The home page of your site is the most valuable piece of virtual real estate that you own. It is usually the first thing that your potential clients see. Are they seeing your bio, your resume, or something they are actually interested in – like the problem they are having and the solution you can provide?
Statistics clearly show that you only have a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention. When they hit your home page, they look for two things. They want to know that they came to the right place. And, they want to know that you have what they want.
Mirror the Viewer
When your home page mirrors the interest of the viewer, they instantly know you get them. You understand their needs and you have solutions. If, instead, they find a bio of your past accomplishments and life philosophy, it better be list of similar problems you’ve resolved for other clients, and a set of business ethics that matches their own sensibilities.
Can You Help Me?
You know the old saying, folks don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. With online promotion that translates first into, “Can you help me?” and then into, “Who are you?” Your qualifications are secondary to identification of the problem the viewer has.
Your About Page
Save your credentials for your About or Bio page. Even then, word it so that the focus is on how you can help your client. The Bio page for Dr. Liz Alexander, The Book Doula, is a good example. She is qualified up to her eyeballs, yet the very first words on the page are, “Why You Can Put Your Trust In Me.” Another section is titled, “How My Qualifications and Experience Serve You.”
Using Your Blog as Home
Even though the content of your blog is constantly changing, there are static places on the page that you can use to convey your message to the viewer. They are:
- The header – even if you use a graphic, you can put a message here that immediately lets folks know they are in the right place to get the help they seek.
- The sidebar – it’s easy to fill this area with your offerings, or to highlight your most helpful posts and pages. And, it’s a great place to make a valuable gift offer, usually in exchange for the viewer’s email.
- Content widgets – some themes allow you to place widgets in the content area. Above and below the content area makes a great place for a banner widget. Like the sidebar widgets, these can easily be changed so you can show your latest offering.
- Footer widgets – these are just like the sidebar widgets and give you one more static place to post info that let’s the viewer know you have something that will help them.
- Inline ads – some themes easily allow you to place static content at the bottom of every post.
Do Your Homework
One of the best ways to get ideas for making changes to your site is to visit your competition. Do a search on the keywords that you believe folks will use to find a site like yours and visit the top sites. See how they focus on the client.
Keep in mind that they are at the top of the search engine for a reason. Check their wording and placement. What does their site have that yours doesn’t? How are they engaging the client and addressing their needs?
It’s Not About You
Your site is for the benefit of your client. It’s not about your favorite colors or what you think is important. It’s about what they want and expect to see. Read your site like a client would. Are you talking directly to them? Are you demonstrating that you understand what they need? Are you showing a solution?
Ask for Opinions
I revamp and tweak my site all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to see your site from your client’s point of view, so I ask my online marketing buddies to help me evaluate different elements. You can also ask your viewers what they want from your site. Perhaps a little feedback would help you see your site from a perspective you hadn’t considered.