Whether they're shopping around for ideas or weighing up their options, ‘cold' site visitors will generally leave a website within 10 to 20 seconds of clicking on. This rule holds true whether you're a local electrician or selling handmade jewellery.
That means you have only a short time to let your customers know who you are, what you're about and why you're the best choice. Colours, images and design in general will only take you so far – It's high-quality written content that will keep your visitor scrolling down the page and eventually clicking further into your website.
What are the must-haves for a solid home page?
A Balanced Introduction
The introduction is going to be the first bit of text your visitor looks at after the headline. If one bit of the home page needs to be nailed, it's this.
But that doesn't mean you should tell them your life story, skillset and specialities all at once in the hope of convincing them to read on. If anything, this sort of approach drives people off your website.
The real purpose of an introduction isn't to introduce yourself and your business, but to pique your reader's curiosity.
Just like a good story or joke ropes you in within the first few seconds, your introduction needs to grab your reader's attention and hold it long enough for them to continue scrolling.
What this exactly means depends on what exactly you're offering, who you're offering it to and the sort of industry you work in.
It could be your years of experience, unique services that nobody else can offer or your way of doing things that sets you apart.
At the same time, you don't want to go overboard – This is where the balancing act comes into it. You don't want to bombard your reader with information, but nor do you want to hold your cards close to your chest. You need to tell them just enough for them to continue scrolling, but not so much they can get the measure of you within one or two paragraphs.
The Right Amount of Jargon
People don't like being made to feel stupid. Try going through life only speaking in three- or four-syllable words and see how many friends you make!
Equally, people need to feel that they're in capable hands - Especially if they're seeking outside help to solve a problem.
When it comes to writing a great home page, this means using the right amount of:
While there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to piquing your reader's curiosity, there is such a thing as too much jargon and not enough jargon.
In short, there's a balance to be found. It all depends on who you're writing for.
This means you need to understand your customer base, what they're looking for and what exactly it is they need to know.
For example, somebody looking to repair a burst water pipe doesn't need to be drowned in plumbing jargon or technical terms. It won't impress them, but it will feel like you're trying to show off.
At the same time, a medium-sized business is going to be reassured at the sight of a few technical terms on a website when they're looking for a strategy consultant. It's a sign they know what they're talking about.
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What it is you do?
This point is especially important for service-based businesses, consultants or freelancers – A prospect is only on your website if they're shopping around for a solution.
Your unique experiences, understanding of your industry, etc. are all things your potential customer likes to see, but it's not why they're there. They don't not care, but they don't really care either.
What they do care about is:
- Are you local?
- Are you any good?
Calls to Action
Let's say a customer has clicked onto your website home page and likes what they see. The introduction grabbed their attention, they can see that you know your stuff and that you offer a service that would solve their problem.
So, what now?
Once you have their attention you need to direct it somewhere. They're not going to pick up the phone, open Gmail or anything else unless you actually ask them to.
This is where calls to action come in. They can vary from a straightforward ‘Call now!' button to a more drawn-out paragraph that ends with a link – There's no hard and fast rule, because once again it depends on who you're writing the website for.
How can DotGO help?
As you can see, there's a delicate art to writing a good home page. It's not just your website's face but the skeleton around which everything else is built.
There's a lot to get right and a lot that can go wrong. Why not get the pros in to take care of it for you?
Our flagship pro website packages include the services of a dedicated content writer. They'll get to know the ins and outs of you, your business and what makes you special, before condensing and building an informative yet persuasive home page around this.
This all folds into our proven web design roadmap – The DotGO Way.
If you want to find out more about how we can help you, give us a call!
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