This is part two of my Write Your Site Series: A 6-part guide to writing your core website pages (Home, About, Services, and Contact), followed by a step-by-step checklist to launching and marketing your new site. Today’s post is about how to write your homepage.
No matter what industry you’re in, every homepage has the same job:
To tell people where they need to go next (and help them get there!).
This means including calls to action — which are statements that quite literally invite the reader to take action.
The best websites include calls to action all over the place: in the navigation bar, in the hero area (top banner section above the fold) of each page, alongside the body copy, within blog posts, in the footer… everywhere.
That’s because a great website shows people how to venture deeper and deeper inside to learn all about the brand and what they’re offering.
The purpose of this is two-fold:
- To rank higher in search engine results
- To build relationships with readers
To Rank Higher in Search Engine Results
You probably already know that Google scans your website. But did you know that Google measures your website’s credibility partly based on how much time people are spending on your website?
If your website is properly linking one page to another, creating a roadmap of sorts throughout your site, then visitors are more likely to stick around longer. If people are sticking around longer, Google assumes this means your website is packed with valuable information.
So a well-mapped website (aka one with lots of calls to action) ranks higher in search engine results.
To Build Relationships with Readers
When you have calls to action throughout your site, readers will click around and stick around. As they venture deeper into your website, they’ll get to know you and your offers. Maybe they’ll download your freebie, scoop up some free value by reading your blog, or maybe they’ll decide you’re *the one* for them and fill out the form on your Contact page.
Value? Added. Relationship? Standing on a solid foundation.
Shannon, this all sounds great. But how do I actually write a homepage that does this?!
I’ll tell ya, friend.
Tell people where they need to go next (and help them get there!) with this easy homepage formula.
Follow my easy formula for writing your homepage (using my client’s website as a reference) to learn about the 7 must-have sections for introducing readers to your brand and showing them where to go next.
01. Homepage Headline
Start your homepage with a clear headline about what you do, and if you have a niche, who you do it for.
Pro tip: don’t sacrifice clarity for cutesy language here. The last thing you want to do is confuse people as soon as they land on your site, otherwise they’ll leave as fast as they arrived.
Why You Need It: To make it clear to readers whether they’ve landed in the right spot or not.
How to Write It: Include your H1 (aka the most important keyword phrase about what you do) front and center on your homepage so people know straight away if you offer what they need. Speak in plain language and be as clear as possible. The purpose here is to repel those who aren’t the right fit for you as much as it is so attract those who are.
Call to Action: Everyone will move through your site differently. Some people want to read every word on every page before moving forward. Others will know straight away if they’re ready to browse your services. For the quick decision-makers, make sure you include a call to action with this homepage headline that lets them browse your services.
02. What’s In It For Them / Why They Should Care
Support the main headline by showing that you understand your customer’s problem. This section is really for those slower decision-makers who like to gather alllll the info first. They want to read about how you provide your services and what the experience with you will be like before they move to the next step.
Why You Need It: To show the reader how you provide the service that you noted above. The homepage headline will help them verify that they’re in the right place, but this section will help them decide whether you’re *the one* for them.
How to Write It: Think about your process, a unique perspective you might have, or how you tangibly deliver your services to elaborate on your headline.
Call to Action: Give them another opportunity to head straight to your Services page now that they better understand your process and perspective.
03. Services Overview
This section is exactly what it sounds like: a preview of your services. But there’s a bit of an art to this section, so pay attention.
Why You Need It: Odds are, you have more than one service package. Use this section to differentiate your service categories or packages and give people a chance to see which could be the best fit for their needs.
How to Write It: You can either showcase your bread-and-butter service here to give the people what they want front and center, or put 2 or 3 of your most popular services side by side to start explaining the difference between them.
Maybe you offer low-, medium-, and high-ticket offers. Show your readers what they’ll get with each by explaining the difference between the three categories.
Or maybe you offer 1:1 services and group coaching. Explain who each category is best for so readers can easily figure out where they need to go next.
(No need for details on what each package includes here. We’ll go over that more when we talk about the art of the Services page. Instead, focus on the main benefit of each category.)
Call to Action: If you have separate pages for each category of your services, include separate buttons for each. Otherwise, guide readers to your Services overview page so they can get more detailed information on your packages before inquiring.
04. Say Hello
If you’re the face of your brand, show your dang face! Let your readers see you in your element (preferably smiling!) and write a few paragraphs about what lights you up in your business. You started your business because you’re passionate about what you do. Don’t be afraid to show it.
Why You Need It: People want to work with people they can relate to. Especially when your service comes with a 4-figure price tag. Have you ever hired a service provider and never once seen their face? Probably not. That’s my point.
How to Write It: Instead of overloading this little about section with “me, me, me” statements, think about the why behind your brand. What is it specifically about your process that makes you so enjoyable to work with?
Fellow copywriter Sara at BTL Copy suggests thinking of this section more like a dating profile than a LinkedIn profile. I love this advice. Because I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never checked if my brand designer had a degree in graphic design or cared enough to see what university my website designers went to before hiring them. Unless you’re a doctor or lawyer, people probably don’t care about your official credentials. 😬
Call to Action: Include a button that leads to your About page so readers can get to know more about you and the way you run your business.
Example: My about section shows my face and tells what I love most about my job by explaining how I can solve one of my customer’s biggest problems: not being able to turn their tangled thoughts into an articulated story.
Then I finish the section off with a preview of the feeling they’ll experience after we’re done by saying, “And when the right words are finally strung together on the page, you’ll be able to see just how damn good your work really is and you’ll fall in love with your business all over again.”
See how it’s really about them, not me?
05. Social Proof
Social proof is essentially like social influence. It says that people follow the actions of others in order to display accepted or correct behavior (via Google—not my words).
It’s like how people are more likely to try to get a table at the packed restaurant instead of walking into the empty one across the street.
People want what other people have. And people trust what other people suggest. Which is exactly why influencers are so successful.
Why You Need It: To show readers why they should trust you. Social proof says, “I’m a woman of my word and have the rave reviews to back it up.”
How to Write It: Testimonials are a foolproof way to sprinkle social proof onto your website. But if you don’t have client testimonials yet, don’t worry—there are plenty of other ways to display social proof.
Showcase logos of where your clients have been featured or logos of brands that trust you as their go-to (with their permission, of course!), note publications in which you’ve been featured, or include a few standout statistics that show how many clients you’ve served, what results you’ve gotten them, or their average ROI after working with you.
If you’re still struggling to come up with social proof, insert a few mockups of your best portfolio projects with a button leading to your website’s Portfolio page.
07. Additional Content
Show your reader that you can provide them value or support in ways other than onboarding them as a paying customer.
Why You Need It: To encourage those who aren’t ready to purchase from you right now to follow along with your brand and stay engaged with your content. In the future when they are ready to purchase, you’ll have laid a solid foundation with them, they’ll appreciate all the free value you’ve provided, and you’ll be top of mind as a solution to their problem.
How to Write It: If you pack value into a weekly blog, showcase your 3 or 4 top-performing posts. If you have a newsletter, entice them to sign up by setting expectations on what they’ll receive and when. Maybe social media is more your thing. Ask them to follow you there. Or if you have a presence on YouTube, guide them there.
Call to Action: Don’t skip out on calls to action in this section. Lead readers to your best content so they can keep up with everything happening in your business and (hopefully) eventually hire you.
07. Final CTA
Give one last opportunity for your readers to take the next step with you. If they’ve read your whole homepage, they are probably interested in what you’re offering. So tell them where to go next.
Why You Need It: If someone reaches the end of your page and doesn’t know where to go next, they’ll leave your website. And we certainly don’t want that.
How to Write It: Reiterate your unique perspective, share your value proposition, or write a headline that explains how working with you could change their life. I also see many people offer a free consultation/discovery call in this section since the reader is likely interested in taking the next step if they read your whole homepage.
Call to Action: I suggest leading readers to your Services page or Contact page here. Again, if they’re all the way down here, they’re interested. Help them take that next step.
Example: I have a big, bold headline and a call to action that guides them to start the process right then and there.
Before I officially wrap lesson #2 of the Write Your Site Series, let me leave you with this truth:
Your website doesn’t need to be perfect to be published.
Our websites are never completely *finished*. As online business owners, we’re always learning and growing, meaning we launch new offerings, add a Shop page, develop another freebie, update our pricing, etc.
Things change. So don’t let the fear of imperfect copy hold you back from building your dream website today.
As you gain customers, confidence, and feedback, you can refine your words and publish the updates.
I hope you found this helpful!
Need additional support with your online presence? Here’s how I can help:
- Want to perfect your existing copy? Hire me to audit your website.
- Work with me to write your messaging & website copy for you.
- Drop your hot new homepage copy straight into a Showit website template that’s already strategically mapped out for maximum conversions: