Secrets of Writing a Business Website Homepage
You probably think you already know what a homepage is. But if you’re like many business website owners, you really don’t. The homepages of many business websites are suffering an identity crisis. The...
You probably think you already know what a homepage is. But if you’re like many business website owners, you really don’t. The homepages of many business websites are suffering an identity crisis. They're trying to do the job of several web pages, and doing none of those jobs well.
What a Business Website Homepage is Not:
As you’ve probably noticed, a good website has multiple pages. You should have special web pages for special topics: an “about us” page for company information, a products and services catalog, the president’s blog, etc. When you advertise or send out links to your site, you should link directly to the most appropriate page, rather than just the homepage. Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t need a homepage, just that you don’t need it to do every single thing you want your website to accomplish.
Quick Guide to Writing a Business Website Homepage
For returning visitors, the homepage must serve as a touchstone for navigating the site, announcing new developments and pointing out especially popular or useful pages. For these visitors you don’t have to write anything new especially for your homepage. Anyone who's coming back to your site is already interested and is going to want to jump right into the deeper pages of your site, rather than linger on the homepage wondering whether it's worth their time.
That's why your homepage should include teasers for the inside pages of your site. For instance, you could have a tip of the week, linked to a web page on your site with an article explaining it. Good navigation (list of links to the four to eight most essential web pages on your site) is also a must.
For both new and returning visitors, always give a prominent place to a featured product or service (or two or three) with a picture, one or two-sentence description, and a link to its own web page or its place in your "products and services page," catalog or shopping cart.
You should also always feature a satisfied customer. It's great if the satisfied customer can send you a picture of himself or herself. But no matter what, always include a testimonial quotation, and a link to a case study or customer story on its own web page, which you should definitely find time to write or have written for you by a website content provider.
Also make sure your title incorporates any keywords you think people might use to search for your product or service on the internet. Search engines decide how to categorize pages largely based on the homepage title and first heading text.
Making Sure Your Website Has the Best Homepage Possible
You may just want to hire a website copywriter, online copywriting firm, or website content provider to create your homepage for you. After all, you wouldn’t build your own office building, would you? Of course, that’s not an entirely fair comparison—more people will see your business website homepage than will ever see your office building.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Walsh is the head writer for UpMarket Content (http://upmarketcontent.com), a website content firm serving business sites. You can find more information on writing a homepage, including a template, along with the rest of the seven essential web pages for business websites, such as the "about us" and "product and services" pages, at http://upmarketcontent.com/content-templates.htm