Attention. We’re all so short of it, they say. We live in a world of instant gratification on the likes of Instagram or Snapchat, where a selfie on a beach can get a million likes yet a website providing great products and services gets 100 visits a month.
Extreme examples I know.
The homepage of a website has a fine line to walk, like a trapeze artist of old. One false step and you drop, but pitch perfect posture will have the audience cheering and calling for more.
That’s your homepage. If it’s dull, boring, or generic, people will fall away and leave your website. If you make it enjoyable and informative, however, you’ll capture your reader’s attention and they’ll scroll down and click other pages.
To stretch the trapeze metaphor even further, the content on your homepage is a balancing act. Attracting a high 5 from Google will mean that your site ranks highly in searches.
But readers have to be impressed too, not only choosing to click through to your site organically after finding it via a search engine, but staying on the page to consume your wholesome, engaging words.
And buy your products or services
Too many companies fall into the former trap. They design and formulate sentences and paragraphs to please a Google algorithm.
Maybe you’ve experienced one of the following: A website that ranks highly but leaves customers cold and clicking away. Or a well written Home page that captivates and converts but is hard to find in online searches.
So how do you balance this? How would I as a SEO copywriter advise you to structure a homepage?
Firstly, the homepage is the one most people land on in searches or from clicking bios in social media channels. It has to load quickly, be attractive and offer an easy to follow User Experience (UX). It also has to persuade, entertain and inform while encouraging the reader to take action.
Secondly, aptly, second person will be evident – liberal spraying of “you” and “yours” in varied sentence structures. Doing so pulls the reader in and helps them to invest in what you’re saying.
Unfortunately, this is alien to the way many of us were taught in English lessons at primary and secondary school. You used first person or third person in narrative forms and third person in descriptive essays. Second person was the elephant in the staff room that never appeared until the adult world of disseminating marketing speak.
Thirdly, your homepage needs to be divided into chunks. Chunks with subtitles of H1, H2, H3, H4 heading types, according to SEO experts and web designers. This makes the homepage easier to read and its sections nudge Google into indexing relevant parts for search intentions.
Finally, substance matters too. Often, whether they’re start-ups or behemoths, businesses treat the homepage as a place to hang a few pictures and words. It’s not.
Any SEO plugin, like Yoast or RankMath, will quickly tut at a page with 50 words and a few nice animations. You need 300 words at least to make an impact on Google and visitors.
I have access to loads of my customer’s websites where I’m asked to log in and amend text, add blogs and improve ranking.
For your website to get the results you want from it, your home page must capture attention – and I can make sure it does.
If this is something you’d like me to do, get in touch.
This article first appeared on www.benmckinney.co.uk/blog/