Homepage Copy: The Heart of Your Online Brand
When prospective clients click through to your website, you only have a few seconds to convince them that you’re the one who has the answer to their problem. If you want to be the one they choose, you need to put the right message in the right place and visible within the first few seconds of visiting your site. If your homepage copy doesn't do this, chances are it needs some work.
The problem with your current homepage copy
All too often, companies try to tell their whole story on the home page -- but visitors don’t want to hear your whole story. They've got a specific problem that needs to be solved, and they want to find the answer as quickly as possible. If your prospective customer has to sift through 500 words of text about you on the very first page, they aren't going to stick around to see if you can solve their problem.
Right here is where most companies get tangled up. In an attempt to come off as trustworthy and well-established, you end up with home page copy that looks something like this:
Thank you for your interest in [Our Company Name]. We look forward to serving your [industry] needs. At [Our Company Name], our guarantee is caring for your business.
Our web site offers you information about our services, our company, our area of coverage and information on some of the benefits for both you by using [our services].
We hope you enjoy your visit with us today.
While this copy is free of errors and rather friendly… what is it really saying? Is it compelling? Does it pinpoint your ideal client’s needs? Does it identify this business as a separate business than any of its competitors? Not really.
Get to the point and talk about the customer
Until the prospective customer knows that you can solve his problem, he really doesn't care about your company -- when it was founded, whose initials you used to create your name, or even your location (usually). Your homepage needs to describe your prospective customer in such a way that they say 'Yes, that’s me' and explicitly tell them how you can help.
Here’s what compelling home page content might include:
Every day, you face the same problems: [customer pain point #1, customer pain point #2, customer pain point #3]. You need solutions that [fix pain point #1, fix pain point #2, fix pain point #3].
We've worked with [example of customer or industry] to [example of solution]. We've also worked with [example #2 of customer or industry] to [example #2 of solution]. And we can do the same for you.
Notice that the focus isn’t on what the company offers. The focus is on connecting with the user by relating to their everyday concerns: “Do these guys understand my problems, can they fix them, and do they have evidence that they know what they’re doing?”
This template isn't perfect for every industry, but that’s the point: until you talk to a marketing professional and identify the perfect homepage copy formula for your target audience, you can’t be sure if your homepage is as effective as possible. Your homepage copy needs to speak directly to your customer, you can talk about yourself when they call you to talk business.