Most companies have websites. These sites will typically have the following one or more core purposes:
- Describing your business expertise
- Building your reputation
- Generating business leads
- Giving an online service
- Providing after-sales information or care
We all know a good website needs to fulfill these online objectives. How to get there, is a lot harder to explain and execute.
Probably the most important content on any website is the home page content. This is because that is the starting point of a website. If a typical website has an average bounce rate of 55%, then it is worth examining why and the answer probably has to do with the home page.
Relevant and purposeful content
If a person found your website via Google search, visits, and then leaves, it could mean a few things:
Relevance – Your content may not be what they want or is lacking the required information. The content is a mismatch. Are the keywords in your title or header appropriate or misleading? Does the content support the title or header? Here is an example of a misleading website, nissan.com. Go ahead, click it. A typical person would expect something else altogether.
Lack of purposeful clarity – Having clarity on the homepage is very difficult. A clear 30-seconds pitch is so important because that’s typically how long they will stay on the home page. What is that? Assuming you are in a lift with a millionaire going up from Ground to the 45th floor. The millionaire turns around to ask, “So what do you do?”. How would you answer?
Bad or absent punchline – It is said, “It is easy to make a first impression but hard to make a lasting impression.” What is equally important is not to assume the visitor will scroll down a home page. In 2 seconds, a person will make up its mind whether to leave or stay (and scroll down) the website. You need a good and convincing punchline at the top to make them curious and want to stay to find out more.
How to craft your home page content
Consider the following questions when deriving your content:
Business value proposition – What is your business value proposition? What makes you unique as a business?
Competitor analysis – Who are your competitors? Why are they your competitors?
Substantiating your value proposition – Why should a potential customer buy from you? What makes your value proposition more appealing than your competitor? How do you justify it?
Impact in accepting the proposition – How will buying from (or partnering with) you impact the potential customer? What emotional (e.g. awesome, excellent, amazing, incredible) or power words (e.g. best, first, guarantee, superior) can you use to associate with becoming a customer?
Write down, outline and summarize – Write down your business proposition and substantiate it in a single page. Then outline (no complete sentences) the content into half a page. Summarize the outline into a single sentence with less than 10 words.
Final thoughts on home page content
It’s good to take the approach of an old adage:
You’ll never get a second chance to make a (lasting) first impressionWill Rogers
If you had one thing to say to a potential customer, what would you say? Simplicity is the result of many iterations. Do not be surprised if this is going to be an ongoing exercise but it will be worthwhile your time.