Web copy writing guru Nick Usborne just posted an excellent piece on creating effective home pages.  We have all seen home pages laden with “happy talk” extolling the virtues of a company or pages filled with industry jargon that leaves us wondering, “what does this company do?’  The premise of Nick’s no body copy test is simple.  Print out a screen capture of  your home page, remove all of the body text, leaving only headers, sub-heads, links, and images.  Then ask yourself, “How much of my core message survives the cut?”

Although most of our clients agonize over formulating a carefully crafted message that will “win’ the hearts and minds of prospective customers, within the first 7 seconds of arrival, your visitors decide whether to dig deeper or hit the back button and start anew.  During these moments of truth, your visitors will ask some key questions:

  • Is this site relevant to my search query?
  • Am I in the right place?
  • Do the products or services presented offer the value I am looking for?

If the answers to the questions posed above are obscured in body copy, chances are good the opportunity to earn your visitor’s business will be lost.  Remember, presenting your core message in a clear, concise manner and offering intuitive navigation that compels visitors to take action are the twin pillars of effective home page copy and design.  Take a few moments to size up your own home page today.  The results may surprise you…..