Attracting visitors to your website and convincing them to become customers can be a big challenge. Out of the millions of sites on the internet, it’s hard to stand out - especially nowadays that more and more businesses are shifting to digital marketing. From the selling of products and services to posting personal blogs, everything is just offered around the web. If you have a website, you definitely want visitors to check it out, especially if you’re doing business. Exposure, that is what you want.
And it’s not just that, grabbing their attention is one thing, getting them to stay is another. It only takes a couple of seconds for visitors to lose interest on your website. Which means, it only takes less than a minute to convince them that your site is worth their time.
Your homepage could make or break your website. It’s like your welcome banner when you enter an establishment, so you should pay serious attention to it. Homepages can be tricky, not only does it have to do its own job, it has to support a group of second level pages as well. Even experienced digital marketers are struggling to make the ‘perfect’ homepage.
There is no perfect formula for creating homepages, but, there are guidelines which you can follow that will surely help a lot. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to create better content for your homepages.
What should I put on my homepage?
Your homepage has three main jobs: Show visitors what they are looking for, show them where to start, and establish your company’s credibility. It seems simple. In fact, it is! And you don’t need to pour out a lot to achieve this.
Aside from the overall design of the homepage, (we are talking about the color scheme, buttons, layout, display, etc.) another critical thing is the content itself. What is written on the homepage? What information does it give to visitors? This is what we will focus on in this blog.
The first thing you should know is not to throw an overwhelming amount of information in one place. Sure, you want to let your potential customers know everything that you have to offer. But too much information is also not good. So what exactly do you have to put on your homepage? Here I present you, 7 steps that you should follow if you want to create a ‘BETTER’ homepage for your site.
7 steps to follow when creating content for your website homepage:
1) Start with your core purpose
The first thing to do is to determine what is the ‘one thing’ that your website wants to offer? Is it to sell products like clothes, shoes, cars, etc.? Is it to offer your services such as website building or online advertising? Is it for providing entertainment like music, videos, or games? Or is it just for showcasing personal creations like photographs (say, for example, you’re a photographer) or maybe blogs, or your own music? Whatever it may be, surely there is a one core purpose of your website.
If you take a look at many big brands, like Spotify, Paypal, Netflix, etc., you’ll definitely know right away what they are offering to their visitors. Let’s take a look at the Spotify website as an example.
Upon opening their home page, you’ll be greeted with the text “Music for everyone. Millions of songs. No credit card needed.” Bam! It’s that simple. Are you looking for music? We have it. No credit cards needed. If we take a look at that carefully, you’ll notice that the text is written in bold letters and was simple and concise. This is what you should aim for. Keeping things simple is the way to go. Your visitors should be able to get the basic idea within a few seconds. They should be able to determine what you offer and what is your purpose in such a short time. After all, they decided to visit your website because they’re looking for something right? They should be able to find that right away.
2) Talk about your customer's problem
“When you stop talking about your customer's problem, they'll stop doing business with you.” - Donald Miller
After knowing what your core purpose is, the next thing you should do is to identify the problem. Customers are looking through different websites because they want to find a solution to a problem – this is something you should address.
Many websites tend to overlook this aspect. They just flood their homepages with achievements and products and other contents that are not really as relevant as they think it is. And not a single one is addressing the problem actually is.
As a brand, you have to sympathize with your customer's problems. You have to let them know that you are aware of what is going on or what is wrong and why are they looking for solutions. By identifying and understanding what your customer needs, you would also be able to gain their trust. It’s easier to build trust if your visitors know that you know how to help them. It’s like going to a doctor who specializes in a specific field, say, for example, you have chest pains near your heart. If the doctor says “You have atherosclerosis. There is a plaque buildup on your artery that is affecting your heart, blah blah blah” You’d believe the doctor because he knows what the problem is and you’ll trust him to help you out.
Same goes with offering services through your website. It gives them the impression that you know exactly what you are doing. In that way, they’ll be able to trust you to take care of their problem and will do business with you!
3) Focus on your customer and NOT on your brand
Remember, your target is to get more visitors on your site and not to boast about what you can do. Many brands make this mistake. They just talk about how good they are and what awards they have won. This is not a good practice.
Count how many times you use the word "we" instead of "you" – that's a great way to determine if you're more focused on your own brand instead of your customers' needs.
If you want to get more customers, you should let them be the hero of their own story. It’s important to let them know that they are the one in charge and your brand is just here to help them out as a mentor. Think of your site as the supporting character. Just like in a lot of famous movies, there is always that one supporting character who never leaves the main character behind. They are called the “guide”. Always there to support, always there to make the plan B, and frequently, the one who actually saves the main character of the story.
That is what your role should be. Be the ‘guide’ that will help your customers achieve what they want. Never play as the hero because your story is different from your client’s story. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about your brand anymore. You could still tell everyone about your website’s achievements but not to the point that it’s too “in your face”.
For example, you won as ”brand of the year” and won a golden badge. You’d definitely want to put that up on your homepage. That’s fine, put it up. It could increase your credibility as a brand. But, don’t let that badge dominate your homepage. You should just put it there on one corner and state something in between the lines of “We won the brand of the year award, and we want to help you become the best brand and win this award too!”
Talk about your success but use it as a testimony to help convince your visitors to use your brand.
4) Set out a plan
Next is to present a plan to your clients. If you want to appear more reliable and competent, you need to set out a plan for your clients to see. You may now know that planning is an essential part of success. Whether it may be for your business or in a more personal aspect, having things planned out will help keep things under control.
It will also give a sense of clarity to your clients. They will be able to know exactly what you want to do. It will give them the idea of how things will be done and how their problem will be resolved. It’s like setting up a path for them to follow. And if there is a path, they’ll know where to go.
Setting out a 3-4 step plan is an ideal way to do it. Keeping it short will be easier for your clients to understand and absorb the idea you are trying to convey. Doing a 5-step plan or more is just not as effective since it may look longer with more processes, it’s not too pleasing to go through as a client. This is why sticking to the 3-4 step plan is a must.
5) Give a direct ‘call to action’
Then, the next step is to put out a call to action. This is a short statement that will prompt your visitors to make an action. Make sure that you’ll state an offer that they can either accept or reject. It doesn’t have to be too forceful. It’s the big offer. It’s your shot that could make them work with you.
To seal in that deal, you have to make sure that your call to action is direct. It has to be clear, and concise. It should even be written in bold letters or highlighted with an eye-catching color on your homepage so that visitors could see it easily. Never use passive languages such as ‘Learn more’, ‘Click here for more details’, or ‘Get started’. These are passive statements that don’t make an impact. If you're confident about your brand and your product, you should show it to your visitors.
To make a compelling call to action, you should begin it with an action word. The first word should be a verb like ‘Buy’, ‘Consult’, ‘Listen’, etc.. It should appear like a command. Another thing you do is to try doing it on the first-person point of view like ‘Show me..’, or ‘Count me in”. It gives a more personal feeling to visitors when they read it. And lastly, be sure that you explicitly explain the value of acting, such as, “Create a free landing page now”, this way, it will be clear for your visitors what will be done once they agree and click onto that call to action button.
6) Mention the things that your customer may lose when they don’t choose your brand
Next is to present some negatives. Your website homepage should also have that negative section, just to balance out the whole thing. Besides, not everything is sunshine and rainbow; there has to be rain as well.
Talk about the things that your visitors may miss out on when they don’t choose your product. Maybe you have lower fees or more complete packages to offer; those unique offers are worth mentioning. You should lay out something that will make them think and consider choosing your brand instead.
7) Talk about the positive impact of your brand and what your clients could gain from it
And last but not least, let your visitors know about the benefits they could get if they choose to work with your brand. On this part, you could explain why you are better than the rest. What makes you stand out? What do you have to offer that others don’t?
You could also throw in some testimonials from other clients who have already worked with you. Showcase their testimonials and keep talking about their success with the help of your product. This could also attract and convince more clients to choose your brand.
A few key takeaways
Now that you know the seven steps to follow in creating content for your website, you should be able to make a better homepage for your site.
Writing the ‘perfect’ content for that homepage could still be tedious. But keep in mind that the more you work and iterate on it, the more effective it will become. Don’t get tired of trying over and over. Keep breaking down your business value into to its simplest form until it becomes more and more understandable. Who knows, you might just nail the homepage you’ve wanted to achieve! Better homepage, more clients!