Roving Report: A Review of Homepage Examples


Writing a new kind of project is a wonderful way to hone your writing skills.

If you don’t have a paying assignment to develop a skill, a Practice Assignment works just as well. To help with that, Wealthy Web Writer periodically creates Practice Assignments for you.

All members have the opportunity to accept the assignment and submit their writing. Heather Robson, Wealthy Web Writer’s Managing Editor, then randomly selects as many submissions as she can review in a one-hour webinar (replay available HERE).

Heather thanked everyone who submitted their assignments. “It can be nerve-wracking to share your work publicly,” she noted, “and even more to go a step further and invite me to review it.”

Even if you didn’t tackle the assignment, you’ll learn a lot from her reviews.

This assignment was to write a homepage for a fictitious fencing company. Before jumping into the reviews, Heather shared a few quick tips on writing effective homepages.

Homepage Quick Tips

#1. Identify the page’s primary goal

Heather pointed out that a homepage is challenging, because “it does a lot of the lifting” for the business. While other pages have a single goal, a homepage may have several.

It’s important to identify the primary goal and focus the homepage on that. This focus will help you organize the page, so you don’t leave readers feeling confused.

#2. Be user-centric

Your client has goals for the homepage, but visitors have their own goals and they don’t care about what’s important to the client.

“Part of our job is to figure out how the client’s goals and visitor’s goals align, and how do we help a visitor to achieve their goal in a way that also helps the client to achieve their own goal,” Heather explained.

To understand what visitors are looking for, talk to the company’s customer service team, and find out what questions are asked most often. If the client already has a website and you’re updating the homepage, peruse the client’s Google Analytics (you’ll need to ask for access from your client) to see where the visitor is coming from, and where they go after leaving the homepage.

Once you’ve figured that out, lead with what the visitor needs. If visitors most often go to two or three other pages in the site, make it easy for them to find those pages.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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