Your website’s homepage should be one of your most powerful marketing tools but surprisingly, not many brands get it right. Today you’ll learn how to create a compelling homepage, one that gets real results.
It’s Not About You
So you’ve started a business and now you’re working on your website. Great job! It’s time to tell everyone how awesome you are…right? Wrong!
This is a huge mistake I see businesses make all the time. They all want to show everyone how great they are so they make their website all about themselves. They show pictures of themselves, their employees, their offices, and all they talk about is how great their product or service is.
Instead, your website should be all about your customer. Your customer should be the hero of the story, not you.
Show people how you can help them. Describe the transformation they will experience. Show them how awesome their life could be if they used your product or service.Show people how you can help them. Describe the transformation they will experience. Show them how awesome their life could be if they used your product or service. Click To Tweet
There are three things you can change on your website that will have a huge impact on how your customers perceive your brand:
- Capture their attention with a great headline
- Show them that you have a plan to make their life better
- Show them how to purchase
Grab Their Attention
The most important real estate on your website is the top section of your homepage. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your site, and often it’s the first impression they ever have with your brand. So it’s critical that this section grabs their attention and pulls them in. They should be intrigued enough to want to scroll down the page to see more.
One of the best ways to create intrigue is to write a compelling headline. Your headline should clearly and simply explain what you do and how you help people. Focus on the transformation you are promising.
It helps to pair your headline with a high-quality image that helps convey your message. This is often called the “hero image” on your website. It’s usually very large, at the top of the page, and it gives people an idea of what your brand is all about.
Here are a couple of examples of sites with great headlines and hero images:
Trello uses a great headline, “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done”, that tells the customer how their life will be better if they use their product. They also use a subheading, “Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way”, that further explains how their product works. The background image is subtle but it shows smiling people happily working on a project together.
Purple Carrot only uses a few words to give you a sense of what they’re all about and how awesome your life could be: “Cook delicious, power-packed meals. Feel amazing.” Sign me up! I want to feel amazing!
Show Them Your Plan
Unfortunately, a great headline and beautiful hero image are not enough to compel your audience to purchase from you. You also need to show them that you have a plan for helping them.
Your “plan” is how your business works, it’s the way you do things. Your plan might be your processes or the steps you take to make your customer’s lives better.
This does not mean you need to tell them everything that you do. Don’t list all of the products or services that you offer. Just chunk it down into a few bite-sized pieces that give your audience the gist of how your business works.
Here are a couple of examples of brands that do a good job of explaining their plan:
If you scroll down just a bit on Blue Apron’s website, they show you exactly how their meal-kit delivery service works. With a few simple words and pictures, I get what they’re all about and I can see how they could be super helpful.
FreshBooks is an easy-to-use, intuitive accounting system for small businesses. Their software does a lot of stuff, but they chose to highlight just a few of the benefits here on their homepage. They’ve chunked their services down into a few key categories and then made it all very easy to understand. Notice the focus is always on how their services benefit the customer.
Show Them How to Purchase
One big mistake I see businesses make all the time is not asking people to buy their thing. They spend a ton of time getting their words right, making sure they’re using the perfect images, but then they don’t ask for the sale. Is it because they’re afraid to ask people to purchase?
I’ve actually heard business owners say, “I don’t want to come across as ‘salesy.’” Well, I have some bad news for you, if you own a business, then you are in sales! This doesn’t mean you have to be cheesy or slimy—just make sure there’s a clear and simple way for people to purchase. People want you to guide them, so show them the way.
To create a truly effective homepage, you must have a clear call to action. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “buy now”; not all businesses are selling their products or services directly online. However, “Contact Us” or “Learn More” are pretty vague and not very persuasive calls to action. Here are a few examples of more effective calls to action:
- Buy Now
- Try Free For One Month
- Schedule an Appointment
- Call Today for a Free Quote
- Download a Free Report
- Get Started for Free
- Sign Up Now
- Join Millions of Others
- Show Me How
Make sure your website has a clear and compelling call to action. Buttons work great—contrasting colors work even better. Your call to action should be the obvious next step for your customer. They are looking to you for guidance so guide them along the path to purchase.
Here are a couple of examples of compelling calls to action:
Netflix simply asks that you “Join free for a month”. Who can turn down an offer like that?
charity:water makes it very clear what they want their visitors to do next: Donate Now.
Day 17 Action Item—Create a Compelling Homepage
Sit down with your 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook and jot down a few ideas for each of the three homepage sections: your headline/hero image, your plan, and your call to action.
Some ideas you may find helpful:
Use the work you’ve already done. Flip back to your work on your unique selling proposition, your value proposition, your tagline, and your story. You’ll most likely discover a few nuggets that will work beautifully and without much tweaking.
Don’t overthink it. You can probably think about how you want to say things forever, or try for days to tweak your words until they’re perfect. Just do the best you can today and get it done. Remember…done is always better than perfect.
Change your website today. Once you’ve got your ideas down on paper, go ahead and make the changes to your website today. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or you need to get someone to help you, just do it today. It will feel amazing to start putting your hard work out there for the world to see!
Coming up: Tomorrow you’ll learn how to create a more compelling About Us page for your website.
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