Be honest. Does your company homepage;
A: excite and entice potential customers with lively and engaging copy, impressive descriptions of your products and services and a promise of how your buyers will benefit from bringing their business to you
B: provide adequate information written in a corporate formal style
C: confuse customers with insufficient information or bore them with facts about when the company was founded and what the company was set up to do?
If you are in camp B or C, you are seriously in danger of losing customers.
A clever person at my daughter’s school recently made a change to the weekly menu that is published at the beginning of the week. Curry has become ‘special curry’, mashed potato is ‘fluffy potato clouds’, sausages are ‘sizzling’ and fishfingers are ‘fabulous’. Positive descriptions that engage the audience (in this case children) and make the product sound exciting and desirable. Indeed our children are taught from an incredibly young age in their story writing to always include adjectives; turn a flower into ‘beautiful’, a day into ‘sunny’, a cake into ‘delicious’.
Fast forward a few years, leap from education into business, and language often becomes primarily functional. A vehicle for information, rather than a tool through which to engage and influence. Even in saturated markets awash with competition, website homepages are so often uninteresting, uninspiring, even frustrating.
What a waste of valuable ‘real estate’ on your website. What a lost opportunity to appeal to customers. What a simple change to make with a little time and additional investment.
Maybe you are not a good writer. Most people aren’t. Maybe you don’t have the time to sit staring at a blank page with a dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other. Most business people don’t.
But if you have invested in a website, ensuring the homepage is populated with sparkling, engaging content is essential if you want to gain and retain customers. So here are my top tips for creating a website homepage that is impressive, persuasive and lucrative.
- Establish your USPs – your unique selling points that set you apart from the competition. Then ensure these come across loud and clear.
- Use adjectives! Embellish your products and services, bring them to life, ensure your business comes across as desirable, high quality, offering value.
- Include different types of media. The inclusion of video is now considered to be one of the best sales techniques on a website homepage. But if you are speaking about your business, compelling language is still an absolute must, so think carefully about the script.
- Make it accurate. Typos and poor phrasing will lose you credibility as fast as you are trying to build it. Use spell check. Get it proofread. And if you really don’t trust yourself, get a copywriter.
- Use analytics. Do you know how many people click from your homepage through to your services and product pages? Is your homepage drawing people in but them losing them one minute later? This information is key to building an effective online marketing strategy.
Your homepage is equivalent to your shop window.
If writing’s not your thing, a professional copywriter can be a cost effective, worthwhile investment to make sure people come through your door and stay there.
Elizabeth Hibbert, Word Salon