Not sure how much home page copy to include? That’s okay. You’re not alone. I’ve seen clients request 1,000 words per landing page when they only need 100 words or less to get their point across.
When it comes to blog posts, 1,000 words or more is usually required to really dig deep into the topic and deliver value to your readers. A landing page usually doesn’t need as much of an explanation, so when it comes to home page copy, I’m a big advocate for the “less is more” idea.
This week, I found an infographic by marketing guru Neil Patel detailing how much home page copy you should have on your website. His answer is spot on However much you need to convert the prospect.
Neil goes on to explain how to decide how much is enough with the following four steps, which I’d like to dig a little deeper into.
1. Set the goals of the page.
If you know what your landing page should accomplish, then you’ll have a better idea of where to take your copy. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know what they’re home page content should do for them, so they stuff it with an overview of their company, or they over-explain their services.
How does that help you? Most of the time, it doesn’t push you toward your ultimate goal. The problem is that many people never define a goal.
Let’s say your business sells web hosting space. What do you want prospects to do? You want them to sign up for one of your packages.
Now you know what your goal is. Head onto step 2.
2. Know your customers motivations.
This step is crucial to your home page copy because it’s what’s going to help you decide what information to include and what direction your content will take. Think about how prospects landed on your page, what they’re looking for, and how they hope you’ll help them solve their problem.
So, you’re a web hosting company. Your prospects probably found you through a Google search or via a recommendation on a blog post. They’re looking to start a website, probably for cheap. They want to know from the get-go that you can provide those services.
Based on your customers’ wants and motivations, you should have a good idea of how to narrow your copy’s focus. In this case, your customers want to know that you offer the web-building services they’re looking for, and they want to know where to sign up. At this point, you don’t necessarily need the full details of every plan you offer. That’s something that you can list on the signup page.
3. Address fear, hesitation, and concerns.
Neil mentions that you should address your customers’ fears, hesitations, and concerns on your landing page to convince them to continue on with your call-to-action.
Really think about what might be holding them back. With a web hosting company, customers might be concerned about the prices or what types of unlimited features they get. Or if you’re offering a free trial of your services, be sure to let them know no credit card is required.
The thing is that you don’t have to include every little detail. Just include what’s necessary to convince prospects to take action. To make things easier to scan, try putting these points in bullet-list format.
4. Be conscious of your customers aware of the problems and solutions available.
Finally, Neil points out that you need to understand how aware your customers are about problems and solutions.
The people who are less aware may need to be more educated in order to convince them. Therefore, your home page copy would likely be longer.
If your prospects already understand the industry, all they may need is to know what the deal is with your company and where to sign up.
WordPress.com manages all of these points very well.
They start by setting their goals. The goal is to get visitors to sign up for their services by creating a website. Their call-to-action button takes visitors straight to the sign-up page, and their supporting copy convinces them to go there.
They also understand what customers want. They don’t need a ton of web copy to let prospects know that WordPress.com is the place to create your website for free. In fact, they need only one sentence to let customers know they’ve got what they’re looking for: “Create your new website for free.”
Next, they address concerns by highlighting the following points:
- Ready for mobile
- Freshly pressed
- Hundreds of designs
Will my free website work on mobile devices? Can I customize my site with various templates? Those are the types of questions customers can have, and WordPress.com addresses those concerns from the beginning. They go on to highlight other concerns below the fold after asking “Need more reasons?”
Finally, they know where their customers are coming from. They take an approach that shows most of their new customers aren’t completely aware of the solution but know they have a problem (they want a website). Through the words, “WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site,” they’re convincing people both new and familiar with the concept that this is the place to be. (Note: Don’t say you’re the “best place” unless you really are. In WordPress.com’s case, they have the data to show they are one of the best.)
As WordPress.com illustrates, you don’t need very much copy to make all of this happen. Above the fold, they have fewer than 50 words and accomplish everything Neil covered.
What do you think? Is less more when it comes to home page copy? Tell me in the comment section.
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