If you ask 9 out of 10 website owners what they’re doing with the homepage of their website to achieve their online goals they’ll tell you all about all the techniques they’ve heard or learned online like making sure they have an opt-in opportunity, optimizing calls-to-action, and such techniques.
The problem is they’re doing it wrong.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I was at a conference and this particular session was about sales. The speaker was talking about learning how to communicate with your prospects and customers, and he recounted a story about what his mom would do to get him to eat his dinner when he was a young boy.
You see, he was like the kid from “A Christmas Story”. You know the scene – it’s the one where they’re all sitting around the dinner table and Ralphie’s little brother, Randy, won’t eat his dinner.
Randy’s mom knows what makes him tick though, and gets him to immitate a “little piggy” and is able to motivate him to eat.
This speaker was a picky eater, just like Randy.
He pointed out that what his mom would do to get him to eat was put whatever the dinner was on his favorite plate – a Winnie the Pooh plate, to be exact.
When he wouldn’t eat, all his mom had to do was serve his dinner on that special plate and, like Randy, he’d gobble it all up and finish his dinner.
The point is this:
If you know what motivates your customers and prospects you can make a lot more sales and do a better job meeting their needs, by serving them on their “favorite plate”.
If you’re serving them on their favorite plate, then they’re going to be much more inclined to eating what you serve there.
You have to know what makes them tick and learn everything about them – what they like, and what they don’t like; what motivates them, and what discourages them.
You have to learn about who they are as people – emotionally, politically, socially, and psychologically.
If you know what your target audience want, you can make more sales, gain more opt-ins, etc. whatever your goal for your homepage is.
So how does that relate to your website?
Your homepage plays a crucial role on your website.
It’s the page that has the best opportunity to rank high in search engine results because when someone links to your website it’s your homepage they will most likely link.
If you look at your analytics for your website you’ll see it’s probably the most visited page out of all the pages on your site.
So it should come as no surprise that best homepages ever designed are the result of lots of thought, research, and great planning.
But where do you begin?
When it comes to designing a new homepage for your website the best place to start is by figuring out your strategy and what you want to achieve before you start building anything.
Here’s the best part:
You don’t have to be a huge company with a big design and development team and big budget to create an awesome homepage!
Regardless of whether you’re a small business, online marketer, blogger, mom-and-pop shop, or something in between, you can create a great homepage for your site that will serve your audience and represent you well!
If you study your customers and learn everything you can about them you can build a homepage that you will be proud of and one that will help you reach your online goals
Here’s the deal:
Knowing who your homepage is talking to is a key factor for success.
The purpose of your homepage is to attract visitors, answer their questions and pain points, and encourage them to engage more deeply with your site while you demonstrate your capabilities, professionalism, and ability to deliver results.
According to Inc Magazine, you have roughly 5 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention with your headlines and visuals.
To be effective in capturing their attention you need to know who they are, and what they want. You need to be able to communicate that you know and understand their problems and pain points.
To do this, the smart move is to create personas to define your ideal customers.
You might be wondering:
What are personas, exactly?
Personas are fictional characters who represent a specific set of traits and characteristics – what they do for a living, their age, where they live, what they like, what they don’t like, what they’re struggling with, and so much more.
Buffer has a great resource on creating personas that I’d recommend checking out so you can really nail this part.
Personas help you learn about the real people behind these profiles that they represent. By building these personas you learn more about who these people really are, what makes them tick, and uncover the concerns and challenges real people in your target audience have.
Once you’ve got a clear picture of who these people are, and how your business can help them, you can answer their questions because you understand where their problems and pain points are, and you can map out how your products or services help them.
This is a huge point: One of the most important parts of the process of creating personas is figuring out what questions they have in regard to their struggles, and ultimately how you help them with those challenges.
Here’s the kicker:
You speak to them more directly and effectively when you know how to answer their questions. You’re more capable of answering their questions because you know the details behind who they are and how what you’re offering meets those needs.
This knowledge empowers you to create your homepage in a language they can understand, that solves problems, and delivers results for them.
Makes sense, right?
If your homepage isn’t answering their questions effectively, you’re doing it wrong, and you will notice in your results.
By building your homepage with your target audience in view, you start to build a connection that helps them to know and trust you.
You’re able to speak to what’s holding them back.
You can address the obstacles they need to overcome.
You can show them what’s in store for them when it all comes together, and ultimately how you help them to get the solution they’ve been looking for.
If you’re looking to get started with a new website using WordPress you can download the Ultimate WordPress Start-Up Guide here to get everything you need to know about starting a new website project with WordPress.