3 Home Page Mistakes that Will Undermine Your Marketing

new york NYC public domainWhere is the most valuable real estate?

Some might argue for Beverly Hills, New York City, or the Washington D.C. area, but I would nominate your home page. After all, we measure the real estate on your home page in pixels – Donald Trump doesn’t even do that yet – and every pixel is valuable; none should be wasted.

This fundamental truth, however, seems lost on many small business owners. A copywriter friend recently got a job rewriting a website for a healthcare professional. The entire home page was dominated by “welcoming” the visitor and listing various academic milestones and credentials. It went on and on without ever really making any case why a prospect should choose this professional over the next guy.

The resume mistake is how I’ll label this one and it’s very common. For many people, the only self-promotional materials they have ever written are their own resumes. When they write for their websites – or for a social media site like LinkedIn – everything ends up sounding like a resume.

The fact that this healthcare professional graduated “magna cum laude” may have impressed her parents back in the day, but no one cares now. (And any prospect who does care will probably keep looking until he finds someone who graduated summa cum laude.)

The “Have you seen my vacation pictures?” mistake is another major error. This is the one where the home page drones on and on about what a wonderful and accomplished person the owner is. It’s self-aggrandizing to the max. In today’s world, personal branding is important; personal bragging isn’t. Can you recognize the difference?

If who you are plays an important role in what your business is, then your personality needs to come across. However, you need to accomplish this without boring your prospect. After reading your web page, your prospect must want to spend more time with you. You must pique the interest of visitors and establish rapport (engagement).

The “Howdy y’all!” mistake may be number one on our lists of faux pas. This one treats home page copy like a greeting card. You’re so happy and glad someone finally came to your home page, you feel the need to extend your most sincere welcome. Often the people making this mistake just have no idea what they should be saying.

Unfortunately, on the Internet, you don’t get anyone at “hello.” Internet users are an impatient audience and when they land on your home page, they are usually on a mission; they don’t have time to waste with casual small talk.

Are you seeing a pattern here? These are all mistakes because they don’t communicate a unique selling point quickly, efficiently and effectively. If you suspect that your home page – or other promotional materials – could be making some of these errors, rethink them as an elevator pitch or landing page with a catchy headline and copy that pulls the reader in and makes your case with no fuss or muss.