Homepage goals | Mixing offers and customer types in your navi

Happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating!

Can you believe it? I've never tasted pumpkin pie 😭

I don't even know if you can buy them in Germany. I tried making one myself, but this can of pumpkin puree is as far as I got:

Pumpkin puree canned

I guess going to three different shops to find it was too much work already. Plus, baking takes so much time.

Does pumpkin puree out of a can tastes close to a pumpkin pie? Asking for a friend.

But ok, enough chit-chat. Thanksgiving here or there, your website isn't going to improve itself. And you may be excused for today/tomorrow, but I hope you'll come back to this on Monday.

Here's what we are talking about:

  • Why the goal of your homepage isn't to get you hired (what?!)
  • Don't mix your services / products with customer types in your navigation

Shall we?

Tip #1: Why the goal of your homepage isn’t to get you hired

How long do you think it takes people to decide whether to buy a product after the first time they googled for it?

 2 days? Maybe 10?

It’s 20 days (at least it was  in 2018).

And that’s just for a toaster they can see from all sides, read hundreds of detailed reviews about and send back if they don’t like it with zero harm done.

Imagine, if that toaster has a personality, demands a non-refundable deposit and may toast something important in their business before they know it.


To add insult to injury, when your clients are looking for a freelancer to hire, they don’t just focus on technical skills. Among other things, they want to make sure you:

  • provide referrals and portfolios
  • come with high ratings and reviews
  • exhibit good communication skills
  • have high standards for quality
  • are motivated and focused on the details
  • had experience with similar projects

Your website copy can’t possibly check all these points, and no discovery call can warn them that you aren't great at sticking to deadlines.

So, hiring you comes with a higher risk for your prospects compared to buying a physical product.

This means you can’t expect someone who just landed on your homepage for the first time to hire you on the same day, and they're most certainly going to compare you to your competitors before they reach out.

What does that mean for your homepage structure and copy?

It means that you shouldn’t write your homepage as a lead page hoping to convert your prospects on the spot. 

Your homepage isn’t a focused lead page that attracts only the folks with a strong intent to spend their money.

It’s a versatile bunch of people who come to your homepage from:

  • Organic search for your service / name
  • Referrals from social profiles / articles on other websites
  • Your own blog posts that got them curious about the author

So, instead of trying to do the impossible (and fail), you should create your homepage:

  • to make a solid memorable impression
  • to get ideal clients among your homepage visitors interested enough to check other pages on your homepage (ideally, your services)

...so that they will remember and think of you once they’re ready to reach out for a quote.

Tip #2: Don't mix your services / products with customer types in navigation

Image, an agency owner wants to hire an SEO consultant.

They found your homepage and want to know more about your SEO services. But then they see your navigation:

Navigation example

Something that should have been an easy choice is now a real dilemma.

They want to click on "SEO", but "For Agencies" claims to offer things especially for them.

Although... will "For Agencies" also talk about your SEO services or about all services?


But the most important question is, what do you want them to click?

What page describes your SEO services for agencies? Or will they get the full info on this only if they check both pages?

I'm willing to bet you either have repetitive content or need them to check both pages to get all the info.

No matter what your prospects decide to click, you can only lose, because:

  • You created friction by making a simple decision hard
  • You wasted their time by making them check out two pages to learn about your services

... instead of quickly bringing them to a single page that answers all their questions.

This can also happen when you sell products.

For example, like this:

Navigation example 2

I don't envy those poor apartment property managers who need new windows.

How to find out if your navigation has this problem?

Simple. Draw a Venn diagram for all navi labels that directly lead people to your sales pages (in most of the cases, everything except Home, About and Contact).

If you see things overlap AND you don't have dedicated pages that correspond to whatever the overlaps represent, you have a problem.

This is how it would look for the first example:

Is it me or does it look like a smiling dragonfly in a tin foil hat? And no, I haven't drank from that can yet.

The overlapping parts represent agencies that need SEO services and agencies that need PPC services. And since you don't have dedicated pages for those your navi will have people confused.

What's the solution?

Remove customer type / product usage labels (and pages!) and add the info from the removed pages to the respective services / product pages.

In our example, it would be an extra section with a heading "For Agencies" on SEO service page and PPC service page (with different content obviously). 


This would be all from me for the week. Oh no, wait... Have you heard about the book I wrote? It's called "Making Your Website Work".

While I was writing it, people kept asking me to let them know once it published, and I told them that once it's done they won't be able to miss it because I won't shut up about it for a month.

And I hate breaking promises, so...

I launched it last week, so this is me not shutting up about it for the 2nd week in a row:

Book cover
Gill Andrews

Ok, now that would be all.

Sad pumkinpie-less greetings from Germany,



P.S. This email may contain typos, and I'm fine with them because cloning humans is, unfortunately, still impossible. Spending more time proofreading my emails would mean I'll have to share fewer tips with you. And sharing more and better tips is more important to me than sharing tips that are grammatically perfect. I hope that's fine with you, too.

Gill Andrews