Crafting great website content is a delicate art. It takes sharp insight and a deep understanding of the intended audience to get it right. Homepage messaging is especially delicate because it requires you to be able to say a lot in the most compelling manner possible -- all in the space of a very short sentence.
The effort it takes to get it right is worth it however, given how critical the homepage message is to the success of your website. Below we cover the reasons that the homepage message deserves to be considered one of the most important website elements, and offer a few practical ideas on how to write a great one.
It’s the one thing every first-time website visitor will read
If you’ve invested in building an effective website for your business, you’ve likely spent time and effort crafting compelling website copy. Good website copy is critical to your website’s ability to persuade and convert users, but the truth is that user attention spans are generally very short and the majority of website visitors will skim content rather than really read it.
The good news is that if there’s one line of text on your website that you can count on nearly every visitor to actually read, it’s the homepage message. This means that the homepage message is one of your best opportunities to captivate the user’s attention. In order to do that though, the message must be powerful. Don’t squander the opportunity to speak directly to users by writing a message that’s vague or convoluted by jargon and business platitudes. Be specific, direct, and clear.
It will answer the user’s big picture questions
First time visitors to a website arrive with many questions and unknowns. It’s the job of the homepage message to address the biggest and most important of these. Your homepage message should be used to tell users who you are, what you do, and what your main value propositions are.
If your homepage message can achieve this, it will help reduce homepage bounces, thus bettering your chances of moving the user further down the conversion funnel.
It can convey your brand’s personality
Modern consumers place high value on the perceived authenticity of the brands and businesses they buy from and work with. So it follows that anything your website can do to convey the personality of your brand is worth doing.
Though the homepage message only comprises one or two lines of text, these lines can be deployed in service of establishing a distinct voice. Word choice and syntax are everything here. Establish clearly how your brand wants to be perceived by your target audience and then craft a homepage message that will help portray you that way.
It gets users through the door
Your website’s homepage is a doorway you want users to walk through. You might want them to explore the site more deeply, add something to their cart, or offer up their contact details. In every case though, you want them to do more than simply land on your homepage and leave without taking any action. It’s the homepage message’s job to help you accomplish this goal.
A great homepage message persuades users that your business can offer the service, product or information they’re looking for, and helps convince them to take the next step. The pairing of an effective homepage message with a compelling call-to-action (CTA) is what moves first time visitors into the flow of browsing and engaging with your website.
A closing note
The importance of a great homepage message is clear, but that doesn’t mean that getting it exactly right is easy. There’s a lot of legwork that needs to be done before writing the homepage message in the form of both brand and website strategy.
Once you think you have the perfect message crafted, the work doesn’t stop there. Testing the message with users is the best way to understand, quantitatively, what resonates and what doesn’t. Rigorous testing of various iterations of your homepage message will help guide you to the most effective option.