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    The first rule of website home page copy

    What does your business do? Who do you do it for? If you go to your website home page, does it tell you that clearly?

    Hero images and company taglines are all very well, but unless you’re Nike, or Apple, or Telstra, visitors may not know what you do. The home page hero copy (that’s the stuff in big letters which you can see without scrolling) should make clear:

    • What your business does (offering)
    • Who you do it for (target market)
    • How you make a difference to clients (why choose you)

    Some real-life examples of website home page copy

    Here are some businesses you probably haven’t heard of. (I hadn’t, before I started writing this post.)

    • Stord
    • Vaayu Tech
    • Bones Co
    • Bring on Monday

    So what do these companies do? Let’s look at their websites to find out.

    Stord

    The first rule of website home page copy

    The brand name is a little overwhelming, but it’s pretty clear what this business does.

    ‘Make your supply chain a competitive advantage’

    Who do they do it for? That’s not clear on the home page, but clicking on ‘Customers’ reveals three main industries – Health & Beauty, Nutrition & Supplements, Apparel & Accessories.

    Vaayu Tech

    Vaayu Tech home page

    This is a great example of clarifying your target audience. ‘Retail’ is there in great big letters.

    I just wish ‘calculate and cut its impact’ was a little clearer. I have to go to the smaller print to find out that this is environmental impact.

    I actually preferred their earlier tagline. Sure, they really meant ‘cut carbon emissions’ rather than ‘cut carbon’ – but I understood the service and the ‘why’ far better from that tagline.

    Vaayu Tech old homepage

    Bones Co

    Um… what?

    I’ve read that first line of text many times. It confuses me. I know what IRL means, so that’s not the problem. I’m just not sure exactly what a ‘husband & wife IRL and on the world wide web creative studio’ actually does – and there’s no link to a Services page to help me find out. At least the Studio page tells me they do Branding, Space Design and Website Creation.

    Who do they do it for and why do those people choose them? No idea.

    Bring on Monday

    Bring on Monday home page

    Yes! Finally. A great tagline which does its job brilliantly.

    ‘Affordable accounting solutions improving the lives of small business owners.’

    • What they do: accounting
    • Who they do it for: small business owners
    • What difference it makes to their clients: it improves their lives – and it’s affordable.

    Where did I find these examples? Webflow and Hubspot both have curated lists of ‘stunning’ website examples. Yes, they both use the word ‘stunning’ in the titles of their article.

    What’s the learning for your home page copy?

    Clearly, copy is only one part of your website, but it’s an important part! It helps turn the pretty pictures and interactive elements into action and connection. It’s also my area of expertise.

    Your home page is almost certainly the most visited page on your website. Any visitor who doesn’t know your business but wants to find out about it will go to the home page. What should your home page do?

    • Answer the visitor’s questions!
      • What do you do?
      • Do you do it for people like me?
    • Work towards getting you a client! When a visitor is in your target market, you need to tell them why they should use you.

    Ideally, you fit all of this into the copy ‘above the fold’ – that is, what’s visible when people first land on your site, before they scroll down. But you also keep reinforcing it all the way down the home page.

    Let’s look at some more home page hero copy which works!

    Some website home page copy examples from NoBull Marketing

    Just before we dive in, please note that I’m looking at these websites from a copywriter point of view. I’m focused on the words, not the design.

    In the best cases, words and design work together. When I write home page copy, I try to make it clear to the designer which words are most important, which ones should be big and obvious. Usually that works. Occasionally web designers prioritise design over purpose, or we have different opinions about what will work best. In the end, you as the customer decide what you want to go with.

    Bright Plan Management Services

    Bright Plan Management home page

    The client name does a lot of heavy lifting here. Once ‘NDIS’ and ‘plan management’ appear on the same page, it identifies both the service and the target market.

    So that means the copy has to focus on the ‘why choose me’ issue.

    In the hero copy, the words which do this are ‘simple’, ‘stress-free’ and ‘make the most of’.

    But the next part, just below the fold thanks to that hero image, is what makes the difference.

    Because something in your life should be easy…

    If you’re an NDIS participant or your child is you already have plenty of challenges to face.

    This is showing empathy, showing that the business understands the client. Let’s face it, dealing with disability is bad enough; dealing with the NDIS is an added challenge!

    Bright Plan Management Services below fold

    The copy goes on to explain what plan management is in practical terms. Then finishes with a strong final line:

    And it won’t cost you a cent.

    That’s true. Many NDIS participants aren’t capable of managing their funds without help, so the NDIS allocates money for plan management services. It’s worth reminding these people – not particularly money-savvy – that the service is free to them.

    MGH Lawyers

    MGH Lawyers home page

    Here’s a very different approach. In this case, most visitors to the site already know at least one of the lawyers at the firm and know what they do. Plus, the logo and the menu at the top make it very clear what they do.

    So the key objective for the copy is to show how the firm is different and why to choose them. That’s why caring, committed and compassionate take centre stage. The trick here is in the choice of words:

    • Three words because groups of three are an effective rhetorical device.
    • All the words begin with the same letter. Alliteration grabs the visitor’s attention and makes the message easier to remember too.
    • Look at the rhythm. Each word is one syllable longer than the one before. The words start simple and gradually draw the visitor in.

    Scroll down and you reach the next headline: Sydney lawyers with heart.

    MGH Lawyers home page benefits to the clients

    This headline is doing SEO work (Sydney lawyers) as well as tying into the emotional promise of the earlier words. Pairing it with a friendly picture works well.

    Note also that the detailed copy which follows is focused on you – the most powerful word in sales copy. It addresses the reader directly, rather than talking about an abstract ‘someone’. Even here, when the copy is about the firm, it’s all phrased to focus on you.

    Narcolepsy Life Academy

    Finally, let’s look at the Narcolepsy Life Academy.

    This business has a very specific client base – people with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a condition where you have disrupted sleep patterns. You may suddenly and urgently need to sleep at any time of day or night. No surprise, this makes school, work and daily life very difficult.

    So what does the copy say?

    Narcolepsy Life Academy home page

    The large copy is quite simple: Living with Narcolepsy

    It stands on its own as both the target market (people who have narcolepsy) and the service offered (how to live with narcolepsy).

    It’s also part of a longer sentence: Helping make living with narcolepsy less overwhelming and more successful.

    You can see how this pins down the benefits – less overwhelm, more success.

    All the key elements – market, service, benefit – are wrapped up in that one sentence.

    And what comes next?

    Narcolepsy Life Academy about the founder

    The proof.

    The next section is apparently introducing the founder, Paul Poulos. In actual fact, it’s a case study proof that living with narcolepsy does not stop you succeeding. He talks about an ‘international career, opening new businesses for my company, managing teams across Asia’. There’s the proof of success.

    He also builds an immediate connection by acknowledging his own narcolepsy. How can you not trust someone with the same condition who has been successful?

    The whole proposition is laid out clearly just two paragraphs into the home page.

    ***

    Now you’ve seen some examples, it might be a good time to look at your own website home page and see if the copy there is doing its job.

    If it is, congratulations. If it isn’t, perhaps we should talk?


     

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    The post The first rule of website home page copy appeared first on NoBull Marketing.

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