The homepage does a lot of heavy-lifting on a website. It has to serve the needs of both first-time and returning visitors. It has to highlight what is important. It has to help each visitor figure out the next best step to take.
And it has to do all of that without being too text-heavy.
That makes writing a homepage a challenge… but in a good way.
You, as the web writer, get to piece together all the bits of that puzzle into something that works well for your client, and even more importantly, serves their visitors well.
To help you figure out how all those puzzle pieces go together, you’ll need the answers to three big questions before you start deciding how to write and structure your homepage.
The first question is, What do first-time visitors need to know?
People who return to a website generally already have an idea of what they plan to do when they get there.
But first-time visitors are flying blind. You need to help them quickly assess what the site is about, why it matters to them, and what the best way is for them to move forward.
The second question is, What’s the primary goal of the homepage?
It’s so tempting to try to make a homepage do everything from capturing leads to building awareness to making a sale. It’s up to you and your client to decide what the single most important goal of the page is, so you can make that the main focus.
That doesn’t mean your homepage won’t contain other information or other ways for visitors to engage with the site.
But it does mean that you’ll work hard to achieve that goal before you talk about anything else on the homepage.
The third question is, What are the top three things people do?
Returning visitors will have some typical things they do when they come to a site. And first-time visitors may have some very typical things they look for on the site.
You can talk with your client to figure out what the top two or three things are that visitors do when they get to the homepage.
Do they visit the blog? Do they go check out the special offer? Do they ask the same questions over and over again?
Based on what visitors already do and ask, you can write your homepage to make it easier for them to do and find the things they are looking for.
By asking these three questions before you begin to write, you’ll have a much better idea for how to approach your homepage project to deliver a great result for your client and a great experience for your user.
If you want to try your hand at a Homepage Practice Assignment, right now, we’re giving you a way to do that. We have a fictional brief right here, you can write your homepage copy, and then submit it for the chance to have it reviewed in an upcoming live webinar session.
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Mark Your Calendar
May 18: Chatbots. Good for web writers? Or a disaster? Nick Usborne joins us to talk about chatbots and why they actually spell big opportunity for web writers like you. Join us for this forward-looking event.
May 26: Practice Assignments are due! If you want to participate in our current Homepage Practice Assignment and you want your assignment in the running to be included in our live webinar review, make sure you get it in by this date.
May 28: During this live review, I’ll look over several of your Practice Assignment submissions. I’ll discuss how to approach a homepage and how to review your own work critically. By the end of this session, you’ll see what works on a homepage and how to make edits that will strengthen your final product. Whether your assignment is chosen for review or not, this session will be a great learning experience. I hope you’ll join us.
Around the Web
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If you need a little inspiration for your Facebook ads, here are 20 that are worth studying.
When you write a blog post, the goal is for people to actually read it. These five steps will help you lay the groundwork for a strong post.
When it comes to getting traffic onto your site, your Title Tags matter. SEMRush shows you how to get more clicks.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!