In the first post of this series I talked about “politely useless” content-stuff that’s not bad, exactly, but sure as heck not good either.
I hate that kind of content, and you should too. You think it’s doing something for you, but in fact all it’s doing is driving away your readers.
So now I can hear you saying, “Well whoopee-doo, Mr. Writer Pants.” (Or maybe not.) “Why don’t you stop ranting about what bad content is – and focus on telling me how to make my content good?”
Well this I can do – beginning with your Homepage.
Start With Home Page Basics
Home is an interesting page, because it has so many jobs to accomplish:
- Your Homepage needs to look good and make a great first impression.
- Home needs to work to help people discover other parts of the site they might want to visit.
- Home also needs to help orient people to your business – both what you do and how you do it.
But the truth is, none of that will really help you sell.
So what will? For starters, what you need on your Homepage is a lot simpler than you think.
KoMarketing recently did a study that looked at what helps demonstrate credibility on the website of a vendor selling to other businesses. (Hint… that’s you.)
More than half of the buyers surveyed said they wanted to see About information on the Homepage. Two-thirds said they wanted Contact info there.
And what was most often reported missing from Homepages?
You guessed it – thorough contact information (51% of the time) and About info (29% of the time.)
So please… For the love of all that’s good and holy, if you don’t have things like a simple bio, and address and contact info on your Home page-get them up there fast before you lose any more sales.
Sure, clients will probably still buy from you even if they have to hunt for a way to give you their money. But do you really want to take the chance?
Next, Move On To A Great Headline
Once the basics are out of the way, you can start building a sales-oriented Homepage with this simple change: Make sure your page headline communicates the value of working with your company.
Put on your client hat and think about what buyers are coming to your website to look for. Then let them know you’ve got exactly that – and tell them right there in your headline.
For example, look at these three headlines:
- “Get online-and grow your business.”
- “Beautiful websites that sell beautifully.”
- “Small business service… Big business results.”
Can you see how those headlines explain what benefit they’ll get from working with you?
Sure, you might be tempted to write something like, “Your Expression Engine Expert.” But listen… That’s about you and what you do – it’s feature content, and we talked about that already.
But with a benefits-focused headline, even the dumbest of buyers (and trust me, there are a few of them out there) can instantly understand how you can help them and their company.
Then, Present Your Value
After your headline, expand on the value you can bring to the table. Explain the promise that your headline makes.
To use another one of our examples, if your headline says “Beautiful websites that sell beautifully,” dig in and talk about how you combine conversion-oriented design with magnetic content to turn a simple “website” into a lead-generating, sales-making machine.
Can you see the difference between that and “Welcome to RandomWeb, the area’s premier web design agency”?
Now nailing down your value can be tricky. I get it. So if you’re having trouble thinking of what to say, ask yourself questions like these:
- Why should a client do business with you?
- How are you different from every other web company they’re be considering?
- What problems can you solve for them?
- What benefits can you deliver that will change their business-and their quality of life?
- How can you best represent all those answers in a couple of paragraphs?
Asking yourself questions like these ones will help you shape your idea of the benefits you provide-and help you win sales.
Finally, Build Buyer Trust With Testimonials
Now in your quest to fill your Homepage with benefit-focused content, you’re obviously not going to be able to avoid talking about your company entirely. (And I wouldn’t recommend you try to do so.)
But as you’re probably starting to understand, you need to talk about yourself in a way that puts the focus on your buyer’s problems.
One of the “sneakiest” ways to do that? Customer testimonials.
If you’re going to have a hero slider anyway, why not fill it with glowing recommendations from clients? I’ve seen a few web professionals do this, and I think more should – by posting testimonials you can get away with bragging about your company in ways you wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise.
What would be instant sale-killers if they ever escaped your own lips become insane trust-builders instead.
And yes, I mean insane trust-builders. One McKinsey study suggest that testimonials and word-of-mouth drive 20 to 50% of all purchases.
Why? Because potential buyers see testimonials and think “Well these people had problems like mine… And now they’re solved. I guess if they’re saying this business is great, then maybe it actually is great.”
When other people talk about what wonderful work you do, it sounds – plain and simple – a lot more believable than if you said the same thing yourself.
That’s why you need to have them on your Homepage.
This is post #2 in this series on website content that helps you sell. In the next post, I’ll talk about… About.
Watch for “How To Write An About Page That Drives Sales” in this space.
Until then, leave a comment below with your thoughts on Homepages. What have you got on yours?
- Web Design Tips to Help You Sell Services Online
- Does Your Portfolio Give Clients What They (Really) Want?
- Tips on Writing a Services Page that Sells
- Five Steps to an About Page That Sells
- Are You Making This “Dangerous” Web Content Mistake?
- The Future of Email Marketing and Newsletter Designs
- Techniques for Documenting Your Web Projects
- A Touch of Neon in Web Design: Using Color to Draw a User’s Attention