The 5 Questions Your Homepage Must Answer

Get your pen and paper ready, folks. I’m coming at you with some seriously valuable tips today: how to keep your hot leads’ interest when they land on your website for the first time.

Here’s a lesser known fact for you: when those leads visit your website, you only have ELEVEN SECONDS TO IMPRESS THEM. You need to pack a lot of punch into the first few seconds of that scroll. But don’t worry — because I write websites for a living, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that I know what I’m talkin’ about when it comes to capturing a reader’s attention. And I’m ready to tell you the easiest way to determine whether your Home page does its job.

An effective Home page answers 5 questions, and I’m gonna walk you through all of them & why they’re important! So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

When your future clients visit your website, the first question they demand to know is, well, who the hell are ya? Your Home page is your virtual version of a first impression, so you’ve gotta make it a good one. This is especially important if a lot of your traffic comes from places like Google and Pinterest, where the viewer may have no previous knowledge of your existence in the world. Give a quick and effective introduction to who you are — without giving away too much information. Save the details for your About page.

Let’s say someone reached your Home page from Google. They’ve entered their search term, you came up on the first page (congrats!) and now they’re browsing your website. Chances are they already have a general idea of what you’re offering. It’s your job to take it from there and make what you do exceptionally clear to your readers. This is where you define your area of expertise within your field. You’ll also want to include why you’re the right person for the job. Begin with your job title, and add context about your experience and expertise from there.

Remember: don’t make it too wordy. Keep your actual explanations for your About page — no one wants a Home page that looks like a resume. The answer to this question can be accomplished with 1–3 sentences. I’ll use myself as an example. I clearly want my leads to know that I’m a copywriter, but there are tons of different areas of copywriting. For this reason, I have to make it abundantly apparent that I specialize in launch copy (sales pages, websites, email sequences…) if I want to attract the audience that’s looking for those services. How do I say that without coming across as stuffy and boring? Well, you’ll have to check out my Home page.

No guessing games allowed. If someone is browsing your website, they’re what we digital marketers like to call a ‘hot lead.’ You’ve accomplished one of the most important steps in landing new clients: getting them to your page. Now you have to reassure them that you’re the final stop in their search. By explicitly saying on your website who you serve, you’re doing yourself a lot of favors. Here are the benefits singling out your ideal client in your website copy:

  1. Speaking directly to your dream client makes them feel seen. They’re reading your website and thinking “yes, that’s me!” and “I need that!” and “ugh, yes, finally — someone who gets it!” You want your future clients to be able to relate to you and your website.
  2. You weed out everyone you don’t want to work with. Let’s face it: not everyone who visits your website is going to be a perfect match. But by clearly defining who you serve right on your Home page, you quickly let all of your site’s browsers know who your services are meant for.

Important note: if you’re reading this and thinking “but Sara, I don’t have a niche — how do I speak directly to my ideal client?” And to that I say: you’re in a great spot. I don’t personally niche all the way down in terms of industry or specialty either, because I love the opportunity to connect with all sorts of people and learn new things. However, I do niche down in terms of broad job title and personality traits. If you were to visit my Home page, you’d see that I outline who I serve with this sentence: Helping solopreneurs and small business owners get more attention through sales-focused storytelling. In that sentence, I’ve made it clear that I help entrepreneurs and small biz owners who value a storytelling tone and are looking to grow their sales. Additionally, my headline right above it includes the keywords “creative launch copywriter,” so my site’s browsers know that they’re in the right place if they’re creative, are looking to launch a project, and are in need of a copywriter.

If you’re not a fan of a narrow niche (same!), my best advice is this: focus on your ideal client as a human. Think about their personality traits, their wants, their needs, and their problems, and go from there!

You guys (hopefully) know the drill: benefits always come before features. If you Google “copywriting,” I’m sure this sentence will appear almost immediately on the first link you click. It’s a well-known fact that as consumers, we first want to know how we can benefit from a product or service, and then if we decide the benefit is worth it, we’ll determine whether or not we care about the features. This is why focusing on how your future clients can benefit from your services is so important. The instructions for this one are easy: speak directly to your dream client, and tell them how you plan to solve their problems. Be their superhero.

TIP: if you’re stuck on where to begin, I’ve got you. I’m going to use one of my clients (a photographer) as an example, and answer the questions (while pretending to be her — lol) I’d recommend asking yourself if you’re stuck on how to discuss the benefits of your services.

  • What are you offering? Photography for adventurous couples hoping to elope somewhere out-of-the-box, as well as an officiant for their ceremony, and all the necessary travel & logistics planning to go with it (AirBnb research is my thing). My elopements can happen anywhere from Morocco to Maine; I’m down for it all.
  • Why do people need this service? They want stunning photos of their wedding ceremony, even though they plan to elope without any family present. They’re looking for a photographer who isn’t afraid of an adventure, who is down for the wild and crazy, and is as passionate about their wedding photos as they are.
  • Where are they in life when they need you and your services? Recently engaged, having just decided that they aren’t interested in a traditional wedding, thinking about eloping somewhere stellar.
  • What do you offer that other service providers in your industry do not? A unique surprise elopement package! While I of course offer elopement packages that allow my couples to choose their own location, I’ve recently added a new package that kicks the adventure level up a notch: their elopement location becomes a complete surprise. They’ll fill out a questionnaire about their timeline, their budget, the attributes of their desired location (beach, mountains, international, etc), and their individual characteristics (likes, dislikes, hobbies, dreams — you get the picture!). Then, they throw caution to the wind and let me plan their surprise elopement! I handle everything from travel and lodging to location scouting, and provide my couples with an experience they simply can’t get anywhere else.

See how those questions brought out the benefits of working with her? YOUR TURN!

Side note: if that last question piqued your curiosity about how you can book a surprise elopement, yes — it’s a real thing, and yes, this is a real client of mine! As I was writing her website copy and looking over all that she does for her clients, I brought the idea up to her and she loved it and decided to make it a real staple service of hers! Send me a message and I’ll be happy to give you her information! (And once her website is live, I’ll link it in this post.)

There’s nothing worse than a hot lead who you’ve successfully guided to take the next step…not knowing what the next step is. Even though you may think it’s obvious, you still need to outline precisely what you want your leads to do once they’ve decided they want to learn more about working with you. Guide them there! You must make it ridiculously easy for your leads to figure out what to do next.

Here’s a list of possible next steps to guide your leads to:

  • Book a discovery call
  • Fill out your contact form
  • Download a lead magnet
  • Purchase something (like a course or a guide you’ve released)
  • Sign up for a wait list

No matter what you want them to do next, tell them! Unfortunately, your leads aren’t mind-readers. A great way to ensure that your readers will never be confused about how to get in touch with you is by adding a contact form to every single page of your website. That way, no matter where they are, they know that you’re just a button-click away.

I’ll tell your story.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store