Why it’s important to use clear language on your homepage
Websites are a mystery to most people. Magical even. We come to a website and expect it to work. We use our smartphones and expect them to work. Furthermore, we don’t know or particularly care how they work, we just want them to work. And while we use them every day, we don’t know what the nuts and bolts behind them are. And that’s totally fine. All things aside, there is one thing we do understand about the websites we visit and that is the written language.
The words on a website are monumental to its success in serving the user. Words can make it or break it for a website. In fact, according to a lot of studies you only have 7-10 seconds to communicate to a user what you do and if you’re trustworthy before they leave. That’s not a lot of time so those words on the homepage banner are super-duper important.
The trick is keeping it simple yet not so simple that it’s generic. ‘We fix computers.’ ‘We cut grass.’ ‘We make websites.’
The person visiting your site doesn’t want to spend lots of time looking for a description of what you do. Most of all, they only care about how you can help them. And they want to know that immediately. It’s all about them so you don’t want to make it hard on the visitor. Less is more. The faster they know what you can do, how you can help, and how much it costs, the better.
Let’s look at a website that I think does a great job of communicating precisely what they do on the homepage. It’s storybrand.com
It’s pretty much perfect. The colors. The text. The call-to-actions. They all have a purpose and reason for being there.
Allow me to break this down bit-by-bit.
The big text that immediately draws the user’s eyes: “Clarify your message so people will listen.” Such a creative way to hint at what they do. It makes you automatically think, “Ok, it has something to with communication/marketing.”
The smaller second sentence clarifies the creative sentence above it: “A Live Workshop to help you connect with customers, revolutionize your marketing and grow your company.” Now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is that they do. They hold a workshop to help businesses communicate more effectively with their customers. Essentially….improve their copywriting and communication skills.
They have a bright call-to-action button that gives the user a choice. “Register Now.” The user can immediately take action if they want to.
Great copywriting on a homepage exists of three major ingredients:
- everyday language & colloquialisms
- short enough to fit on a line or two
- every word has a purpose for being there