A question we’re asked *a lot* by our clients is how do I write the content for my website home page?
While just about every business owner is super pumped once they’re on the road to creating a revolutionised website, about that content writing?
Yeah, not so much.
And the home page?
Well, let’s just say writing it is like the painful first day of that diet you’ve been avoiding for months.
Right up there with eating a frog, crafting home page content can be a real sticking point to project progress.
But getting through it is essential and rewarding.
Because when you do, the foundations are laid for producing awesome content for the rest of your new site.
Now, is it as simple as clicking your heels three times like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and whispering hopefully there’s no place like home?
No, but there are some principles worth following.
Have strong key messages as headline statements
Home page content is like no other copy on your website.
Like that warm, welcoming doorman at a five-star hotel, the home page is a customer’s online doorway to your business.
That’s why your key messages – also known as headline statements or taglines – are so important.
They let the visitor know what you do.
Like the doorman, they are an invitation, a window, the chance to make a vital, lasting and great first impression.
So just imagine arriving at said five star hotel.
Filled with anticipation, you’re ready to enjoy a memorable premium experience.
Instead you find the concierge dressed in his Sunday boardies and chewing his nails behind the front desk.
Home page content without a clear headline statement is like that concierge.
It may as well not be there.
Here’s you at the hotel: Thanks, but I’ll carry my own bags.
And in the case of your home page, here’s your potential customer: I’m outta here.
One click and they’re gone, not three clicks and home, Toto!
The way to create home page content that connects is to be clear about the key messages you want to convey.
Follow a process to create your home page key messages
For best results, crafting these headline statements or key messages requires you follow a process.
That means: you rarely create them in a single sitting.
These messages are vitally important – after all, they need to connect with the hearts and minds of your customers.
And that means they require deeper thought.
You might have an initial bash at it, and then come back to your thoughts a couple of days later.
Think of it as part of the creative content process.
Questions you might ask to help clarify your home page key messages include:
- Who is my target audience or ideal customer?
- What problems is my ideal customer facing?
- How does my business solve those problems?
- Can I describe this as a standalone process or solution?
- What is unique about our approach?
- What do I love about what I do?
Your answers to these questions, especially the last one, are signposts.
They help get under the bonnet to reveal who you really are and what that means for your customers.
No, they may not crystallise into succinct, pithy taglines immediately; but in time, they will.
Importantly, your responses provide a foundation on which meaningful content for the home page – and the rest of your website – can be built.
For example, let’s say you’re a dentist.
Like most dentists, you really care about your patients.
But how can you say that without sounding like every other dentist?
Well, it might look like this:
Yes, we’re dentists, but we’re people too. We know how important it is to feel cared for because that’s how we like to be treated.
At Caring Dentist, that’s how we look after you. Every visit.
This shows empathy, it’s real, and it connects with the potential patient, who could well be jaded from the the ‘take-a-number’ mentality of corporate dental practices.
Crafted this way, your home page content truly reflects the essence of your business and will connect with your audience too.
Aim to come up with four or five different key messages.
Then use them liberally throughout your website.
The bonus? They do double duty in all your other marketing material, both on and off your website.
Think in content blocks
Avoid thinking about your home page content as a data dump.
Instead think about it as connecting blocks.
More like Ikea modular, than Bohemian eclectic.
Working like this makes it easier to visualise your content.
It also makes it easier to write because you’ve broken down the task into bite-sized chunks.
Rather than thinking, I’ll tell them everything, you become confident sharing what your potential customer needs to know.
Your content blocks might look like this:
- Block 1 – Key messages, business taglines or headline statements.
- Block 2 – Short paragraph summarising your general approach to solving your client’s problems.
- Block 3 – Brief statements that profile main products or services.
- Block 4 – Customer testimonials (added bonus: you don’t need to write these!).
- Block 5 – Success stories, which might require a single sentence for each.
Now before you say We must be over the rainbow and I’m actually more Boho than Ikea, remember your home page content doesn’t work alone.
Your website home page content is part of a team.
Together with the home page design and imagery, it paints an appealing whole picture for your customers.
Write in layers
I know, right.
First blocks, now layers.
Well, this is just the best way to describe the layers of content needed on your home page.
A good rule of thumb for most content blocks is to have a:
- Primary heading, i.e. a headline statement
- Sub-heading, a short sentence that creates a connection or asks a question
- Main body of content written succinctly, with an emphasis on benefits to your customer (remember: it’s about them, not you)
- Call to action that compels the site visitor to find out more or take the next step.
Still having trouble visualising your content blocks?
Try doing a rough sketch on a piece of paper and see how it comes together that way.
Like most things, you may need to see it first and a rough draft created by your own hand is the perfect place to start.
Breaking content down this way simplifies the writing process for your website home page.
It turns word frogs into content princes and transforms a seemingly onerous task into one that is manageable and rewarding.
Follow these tips and you’ll be clicking your heels like Dorothy.
Mmm, there really is no page like home.