling of frustration or the benefit of a solution.
I personally like this one a lot:
“It’s like chasing after a shiny object and always feeling disappointed when you don’t get it. I help people realise they’re the shiny object they’ve been searching for”.
This metaphor beautifully describes a problem (main paint point) and the solution this person offers.
If you are living a difficult moment like the one described above, you will feel truly identified with this image and think “This is precisely how I feel!”
To summarise this point, in the introduction, right after the headline, you must include these two important elements, in a way that they are crystal clear to the person who is reading: what benefits they can obtain and what differentiates you from other businesses that offer similar products or services.
Let’s now move on to the next element you need to include in order to have an outstanding homepage.
Photos and design
As mentioned above, photos help to create a professional image of your business and contribute to turn your website into something more attractive to the eye.
But remember, images alone don’t attract organic traffic, so they always need to be accompanied by text.
Invest in professional photos and don’t just use stock images, they’re SO boring.
I don’t recommend to use carousels (those images that turn automatically). Some people are fond of them because they say they provide certain dynamism to the page.
In my view they make people dizzy, most of the times they move so quickly that people don’t have time to read the message or even see the image properly.
Better to choose a presentation in which the person can click next when she has finished reading each section.
It’s also very important to leave space between one block and the next, so that the person who reads can breathe between a paragraph and the next photo, creating a feeling of cleanliness.
If you put too many photos and too much text, people may get overwhelmed and leave.
Your home page should already provide enough information, but not everything; you will be able to dive deeper on the other sections of your website, such as About Me and the service page or the product catalogue.
Put a lot of care into the design, it has to be in line with your brand style and the kind of service you offer.
You need to be consistent, if you choose certain colours for your logo, better use the same for the design of the website.
An introductory video can also work very well, since you can explain in a clear way what your service consists of and the person can see your face, which will increase trust.
Video works especially well if you offer a more personal service, such as coaching, or online education.
The voices of your customers
There is nothing better to convince a person of something that the positive opinions of other customers.
Make the most of them and add the best testimonials you’ve already received on your homepage.
It’s better to add at least the name of the person and even better a photo, but I understand that the latter is not always possible.
Testimonials have to talk about the benefits of your product or service and if possible of a positive transformation, a before and an after.
If you don’t have any testimonials because you’re just starting, don’t make them up under any circumstances, but add them as soon as you start having customers.
Always ask for feedback in writing.
A simple way to do this is to send them a short questionnaire with questions such as:
– What doubts did you have before buying my product?
– Why did you decide to go for it?
– How has my service helped you?
– What changes have you experienced?
These questions will help your customer to give you valuable feedback that you can then use on your home page as a testimonial.
Many people add logos of well-known companies or organizations with which they have collaborated in order to give them credibility.
One of the most important objectives that your home page must achieve is that the person who comes in and doesn’t know you at all trusts you.
This can be achieved in a number of ways:
– Using a credible language, without exaggerations and without using hackneyed expressions (leading company in the market and things like that).
– With Perfect grammar. 0 spelling mistakes. (Always check your texts and ask someone else to check them for you too)
– With a professional design and photos (if what you sell is a more personal service, include a photo of yourself or a video)
– Credible and powerful customer testimonials
– Logos of well-known companies
So don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t already collaborated with any known organization, you have all the other options to work on your credibility and make that potential customer trust you.
Calls to action
The last important factor that should not be missing from your home page are the CTAs (calls to action).
The CTA is a button with a link to which you want the person who has landed on your home page to go next.
You may want them to make an appointment with you, so you can add a button to your contact form or add it on the home page directly.
Or you might want them to go to the product catalogue or read articles on your blog and subscribe to your mailing list.
The action must be very clear so that the person doesn’t get lost on your page and doesn’t know what to do next.
It’s about making things easier for them signalling the way.
Before adding that attention-grabbing button you have to remind that person again why they should click on it.
Add a sentence that summarizes the benefits they will get if they buy from you.
Don’t be scared to repeat, human beings need repetition to assimilate concepts, but you do have to look for different ways to say the same thing so that your text doesn’t become monotonous.
Writing a good copy for your home page takes time and effort, but it’s all worth it.
A persuasive copy can be as effective as the best salesperson you’ve ever met.
Yes, that person who, after talking to you for 10 minutes, has convinced you to buy his product, even when you had never considered buying a fruit drying machine.
Let’s be serious.
You don’t want to sell your product or service to someone who doesn’t need it, but only to those you can make their lives easier.
That’s the reason you started this business, isn’t it?
So get to work and put all your effort into connecting with your customers through words.
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.