We had a tech client come to us this week with a specific problem: his home page’s bounce rate is too high. This means too many people are landing on it and leaving without getting past it. This tells Google to lower his site’s rankings because it clearly isn’t what people are looking for. It tells us he doesn’t know how to write a home page.
The purpose of a home page
A home page should cover the broad strokes in a pointed way. It should clearly convey what’s in it for the reader if they make a time investment in you and your website, and what they’re going to get if they buy from you.
The tone of a home page
It should be confident, like a firm but welcoming handshake. And it should be easy to read. No big words. And the copy should have space to breathe and sink in.
The length of a home page
This is where we differ from other people in our space. They’ll say your homepage should be no more than 1,000 words for SEO purposes. We say keep your homepage as short as possible while still conveying the message, and use the other pages on your site (specifically your service pages) to drive traffic via SEO because the person looking for you is probably looking for something specific.
Here’s a template for how to write a home page:
Your value in a sentence: what the reader will get from you.
A second sentence that describes how you make a specific life or work situation better.
“Why you?” in one sentence.
A second sentence that demonstrates the intentional attention you’re paying to your reader’s time/money/safety/ego.
Proof point #1
The most compelling reason to believe everything you’ve said so far.
Ideally, it’s a patented process, an undeniable talent or an indisputable fact in your favour.
Proof point #2
The second most compelling reason, although it’d be nice if this was a 1A.
This could be your experience, or your accolades, or your size, or your taste, or, or, or.
Proof point #3
It’s good to have three. Three forms a pattern. People respond to patterns.
If you’re struggling, talk about your approach. Something about it is unique
Your work product, in one sentence.
A second sentence that describes your motivation for making these products or offering these services.
Your best seller
A sentence clearly describing what this will do for the person who buys it. And a second sen-tence establishing why it’s your best seller and, if relevant, how many you’ve sold.
Your newest offering
A sentence describing what it is, why you invested in it and how it’s helping. Be proud of it. Beam a bit if you want to.
Your second-best seller
A sentence describing the second-best seller as if it was trying to supplant the current best seller, without knocking #1 down.
Who you are, in one sentence.
A second sentence that establishes why you are. People want products and services, but they buy people and missions.
What to do next, in one sentence (click, call, follow, join).
A second sentence that describes what a reader should expect if they do what you asked.
That’s how to write a home page in the simplest way possible.
And the word count in the template is the word count we recommend.
If you need more than that, you’re probably not worth buying.
Here’s how our template might play out in the financial industry:
Investment planning for cautious millennials.
Move smartly into the future. Know you’ll be good when you get there.
We’ve been working with young families for 40 years.
We’ll balance the needs of today with the wants of tomorrow and protect both.
We were profiled in Toronto Life as a disruptor in the industry.
They wrote that “while the banks are all fighting for boomer estates and AI/Blockchain/Cannabis millionaires, these women stay focused on the people who actually need help.”
We’re also licensed real estate agents.
We can help you find, buy and rent your first investment property.
We can recommend a top professional for anything.
And it’s not just other professional services. The pro tradespeople in our network are fantas-tic, and partial to our clients.
Conservative financial consultation for young, middle-income families
We believe in slow and steady. Our parents raised us that way. We watched it work. And we know how to make it work for you.
Hire us to manage your portfolio. We average an 8.3% yearly return.
NEW: Financial planning courses for teenagers
Kids finally making money? Teach them how to make their money make money.
One-time financial planning
You can manage your own family’s finances, but a basic if/then playbook would be beneficial. We can custom create one for your specific situation.
We’re three sisters, all certified financial planners.
We all worked at the same bank and had ideas the bank wouldn’t implement. So we got together and implemented them for ourselves.
Check out our list of Top 10 ways to start saving for your kids’ university now.
Yes, the cost of education is going up. But if you’re ready, it’s totally manageable.
Now here’s how to do it for a product.
This one’s a bit different because the product is the hero, unlike the previous example when it was a service that took centre stage. For this reason, the product is frequently mentioned by name; a good practice to improve recall and better associate the product with its benefits.
Never wash commercial cookware by hand again.
No pot is too big or too dirty for the Resto-4000.
We put the Resto-4000 to the test. It passed every time.
Every pot and pan was ready to use again in less than four minutes.
Save 6.5 man-hours per shift.
That’s standard for one human dishwasher. At that rate, you’ll realize the ROI on the Resto-4000 in less than six months.
Spend less on cookware.
Cleaning your pots and pans with the Resto-4000 preserves cookware life spans by up to 35%.
The Resto-4000 can wash up to 15 large pieces at a time.
With three full sets of pots and pans, you could make every dish on fresh-as-new surfaces.
A 6’x6’ cookware washer for busy restaurants.
Piles of dirty cookware lead to slowdowns in kitchens that no reputable restaurateur can or should stomach. The Resto-4000 eliminates that problem and saves a ton of money.
The Original Resto-4000
Speed up service by at least 20%. Currently operating in over 41,000 commercial kitchens and counting.
The Kosher/Halal Resto-4000
Two separate compartments for meat and non-meat sets of cookware. Perfect for observant banquet halls.
The Resto-4000 lite
A 3’x3’ model for smaller kitchens.
I’m a restaurant owner who lived with the same problem for too long.
One day, I did something about it. And business has never been better.
Arrange for a demo.
We’ll come to you in our Mexican food truck, make you lunch and show you the Resto-4000 in action afterwards.
And here’s how to do it for a personal service.
This one’s written even simpler than the previous two so it can be adapted into different languages. But it still follows the template.
Speak better French, starting today.
Welcome to Brussels! Thrive in your new home and make new friends faster with command of the local language.
Learn to speak French in the real world.
When the city is your classroom, you learn faster and better.
Our classes are held in cafés.
We’ll have discussions in public so you get comfortable, and you’ll order food every time so you get really comfortable.
Our instructors are all trained teachers.
And they’ve developed the key traits of good teachers: patience, conciseness, fairness and flexibility.
Our method is recognized by the World Trade Organization.
In fact, they’re one of our biggest clients.
French language training in Brussels for English-speaking expats.
It’s much easier to build a full life in a new city if you speak the language. We’ll help you feel com-fortable, empowered and confident.
By the end, you’ll be having full conversations in French. Over 6,000 expats have taken this course.
If your workforce is made up of primarily Anglo expats and you need them to learn basic French, we can custom-create a program.
A more intensive program for people and companies in a hurry.
We’ve lived and worked abroad. We know what it’s like to struggle with communicating.
We want to make sure no one feels that way in Brussels.
Take a simple French test.
If you score lower than 50%, you’ll get an email with a password to sign up.
If you score higher, you’ll have the option of requesting a password.
The same template, three times for three completely different businesses. And the result is the same — a clear understanding of:
– what they do
– why they do it
– who they do it for
– how what they do adds value
These are the traits of an effective home page, which is the first step towards having an effective website . How would yours read?