Last week we spoke about what your homepage is for, and talked about it being a welcoming front door, an introduction service, and a map. (Check it out over here if you haven’t already.)
Today we get more specific about what your homepage should include to help it be those things for you and your business. So, let’s jump in.
1. Clear descriptor of who you are, what you do, and why “they” should care
When someone lands on your website for the first time you’ve got a very short amount of time to convince them that you are what they’ve been looking for and that they should stick around to find out more.
One of the key deciding factors comes from how you use your “About” information right up front to be clear on WHO you are, WHAT you do, and HOW you will benefit them if they do stick around.
That’s right, benefit THEM.
The information is about you, but what they’re interested in is what about you will help them, what about you is interesting and helpful. What sets you apart from the hundreds of other websites they could just as easily have landed on. And what will you do for them if they stick around here with you.
Be clear on what you do, and who you do it for
Don’t mess around. Tell people what you do, so they know if they’ve come to the right place. If you haven’t gotten crystal clear on that just yet don’t worry, but be as specific as you can.
What do you have to offer, and who are you offering it to?
You won’t want to work with everyone under the sun. Personality-wise we’ll discuss in the next point, but in general there’ll be different levels of expertise and experience you’ll be offering. Let the person know right up front whether they fit the bill or not.
An easy way to do this is to have a clear purpose statement right there on your homepage. For example:
- “I help busy stay at home mums grow thriving online businesses between taking care of their loved ones.”
- “I show fitness experts how to turn their offline experience into a successful online business.”
- “I work with online yoga experts to take their income to the next level.”
Get it right out in the open so that if they aren’t a busy stay at home mum, or a fitness expert they know that they should move on, and find someone else to help them.
Let your personality shine
Remember while you are trying hard to attract the ideal customer to you, you are also trying hard to repel the less than ideal (those that fall outside of the group of people you have chosen to work with).
Be the real you, regardless of whether you think everyone will like the real you or not.
If you are not authentic, if you are constantly trying to be someone you are not, then that will be obvious to people, despite the great act you might think you’re putting on.
A key reason people choose to work with small businesses is the real people running them. Let people see the real you, and then let them choose whether they like you or not, and want to continue the relationship.
If they choose not to, then that’s probably for the best anyway. People who don’t like the real you aren’t going to be the people you want to associate with anyway. If they don’t like you for you, then they should move on and find someone else.
This is your corner of the universe. Be your true self.
If you have a wry sense of humour let that come out. If you have a passion for family or your dog be open about it. If you have opinions on things don’t be afraid to hide them.
Use them to attract the people to you who you will enjoy working with over time, and you will be much happier in the long run.
Show your beautiful face
Part of the above also includes showing your face. Let people see you, the real face of the business as well as your personality. This will again help them relate to you more easily.
Also humans respond well to pictures of humans. We hone in on them. So putting up your own face can do a lot to help people want to stick around more too, even subconsciously.
2. Show them where to go (nicely)
Your homepage shouldn’t just be a welcome mat, and it shouldn’t just be all about introducing yourself. People come to your site for a reason. They come looking for a way to get something done.
So help them do it. You don’t want them leaving empty handed, or chances are they’ll never come back again!
Your homepage should give people the top 3-5 ways to get what they need from you.
Are they looking for pricing information? Do they need to find out about how a certain product or service works? Are they looking for advice on a certain situation?
Your homepage shouldn’t give them all this information, but it should clearly point them towards how to get to this information on your website.
Your homepage should work for you, not just sit around looking all pretty, but useless.
Use your navigation, your sidebar, your sliders, and every piece of content on there to help direct people to what they are looking for AND what you want them to find.
3. Build your relationship
But wait, just because someone has arrived at your site, has lasted more than 3 seconds, has decided there’s something about you they like, and has even found the information they came here looking for does that mean they’re going to become instant customers, pouring money into your bank account straight away?
No, not always.
It might take time to build the relationship and gain their trust enough for them to buy your products or services. They might not actually need you just yet, they might have just been doing their research, and comparing you to others in your niche.
So you need a way to continue building the relationship with them, even if they don’t come back to your site, or need your services right now.
It’s great if they find your social media links, and start following you over there, but again, this relies on an action on their part, on them remembering about you, and taking the time to check you out.
One of the best ways for you to stay front of their mind without them having to remember you themselves, is for you to invite yourself into their inbox on a regular basis.
And one of the best ways to get them to hand over their valuable email address is by giving them something valuable in exchange. This way it’s not pushy or salesy, but a win-win for everyone.
Even if you’re not selling a product, it is still to your advantage to start setting up this one to one relationship with them right now.
This will keep you front of mine, it will nurture the relationship, and you can use it to continue to provide value to them, so that when they do need products or services like the ones you provide, you are their go-to person.
How’s your homepage doing?
Is your homepage doing these 3 things? Are you using it effectively? Have you got something on there that isn’t working for you, but you don’t know how to fix it? Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email, and I’ll be happy to take a look for you!