Edinburgh Web Development

8 steps to a sizzling hot home page

by Iain Wilson

16 January 2006
Hot home page

Content and context

Without good content, your website isn't worth much. Remember that the site is your face to the world. It has to look good and what is says must be what your audience is looking for.

Watch out, there can be a big difference between what they are looking for  and what you think they are looking for!

From a Google, Bing and Yahoo point of view, your site is food for the search engines, too. They will devour and analyse what it says (in text) on your site and use that in their indexing and ranking criteria. It's important to write enough web copy so that the search engine can understand what your site is about. For example, if your site sells spagetti and it doesn't say that explicitly, then the search engine will never know.

Tell your visitors what they want to know

A lot of websites cover the home page in lots of graphics and photo images with very little text. While these may look good and evoke a certain feel, it does not provide much information to the visitor or the search engine without delving deeper. Unfortunately, they might not bother and just go to another site.

We often have clients who find it difficult to express succinctly what is good about their company and why customers buy from them. You need to tell your visitors "what's in it for them".

A simple technique

As part of our copywriting toolkit we use techniques that help focus your thoughts, messages and ultimately bring out the content that will go on the web site. Here's our home page copy writing technique. Use it to write a home page that will sell :

  1. In less than eight words, explain what your company does
  2. Explain in a paragraph what your company does and where.
  3. List the people, type of companies etc that make up your customers, most important ones first.
  4. List all the key services/products you provide.
  5. List the highest priority products and services you provide.
  6. Write down every benefit a customer could get from your business - what's in it for them.
  7. List every reason that makes you better than your competition.
  8. Write examples of how your company had done some special work for a customer

Try and write as much as possible and you will end up with a tagline, a value proposition statement and benefits and a load of sentences that you can finesse to create a sizzling hot home page!

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