Your Home Page Copy Has ONE Job
I was a volleyball player from the time I was 11 years old until I graduated high school.
I didn’t spend my days, weeks, and years practicing my swing so I could slam the ball in the face of the enemy--or, uh… the opposing team--I spent my time mastering the mind game of volleyball because I was THE SETTER.
In case you’re not volleyball fluent, the setter is the person who you pass the ball to, and it’s our job to “set up” the hitters to get a major kill.
The hitters get the attention, but the setters make the cool stuff POSSIBLE.
As a result, the setter is also the one that gets blamed when something goes wrong.
A hitter gets blocked?
“WHY DIDN’T YOU SEE THAT BLOCK AND GO THE OTHER DIRECTION?!”
A hitter misses their swing?
“GET THAT BALL OUT THERE, GOBBLE, COME ONNNN!”
(yes, my maiden name was Gobble, let’s get that outta the way, now.)
Okay, teenage emotional-scarring aside, I think we can draw a close comparison between a setter on a volleyball team (or maybe a quarterback on a football team) to The Home Page (and specifically the copy on that page) of your website.
As a setter, my coach would tell me, “You have ONE JOB: help everybody else do their jobs.”
FINE, COACH. (wait, don’t tell him I said that.)
BUT, your Home Page literally has one job.
In this blog post, I’m going to tell you all about the one job your Home Page needs to accomplish, teach you how to accomplish that, and give you a sweet resource to help you through the process.
Your Home Page Copy has ONE JOB:
Tell people where they need to go, and help them get there.
Basically it’s following up on the question from day one:
Is this for me?
Okay, then WHAT’S NEXT?
How to Do It:
1. Define your visitors.
Get to know who’s visiting your website. Where are they coming from? What are they looking for? What do you want them to do? What do they need to know in order to accomplish that?
2. Have a place for them to go + lead them there.
Before you write any page of copy, you need to set a page goal, first. I walk you through this process in each of the Promptlates, but you can also head to this blog post for a general overview. Setting a page goal keeps you clear on where you want them to go.
Pro Tip: The answer can’t be all your pages.
For your home page, specifically, try to imagine 2-3 primary “buckets” of visitors, and make sure you’re sending them to the right place.
This will allow you to speak directly to them once they get there. For example, if you design for photographers and wedding planners, do your best to direct them to a different page where you talk to them individually.
Photographer? Right this way.
Wedding planner? Proceed down this aisle.
3. Use your Home Page to speak to what your people have in common.
I know you’re wondering, If I’m supposed to speak to ONE person as much as possible, what kind of cruel joke is a Home Page?
I know, trust me. It’s a travesty and a sham. But it’s what we have to deal with, so I suggest you try to pinpoint what your audiences have in common, as much as possible.
Values: So you photograph different stages of life, but do they all value similar things? Get specific here.
Type of business: Do you serve a particular industry? Stage in business? Style of business?
Life stage: If you’re speaking to mostly moms, address #momlife stuff. If you’re talking to teenagers, gear your language in that direction. Are your people single, married, dog moms? This won’t work for every business, but it’s a good place to explore.
Pain points: I know. Said every copywriter ever. But, your ability to speak to the pain points of your audience shows them that you know where they are now. Maybe you work with different stages in business, but regardless, your audience feels frazzled instead of free--start there.
And, remember: Whatever you decide to focus on with your Home Page message, make sure it repels as much as it attracts. General, watered-down copy might cross something off your to-do list, but it won’t put money in your bank account OR get you those perfect clients you doodle about in your journal.
Challenge Day 2:
Is your Home Page doing it’s ONE JOB? If you have multiple “buckets” of visitors, is it sending them somewhere that you can speak to them directly? Let me know in the blog comments!
Head to the shop to snag your Website Bundle, and get to writing copy for your website that doesn’t sound exactly like everyone else’s. You’re welcome.
Remember, your copy can’t wait till next year… but it doesn’t have to cost you your Christmas budget, either.