Hi, everyone, and welcome to Perfectly Planned Content’s Writing Wednesday video series, where we dive into the power of words and the many ways writing impacts your business. I’m Lauren Keller, Director of Content and Strategy, and I’m thrilled to bring you a video series completely dedicated to the craft of writing.
Over the next couple of months, I will dissect the anatomy of a stunning website (and give you tips for doing it yourself)! Today is all about the home page.
Have you ever heard of the concept of a power outfit? You know, it’s your favorite go-to look when you have a challenging presentation at work or a massive pile of tasks to get done. It’s the outfit that makes you feel confident and strong and also communicates to the world that you’ve totally got this.
Think about your website’s home page like your brand’s power outfit. It looks fantastic, sets the right tone, and encourages visitors to keep exploring.
Here are some must-have elements on your website’s homepage.
1. Who You Serve
As soon as a prospect lands on your home page, they should know exactly what you do and who your product/service is for.
Make your first heading, the “hero text,” as direct and descriptive as possible. The magic number is usually anywhere between 3 and 5 words.
- On our site, we have “authentic, story-driven content marketing.”
In a subheading underneath the hero text, you can explain more about the value you bring. You might include what the visitor can expect from your site, how you help your prospect solve their problems, a taste of your value proposition, etc.
Your strategy will depend on your brand’s tone, style, and audience. Framing your content around your ideal client will help them know they’re in the right place and feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Bonus: Create An Aspirational Identity
While you trial the perfect word combos (and shamelessly use the Thesaurus), consider including emotion-driven words and phrases that allow your customers to envision their lives if they bought your product or used your service.
- A modern advisor
- A profitable writer
- A fulfilled business owner
Doing so raises the stakes and gives visitors a deeper emotional connection from the start.
2. Primary and Secondary CTAs
A call to action is a phrase that indicates what you want your visitors to do, like book a call, fill out a form, sign up for your newsletter, etc.
Your home page should feature the primary CTA in a place where your visitor won’t have to scroll to get there or above the fold. This desired action should be your primary goal, like scheduling a call, booking time on a calendar, etc.
Secondary CTAs offer visitors more opportunities to explore your website. You might have a call to action that takes people to your services or about page so they can dive deeper into what it means to work with you.
If you have a blog (you should), you can feature select content on the home page and encourage visitors to check out additional content or your resource library.
3. Quick Service Overview
Visitors should land on your home page and be able to articulate what you do before leaving.
It’s often best to have a condensed version of your services and the value you bring to clients and then link to a more in-depth description of your product or service on a separate page.
Don’t just emphasize what you do; highlight how you do it differently and tangible ways your audience can benefit from it.
Pro tip: the more specific you can be, the better. Vague generalizations won’t do you any favors. Your audience will feel more connected to brands that are clear in the value they provide.
4. Free Content Offer
Yes, your website is your brand’s first impression, but you want to try and stay in front of your prospects intentionally and warm up your leads. To do that, you’ll need something super valuable: a space in their inbox.
One way to do this is by offering a high-quality, complimentary content source. Depending on your brand and audience, it might be a PDF, email course, video series, webinar, etc.
If you ask your audience to give you their email address, you should provide them with something just as valuable. Spend time making this giveaway an excellent representation of your brand and giving readers a taste of the incredible value you deliver.
5. Trust And Sucess Indicators
You want your audience to be ecstatic to work with you. One thing your home page must do is establish a baseline of trust.
- Why should your audience do business with you?
- What makes you uniquely capable of solving their problems?
- How can you help them reach their goals?
One of the best ways to illustrate this point is through reviews and testimonials. Reviews are such a powerful tool, and since advisors can now leverage reviews in their marketing, you can highlight client reviews and testimonials on your homepage.
6. Simple Navigation
You have a lot of great information on your website, but if no one can find it, all that work won’t do you any good. Prioritize simple navigation for your visitors and search engines.
Straightforward navigation makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. Plus, it’s easier for people to stay on your website longer.
How can you do this?
- Condense the search tabs at the top of your site to the most important
- Consolidate similar pages; for example, “about,” “our philosophy,” and “why us” could all be one page.
- Use drop-downs to add detail. If you want more technical information, use dropdowns. The thing here is to keep everything as straightforward as possible.
Think about navigation like the map to your website. You want the map to be transparent, not riddled with unnecessary complexity.
7. On-Brand Design
Stunning copy will only go so far if your website looks like it’s stuck in the 90s. Whether you simply need to update a few images or go through a complete visual site update is completely up to you.
Unless design comes naturally to you, it’s often best to consult with a brand and web design professional to help guide you in the right direction.
A designer can also help keep your website backend SEO-friendly with fast loading times and user-friendly design.
What Words Should You Use?
Now you know what your homepage should include, what words should you use to communicate your message?
Here are some ideas.
- Before writing any copy, research target keywords, include both short-tail, long-tail, and local in your search. To check keyword relevance, you can use many tools, including Google, Ubersuggest, SemRush, and more. That way, you know the type of words you should target.
- Focus on phrases your audience uses to search for your service. Mirroring their search terms is a great way to get your ranking on SERPs.
- Know your brand’s ideal tone and style. Are you more relaxed or formal? Do you want your audience to feel like they’re chatting with a friend or learning something in a lecture hall? Your copy will look different depending on this goal.
- Say it out loud. The best way to know if your copy sounds good is to read it out loud. If there’s something clunky, you can more easily identify and change it.
Alright, that was a lot of information!
On your quest for a stunning home page, remember that it will take tremendous effort and maybe some trial and error. No matter what, have some fun throughout the process. It’s exciting (and scary) to put all of the fantastic things you do out into the world.
Does your home page have the impact you want?
Let’s take a look at it together!
Thanks so much for joining.
Until next time.