Because so many businesses running websites are focusing all their attention on search engine optimisation, many are forgetting that the main purpose of your site is to sell your stuff.
Obviously it’s great – and vital – that loads of people come to your site and a proportion of them will buy or enquire. But many of your visitors won’t. And the scary part is that you’re perhaps losing all these potential business-boosting buyers without even realising it.
And it might well be because the copy on your homepage is simply ‘content’. It’s simply stuff that’s there so that Google ranks you highly enough for people to find you. So you have totally un-engaging copy and, even worse, totally dull headlines that don’t tell your visitors why they should stay and find out more about what you can do for them.
The worst symptom of this is mistaking onsite navigation for headlines.
To be as effective as it can at converting visitors to buyers/enquirers, your homepage needs to rapidly tell the prospect what your offer is, and how you can help them. So that they stay on your site longer than the average of 8 seconds.
You can have a video that gets right to the point as soon as they land. You can have an unavoidable FREE giveaway that offers them something very useful/interesting/entertaining in return for their email address. Or you can have a good-old-fashioned headline that hits them between the eyes with your irresistible sales proposition.
But, startlingly, more and websites simply welcome you with their navigation headers: ABOUT or WHY US or OUR TEAM or OUR PHILOSOPHY.
These are not headlines. These will not win you new customers. These will not instantly communicate a really compelling reason why I shouldn’t bugger off to another site where I might be treated in the way all of us want to be treated when we’re wearing our buying hat, not our selling hat.
(Funny isn’t it, how so many of us seem to be able to utterly detach our expectations as buyers from our insights as sellers? It’s a simple question to ask oneself: how would I like to be treated and what would I like to see if I were visiting this website/shop/restaurant/brochure? And yet so many businesses – especially where online marketing is concerned – seem to have completely lost the plot on this most basic of marketing techniques.)
Perhaps you’re thinking “yes but I need to have a really dull and boring homepage to get up Google”, Well then, remember this: Google natural search via SEO is not the only way to get customers to your site. Try PPC, try Google Remarketing, try Facebook advertising, try more email marketing.
Get customers to your site because they want to be there, because they want to buy. They’re warmer prospects when they arrive, too, so with your powerful headline-driven home page you’re going to convert even more of them.