First impressions count.
And according to a recent study, it takes only 33 milliseconds to form a first impression.
That means in less than a second you decide if you like someone, if you want to get to know them better, and even if you trust them.
With such a small window, it’s no wonder you stress out about how you’re presenting yourself and whether you’re coming across “the right way.”
You probably spend hours prepping for a networking event. You practice your elevator speech, pick out the perfect outfit, stash business cards in your bag, check (and double check) your teeth to make sure there’s no kale stuck in them.
Your website is no different.
You have just a few seconds (around 59, to be exact, though I’m personally way less patient than that!) to grab a visitor’s attention and to keep them on your website.
Which is probably why you think throwing lots of information at your visitors the moment they land on your home page is an effective strategy.
I’m here to lovingly tell you it’s not!
Having a jumbled, busy home page is just like showing up to a networking event wearing a totally mismatched outfit, stumbling through every conversation, and having crumbs stuck in your hair.
I’m willing to bet that’s not the type of impression you’d like to leave people with!
Luckily, for online business owners, making a good first impression on your home page is way easier than doing it in person (especially for us introverts).
In fact, your home page has just ONE job.
What is it?Click to TweetYour home page has just ONE job. What is it? @jennyshih has the answer
The #1 job of your home page
Your home page’s number one job is to get people to opt in to your email list. That’s it!
Its job is not to tell your whole life story. Not to showcase all of your blog posts. And, most importantly, it’s not to convince people to buy something from you.
In fact, one of the mistakes I see my clients making with their home pages is focusing on making a sale from the get-go.
Imagine you’re back at that networking event, and someone you just met asks you to invest in their new business venture.
You’d be put off, right?
People who land on your home page are just getting to know you. It’s the first page they probably stumble across if they Googled something or clicked on your website from a social media profile.
Yes, they’re a prospect, but they’re likely not ready to go “all in” and hire you.
Which is exactly why you need to give them something that it’s easy for them to say yes to.
Instead of pointing visitors to your Work with Me page right away, ask them to get to know you better by signing up for your newsletter list.
A surefire way to get them to subscribe?
Put your opt in—one that easily solves a problem they’re experiencing—front and center, either in your header or sidebar depending on your website’s layout. Newspapers call this “above the fold,” and I talk more about why this placement is so important in Authority-Building Home Pages.
Here’s the thing: Just having an easy-to-find opt-in offer isn’t enough.
There’s another thing you must keep in mind…Click to TweetJust having an opt-in offer on your home page isn’t enough. @jennyshih shares another important thing to keep in mind.
Talk about what you can do for them
When someone visits your home page, is it immediately clear what you have to offer?
And I don’t mean your title or your credentials; I mean how you can help them.
Because, at the end of the day, people like to know what you can do for them.
Let’s go back to the networking event.
Picture someone introducing themselves, and saying something vague, like, “I’m an accountant with 12 years experience.”
Does that make you want to keep talking to this person? Do you think, “Oh, I know exactly how they could help me!”? Do you instantly feel like this person has something valuable to offer you?
But if they said, “I’m an accountant who helps online business owners manage their invoices and find more tax deductions,” your ears might perk up!
The same goes for your home page and opt-in offer.
If it’s not immediately clear who you are, what you do, and how you can help, your prospects probably aren’t going to stick around to find out. Which means they’re not going to sign up for a newsletter!
Remember, you have mere seconds to catch website visitors’ attention. Don’t make them dig for information!
Be upfront about who you are and what you do. And then offer them an opt in they’ll want to snatch up right away.My Personal Recommendation for YouAuthority-Building Home Pages
Keep your home page simple
The options you have for your website these days are overwhelming!
Many business owners are tempted by all the shiny objects: videos, social media feeds, animated graphics, headshots, blog posts, testimonials, and so much more.
I get it! That stuff is slick!
And there’s definitely a time and a place for each of these things. But I firmly believe your home page should be simple.
If you walk in to that networking event and there are three tables competing for your attention right inside the front door—a sign-in table, a raffle table, and an appetizer table—what are you going to do?
Probably panic and head for the food!
You can see how that applies to your website. You want to give people fewer options and fewer distractions so you up the chances that you can convert them to subscribers.
If you’re blocking the doorway with a content-heavy page that gives every last detail about you, your business, and your services, you’re increasing the odds of someone clicking away.
Is your home page doing its job?
Yes, it’s great if someone spends time on your website, reading your blog and learning more about you and your services.
But you want them to opt in!
And the best way to do that is to:
- Make your opt-in prominent
- Be clear about what you do and how you help
- Keep your home page simple.
There’s no exact formula for making your website or your home page work because every business and every business owner is different. But there are templates you can use, like the ones I teach you in Authority-Building Home Pages, to make your home page more effective.
It’s all about using the right combination of copy and layout to create an authority-building home page that converts.My Personal Recommendation for YouAuthority-Building Home Pages