3 Important Sections Your Website Homepage is Missing
By: Andrew Hall, Copywriter Intern
Does your website pass the 5 second test? As a consumer, my thought process goes like this:
– What are you selling?
– How can you help me?
Far too often, website homepages are filled with industry jargon, fancy-schmancy sales lingo, and biographies of the founders that leave the consumer confused and unsure what you’re even selling. As business owners, marketing professionals, and copywriters, we always need to keep our customers’ needs in mind. In fact, they should at the forefront of every decision we make. Expert copywriter Neville Medhora tells marketers, “Consumers don’t care about you, they only care about themselves.” It’s so true. Every decision, every page on your website, and every word of copy must be intentionally chosen to target your ideal customer.
So … how can we improve?
The single biggest mistake that homepage designers make with their copy is a lack of clarity. Most copy on a homepage is confusing and filled with extra “fluff.” Trying to read through copy “fluff” is like trying to take a test in the middle of a construction zone with constant distractions. When you take a test in a quiet study room, your mind is clearer. Your brain relaxes. The customer can focus on how the product or service will serve their needs.
The bottom line: If something is not important to us, we will forget about it.
For example, what color shirt was your boss wearing last Tuesday?
“Anyone, anyone?” Silence.
NOW, what if your boss told you last Tuesday, “You will be quizzed next week on what color shirt I wore today. If you remember correctly, you’ll get a 50% raise.” I don’t know about you, but I think we would all remember that shirt color. In a similar fashion, marketers need to emphasize the aspects of their products and services that will help their customers.
The Main Takeaway: If it doesn’t help your customer survive and thrive, leave it out. Delete it. It might seem like you are leaving out extra details that your customer wants at first. But if every part of your homepage is clear and concise, the customer will not need the extra fluffy details about your product and service. They can find that out when they contact you, set up an appointment, or call your office.
With this thesis in mind, the following are the key 3 sections of website homepage copy that are most often missed.
1. Simple Headlines & Sub-headlines
This is the first thing visitors read when visiting your website’s homepage. It should easily summarize in a nutshell what you do. Here are some examples:
Construction Company: Basement Remodeling to Expand your Living Space
Home Building Supplier: Make your Home More Efficient and Beautiful
Next, follow the headline with a more detailed explanation of what you do that explains how you’re going to make their life better.
Construction Company: We provide driveway construction and renovation for homes in Dane County.
Home Building Supplier: We supply construction and building materials to home builders so people can live in their dream home.
2. Customer Testimonials
The best marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. A referral by someone who has already purchased your product or service and who is willing to vouch for it is simply golden. In the marketing book Influence by social psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini, he talks in depth about this concept. “The principle of social proof says so: The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.”
Testimonials are an easy avenue to introduce social proof that your business is the very best at what you offer. Customers won’t buy your product simply because you tell them to. They’re looking for a company they can trust. And, seeing a peer’s review might just get your foot in the door.
3. How it Works (Our Process)
The last overlooked section on a homepage is a clear call to action or “how it works.” In a nutshell, you simply explain the process to get the ball rolling. Psychologically, we understand sequences of three: Three Blind Mice, Three Musketeers, Three Strikes and You’re Out. With the focus of clarity in mind, the How it Works section works best if you’re able to break down your company’s process into three simple steps. For example:
Real Estate Agent
1. Give us a call
2. Work with our agents
3. Find your dream home
1. Complete our online form
2. We’ll pair you with a coach to help set goals
3. Live a healthier life
Customers want to see themselves at the end of the finish line. A marathon race wouldn’t sell their race by saying, “Imagine the pain you will feel at Mile 20.” Instead, they say, “Imagine the pride you’ll feel when you cross that finish line and get past your believed potential.” Essentially, the How It Works section is a simple 3-step guide to help your customer reach their dreams.