At some point, every website visitor will visit the homepage. Sites that are just getting started will notice that the top page in terms of pageviews is the homepage. The homepage is crucial to converting website visitors into contacts and leads.
So, it can't just be thrown together.
Visitors to a bad homepage will be confused, unsure of what the company does or what the best next step should be. Visitors to a great homepage will have higher engagement with the brand, drive deeper into internal pages, and convert as leads at a high rate.
High engagement plus lead conversion equals more customers. And more customers is the real purpose of a website. In this article, we're going to look at some tips to turn your homepage into an engaging, lead-converting engine for your business.
8 Tips to an Effective Homepage Content Strategy
These eight tips are not the only ways to craft a more effective homepage. It's an art form that requires telling your company's story in a way prospects identify with. These eight tips will, however, start you in the right direction.
Use Above The Fold Wisely
This relates the content above the fold, too. In order to get the most out of the above the fold area, consider including:
- A lead magnet. Skype uses concise, intentional messaging to quickly communicate the value and intent of their product, making it easy for them to grab a potential lead right off the bat. If your business has disparate core offers, such as inbound + website design, your top-of-funnel (TOFU) lead magnet should focus on an offer that appeals to both, such as "growing a business."
- Smart content. Smart Content, or the ability to have content switch out depending on viewer behavior, is a great way to feature different offers to accentuate the buyer journey, to capture leads where they are in the buying process.
- An effective UVP Headline. A homepage without a benefit-centric unique value proposition miss the best opportunity to turn a visitor into a lead.
Craft an Impactful UVP Headline
A great UVP headline focuses and articulates how your company makes your ideal buyer's life better.
The UVP headline needs to explain what you do without ambiguity. The more a reader has to think to discern what your UVP headline means, the more visitors will bounce to competitor websites that are easier to understand.
The challenge is in clearly communicating your brand's unique value in headline microcopy. Nearly nearly 5 times as many people read headlines as they do body copy. Using minimal copy improves usability on a website by nearly +124%.
Provide Multiple Offers
Not all buyers are at the same place in the buyer's journey. Some are just gathering information, others are comparing solutions, and then those at the bottom of the funnel are ready to buy. The offer on your homepage needs to fit perfectly into the funnel to be effective.
- Top Of The Funnel (TOFU) - Website visitors that are top-of-funnel are only just starting to solve a problem or challenge. They are interested in content that educates them on the possible solutions to their problem.
- Middle Of The Funnel (MOFU) - These types of prospects are comparing and contrasting solutions to their problem. Your offers should help facilitate that investigation, and if it's really helpful, your solution is probably the one they will choose.
- Bottom Of The Funnel (BOFU) - BOFU prospects are ready to buy. They need a call to action that connects with that truth.
By providing more than one offer on the homepage, such as one for TOFU and one for MOFU, you can potentially capture more leads. For business owners using HubSpot, you can use smart content to dynamically display the right call to action based on a contact's buyer journey stage. Utilizing this technology makes full-funnel marketing easy.
Use Supporting Imagery
On average, website visitors read about 20% of page text. Images, illustrations, or video used on a homepage can help communicate value without the need to read a lot of copy.
On Basecamp’s home page, for example, there’s a silly illustration of a frantic, frenzied woman surrounded by notification alerts. The illustration selection makes an impression, but also makes sense for the intended customer.
Laser-Focus Message For Your Buyer Personas
Getting more traffic may bring more leads by default, but just any leads doesn't do much good unless they are quality leads. Focusing your message on your buyer personas not only ensures you will convert them more effectively, but it can also help weed out bad leads before they clutter up your database.
In the below session of Whiteboard Friday, MOZ’s Rand Fishkin explains the value of creating a focused experience, rather than casting a wider net.
To evaluate whether or not the content on your homepage communicates the right message for the right buyer, consider:
- If the information on the homepage accurately describes your product
- What kind of cost-related terms are being used to describe the value of your product or service (high-end, premium, affordable, etc.)
Every visitor to your homepage is a person. Instead of thinking solely in regards to B2B or B2C, think about it as P2P, or person-to-person. Honesty builds trust, which builds happy customers.
The truth is, even Wal-Mart is not a good fit for everyone. While it may have low, low prices, there are those who want premium items and are willing to pay a premium to get them. Wal-Mart would lose the bargain shopper market if they tried to appeal to everyone.
Your business should do the same.
Being honest enough to disqualify the bad fits builds trust with the good fits. Ultimately, though you may turn bad fits away, you will build a database of the right customers.
Copy that resonates with your ideal consumer should:
- Educate the site visitor honestly about products and services.
- Address their pain points, challenges, wants, and fears.
- Acknowledge potential downsides for bad fits.
Use Honest Bragging To Build Trust
Offer evidence that other people have found value in your service or product. Positive testimonials are a proven ways to make visitors more likely to give your service a shot.
Consider including the following in a homepage content strategy:
- A few testimonials (including a photo and a quote) from current or previous customers, clients, or partners of the brand.
- Awards, trust badges, or honors you've won.
- Logos of companies you've worked with.
- Positive social feedback, such as customer tweets, Facebook posts, or written reviews.
Don’t Overcomplicate SEO
If you try to rank for all of your primary keywords on the homepage, it will end up being optimized for nothing. When developing your homepage content strategy, determine which terms that page alone should rank for.
If you have one core product or service, you can try to rank for the primary keyword for that offer. For example, an inbound marketing agency's homepage might be optimized for "inbound marketing agency." They should not use their homepage to optimize for terms such as SEO, blogging, or content marketing. These terms should be targeted on other site pages, one at a time.
Homepage Content Strategy Takeaways
When it comes to creating content for your homepage, keep it simple and be intentional. Creating an intuitive home page that conveys a unique value proposition, and tells a compelling story will naturally result in higher engagement and more qualified leads.
Employing these tips into your homepage strategy can bring great results. But, don't neglect to give the same level of attention to other key pages in your website. As your traffic grows, the homepage will start to fall down the list of top visited pages. It's important that the buyer journey be front and center of every single page on your website.