Is Your Homepage Messaging a Fun Size Snickers or a Mushy Apple?

Like kids on Halloween night, customers visiting your website expect you to know why they’re there and offer something great. Here are some tricks you can use to turn your home page into a treat.

Homepage Messaging
Photo: Taylor Rooney via Unsplash

Picture this: It’s Halloween night, and you—a small child who has spent weeks perfecting your Power Ranger costume—have finally ventured out in search of treats. You ring the first doorbell and hope that on the other side is a smiling adult to scare—and a large bowl of candy.

So, when the door opens and you’re handed an apple, you may accept it politely, but feel disappointed and annoyed that the adult at the door doesn’t understand the holiday and why you’re there.

Like a trick-or-treater, a prospective client clicking through to your homepage is on a search; however, their prized “candy” is succinct homepage messaging that conveys how your company can give them what they need. The question for marketers is whether their company’s homepage will offer the Fun Size Snickers that happily ends the prospect’s search, or will it present the disappointing apple—uninspired messaging that, like the trick-or-treater’s apple, will be “tossed out” and forgotten moments after leaving the website.

Fill Your Candy Bowl with Homepage Messaging Your Trick-or-Treaters Will Eat Up

Sit a Jack-o-Lantern on Your Doorstep

When a trick-or-treater considers approaching a house, they look for signs that the people inside will welcome them—the lights are on, a glowing jack-o-lantern grins at them from the doorstep, a ghost decoration hangs on the front door. In other words, the “messaging” of the house’s exterior signals trick-or-treaters that they’re in the right place.

Your homepage imagery must do the same—signal to prospects that they have found the business that can answer their needs.

This doesn’t mean that if you’re a technology solutions company you should slap a microchip or webserver on your homepage—you needn’t be that literal. Rather, why not share what the product does and how it benefits your clients? For example, if you create technology that helps doctors track a patient’s symptoms, you could show the outline of a human body with the circulatory system replaced with circuitry. This immediately clues the prospect into what your product does, while showcasing memorable imagery.

Offer Candy, Not Apples.

Your homepage’s headline and supporting text should immediately address why your prospect has visited your website. Again the question is, “Can your business answer their needs?” 

While it’s understandable that you want to highlight that you’re top-rated, have won numerous awards, and list all of your services or products, take a moment to consider whether that information truly answers the reason why a prospect initially visits your website.

Case in point: When a trick-or-treater is greeted at the door of a house, they don’t want you to list all the food you have in your kitchen cabinets (“I could give you handful of oats if you’d prefer that over a Blow Pop.”) or that you’ve had over 150 successful visits to your door that Halloween evening. No, they just want to see what treats you’re offering. 

So, instead of calling out that your business is “top-rated” and list your services, which are perfectly appropriate for lower down on your homepage or another section of your website, tell your prospects why you’re top-rated. For example, if your company is a law firm staffed with former prosecutors, share why being a former prosecutor will benefit them:

Now We’re On Your Side.

We know how to beat prosecutors at their game—all our lawyers are former prosecutors.

Learn why the best return on your marketing dollar comes from copywriting.

Give a Unique Treat. 

If all the other houses on your block are giving out Kit Kat bars, hand out a Twix. 

We believe in our products and strive to give every customer a great experience.

The text above is the subhead on the landing page of a website for a tech company found via search results—but it could appear on millions of other B2B or B2C websites without a word needing to be edited. While the headline above that text presents more informative copy, why include any text that says nothing interesting or unique about your company when you could do better?

Take a look at the example of the law firm above. The headline leans into one of the firm’s differentiators. When considering the text for your homepage, review your differentiators and work one into the homepage header and subhead that highlights why that differentiator will benefit your prospect. 

Point Your Trick-or-Treaters in the Right Direction—and Make It Enticing

Unlike the trick-or-treater who has approached the door and received the candy they were after, once your “trick-or-treating” prospect has arrived at your website and read its homepage messaging, you’ll want to direct them to take the next step. (Of course, as the person handing out candy, you could direct the trick-or-treater to another house, but as a marketer selling a product or services, you wouldn’t want to send your prospect to a competitor.)

Beneath your initial homepage copy, be sure to provide a prominent button or link that will take them further along your conversion funnel, be that directing potential clients to a page of products or services, an “About Us” list of your differentiators, or other highly pertinent information.

If your header and subhead are effective, the call-to-action can be as simple as Explore Our Services, or it could strike to establish a relationship with the prospect, such as Let’s Get to Work. Your conversion funnel will likely dictate what that next step should be.

A Tempting Fun Size Snickers Helps Sell-In Your Services and Products

Stellar treat in bag, after the door has closed and the little Power Ranger is back on the sidewalk, they will often tell fellow trick-or-treaters to “visit that house because they’re giving out the best candy”—i.e., they want their friends to learn what they’ve learned and to experience what they’ve experienced. 

When your homepage copy speaks directly to a prospect’s needs, you make your company a memorable treat to remember. That prospect will likely share their findings with colleagues to make a decision that will reward your company with new business. What could be sweeter than that?

Looking for homepage messaging that delights and inspires? Reach out to the MarketSmiths copywriting team today. 

Lawrence David

Lawrence David

Lawrence David is a candy enthusiast with dozens of jars of candy spread throughout his apartment. He gives none of it to trick-or-treaters. He is also a writer with experience using every letter in the alphabet.

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