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This is the start of an ongoing series about the things every small business needs for their website.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around, how many employees you have, or what types of advertising you do. There’s one thing you need on your website homepage (and it’s not your phone number). It’s this:

WHAT DO YOU DO.

It may seem painfully obvious, but a lot of people avoid clearly stating, in layman’s terms, what service they are providing.

Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn’t have to do investigative work to figure out what, exactly, it is that you do. Tell people this is the right website that they have been searching for. A clear description will attract the visitor’s attention immediately within 2-3 seconds, and encourage them to stay on your website longer.

Here are three great examples of three websites – a cooking blog, PayPal, and an eCommerce store, that all have clear descriptions of their services noted by my red arrows.

 

Here are three rules to follow when it comes to writing your homepage description:

  1. Keep it short. The description on your homepage does not have to list all your services, in fact, it shouldn’t do that.  If they want to learn more, you can choose to explain it further on one of the interior pages of your website, or you can invite them to contact you. Always turn interest into action.
  2. Assuming every person visiting your website lives under a rock. Never assume they have heard of your business, or that they understand your industry. Build a website that treats every visitor like it’s their first time learning about you and your market.
  3. Put it above the fold. This means placing your statement about your business in a place on your homepage where people can see it without having to scroll down. It can be tempting to open your website with a catchy advertising slogan, but a website is not a print advertisement. The user has come to your website to learn about your services, they are already on the hook, you don’t need to entice them again.