Let’s admit it.
Writing your own home page copy is hard.
Even copywriters struggle writing their own home page.
Are you pulling your hair out? Can’t figure out what to tell your web visitors? Can’t decide what to write in your headline?
Let’s have a look at the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Avoid these six mistakes and your home page will be more readable, more enticing, and more persuasive. And your site will turn more web visitors into business leads.
Mistake 1: Your home page isn’t scannable
Do you think web visitors take the time to carefully consider everything you write down on your home page?
Of course they don’t!
People don’t read your home page like a book. Your home page is more like a billboard at the M6.
* v-roooomm *
That was Jenson Button speeding past your home page.
What do you think he saw?
Maybe your headline, possible a subheading, a couple of bullet points, and your image. Try the squint test – look at your home page while squinting: Do your headline, subheading and bullet points stand out?
Web visitors are in a hurry, you need to tell them quickly what you’re about and what you can do for them – before they press the back button.
Mistake 2: A useless headline
Eyetracking studies suggest that web visitors read a headline even before they look at an image.
Headlines like Welcome or Home are useless; they may even chase valuable prospects away because you make it look like you’re wasting people’s time.
Don’t squander precious pixels. Write a simple, credible headline. A few options:
- State simply what you do, e.g. Web Design and Development in Bristol;
- Tell people what benefit you offer, e.g. Convert Web Visitors to Customers with an Optimized Web Design;
- Tell people what problem you help to avoid, e.g. Does Your Leaky Website Lose You Business? Bristol Web Designs Helps You Convert More Web Visitors into Business.
Your headline needs to tell people they’ve arrived at the right place. Your headline needs to entice them to read on. Don’t try to be clever, because that slows readers down. If they don’t “get” your cleverness, web visitors might click away and you’ve lost them forever.
Mistake 3: Features rather than benefits
As microbusiness owners we’re all proud of what we do. We’re passionate about our business.
But you know what the problem is with that?
Web visitors aren’t interested in our service. They aren’t interested in our microbusiness. They are only interested in themselves.
Direct response writers like John Caples, Eugen Schwartz, and Joe Sugarman have learned this long ago: people are only interested in themselves.
Always translate your offer into benefits to your customers. For instance, if you’re a copywriter, do you write just clear copy or sales copy that boosts your client’s business?
Mistake 4: Cluttered design
There’s a strong temptation to cram a home page full of information in a small font, because there’s always more to say.
But think about Jenson Button speeding by your website in his gleaming black McLaren sports car. How much does he see?
Unclutter your home page:
- Have a headline in a super-large font;
- Introduce bullet points because they’re easy to scan;
- Increase your font size;
- Have more white space to tempt scanners to start reading;
- Have one primary call-to-action.
Mistake 5: No call-to-action
What would you like your web visitor to do next?
Ensure your homepage has one clear call-to-action that stands out. Encourage your web visitor to do one of the following:
- Read your latest blog post (like here on the Hub home page);
- Sign-up for your e-newsletter;
- Check out your service page;
- Call you.
Fuzziness chases web visitors away. Ensure you make it clear what they should do next. Be bold
Mistake 6: Airy-fairy copy
Airy-fairy copy is text that is so generic that it doesn’t speak to anybody.
When you address different people with the same text you get airy-fairy copy – as if you’re addressing a classroom full of pupils who are all interested in something else.
To write persuasive copy you need to know exactly who you’re talking to. Before reviewing or writing your home page copy describe your ideal reader. What does he (or she) look like? How old is he? Does he have children? What is his education? His job? What does he dream about achieving? And what keeps him awake at night?
When you start writing your home page text, imagine having a conversation with your ideal reader. What would he ask you? What words does he use? What objections does he have to working with you?
Your home page will be more persuasive if you address one person directly, personally.
Mention why your ideal reader would love to work with you. Help him with his concerns and worries. Tell him how you’re going to make him happier, healthier or more relaxed.
Need to write or update your own website copy soon?
Check out How to Write Seductive Web Copy. An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers. This book by Hub guest author Henneke Duistermaat is written for microbusiness owners like you. It explains a 6-step process to writing, editing, and optimizing your own web copy. You can download the book for free from Amazon until 1 July 2013.