How to Write a Home Page
Good news - you don’t need to sit down and write a chunk of text.
Creating a home page is a process of choosing a buffet of potential options for your website visitor, and laying them out on a page.
In this blog post I’ll talk you through:
- The function of your home page
- 3 questions to help you decide what should go on your home page
- 3 design tips to help you create your home page
What goes on a home page - and why?
When I arrived at a new mall, or retail park, my first destination was the ‘You are here’ map - not because I was lost, but because I wanted to do a rapid assessment of the kind of shops available to me, and whether this was a good place for me to invest my Saturday afternoon.
That large map could quickly tell me:
- If this was my kinda place
- If exploring further would be a good use of my time
- Where I should go next
That’s basically what your homepage is there to do - give an overview and then suck that website visitor in as quickly as possible.
3 questions to help you create your home page
1 - Where have they come from?
List all the ways in which someone might end up on your home page. I’ll help you out: Link in your bio; friend shared a link; byline in a guest blog post; landed on a blog post and then navigated to your website; clicked the header in your marketing emails…. that’s just to get you started. You dig in and see if you can find any more routes they may have taken.
2 - Why are they there?
Against each one of the routes, write down any explanations you can think of for them choosing to click that link and navigate to your home page. Maybe they liked your blog post and they’re curious to know if you’ve got anything else you liked. Maybe their friend has told them to check you out, and they’re arriving totally clueless about who you are and what you do.
3 - Where do you want them to go next?
What are your top priorities right now? To sell a particular product? Get people on your email list? Do you have a favourite blog post you just wish everyone would read?
3 tips to help you design your home page
Spend some time looking at other websites in your industry (and beyond). This will give you a feel for what your customers are expecting, and also you’ll be able to spot ideas you do and don’t like.
#2 Title + Image + Reason
Every time you offer a link for the visitor to click, give the name of the thing they are going to, and eye-catching image , mock-up or icon that helps them make meaning of the name, and a short description that gives them a reason to click. Blind leaps of faith are difficult to take even if it is just clicking through to a new page. Make it easier for them by making the destination much clearer.
#3 Theme Sections
You can have one link in a section or multiple but it makes sense if you group your themes of links together, so each section has a specific function.
For example you might begin with a section that introduces you and offers a link to your About page, then you might have a section that showcases your best three freebies, then a section to offer your newsletter, then a section showcasing ways to work with you, then a section showcasing your best podcast episodes.
So although the home page is a giant list of links you’d like people to click, there is some structure behind that to help the visitor make sense of what they’re looking at.
Make it really easy for visitors to find and buy your stuff
I’ve split my offers into a page with free offers and a page with paid offers because:
1 - I have a LOT of offers and the list would be enormous if it was all on one page
2 - I have a Facebook group that’s only for people who have bought one of my courses - and it’s much easier to say ‘you can join if you buy one of these courses’ and link to the page of paid offers, than it would be to say ‘you can join in you buy one of these courses on this page but not the free stuff you have to give me actual money’ and link to a page that had absolutely everything on it.
So now I’ve explained why I don’t have one page with everything on it, allow me to introduce you to Lizzy’s Show ‘Em Everything course because I do genuinely think an Everything Page®️ is a smart choice for many/most online business owners (and the course is only $9 and it’s bound to trigger some ideas for you) - that’s an affiliate link.