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Writing a Welcoming Home Page: A Voice Values Guide

by Katie Mehas

in Honors Copywriting

About this column

Pay attention, class. These tips for writing clear, concise, conversational, compelling copy — optimized for your own ideal client — will be on the exam.

We recently had to replace our front door.

Our old door (a classic, ‘50s-style wooden panel door, with a half-round arch window, a mail slot, and an old-fashioned metal twist doorbell that perpetually infuriated our chihuahua) had finally succumbed to the carpenter ants cheerily gnawing away at its insides. One hefty shove might’ve sent us flying through the now-hollow shell of paint, dumping us unceremoniously on the dining room floor. Hey, honey, welcome home.

As we spent — let’s be honest — way too much time scouring the internet and every hardware store in a 50-mile radius for the perfect replacement, I was reminded of the blog post Abby wrote nearly four years ago on writing your Home Page like a great front porch. It’s still one of our most popular posts, and it’s packed with great info. (Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.)

In it, Abby highlights a few key points on creating a cohesive, welcoming, uncluttered Home Page, tying in the “front porch” metaphor throughout. But there’s one point I’d like to add:

Not every front porch is welcoming to the same people.


When we were door shopping, we saw a lot of options. Gorgeous doors with lots of glass (too see-through, since our living area is within view of the front door). Extra-large doors to make a grand entrance (too big for the space). Craftsman-style doors (beautiful, but not really the style of our house). Intricately carved wooden doors (an all-you-can-eat buffet for carpenter ants). Hefty, hurricane-resistant metal doors with no window at all (too institutional).

We have a cute little slate blue front porch, with lime green beams supporting the overhang, and a classic 1950s Florida house. We needed something a little bit traditional, a little bit interesting, and with just enough window to let in the light without letting out the little naked toddler butts that tend to run by there half a dozen times a day. We wanted it to be welcoming to our guests, without overpowering the simple style of our house with something ostentatious. And, well, we needed something we could paint lime green without it looking ridiculous.

In the same way, you need to consider your guests as you’re building your website’s Home Page. Let’s say your website is throwing a party. What kind would it be? Are you rolling out the kegs? Hosting a book club? Afternoon tea? A Gatsby-esque black-tie soirée? Who is reading your site?

In Abby’s post, she discourages use of the word “Welcome” on your Home Page, because it reads as a lazy cliché. Simply put, your readers are going to gloss right over it, and you need something that will catch their attention. You only get one front door. Don’t waste it on something generic. So how do you welcome visitors? Well, as always, I like to turn to the Voice Values to guide me.

Each Voice Value has its own particular style, and you’ll find that knowing what kind of party you’re throwing (that is, what your blend of Voice Values says about your business) will help you decide just what kind of front porch you’re using to welcome in your guests.

Here are a few ideas for each of the Voice Values. Feel free to pick and choose, and blend the ideas that apply to your top mix of Voice Values. (Not sure what your Voice Values are? You can sign up for our free assessment here.)


These readers want to know specifically what they’re here for. Keep it short and to the point: we offer these services. No cutesy names, no gimmicks, no “I mean, technically…” If this is what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. This front porch leads you straight to the door.


Ah, this is the lime green paint on the door of your website. Greet your readers like the badasses they are. Make a bold statement about your business or about your reader. If they see a generic, beige Welcome mat, they’re going to run screaming.


Much like Accuracy, those with a high Clarity value want to know what you do right off the bat. Simple and elegant, no hiding behind clever phrasing or overgrown shrubbery. What you see is what you get.


This is one instance where “Welcome” fits (though don’t lead with it — it’s still a lazy intro). Your readers want to know they’re being brought into the fold when they arrive. Invite them to join you. This door is always open.


Don’t try small talk on these readers; they don’t have time for that sort of shallow junk. Go deep — you’re not happy to meet them, you’re happy to know them. Skip the “Hey, there” or the “Welcome” and dive right into the statement you’re trying to make. This isn’t the place for a wide porch — they want to get inside.


Roll out the welcome mat — these readers are so glad to be here! Match their energy. You want to keep the excitement going! (Exclamation points help.)


These readers would never set foot in a doorway with an ant-ridden door. (Sorry.) When Excellence is a top Voice Value, it’s worth it to spend the extra time and energy perfecting that portal — they should feel like they’re arriving when they reach your Home Page. Hand them a (virtual) glass of champagne. Take their coat. Usher them in with class. Click here to view our Services menu, madame.


If you have a high Helpfulness value, you’re probably already trying to think of ways to make your Home Page more useful. Keep it accessible. Don’t go overboard with copy or links or promises, but do let your readers know you’re available. Take their coat, not because you want them to feel like they’re arriving at a swanky party but because you can see that their hands are full, and you know it’s warm inside.


Oh, Innovation. I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for a door with a gadget. (Bluetooth keyless entry locks, what??) But you don’t have to roll out the big, flashy gizmos right away. Just show readers you do things a little differently — maybe it’s the way you lay out your Home Page, or how you spell out what you do that’s different from other people in your field. These readers want to know that there’s something new and unique about you. It doesn’t need to be weird, just different.


This is the classic front porch. Think Pinterest — big, wicker chairs, a swing bench, a sweating glass pitcher of lemonade. Readers who react to a high Intimacy value don’t want to arrive for a party, they want to come by some afternoon for a one-on-one. Speak directly to them, first-person, singular. Show (don’t tell) them that they’re welcome. Make them feel at home.


You’re probably horrified we got rid of that old twist doorbell, aren’t you? (I didn’t throw it away, I promise.) This is a Home Page that should be timeless. Don’t bother with the gizmos and gadgets and trendy new themes here — your readers want to know they’re part of a tradition with some history to back it up.


You know those houses where the owners rush out with a hug even before you’ve rung the doorbell? That’s what a high-Love page feels like. Let your readers know you’ve been waiting for them, that they’re loved, that you’ve already put the kettle on for them and you picked up some of that tea you know they like.


It’s all fun and games on this porch. Think a smattering of pink flamingos and a cheeky sign about solicitors. Your readers know that anything on the other side of that door is sure to be a good time. Greet them with a joke or a nickname, and keep the whimsy coming.


This is the door of someone who knows what they’re doing — solid, capable, probably with some serious-looking brass fixtures you can’t find at your local chain hardware store. Let your readers know you’ve got it all under control — and that you can empower them, too. They’ve come to the right place.


How many deadbolts does one door need? And a security fence? If you have a high Security value…well, maybe a lot. Your readers want to feel safe with you. Let them know that this is a sanctuary — that, on the other side of that door, they can let down their guard because you, unequivocally, have their backs.


These readers love the open glass door — the more of your home (er, business) they can see from the street, the better. Lay it all out there for them, no ambiguity and no holding back. Explain your process, show the math, trust them to take it all in.


There are so many different kinds of front doors, and so many different ways to greet your readers. A generic “Welcome” just isn’t enough to stand out. There are a lot of houses on your street. How can you make sure your guests find yours?

P.S. Don’t forget, our Summer School Special is coming to a close soon. If you’re looking for more guidance on how to put your Voice Values to work for you, writing effective and authentic copy designed for your particular Right Person, you don’t want to miss out.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

How do you make sure your Home Page welcomes in the right type of guests? What kind of party is your website hosting?

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