Want a Home Page That Works For You? Make Sure it’s a Roadmap to Your Biz

Does every new visitor’s trip to your home page effectively mirror your clients’ journey? Does your home page act as a website roadmap? Have you ever thought about it this way?

Most everyone knows the website is an important part of a successful business, but many business owners are not really sure what to do about it—how to create a website, where to start, which pages to include. Many I’ve talked to are easily overwhelmed by writing for themselves, trying to decide which elements they need, which they can skip. Their common, ultimate goal is always to effortlessly connect with dream clients, and they know a website is a big part of that, but they don’t always know how to connect those dots. 

It’s been a rocky couple years, but at this point some optimism is returning to the business world. Owners and CEOs are projecting promising results, stock markets are doing well, inflation is cooling and consumers in both b2b and b2c are venturing back into the marketplace to buy. Your website provides legitimacy and backs your authority, and a key part of that legitimacy is being ready when your market is ready to buy from you.

Ground zero of your website is always the home page—whenever a new visitor arrives, this is where they land. When mapping out your home page, you need to have a firm understanding of two key things: 

  1. What do your visitors want? 
  2. Where are they headed? 

Then using this understanding to future pace them, you can demonstrate that you do understand what they want and where they are headed, while also clearly illustrating you have the ability to take them where they need to go. 

It sounds like a tall order, I know, but if executed well, your home page does a lot of heavy lifting for your business. 

Is Your Homepage Working For You? 

Your clients’ journey is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—it’s all the steps they take, the touch points they have with your business, as they become aware of you, the solution you provide and how it helps them solve their own problem(s). Plus it shows them the steps of working with you on their way to achieving their desired transformation state. 

Why is it so important that your homepage mirror your client’s journey? 

Because it’s the best way to communicate that you understand how they are coming to you, that you understand their state of interest, and that you know what’s driving them and their behavior when they arrive at your website. 

The Four Main Jobs of Your Website

It’s 2024, and every business needs a website. Every. Business. It doesn’t matter if you’re brick and mortar or completely online, a website strategy is critical. Your business’s website should always be doing these four things for you:

Job #1: Provides legitimacy in the eyes of your prospects 

Think about it. Before you start working with a business you heard about somewhere, or were referred to, what do you do? You Google them. Your prospects do the same. When your website comes up on that SERP (search engine results page) they feel reassured because you’re there, they can see you’re the real deal and not just some hack out there.

Job #2: Streamlines your message and builds your authority

Which backs up everything you put out in the world. What do I mean by everything you put out in the world? Think posts on socials, guest spots on podcasts, the content you publish, etc… What happens when a business looks and sounds one way on their social posts, but their website looks and sounds completely different? There’s a disconnect that creates doubt in the mind of your prospects—whoa, wait, am I even in the right place?? A streamlined message provides consistency and certainty because you always sound and look like you, no matter where you show up. 

Job #3: Acts as a homebase for your content

Your website is the place on the web where everything you have, you own – unlike the stuff you post on social platforms. You can link in to your site when you share in other places, and you can link out away from your site to both direct them towards more information and to strengthen your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. When someone asks about me, I always tell them that “all roads lead to and from erinpennings.com” because when a curious someone visits my website, they can find all my social channels, the best way to contact me, and access all of my content – it’s a one stop shop.   

Job #4: Your website gives YOU confidence 

Think of it like a functional piece of art you display proudly for all the world to see! When you feel good about your website, it gives you the confidence you need to take action that leads to sales. Because I know you don’t want to send people to a website you’re not proud of, or one that you hate or feel is wrong. If you don’t love it, you probably send people to it with extreme prejudice, and by that I mean, you apologize for it or let people know it’s a work in progress.


On the other hand, a good website always reminds me of the saying, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” If you knew your website was great, you’d share it with people and do all the things that would result in sales…

The Most Important Elements of Your Home Page

Whether you have a single page website where all the elements live in a scrollable situation, or you have a multi page site that links to a new page for more details, every business needs more or less the same pieces of information on their home page.

  • Home Page: contains a hero section and acts as the roadmap to both your website and to your business 
  • About Page: introduces you and your team, but through the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) lens of your visitor 
  • Services Page: your solutions to their problems and the benefits they’ll enjoy. You might have just one page listing all your services, or you might have a page for each individual service.  
  • Product/Features Page(s): the methods and mechanisms you use to solve their problems. If you have a SaaS product, you want to focus heavily on features.  
  • Pricing Page: sometimes pricing is built into the services or products pages 
  • Contact Page: getting in touch with you should be crystal clear and omnipresent across your website

Today we’re here to focus on the importance of the home page specifically. Anyone who visits your home page needs to be able to discern quickly 

  • What you do 
  • Who you are 
  • Who you work with 
  • How you help them 
  • What your features/benefits
  • How to get in touch with you 

If that looks familiar, you may want to think of it in terms of answering the 5W and an H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) from your clients’ perspective.

When considering the layout of your home page, you’ll want to share this information with your audience so they can get the bulk of it directly from the homepage. If your site has additional pages, they can link off to get more information on the pieces they’re most interested in. 

What Role Does Your Homepage Play as Part of Your Website and Business?

I already mentioned how everytime someone asks how to find out more about me, I tell them “all roads lead to and from erinpennings.com.”  I know it’s the best place for anyone to start because when they get there, they’ll find my home page, the landing page for my entire website. The first thing they see is the “hero” section (more on that in a minute) and no matter what they want to find out about me, they will be directed quickly and effortlessly from my home page in the direction they need to go. How do I know? Because the homepage is a roadmap to the entire website, and also, to my entire business! It’s been designed to do its job well.  

Any homepage has two main jobs. It needs to:

  1. Get their attention
  2. Help them find what they need quickly and easily

Why is a Good Home Page So Important? 

Every line of copy has one of two jobs—(A) get people to keep reading or (B) get them to take action. The first line they see? The hero headline which must first capture attention (get them to keep reading). If they aren’t intrigued right away, they’ll just click off into the sunset. And if they click away, they never get the chance to see that it presents the information they need AS they need it, which it does especially well when it reflects your client’s journey. 

A good home page offers snippets about what you do, who you work with, who you are, how you help people, and how to get in touch with you. It allows anyone who visits to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If you’re a SaaS company, you highlight features and benefits. If you’re a small professional services biz, you highlight the outcomes your services can help clients achieve. And if you’re brick and mortar, how to call you and visit your location should be the highlight. 

Don’t Forget: Make it Easy to Contact You 

How to contact you should be prominent on your home page—in the header and footer, at a minimum.  What’s the first action you want them to take? Do you want them to book a call, send you an email, download a thing? Whatever it is, make sure that is the first CTA they see.

The most important thing is to fit that first action you want them to take into your hero section, which is the prime real estate on your entire website. No pressure…

Crafting a Hero Section That Stands Out!

The hero section is the bit of the page your visitors see when they first land there, before they’ve done any scrolling or clicking. The best hero sections highlight a big hairy (but achievable) promise you’re making to anyone who chooses to work with you. 

The most important part of the hero section is not the image, though that is important too. It’s the headline!! A great hero headline gets them to stand up and say Hi! It’s Me! in response to the outcome your headline is promising. In other words, you’re setting them up as the hero of their own story. There is no standard length for a headline, it just has to be clear and specific. It could be 5 words, it could be 15-20, depending on what you’re trying to get them to do. To get it just right, make sure you don’t waste their time with redundant or irrelevant information. Your name doesn’t need to be here, no “welcome” or generic language; instead it should be fun, engaging, and show the future state of choosing you.

The hero section makes it easy for them to say yup, I’m in the right place, and if they’re not in the right place, makes it easy for them to save time and energy by not continuing to move through the rest of the site.   

I base a lot of my approach on Donald Miller’s Storybrand process, although I definitely don’t follow it to a T. But here’s where we agree—writing effective copy is about crafting a story that positions your prospect as the hero. And if there’s a hero, well, there’s usually a problem. In fact, most stories you see or read follow this basic pattern: 

  • Hero is just living life until encounter a problem (the villain)
  • Villain stops the hero from living their best life
  • Wise guide steps up to help the hero defeat the villain 

Your hero headline is where you set the stage for your client as the hero of their own story, where you play the role of the wise guide, helping them face and defeat their villain, which is the problem they face that you know how to help them solve. 

Getting the Hero Headline Right

We are living in a “mobile first” world,  which means we are sort of programmed to scroll scroll scroll. What’s more, if they don’t like what they see right away, your visitors will click away quickly.

What does that mean?

Your hero headline has very little space and very little time to capture people’s attention and make them want to stay and, dare I say, take action. 

So how do you make sure you get it right? 

You’ve already identified what product/service you offer, who you serve, what problems your customers have that you solve. Now you should take some time and clearly identify a list of their pain points AND the ways you can address them. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the end result of working with you? 
  • What does the client get? 
  • What is it they actually want on their journey?

If you’re still unsure how to turn this information into scroll-stopping hero headlines, you can check out my headline formulas over here.

The most important thing to remember about your hero section is it’s what people see before they make the first scroll. It’s what prompts them to scroll in the first place or take another action. If you want to dive deeper, here’s where you can learn more about creating a hero section that converts

Home Page Road Map vs Site Map vs Project Roadmap

If you don’t work in or around copywriting/website design spaces, understanding the difference between the similar terms of home page as roadmap, site map, project roadmap can feel tricky. 

Your Home Page is a Road Map to Your Website

We’ve been talking a lot about this one. This is what we mean when we talk about your home page mimicking your client’s journey to working with your biz. This is what it means to be able to land on your home page, and quickly and effortlessly find our way around to the key information that we need, based on the reason for our visit. A well designed home page facilitates a 2-sided conversation without needing to build in any additional interactive elements. Talk about working for you! 

Your Site Map is the Road Map to Your Website

While your home page is the road map to your website AND your business, the site map is specifically to your website. It is literally just a list of the pages on your website. It can be complex and intricate, an amazing maze of a mind map with lots of details, connections and directions. On the other hand, it can be simple and elegant, a list of your pages, hyperlinking the user to the place they’re looking for, no muss, no fuss.  

Some visitors on a mission will scroll right down to the footer looking for this feature, if they arrive already knowing which specific page or piece of information they are looking for. 

The Project Roadmap and Search Engine Optimization 

A project road map is a fundamental piece of any website project that I take on, and if SEO is part of your website strategy (and it should be), it should be a fundamental piece for you too, even if you are DIY’ing it. A project roadmap is simply an outline of the phases of the website project. 

Putting Them All Together: Building a Website That Works

Now that we’ve defined each of these similar terms, let’s take a look at how these pieces fit together. 

In every website project I take on, part 1 is always designing the experience of the home page so that it functions as the road map to your site, but also to your entire business. This is making sure the right information is clear and succinct and living in the right places, that the messaging is clear and consistent, and that your client’s journey in working with you is reflected in the user’s experience of navigating your home page AND any pages they choose to click out to from there (if you have them, the single page website is still a viable option for most businesses when it’s planned properly).

Part 2 of the process is creating a super basic site map, that we can build on and elaborate as we see fit. It’s a list of the pages we’re writing, and possibly additional pages that we might consider adding, just to see how it all flows. A version of the site map might be included near the footer of your home page making it easier for some users to navigate your website. 

No matter if we’re building your website from scratch, or sprucing it up with some strategic updates, every website project needs the project road map, which is part 3. The project road map outlines each phase of the website project overall, indicating when and how web copy and messaging pieces will be completed and when to expect each element to be completed. 

All of my website projects have a project road map following my distinct process, which is a flexible framework I call the REACH trajectory: 

  • Research your customers
  • Engage with brand messaging
  • Attract clients online ← your website project falls here
  • Create an online funnel
  • Hook ‘em with tactical strategy. 

You can learn more about how my framework helps you attract clients online.

Top 5 Takeaways for a Home Page That Does the Heavy Lifting for You

We covered a lot of ground today, and it might take a while to digest. These are the highlights:  

  1. Your home page is intentionally designed to mimic your client’s journey. 
  2. Your headline must convert or direct your audience to take action.
  3. All information must be clear, succinct and align with your messaging.
  4. Your contact information must be effortless to locate.
  5. A project road map is critical for an effective SEO strategy. 

What’s Next For Your Website 

If you’re DIY’ing your next website project, save this article and come back to it as often as you need to guide you through the process. If you do that AND use my ULTIMATE Website Copy Checkup, you’ll have everything you need to turn your website into a fine-tuned, highly effective, 24/7 sales tool! 

Still a little unsure how to put it all together, but pretty confident with just a little more direction you can still take it on? I can help with that, too. I offer audits to tell you what’s up, or VIP days to get you started and on the right track

Feeling unsure and maybe a little out of your element? If you’re wondering if you need to hand this off to an expert, some common milestones when we work together include—agreeing to work together, getting clear on your brand strategy/messaging, diving into market research, drafting all the web copy, editing, live reviews, the hand over, and a final live review. We can chat about what you need and how I can help!

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