3 Things Every Homepage Needs to Make Sales
Generally speaking, you can expect about 2% of online visitors to purchase from you.
Just two percent.
That’s not even the most conservative estimate. And if you’re advertising for your online business, then you already know the importance of getting people to your site.
But how do you keep them there? Copy.
It may sound simple and it is. It’s also really easy to overlook.
Copywriting is designed to motivate someone to take a specific action. It’s essentially the art of persuasion, convincing someone to do what you want them to.
And no, it doesn’t have to be as sleazy as it sounds! As a business owner, you ultimately want them to purchase. That process starts with the words you use.
Buying decisions are based on interest and engagement. People won’t buy unless they know exactly why they’re there, what you’re selling and what to do with it.
To satisfy those three areas, you need three things on every page (what I call my ‘shopper’s traffic light‘, you’ll see why in a bit):
3. CALL TO ACTION
Now you might be thinking: “I have ‘shop now’ buttons all over my site!”
But copywriting is more than just words you string together on a page or well-positioned graphic overlays. And if you’re not happy with your conversions, then keep reading.
It’s about creating a context for potential customers to recognize themselves and their need for your product. Because if you can activate their imagination, a sale can become a reality.
So back to those three things.
GRAB MY ATTENTION, THE HEADLINE
The first is what grabs customer attention. The headline can be a bold (but honest) claim or an interesting question. It’s the ‘big idea’, the one thing that you’re promising to help your customers achieve, that one outcome that you can proudly tout.
So it should be clear and relevant.
And it should require a response– that means customers should be thinking “how?!”, “really?”, or “tell me more”. These are indicators of intrigue and have just earned you a few extra (precious) seconds of face time with your customer via desktop or phone screen.
This is called getting your foot in the door.
You want the customer to desire to know more– which makes sharing more detail an invitation, not an imposition.
TELL ME MORE, THE SUB-HEADLINE
A sub-headline is a chance to elaborate, to answer that first “how” or go deeper into the “what”. This is all about maintaining contact.
If you have them on the hook, this should help you reel them in (forgive the fishing analogy). The best thing is that you can accomplish all of this in just a few targeted words.
Why is good copywriting so powerful?
It’s your elevator pitch, albeit a lot faster.
You want the customer to desire to know more– which makes sharing more detail an invitation, not an imposition. This is what I call adding a wedge.
You’d have to have a REALLY boring brand story– luckily you don’t 😉– to have someone bend down, remove that wedge and close the door.
So once you’ve said your piece, the last portion is all about action.
SO WHAT’RE YOU GONNA DO? THE CALL TO ACTION
An effective CTA is (sadly) often missing on websites and if, as a customer, you don’t know what to do then you won’t do anything or what’s worse you’ll leave.
And we DO NOT want that.
A confused mind will always say no.
So this is the transition from (the right) information to integration. If you’ve successfully presented the value of your product, you’re in the position to tie it all up in a neat package– with their shipping label stuck to the box!
Their decision to purchase means that you’ve expressed the benefits of your solution and that it’s now time to apply their newfound knowledge.
A call to action is simply a sign post of urgency–you’ve said “this is for you”, “this is why it works” so now here’s the last hurdle: cost.
Below, I’ve compiled some great examples from some of the largest retailers on the web. Headlines are in red, sub headlines are in yellow, and CTAs are in green. Keep in mind that the CTAs don’t just state ‘shop now’, they lead the customer to the specific product that is being promoted.
Because you’ve proved that you know your customer, that you understand their issues, and that you’ve created something just for them.
You’ve led them to the cart, which makes a purchase feel reasonable, organic. And that’s where retailers win. Shopping has to feel right.
Capturing that emotional value may well be the strongest connection you can make, something that carries beyond the transaction. And these three things work best when they work together.