B2B Articles - October 14, 2013
While web users today enter websites through a variety of its pages, a website's home page is still by far the most visited page of a website. It is the front door, the umbrella of the entire site and the first impression. So it is vitally important that the user is immediately engaged, intrigued and prompted to dive deep. The homepage is where users decide whether to stay on a website or check out sports scores on ESPN.
This is why it is so important to make smart decisions about the composition of a homepage, and, in particular, the homepage copy used to tell the story. Here are some suggestions for drafting great homepage content.
Easy any uncertainty - There is nothing like a great first impression. Within seconds, a website visitor will decide whether they want to stay or they want to leave. Remember the visitor consciously decided to visit your site. Make them feel comfortable and they will want to explore.
Assure the visitor - A homepage headline is the first message a user will read. The headline's job is to assure the visitor they have come to the right place. The best way to do this is to have a clear headline that expressly communicates that you understand the challenge they face. The headline copy should quickly suggest “you've made the right choice.”
Talk to your visitor - Make a visitor the center of attention because there is plenty of time later to talk about yourself, your company and your product. Make your visitor the subject. Talk about them and then begin the persuasion process from there.
Remember they're human - However much you’ve studied your user's traits and optimized your message, don't make it obvious. Yes, you’ll want to use the keywords in the homepage copy but do not overuse or overemphasize just the keywords. It makes for boring, vanilla copy. Remember, even if using SEO best practices, you are now addressing a human being. Bring a well crafted, pinpoint message, and engage the user humanly.
Skip the fluff - Effective homepage copy gets to the point. Stay away from wasted, throw-away lines, such as “In today’s highly competitive marketplace...". Visitors have short attention spans. To engage the reader, make every word count.
Make friends with the visitor - Make the homepage copy personal and conversational. Skip the buzz words and don’t take chances with industry babble. Don’t show off vocabulary or use insider speak. A homepage is an opportunity to make a new friend, start a relationship and invite a visitor to learn more.
Navigate and anticipate - Easy navigation is very important. Never make visitors hunt for what they might be looking for and make calls to action obvious. Make navigation simple and easy to understand. Use callouts that showcase the parts of the website deemed to be the most important next steps. Communicate the content with dummy proof directions and obvious calls to action. In short, don't give the user a chance to think. Instead do the thinking for them and they will stay on your website.
Assume the scan - Every key point on the homepage should work without lengthy explanation. There is a good chance the visitor will scan a homepage in a search for what might have brought them there to begin with. Therefore, keep the content sparse and white space ample because scanning leads to action.
Give something away - Understand that most first time visitors are either “just looking”, doing research or their due diligence. So your resources, such as demos, newsletters, eBooks, white papers should be featured prominently. Be specific with these types of offers to make sure the visitor has a compelling reason to submit their email address. Don’t use generic pleas such as “subscribe to the newsletter.” Offer a compelling value so they are more apt to submit.
Appease the visitor - Your visitors want evidence your product is legit. Give it to them on the homepage with reviews, testimonials, logos,, quality assurance, accreditations, and more. If active on social media or have a large subscriber base, mention it. This helps establish the credibility visitors look for.
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