5 Home Page Copy Fails that Drive Prospects Away

by Carrie Dagenhard May 29, 2016
May 29, 2016

Your website’s home page is a lot like an online dating profile. You painstakingly pore over the copy and design, making sure each element shows your company in the best possible light. You strive to capture all of your most attractive qualities. It’s a balancing act: You need to appear capable and enthusiastic, but not desperate or overzealous. And much like a hopeful Tinder user, you have mere seconds to persuade a browser to investigate further.

Also, like a dating profile, your home page can be your company’s biggest turn-off to potential prospects.

Here at Kuno Creative, we’ve discussed some of the least attractive home page design features. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most common copy fails that will increase bounce rates and drive your audience into the arms of your competitor.

1. Talking Too Much About Yourself

Don’t be that guy. You know who I mean—Mr. Humblebrag. His profile boasts a nausea-inducing catalog of his professional and social achievements: Employee of the year, CEO of two start-ups, semi-pro golfer and certified CrossFit instructor who still has time to knit sweaters for orphan puppies. Gimme a break.

Your prospects are visiting your website to learn more about your company—but they’re also researching how you solve problems and create success for your customers. Is it worth mentioning that your organization earned a coveted spot on the Inc. 5000? Of course! Is it worth listing every single award you and your employees snagged over the past decade? Absolutely not.

2. Trying to Fit Everything On the Home Page

Your home page is the first impression some prospects will have of your organization, but remember: This is not the only way potential customers reach your website. As long as you’re correctly optimizing your pages, folks may enter through a blog post, a service page or one of your various landing pages.

In other words, it’s not necessary to cram everything into the home page. In fact, that’s a really, really bad idea. Like an over-crammed dating profile, your home page is overwhelming your prospect.

Each element of your home page should act as an introduction to another area of your site. Want to encourage prospects to read about your services? A short sentence accompanied by a “Learn More” button is the string of bread crumbs you need to lure them in.

3. Not Addressing Audience Pain Points

One of the most common mistakes businesses make—from small mom-and-pop shops to corporate empires—is focusing on features instead of benefits.

Imagine you’re in the market for a new tablet, and comparing options online. Unless you’re a gadget nerd who can decode the meaning behind specs like “M9 coprocessor” or “1.9 gigahertz processor,” you’d probably prefer to read benefit-driven descriptions like “No more searching for outlets. Browse for up to 10 hours on a single charge,” or “Lightning-fast processor ensures you can download apps in seconds.”

Showing prospects you understand their concerns and have the power to solve them inspires trust and is much more likely to snag a first date than a list of features.

4. Too Much Industry Jargon

Imagine you’re on a first date with someone with whom you know you have a lot in common. Unfortunately, they’ve chosen the one activity in which they’re an expert and you’re totally inexperienced: rock climbing. You’ve always wanted to climb but, instead of helping, your date insists on showing off. They throw out a bunch of terms you’ve never heard, strap on fancy equipment you don’t understand and take off without you. Date over.

Similarly, using industry-specific terminology on your home page can alienate your audience. While you’re immersed in these words and phrases every day, they may never have even heard them. Packing your home page full of jargon won’t make you appear more qualified—it’ll just confuse your prospects.

Instead, use plain, easy-to-read language and include common keywords and phrases your personas are likely to search. This will not only help better optimize your site for search engines, it will also appeal to your prospects, increase the likelihood that they’ll stick around to learn more and help capture leads. And you can always educate them on industry terms throughout the lead nurturing process.

5. Too Much Text

Home pages are meant to be skimmed, not studied. Like the front stoop of a home, it’s the space your audience sees for mere moments before they decide to either step inside or run for the hills. A large block of copy—even really great copy—is an immediate deterrent.

Condense, revise and slash your copy. Mercilessly. Leave longer descriptions for site pages (and even those should be succinct). Like a boring date who prattles on and on without picking up on your obvious disinterest, a text-heavy home page is a major turn-off.

You put a lot of work into ensuring your business offers the best possible solutions, builds long-lasting customer relationships and maintains a positive reputation in the industry. Don’t let your home page threaten this success. Avoid these home page copy mistakes to make sure your website attracts all the best prospects.

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