When you’re putting together your homepage, think of what you would say to someone you just met who has asked you how you can help them in their business.
You want someone to look at your homepage for a moment and know exactly what you offer and why they need to hire you to do that for them.
At the beginning of the page I like to include a short one or two sentence paragraph that sums it all up. For example, when someone asks me what I offer I might say, “Accurate and reasonably priced transcription services for small businesses and podcasters.”
Include a brief overview of your service offerings. It doesn’t need to be fully detailed, you’ll be able to do that on the services page, but just a broad overview here. You can even make this a bulleted list if that’s easier for you.
Make sure your navigation structure is clear and properly labeled so that people can go to the contact form, to check out your prices, etc…
You can include images on the homepage if appropriate and relevant to what you offer. Since we aren’t offering physical products this is a bit of a grey area, it’s not as easy to represent what we do with images as it would be if we were offering blue widgets or red shoes.
When deciding on whether or not to use an image ask yourself, “Does this image help convey what I do? Does it make the message more clear?” and go from there. Don’t feel obligated or pressured to include photos or graphics on the homepage if you feel they don’t belong there.
Talk about the features AND the benefits of using your services. The how and the what. The tool and the result.
It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish benefits from features. Benefits are generally the results that your clients are going to receive. You’ll often hear the analogy that when someone buys a drill bit at the hardware store what they’re really buying is a hole in a piece of wood.
Briefly touch on your experience and how it benefits the client. You’ll likely have more detailed experience on your About page, but it never hurts to mention important experience points on the homepage as well. You can include examples of how your experience with _______ helped a client to achieve ________, a successful result.
Sprinkle in some social proof. In fact, I like to do this on as many pages as possible because you never know what page a potential client is going to begin on.
Embed and highlight testimonials wherever they feel appropriate. While you can still have a dedicated testimonial page, include a few of your favorites on the homepage.
Or you can include all the testimonials on the homepage. I experimented with this a little since I have two websites offering my transcription services. On Teleseminars Transcribed my home page is just a brief blurb and then a string of testimonials from clients, and of course a way to contact me to order transcripts.
I’ve actually seen some very good results from that page. This is why I’m such a huge fan of having at least a few testimonials on the homepage. They’re the most motivating piece of content you can include anywhere on your website.
If you’ve been mentioned somewhere or interviewed by someone you can include “as seen on _______” in your footer or in your sidebar and link to the feature as additional social proof. This isn’t just for “big media,” you can use this if you were interviewed for a blog or podcast, or maybe you wrote an article that was picked up somewhere. Awards and other types of recognition also fall into this social proof category.
Calls to action. One or more very clear action steps that a person can take while they’re on your website. These are the things you want people to do. Make these big and easy to find, include clear instructions. Request a quote, link to the form for requesting a quote. Join the newsletter to receive a free gift and special offers, include opt-in form. Retain a service package today, link to the service packages page.
You can have one, two, or even three calls to action on your homepage. I wouldn’t go any more than that, too many choices and people start feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure which thing they should do. Focus on the call to action that will help them the most and gently lead them through the steps to becoming a client with you.
Also include links to resources and where to go if a person is not quite ready to order services yet. This could be a link to your blog in the navigation if you’re blogging. It could be a free report or case study whitepaper that you offer.
All of these things combined together showcase the value you bring to your client and how you can help them in their business. Because at the end of the day it’s all about them, not about you. What they want to know is “What’s in it for me when I hire this person?” If you can show them that, they’ll be ready to order your services.
Homework and Action Steps:
- Write your summary statement. One or two sentences that describe what you offer to the world.
- Describe the features AND benefits of what you do.
- Give an example of how your experience helped a client achieve a successful outcome.
- Add some social proof, testimonials, and/or awards.
- Include a call to action (or a few)
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