I review TONS of websites, y’all. Sometimes I do it for free in Facebook groups, sometimes people pay me just for a video review, sometimes I do it for potential clients who are interested in working with me – and sometimes I do it just because I LOVE to do it! But whatever the reason, I notice the same mistakes on these websites over and over again. They’re so common I had to talk about them. So here we go.
The number one mistake I see on home pages is CTA confusion. So let’s clear that up right now. Every single home page must have at least one CTA (that’s Call to Action, in case you were wondering).
If you don’t have a CTA on your home page, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Harsh? Maybe. But if you’re not actively telling your visitor what to do, they have to figure it out for themselves. That may mean they venture over to your about page but never your services page. Or maybe they close out of your site altogether because it didn’t interest them.
Maybe you’re reading this smiling smugly because you have more than one CTA on your home page. In fact, you have dozens of them! Because if one is good, 12 are better, right?
Having too many CTAs is just as bad as not having any at all. If you have 12 CTAs, then your visitor is going to be overwhelmed. You’re asking them to visit your services page, read your blog, sign up for you newsletter, share you FB page, join your FB group, follow you on Instagram, check out your Pinterest profile...aren’t you confused by now?
Instead, choose the top 3 CTAs you want to have. That usually includes some sort of opt-in form, a link to contact you, and a link to your services page. Of course, that varies based on your business and industry. But for most of my clients, that covers it. You could do up to 5 if you have a long home page, but remember: go for impact, not overwhelm.
Not Saying What You Do or Offer
I’ve reviewed too many home pages that ramble on for paragraphs and NEVER mention what the person actually does or offers. This is super typical for solopreneurs who write their own copy because what they do is so much a part of who they are, they don’t think to spell it out on the screen.
But guess what? The goal is to have people who don’t know you come to your website, right? So even though you know you are a badass money coach or an amazing stylist, that person who stumbled onto your site might not. So while you go on and on about how you help people get their groove back or create a budget they can stick to, they’re wondering what exactly that means.
If you’re a solopreneur, your home page should have some version of this: I’m Jennifer, and I’m a conversion copywriter.
That could be included as part of your USP (unique selling proposition), it could be sandwiched between who you work with and why you’re so awesome, or it could be as simple as those few words. The important thing is clearly telling people who you are and what you do. (If you run a mult-person business it’s a little more complicated, but the rule stands. Tell me what you do or offer on the home page.)
You Shouldn’t Be the Focus
Wait a minute, Jennifer. You JUST told me to talk about myself, and now you’re saying I shouldn’t be the focus. What gives?
The thing is, your website isn’t really about you. Yes, you should clearly state who you are and what you do. Yes, you should tell us a little about who you are, why you’re the right person for me, and what kind of work you do. But all of that should be with the focus on your ideal client. There should be very little “I” language in your copy.
Too many websites are filled with sentences like “I help clients with managing their Pinterest accounts” or “I decided to become a birth photographer after falling in love with the beauty of birth”. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with either of those, except that starting sentences with “I” is going to cause your reader to skip over those.
Humans are inherently selfish. We want to know what’s in it for us! Focus on the reader, your ideal client. Use “you” language instead. Talk directly to the person reading the copy on your site. Lure them in by appealing to their pain points. Cut all the “I” sentences you can, or rewrite them with “you” in mind.
Now, you know you want to go back and review your home page with fresh eyes, right? See if you’re making any of these mistakes. And if you are, it’s time to update that copy!