The home page is arguable the most important page of your website. It is normally the page that visitors see first and when search engines rank your website it is the starting point for your website’s search engine optimisation. So getting your text absolutely right is very important.
As the old cliché says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And never is that more true than on the internet. Research shows you have about 8 seconds to grab a reader’s attention before they decide whether to read on or press the back button.
Before you start to write you need to think, who is this aimed at, what will appeal to them and what information will they need? Put yourself in the mind of your target market and use language that will appeal to them.
Remember that the Search Engines are a secondary target market so putting your keywords in the text is also really important, but in a way that reads naturally to visitors. This is not as hard as it sounds because listing your products or services early in the text is a great way of telling visitors that you offer what they want to buy.
Start with a great attention grabbing headline, at WNW Design we use “Imagine Your Website Working Profitably for Your Business.” Our target market is business owners and decision makers, our headline not only tells them we do websites but in their mind links this service to profitability.
As a wise man once said, “Don’t WE all over your front page!” We do this, we do that, we started in 1864, we are a family firm, we have 16 offices. At this stage visitors don’t care; all they want to know is can these people help me with the products and services I want? Background is very important but should be where it belongs, on the About Us page.
Talk about the products and services you offer in terms of what it means for the client. The difference between “We offer a 100% guarantee” and “You are protected by a 100% guarantee” may be small but it’s far from insignificant.
Finally put a strong Call to Action at the end, tell people what you want them to do next. It could be browse products, buy online, sign up for a free trial or call you to make an appointment. Be clear what you want people to do and make it easy for them to progress to the next stage. Give them a link, a sign up form or your phone number.
So how much should you write? There’s no single right answer for this, the trick is to write the right amount to tell people what they need to know to progress to the next stage. Typically 150 – 250 words would be average but we have successful clients who put very little text, whilst others write long, detailed copy.
What if you feel you can’t write flowing marketing copy? Don’t worry, most people can’t. It’s a skill that takes practice and experience. In that case, jot down your key services, features, benefits, unique selling points and hire an experienced copy writer, it’s not as expensive as you might think and the difference in sales could pay for itself in no time.
About The Author: Nigel Wilkinson is the Managing Director of WNW Design Ltd. In addition to his business interests, Nigel is married to Movement teacher Michelle, the father of teenage twins, an avid Networker, a Social Media commentator, a keen golfer and football supporter. He is also an active member of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce, being Chairman from 2009 – 2011.You can follow him on Twitter @nigelwnw, or telephone on 01395 542 569. You can also find WNW Design on Facebook here.