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Homepage Content – Not Just for SEO!

Posted by in Conversion Optimisation

One of the critically overlooked factors when it comes to web design is the CONTENT of your site. Your SEO consultancy will hammer you over the head with requests for content, but it can be hard to see how it will help anything but your rankings. I’m here to tell you that this is NOT SO.

Given, it’s not a “visual” thing, but the content on your site has a huge impact on whether visitors to yor site choose to engage with you. Every day, I run across websites that eschew good quality content for the sake of short time, jargon, ego stroking, or just good ol’ fashioned ignorance.

In the coming month, I will be posting articles on how to write conversion friendly content. This post will focus on the most important page of your entire site – the homepage. This is the page that gets the most unique visitors, the most page views and the most bounces. As a result, the homepage is the first port of call for writing good quality content.

Why Content is Crucial

The purpose of content on the homepage is almost always to engage visitors to read more so that they can find the specific product or service that will meet their needs (or create one they never knew they had). However, for your conversion optimisation purposes, the content should have a more specific purpose such as:

  • Sell your business over the competition
  • Pique curiosity
  • Inform
  • Create a need
  • Call to action

Note that introducing yourself or your business is not in this list. Telling visitors when the company was founded and how many ferrets are in its ferret collection does not compel visitors to continue looking at your site.

Now that you know the purpose of your hompage content, keep it in mind when following through with the following steps.

The Power of Positioning

The position of your content varies depending on the specific purpose. Generally, it will be below the header and headline (see below). For e-commerce sites (particularly those with a huge range of products) you may want to place images of products above the fold, leaving your content near the bottom of the page where it won’t dominate anyone’s attention.

On rare occasions, you may want visitors engaging with you directly from the homepage – in these situations, it’s important to position your content at the top of the page where a visitor will read it and be compelled to act. For example, if your page has an enquiry form on it then you want a persuasive bit of text just above your enquiry form. Alternatively, include a call to action below the blurb to encourage them to click through to your contect/enquiry/quote form.

Successful Structuring

Content on the homepage should be succinct, punchy and to the point. A few tips:

  • Hook them straight away with a question or challenge – “Looking for high-quality fluffy dice?”
  • Use an active voice – “We have the best deals for you” vs passive “The best deals for you are available here”
  • Use short paragraphs and short sentences – DO NOT WAFFLE!
  • Point them to the key pages on your site with links – don’t force them to scan your navigation and hope for the best

The length varies – ideally, you will have 500 words of content on the homepage, but if you are really poor for space AND have killer authority with Google then I recommend 100-200 words. If you’re Amazon.com, you won’t need any. Mind you, if you were Amazon.com you wouldn’t need to be reading my post so don’t you go thinking that you can get away without a decent amount of content.

Hook with a Headline

Use a headline above your content to make the visitor feel welcome on your site. This doesn’t mean that you make a headline that says “Welcome to FluffyDice.com.au!”. That will just get filtered out and will end up a waste of web real estate. Think about what your customer wants to read.

  • You have the best range? “The BIGGEST range of Fluffy Dice in Australia!”
  • The lowest prices? “Price beat guarantee on all Fluffy Dice!”
  • Going for the popularity vote? “The #1 selling Fluffy Dice on the market!”
  • A seasonal special? “Buy 1 Fluffy Dice, get one free!”

I think you get the idea.

Cater to Your Customers

Do you have in-depth knowledge of your industry?

Is your technical know-how about your products without peer?

Do the experts in your industry come to you for information on technical specifications?

If you answered yes to any of the above, that’s great - but your site visitors DON’T CARE. I have to be harsh about this because I see techy, consumer-irrelevant content everywhere. Visitors to your site don’t want to see that you are obviously smart and well-educated. They want to read about the high level glossy dream of what your product or service can do for them.

ALWAYS write what your client wants to see. Keep this in mind with everything that you write.

Unique Selling Points

Wherever possible, you want to be plugging your business’s strong points – aka Unique Selling Points (USPs). Identify 3-5 USPs and mention them early or simply list them below your content blurb. You have identified these, right? If you haven’t …drop everything and go do it!

What You Can Do Today

Writing content for your homepage isn’t easy, but with these tips, you can get quality copy on your homepage that befriends your readers and helps your business. If it’s too overwhelming, contact us to discuss our professional content writing service. Whatever you do, make sure your homepage content is both SEO-friendly and customer-friendly!

About

Dan is an slightly mad and wildly offensive online marketing consultant. He manages campaigns for E-Web Marketing with an irreverent style that inexplicably nets fantastic results. He is obsessed with all things online and can frequently be found blogging about Conversion Rate Optimisation, SEO and whatever random ruminations go through his questionable head.

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