website homepage

Eight Tips for Writing a Compelling Homepage

Linda Mulcahy
December 17, 2018

When someone visits your website—whether they’re just browsing, searching for a specific widget, or meandering down a rabbit hole of links that lead them to your home page—you want their first impression to be a good one.

You want them to feel welcomed.

You want them to feel understood.

You want them to see that you have the answer to the problem that brought them there in the first place.

And you want them to like what they see enough to take the next step.

This sounds like a lot to accomplish in the few seconds it takes to scan a screen, but a good homepage will do all this and more.

Eight Tips for Your Homepage

Craft a compelling headline. As the first page a customer will likely find, the homepage should immediately tell a visitor three things: who you are, what you do, and (most importantly) why it matters to them. A well-crafted headline with brief supporting copy that focuses on the customers’ needs will do this.

Avoid hype. Remember, most visitors won’t really know you yet and therefore, might not trust you. They might need time to warm up. Avoid hyped-up excitement and strong sales pitches at this stage.

Avoid jargon. Don’t try to impress people with how much you know about your industry. They don’t care. Using buzzwords and acronyms could backfire by alienating customers who aren’t quite as in-the-know as you. These people won’t stick around because you’re not focused on their needs.

Focus on benefits. Similarly, your homepage is not the place to talk detailed specifications or legal mumbo jumbo. Keep the copy focused on the big picture of how you help customers. What are their pain points and how do you address them?

Use keywords. Google processes more than 40,000 search queries each second. That’s a lot of people looking through a lot of content every day. To make sure your site is included in search engine directories, feature in your copy the keywords customers associate with your business but do it naturally. Keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore, and customers hate it. Which brings us to the next point …

Write for your reader. While keyword optimization is a factor in being found, remember that humans are your customers, not search engines. Visitors want to believe there’s a person on the other side of that screen, so write conversationally and authentically. Use language your readers use themselves.

Avoid blocks of text. Assume your readers will scan rather than read your content. Help them by using smart headlines and subheads, bulleted lists, and interesting graphics to support your main points.

Provide clear calls to action. You want readers to enjoy your homepage, sure, but you don’t want them to stay there. A good homepage will direct visitors to the next step of engagement. For example:

Send them to the product page or a video demonstration elsewhere on your website.

Offer a link to case studies showing how your service helped customers just like them.

Invite them to your About Us page for a more detailed look at your founder’s unique perspective on the industry.

Request they follow you on your social media platforms to start a conversation.

Offer a link to opt-in to your newsletter.

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