Here’s what’s wrong with the homepage of your coffee business website.

June 14, 2013 by

coffee business website with no imagesWhether you are selling coffee beans or coffee brewers, the words on your homepage need to answer a simple question that is floating around in each visitor’s head.

Here it is:

“Why should I buy from you?”

It’s a great question, but as I browse from coffee site to coffee site, very few homepages answer it.

Yes, there are plenty of images. Great shots of coffee beans, coffee roasting machines, coffee brewers, coffee grinders, and happy people drinking coffee.

But none of these images answer the question, “Why?” Most of the images are simply decorative.

There is nothing wrong with showing great images. The coffee experience is blessed with great images, from the coffee farm through to the final cup. But pictures alone won’t make a visitor choose your products over those of your competitors.

Here is a simple test for you to try on your own website.

Most browsers have a setting that allows you to view a webpage without downloading the images. In Firefox, for example, go to Options -> Content and then uncheck the ‘Load images automatically’ box.

Now check out your home page. What’s there?

I just tried this on a website devoted to a major new brewer from a very well-known coffee equipment manufacturer. What I saw was….pretty nothing , except for the blank spaces where the images would go. No headline. No subheads. Barely any words at all.

(Incidentally, Google will have also notice there are no words there. Not good if you want to attract organic search engine traffic. And, of course, the site is totally inaccessible to the visually impaired.)

But my main point is that words matter.

It’s not enough simply to make your homepage look good. You also have to provide an answer to that key question, “Why?”

I’m not suggestion you have to add hundreds of words to your homepage. Just a few words can make a huge difference.

Let’s say you sell a single serve brewing system.

Show some great photos. Maybe a video too. That’s all good.

Now add three words, together, as a headline. “Easier. Faster. Cleaner.”

Now you have given your visitor a reason why they should buy your brewer. In this case, you are differentiating your product from traditional drip brewers, which are harder, slower and messier.

If you were positioning your system against competing single serve brewers, those words would change. You could say something more like, “Better coffee”. Or, “More eco-friendly.”

In the first case, you’re differentiating yourself from a lot of single-serve brewers which really don’t brew great coffee. In the second, you’re separating yourself from systems that create a lot of plastic waste.

I’m using only 2 or 3 words in these headlines. You can a lot more with an 8-word headline and a 15-word sub-headline.

But even with just a couple of words you are answering the question “Why?” And you are taking a small step towards creating a homepage that is more likely to hook your visitors, engage their attention and move them forward to your product pages.

Don’t let imagery (or your designer) dominate your homepage.

Images set the stage, but words deepen visitor attention and drive the sale.

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