Okay, so I’ve ripped off a line from Field of Dreams, but here’s the thing. These days, life moves pretty fast (sorry, Ferris). People don’t have the time to try and figure out what your business is all about so you’ve got to make sure that the first page they see on your site states one big thing:
What’s in it for me? (no, not you, them, your currently hypothetical customers)
How to write an attention grabbing home page
Easy – don’t go on and on about yourself! Save your detailed love affair with all things You for your About page (though, actually, don’t – your About page should still be about what you can do for your customer). Take a look at my new Home page.
I made a big mistake with my first Home page – I thought my website visitors would need a hand figuring out where everything was on my site so the writing went like this:
Take a look at my portfolio, take a look at my blog, etc. etc. blah blah fishcakes.
I’d made the classic mistake of trying to show what I’m good at when I should have been saying ‘here’s how your service can be improved’ with a smaller implication that it’s me that can help you do so. My new Home page rectifies that rookie website mistake.
No, seriously, what’s in it for me?
Let’s run through an example.
SB Sprockets sells sprockets (I have no idea what sprockets are but they always seem to come up in marketing examples so let’s just go with it for now). The sprocket market is a crowded place so how does SB Sprockets get noticed? Yes, having a great call to action in a sidebar is a winner as is great web design but what to do about that attention grabbing writing?
Would you quickly click off this:
SB Sprockets is based in Cockneyville, near Eastendtown, in the UK and employs 50 staff. We have been in existence for fifty years and supply to manufacturers in Tellytown and Catsville. Take a look at our website and get in touch.
or would this grab your attention (if you were of the sprocket buying mindset):
Need to speed up your manufacturing process?
SB Sprockets can help you improve your logistics, establish better production line control and improve efficiency.
Get in touch now.
Yes, extreme examples of both but have you spotted the difference? Example 1 is all about the business, citing local areas that could mean absolutely nothing to the website visitor and screams boring and old fashioned. Example 2 is all about the benefits to the website visitor’s business, regardless of the actual product being sold, and answers the question of ‘what’s in it for me’.
How can I build it and will Kevin Costner come visit?
Take a good, hard look at your Home page – is it selling the benefits of your service and including a great Call to Action for visitors?
Take a good, hard look at what the other guys are doing – pick a handful of competitors’ websites and compare their writing on their Home pages – what stands out the most, what gets you clicking off the page straightaway, are there any patterns in the writing and can you stand out from those patterns? I’m in no way advocating copying competitor websites, just look for patterns and styles of writing that appeal to you – you’re a visitor too and an expert in your field!
If you’re not sure or you don’t even want to think about words and marketing, hire a copywriter. We’re experienced writers and know what sells. Hiring a copywriter is an interactive process – we will ask you a lot of questions about your business and come up with content that will keep those hypothetical customers on your website and, hopefully, get them to get in touch with you.
Surely it’s not that easy?
There’s a raft of information out there about how to improve your website and raise sales but they all come down to this – straightaway, answer the question of ‘what’s in it for me’ for your website visitors and they’ll stick around for more. Keep answering that question on every page of your site and you could be on to a winner!
Sadly, it’s very unlikely that The Costner will come visit and let you know your business is “neat” but let me know if he does!
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Ruskin quote photo by Eric F. Savage (creative commons)
Many thanks for the great comment – regular review of your website copy are always a good idea; I’ll be keeping an eye on my stats and reviewing the new home page copy soon!
Good post, Susan, and a very timely and welcome reminder for me to review my own website copy. Thanks for posting this!