When I think about home page conversion copywriting, I somehow think about the threshold of a house.
Considering the fact that I’ve recently finished revamping our own website home page copy (to be revealed in March with our brand-new design!) AND that we’re in the middle of looking for our soon-to-be-new-home, my line of thought cannot be faulted.
After all, when you visit a home, the first thing you notice is the entrance and the foyer area, right?
No? You don’t? Really?!!
Well, I do! All.the.time.
And here’s why: The entrance to a home kinda sets the mood. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest-pretty but it does have to invite you in.
When a home’s entrance looks like this, I skip in merrily.
Long story short: The same is true for your website’s home page.
It can either get readers skipping in merrily, like Snow White on steroids, or send them scurrying away like Cinderella’s mice! Sorry couldn’t resist that!
Besides acting like a red carpet for your readers and prospective clients, a home page does several other “jobs” for entrepreneurs and business owners.
That is why I’m befuddled and bemused when I see businesses treat their home page like a threadbare doormat instead of a red carpet.
Why Ignoring Your Home Page Copy Can Dangerously Crush Conversions
When you ignore your home page copy, you’re letting your conversions take a whipping.
Not only do your readers land on your home page and lose interest but they have no inclination to stay connected with your brand, let alone shop or work with you, because your copy doesn’t connect with them.
Connections lead to conversions.
Conversions lead to cash.
It’s simple and yet, I see so many businesses make mistakes that break my ROI-loving heart into tiny, little pieces.
Here are just 5 of the glaring mistakes I see well-established brands and businesses make on their home pages:
1.Vague and fluff-filled headlines and sub-heads/cross-heads: Nothing crushes conversion more than copy that has no clear benefit, pain or outcome included. Here’s how to write headlines that hook readers and grab attention effectively.
2.Missing information about a company’s brand and products: Did you know once on a home page 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services and 52% want to see “About Us” information? (source: KoMarketing) Yeah. So if you beat around the bush or bury your products/services deep inside, people aren’t going to stay around for long.
3.Boring, bland and overall blah copy: Self-explanatory. No one has the time or inclination to read stuffy, dull and soulless copy.
4.Copy that’s clever instead of clear: At the other extreme of the copy spectrum is ‘clever’ copy that includes play on words and made-up words that unfortunately, get lost in translation so readers never understand what you’re trying to convey. When in doubt, always opt for clear rather than clever.
5.Missed mini-conversion opportunities: You’ll be amazed at how many home pages lack basic conversion-boosting opportunities. The most common being opt-in forms and contact/free consult forms.
Luckily you’ve got me on your side so before we dive deep into crafting conversion-optimized home pages, click below to download a CopyGredients Home Page Checklist to make this seemingly overwhelming job easy and effective.
How to Use Conversion Copywriting for Your Website Home Page
Sure, a home page is the virtual ‘entrance’ to your online home.
But more importantly, it is also a conversion-boosting and revenue-generating sales funnel too.
Here are 5 ways a well-crafted home page can help you turn browsers into buyers:
1. Establish Expertise
Your home page must, first and foremost, establish your expertise and authority.
Why should someone trust you?
Why should they believe what you have to say?
Why should they spend any more than 10 seconds on your home page?
When you establish expertise and authority, you let readers know that you’re someone they can rely on, someone they can trust.
BUT the truth is that this is easier said than done.
When visitors land on your page, they make quick (and sometimes, hasty!) decisions.
Use conversion copywriting basics to back-button-proof your website so they’re compelled to read more and stick around for longer.
How to Create Expert Status on Your Homepage… Instantly
- Share social proof: Testimonials, number of subscribers, income reports. These are all easy and yet powerful ways to share that you’re legit and can be trusted.
- Be super-clear about who you serve and what you do
- Display street cred
I love how Pat Flynn shares his income reports every month in a spiffy graph counter at the top right-hand corner of his home page.
2. Create Connection
Copy or rather, carefully crafted copy, converts so powerfully because it first establishes a connection.
Your home page is the perfect place to establish that connection.
The only challenge is that you don’t have the luxury that say, a sales page offers or even, a blog post.
In fact, you need to establish that connection in a crisp yet sticky way. Think maple syrup and bacon. Mmm!
How to Create Sticky Sweet Connection with Copy… in 10 Seconds or Less
- Share your why, who and what in 1-2 sentences. If you and I were to bump into each other at a coffee shop, what would you tell me you do. Write that down.
- Put a face to the name. This is really powerful and relevant for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Your customers want to “see” you. They want to know who they’re dealing with. So, yes, make sure you have a photo of you on there.
- Display your personality. Don’t be afraid to be fun, quirky and offbeat.
Allison Marshall of Wonderlass is a brilliant example of someone who brings her unique self to her home page and establishes instant connection.
3. Conversion Copywriting Encourages Intentional Action
Your home page is the FIRST place you should be encouraging your readers to take action. Clearly, deliberately and intentionally.
Your home page, like a sales page, must have clear calls-to-action to help your readers see exactly what you can do for them and also to help YOU understand what your readers need the most from you.
Using simple tools, like Sumo’s Heat Maps, you can use the data generated from those clicks to understand your audience better and optimize the overall user experience to increase conversions.
That’s why it amazes (and saddens!) me when I see under-leveraged home pages. Pages that don’t invite visitors to subscribe, to share more about themselves or to stay a while longer and browse or even, buy.
Regardless of what industry or niche you’re in, you can use your homepage to motivate your readers to take action AND back-button-proof your website as well.
Insanely Effective Conversion Copywriting Strategies to Increase Positive Action
- Share your opt-in form, boldly and above-the-fold.
- Help your readers to segment themselves by self-selection
- Have clear calls-to-action instead of the usual “Download” or “Sign Up”.
- Use copy that speaks to your audience and compels them to take action. Let them see that you “get” them and what they’re struggling with.
- Keep your nav bar or menu bar un-cluttered and easy-to-use. The fewer the choices, the easier the decision. Simple.
All the home pages above showcase these strategies brilliantly.
Here’s another example of a home page that ticks all the right boxes.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers has a homepage that highlights his expert status, shares his unique personality and then, goes on to compel the reader to act by opting or self-segmenting.
4. Give Great Value
Value is a given.
At the core of your home page is the value that you give to your readers.
What do they get when they land on that home page?
How can they improve their life/business/health/relationship/wealth/home with what you’ve got going on this piece of online real estate?
Giving great value doesn’t (always) translate into giving things for free. It can be something as simple yet significant as helping your readers make quick decisions and save time or money.
Again, all the examples I’ve shared offer incredible value to their audience by sharing their latest blog posts or the best content in certain categories so readers can self-segment and get their hands on the most useful content tailored to their particular business need.
But what about eCommerce businesses?
As someone who does a LOT of conversion copywriting for eCommerce businesses, I also wanted to share how product-based businesses can offer great value to their visitors straight-off-the-bat when they land on a home page.
How to Pack Unbeatable Value into Home Page Copy
- Spotlight your best content for readers to dig into.
- Highlight your free resources AND explain the benefit they have for your reader.
- Offer opportunities to save money, time or effort. For eCommerce businesses, that can be free shipping, bundled deals or discount coupons on signing up.
My longtime friend Kelly Lester of Easy Lunchboxes has a homepage that’s chockfull of value to her audience.
Not only does she have a clear call-to-action she also establishes expert status instantly with her “The originals. Since 2009” tagline.
Most importantly, though, she helps her readers see how they can save on shipping AND shares exactly how to pack healthy, quick lunches – something that most moms (who are her target audience) struggle with a LOT.
The Honest Company, another brand I totally love, does a fantastic job of offering value to their readers by highlighting “Bundle and Save” options on their home page.
Note they also encourage intentional action by offering distinct categories of products for readers to explore as well as their best-sellers. Like the online marketing examples above, The Honest Company also establishes expert status and social proof.
5.Build and Strengthen an Ongoing Relationship
Finally and most importantly, use your homepage to build and strengthen your connection with your readers.
Every single strategy that I’ve shared till now will help you do that but in addition, you can go the extra mile and really lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship with your community.
How to Forge Solid Connections with Home Page Visitors
- Make it interactive and fun: No one likes to hang out with boring people so why would they want to be around boring brands.
- Offer multiple points of connection: Use social, email, blog, podcast, video. People respond differently to different media. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself OR them but do try and offer a few ways they can stay in touch with you.
- Build a community around your brand: The best way to establish a rock-solid connection with your prospective clients and customers is to invite them to be a part of something bigger than just your products or services. Invite them to be a part of a movement, an ethos, a way of living… and you’ll create a connection that’ll go beyond just reading your blog or listening to your product.
The folks at Fitbit have done a FANTASTIC job of creating and building community and connection around their brand so you aren’t only a Fitbit customer but you’re part of a larger movement.
Create Your Own High-Converting Home Page NOW!
You know me, right?All about taking action. So click here to download your very own CopyGredients Home Page Checklist so you can create a conversion-optimized, connection-boosting home page without second-guessing yourself.
Have a question about your home page? Pop it in the comments and I’ll be happy to review your home page and answer your questions for you.
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