The talented team at eCommerce marketing company Exposure Ninja reveal how much text you should have on your homepage — and what the text should include.
When you start to read a book, you need that first line, page and chapter to be enough to make you want to continue reading. Well-written, enticing literature will urge you to read on. Something clear, concise and easy to read will guarantee the reader’s interest.
Now imagine the homepage of your website is the first page of a book. Your readers consist of potential clients and customers, but also Google, which is crucial for bringing clients to your homepage. You want to hook them with your first line and have content that’s so good they can’t wait to start browsing the rest of your website.
How much text you have on your homepage plays a major role in what people may think of your website — and taking care of this will always lead to sales for your eCommerce website.
How Much Text Should I Have on My Homepage?
There’s no exact number here. We know, it’d be much simpler if there was!
I can hear the SEO specialists shouting right now… There actually is a number. From an SEO perspective, a webpage needs a minimum of 300 words of text content.
Your homepage — and every other webpage for that matter — needs to be keyword optimised for the words and phrases you want to rank for on Google. That means you need enough text on the page to naturally weave in your keywords and for search engines to find and index that content.
However, this is not to say you should slam out 300+ words of content and stuff it with keywords — far from it! Large chunks of text can be off-putting to website users who prefer to skim over pages and take information in visually. It’s important to consider how much information your target customers need right away on your homepage and where that text is placed.
There are a number of arguably more important factors to consider when it comes to how much text to have on your homepage. These include your target audience, your brand and style, the goal of your homepage (that is to say: what you want people to do after landing on your homepage) and what you’re selling.
Which Are You Selling?
1. Established Product — If you are selling an established product which everyone knows well, you don’t need much text. Something like a water bottle, for example. It’s already a ‘trusted’ product type. On your homepage you don’t need to explain exactly what this product is because people already know. You just need to highlight what makes your water bottle the best on the market (it’s USP).
This very simple design from Swell. There’s not too much text on the homepage as very little explanation about what the product is and does is needed here. The focus is instead on the visual image which shows off the unique designs that make these bottles stand out from other water bottles.
2. Lesser-Known Product — If, on the other hand, your product is relatively new to market or not a widely recognised or understood product, then more text is important to explain what the product is, what it does and why someone would need it. This information is needed in order to gain the trust and understanding of your audience.
Take electrolyte powders and add-ins for example. These are a very new and not yet well established products that have come to market in the past few years in the health supplement industry. Websites aiming to sell these types of products require more homepage text in order to explain exactly what this product is and why it’s awesome to new customers.
What Kind of Text Do I Need on My Homepage?
Now we know how much content to use, it’s time to look at the content itself. If somebody is visiting your website for the first time, they need to know who you are, what you offer and what makes you special. Why should they pick you and your services?
Let’s take the basics of what text is needed on a website homepage and see how the word count can break down:
Heading: Short and enticing, around 4-8 words will do.
Blurb: An introduction to the business and your unique selling point (USP). Make this short and impactful, so people know right away what your business is all about. Approximately 30 – 100 words.
Product Summary: A short summary of your main product categories. Incorporating this ensures people know exactly what is on offer from you. Around 30 words per product.
Calls-to-Action: Tell the customer what to do with a heading and brief text. 30-50 words should be enough.
Testimonials: Testimonials to demonstrate what others thought of your service. People love to read reviews and often base their decisions on them. Select one or two of the best testimonials. No more than 100 words in total.
Resources: You can direct customers not yet ready to purchase to further resources such as blogs. 50 words should be enough to introduce these.
Depending on what your business is, the specifics of what is on your homepage will vary but this info will generally bring your homepage to 100-400 words. Decide what info will be beneficial and what isn’t needed. Be ruthless and remember that good website content is key.
Case Study: Esty homepage
We love the Etsy homepage because it follows a clear structure. It starts with a concise heading that tells us everything we need to know, and an obvious search bar above the fold. This is followed by an introduction — in this case, instructions on how to the website.
After this, the user can scroll down to see product categories and the homepage finishes with testimonials at the bottom to prove to us that Etsy must be awesome. The amount of text is very minimal, but the audience knows exactly what they are selling and how it works. Perfect!
What Else Can Make My Homepage Look Better?
Having relevant, useful content of the right length is important — but of course, the design of your homepage and how the text is arranged can make it more user-friendly.
Let’s go back to our book analogy from the beginning. Chapters break up sections of a book’s text, giving us an opportunity to take a break and make a cup of tea. Some books even have pictures, diagrams and flowcharts to make it much easier on the eye.
Let’s take these ideas and use them on your homepage.
- Break up homepage text with headings
Headings are the perfect way to break up the text on a homepage. It guides the reader to different material, and skim-readers can still see a breakdown of information and gain an understanding of what you offer.
CoSchedule keep everything really simple on their homepage. Their main heading and subheading tell the website user exactly what the product is and how it will benefit the website user in very few words.
- Break up homepage text with visuals
Visual elements such as videos or photos are engaging for your audience and make it more aesthetically pleasing. For eCommerce websites, photos of your products are ideal for audience engagement.
Graze has a fantastic homepage. It not only shows exactly what they sell (in a very appealing way), but their offers and calls to action are clear and user-friendly.
- Always think about your target audience
When creating your homepage — and your whole website, in fact — think about your target audience. Keeping them in mind will help guide the process of making a website. When making your homepage, think about what your target audience would want to see.
As well as your target audience, remember that Google will also read the text on your homepage to try and categorise what it is you are offering. Always try to keep Google on your side but never alienate your real life readers while doing this!
- Make clear categories
Although your homepage needs to target new clients, remember that returning clients will also want to navigate easily for other services. They don’t want to have to scroll for ages through content they’ve already read. Make sure the information for these clients is easily accessible.
Juniqe does a great job of introducing clear categories with complementing visuals. These sit just above the fold of the homepage, high enough to grab the attention of users of may be looking for those particular product categories.
- Don’t cram all your keywords on the homepage
Focus on just one or two priority keywords for your homepage. Attempting to cram in as many as possible is unnecessary for your SEO ranking, and it makes your homepage text lengthy and unclear. Using different keywords on different pages is great for eCommerce optimisation because Google can rank those pages individually.
- Don’t use the footer unnecessarily
Don’t add content to the footer just for the sake of it. There are important things which can go here, including your contact details, a location map if relevant, and any important navigation. Don’t be tempted to keyword stuff your footer because this will look bad to Google and your website users.
- Is your content helpful?
After putting together your content, read through it and ask yourself: “Is this helpful? Does the reader gain any information about my business from this piece of text?” If so, keep it on the homepage. If not, or perhaps it isn’t as important as other content and can be put on a different page. The point is to be concise and informative.
If you follow these simple guidelines for your homepage, your website’s click-through rate and browsability is bound to improve. Result!
Want to know if your homepage is doing its job effectively? Be sure to sign up for an online marketing and SEO review for your website. Exposure Ninja is an eCommerce agency who can share their knowledge and wisdom to help you create a successful (and totally Ninja) website.