Your Online Salesperson
The text on your website is your online salesperson. You wouldn't rush your salesperson so taking time to write persuasive copy on your homepage and other key web pages is critical for converting visitors into leads and customers.
"Most business owners fail to understand that persuasive copywriting is the most important marketing tactic on a business website."
Writing effective copy on your homepage is especially critical as it typically receives the greatest amount of traffic compared to any other web page on most business websites.
Your Value Proposition Must Be Persuasive
The most important design element on your homepage is your "value proposition."
In order for it to be persuasive your value proposition has to focus on the reader by making an important promise early on using a compelling headline, a short opening paragraph including a list of benefits of your service, followed by a clear call-to-action.
"Your value proposition has to tell the reader what’s in it for them. It can’t focus on you. It has to clearly convey how your service solves the problem or pain point your prospective clients are experiencing."
No matter how beautiful your website is if it can’t clearly convey how your product or service is going to solve the problem or pain point your prospective customers are experiencing, they’ll immediately leave your website.
If you want to have a strong value proposition back it up with "reasons to believe." Using cases studies that contain "concrete results" that you've achieved for clients in a similar situation is a powerful marketing tactic for convincing prospective customers that you can deliver on what you promise in your value proposition.
Your value proposition must have a primary task that you want visitors to take when they first land on your homepage. In the marketing world, this is referred to as a call-to-action and is often in the form a highly visible button embedded in the value proposition.
Below is a list of common calls-to-action that business website owners want first time visitors to take:
- view a client list
- read benefits of a service
- request a quote
- get a free consultation
- signup for an email newsletter
- download an e-book
- view a unique process
- read testimonials
- sign-up for a free trial
- view case studies
- read success stories
- take a free tour
- view our menu
You'll notice that none of the the above calls-to-action involves asking for a sale. This would be a big mistake. The chances of first time visitors making a direct purchase right away when they first visit your homepage are very slim especially if you're in a competitive market that sells expensive products and services.
Creating Trust Is Critical
Your homepage must include social proof in the form of testimonials, success stories and case studies from past clients. It's extremely important that you give prospective customers "reasons to believe" that you can deliver on what you promise.
"Prospective customers need to get to know you and trust you before they'll purchase a service from you."
Including trust elements such as displaying a Better Business Bureau logo on your website as well as links to professional organizations that you are a member of is also very important for creating trust.