Homepage Copy Refresh in 5 Simple Steps!

Homepage Copy Refresh in 5 Simple Steps!

Update your Home Page to Stand Out and Convert

A homepage is THE HARDEST page of a website to write. Let’s just get that out there.

It’s the virtual living room of your business. It must be inviting but not cluttered. It must have visible pathways to other areas of your virtual home (site pages). A well-written page respects you only have time to stop in for a quick visit but ensures you at least sit on the couch and have a cup of coffee before leaving. And if I want you to come back, I’d better make it the best brew you’ve had and serve it just when you need it! I want you to come buy for a visit again and soon!

Do you see the comparison?

Remember, I said it’s the hardest page to write. Perhaps when you wrote yours, you pulled up the webpage you were building and pecked away putting something in the text boxes to fill space. If someone built your site out for you, maybe your web designer was hounding you for your content to complete the homepage. You put the task off as long as possible not knowing what to write, submitted some copy, but still sit wondering if it was the right copy.

Are you ready to give your homepage a little sprucing up? Here are 5 Reways to ensure your copy is serving your business well and doing its main job- conversion.

1. Recognize the goals of your homepage.

    • Provide a clear answer to your visitor’s question of, “What is this place?” Think about your own browsing behaviors. You land on a webpage, and if you can’t figure what the page is all about in 2 seconds, off you go! Word clutter, vague messaging, leading with sales, too many visuals or disjointed products and services should do a disappearing act. Let your homepage visitor know quickly where she has landed.
    • Give captivating and clear high-level information to lead the visitor to deeper spaces on your website.
    • Recognize what the goals are not.
      • Your homepage should not lead with salesy language and buy it and try it verbiage. This can be a big turn-off to the potential customer. Think of how you get to know someone in person, and use the page to build a relationship.
      • Putting up certain words, phrases, or word counts all in the name of SEO or copy without designated purpose. SEO is important but readability and connection are more important. Word pollution is like a bunch of clutter sitting at the entrance of your home. Don’t make someone shut the door of your website, because it’s not inviting to step inside.
“Let’s clean up our information environment. Are you saying something that benefits your customers, or simply spewing word count? If users don’t need it, don’t write it. Stop polluting now.” Jakob Nielsen

2. Lay out your copy to follow natural reading patterns.

Research shows people skim webpages in an “F” or “Z” tracking pattern, so lay information out in a way that is easy to skim. Keep paragraphs short. Write like you speak. Bullet info to make it skimmable and let it hug your left margin when possible to keep copy where eyes naturally start reading.

3. Plan your writing on a google doc, word doc or go old-fashioned paper and pen.

Never write your first draft info directly into your website. I promise you’ll end up frustrated out the gate. Here’s what you can write in your plan and then work your design around your good copy ideas.

  • What is your value factor? Why should anyone go to you over your competition? I didn’t say these would be easy things to draft out, but if you can’t communicate this to yourself, how will your customer get it?
  • What exactly are your services and products in a nutshell?
  • What’s your social proof? What success stories, testimonials, or other evidence can you communicate in your copy to let the reader know you are the real deal?
  • Headlines and subheads should be potent and short. Content clarity wins any day over cutesy or clever. If you can be clever and potent, well, cheers to you! Draft your headlines and subheads. Brainstorm many options ahead of actually writing on the website.
  • What links do you need to build in? What other rooms of your virtual business home would you like to guide people who land on your homepage. Plan these out!

4. Write copy that evokes feelings.

Emotion always trumps facts, and there are ways to present facts that tug on emotions. A good way to figure out the home emotions of your brand is to think about your customer’s pain points and what salve you hope to provide through your business. Speak to their pain, give them a sense of calm and trust, and they may want your solution!

5, Keep your copy in a consistent brand voice and make it easy to skim by blocking sections and keeping titles short and sweet.

It’s the little things that make a big difference in your copy and messaging! I hope this gives you a start point to refresh your homepage AND feel great about what’s on that page.

Dream Big and Shine On!

Geneva

5 Jobs to Outsource to Increase Profitability

Starting a business seemed easy-ish.

When you started your business, I’m sure you couldn’t wait to share what you sell and could only think of trading what you do or sell for some profit. You love what you do, and you were sure others would too.

Open a cute shop and they will come. Make something pretty and it will sell. Have an amazing service and people will see how much their lives have been lacking without it.

Then it got a little complicated.

You like hats as a fashion accessory, but probably never realized you’d be wearing so many simultaneously. Then there were all the decisions, and they all involved money which as a start-up or scaling business is something you don’t want to waste, so you keep putting on more hats. The problem is before you know it, you’re doing more of what you never intended to do and less of what makes you set out to do to make mulah.

Here is a good question to ask yourself. What are you willing to invest time and money in to learn to do AND feel you could learn with good proficiency, or what will cost you more in time to learn and maybe every just do mediocre or consume tons of time and should be outsourced?

In the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I was certain that I could figure it all out. I could be all the things I needed to be or learn all the roles to play the parts of web designer, bookkeeper, public relations specialist, and office manager among other things. In 2006, social media for business was not even a thing, and I was still overwhelmed.

Part of what I was hanging onto was control. I had birthed this business baby, and no one could take care of it like mama could. Butttt….

Time is money. You pay for what you get.

If I had the money back that I lost in the time and mistakes I made in trying to do everything myself or in outsourcing cheaply, well, let’s just say, I’d have more money in the bank and might have saved myself a few pounds caused by stress eating.

Grab your laptop, download a notes app, or pick up your pen and paper, and take assessment!

Friend, make a latte and a list.

This week, settle onto your comfiest chair with your laptop or paper and pen. I want to challenge you to think about all the hats you are wearing and list them. Then I want you do decide if you wear that hat well at all or could learn to wear that hat well and are willing to invest into growing in that area. Here are some areas to assess:

  1. Photography– In a media-heavy business world, having good quality pictures of you, your products, and services will help you shine over your competition in visual appeal. There are great stock photos on apps like Canva (I recommend paying the monthly subscription for the pro edition to unlock thousands of great pictures), but having even a small catalog of quality, branded photos can make people stop scrolling or really polish up your website. Consider investing in a branding photography session with a photographer who specializes in brand photography and who can capture the essence of your brand’s heart and story. A couple headshots (because I love you, pretty please take down the selfie profile headshot) and 10 styled shots can make a huge difference in how your business presents. Some photographers will also coach you in how to take better pictures with your phone for ongoing filler pictures.
  2. Copy and Messaging– Did you ever date a guy with a gorgeous face you could stare at all day, but then find you couldn’t connect deeper and so his pretty face had to go? Hang with my analogy sister 🙂 Your visuals (pictures, website design, and logo) may attract a potential customer, but if she can’t get deeper by developing quick and strong chemistry with your brand by understanding your messaging and wanting to be part of your brand story, she’s going to move onto a deeper connection. A great looking website and beautiful social media feed comes to life through the words that breathe life into the pages and posts. A copywriter (like yours truly) can offer a variety of services from done with you consult on your brand story, general messaging, blogging strategies, social content ideas or done for you services. Invest in getting really clear about how you show up and what you say to people. A clear mind will say yes to what you can offer them 🙂
  3. Bookkeeping/Accounting– I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Your money. Maximize it and allow a pro to guide you. There are many options here from monthly to quarterly to annual services to help you know exactly where your money is going and what is coming in and stay in compliance with state and federal regulations. Not to mention, depending on the type of business, accounting can take a lot of time.
  4. Website and logo design– It’s tempting to go with cheap on a website and logo, but you will probably end up unhappy and spending the money again to redesign and pull these vital brand components together. I promise you you can find affordable quality, but you should have a realistic expectation of associated costs and put those into your start-up plan. For a website, you can buy some beautiful and easy to build out templates or hire a web designer to get your site built out on a platform you can easily tweak and build out new pages by copying already designed pages. My site is on wordpress. I started my own build on WordPress with a Divi overlay while taking a web design class at a local community college (I quickly learned I was not built for the patience I needed for WordPress), got through as much as I could and then handed my page over to a local web designer for cleanup, formatting, and organization. After she did the first 4 pages or so, I could duplicate pages and found it fairly simple to tackle. With regard to logos, if all you need is something simple, there are templates you can purchase or you may have some luck on a site like fiverr.com. Just be sure to make sure if you go a route like a template or fiverr design, that you get a vector file, so you may change the size of your file without sacrificing quality.
  5. Any other time suckers– It depends on your business, but you may wish to outsource/hire out scheduling, email, social media (get your messaging together first to convey to the person doing your social media and email marketing), payroll, and housekeeping (for office or home). If you can be making more money per hour doing what you do than any of these tasks, take the hat off and give it away!

So there you go! I’m a huge believer in start-slim businesses and minimizing risk. Start-slim means you spend where you must and wait to reap profit before investing in other areas. Figure out what you are willing to invest this year for quality and efficiency, and I hope my picks of where to put your money brings some happy thoughts and lightness to your next steps by pulling off some of the hats 🙂

Dream Big and Shine On!

Geneva