If you’re like most of our clients, you own a small business or professional firm. While we do offer content writing services, many of you are are stretching just to pay for a high quality, mobile responsive web design, so you decide to put in the sweat equity involved in writing your own website content. After all, who understands better what it is that YOU do, besides you?
We usually recommend that you write certain core pages, at a minimum. You need an “about” page. And if there are three distinct services or products you offer – yep, you need a page about each one of them, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes you need one to discuss the process of engaging with you or your firm, fees, etc.
The one that often gets forgotten, or causes the most writer’s block?
The home page.
Write this one LAST. After having identified your passion for what you do and waxed poetic on the “about” page, and covered all the details on your inside pages, it’s time to pull it all together on a home page. You’re not Apple Computer. In general, visitors to your website don’t have a clue about your business, so this is your opportunity to help them figure out what to do next.
Don’t try to make the sale on the front page.
Sure, you’ll have conversion opportunities – maybe a contact form, phone number, and ways to engage if the reader is already ready to do so.
But if they’re not? Relax. You don’t have to convince them of everything, or TELL them everything, all on the home page.
Instead, you want to make them to feel some pain.
What? I want them in pain?? What kind of crazy marketing person are you?
Just bear with me…
Bring up the pain.
Hopefully, if your reader is an actual high-quality prospect, they have arrived at your website with just the type of problem YOU are happy to solve for them. Hopefully for profit. And fun. Because profit is fun and leads to dancing.
So instead of starting out with declarative statements like, “we are so wonderful and this is how we can offer you all our wonderful features and professionalism blah blah blah”…
Ask some rhetorical questions. The ones that will make them say, “Wow, yes, that is EXACTLY how I feel!”
- If you’re a counselor or therapist: “Are you wondering if this is all there is? If you could be happier?”
- If you help people with debt relief: “Are concerns about money keeping you up at night, too preoccupied to engage with your family?”
- If you’re an information technology consultant: “Are you tired of wasting your day dealing with computer problems instead of serving your clients?”
When you ask these questions, people start to feel the pain of the WHY they’re there even sharper. They’re ready to hear what you have to say.
Suggest that you have a solution.
You don’t need to go into all the details on the home page, but just suggest that you have one, and that if they get in touch, the pain can stop even sooner. Also, if the questions lead to a specific type of solution, now would be a great time to link to one of those DETAIL pages you already wrote. And voila! You have just led your reader deeper into your website, which improves your engagement statistics with Google. This is ALWAYS a good thing. Get them to hang around, read more about who you are and what you can do.
Help them navigate the site.
Through links in your text, bullet points, etc., you can clue your reader in on where answers on more of their pre-conversion questions can be found. Who are you? How can you help? How do I go about discussing that with you? Don’t explain it all – link it.
Don’t confuse the home page with the about page.
Some clients think that the home page is where they talk about THEMSELVES and their qualifications. That’s what the about page is for. The home page is all about the potential client or customer, even to the point of addressing them as “you,” just like I’ve addressed YOU, the reader, in this article. When you write in third person, it creates a sense of distance, and you’re actually trying to bridge that RIGHT AWAY with your visitors. We will usually design in what we call a “bio tease” on every home page, but it’s just a tease – in no way should the focus be taken off of your prospect, THEIR pain, and the fact that YOU have the solutions.