Your homepage is the online face of your business. How do you make it look good?
Let me guess.
You write about your business and put an outstanding image followed by the list of services/products you offer.
But is your homepage converting?
Yes, we’re talking about setting up not just a beautiful or an impressive homepage but the one that converts.
So, how do you create a homepage that converts? How do you increase conversions? What to change if the homepage isn’t converting? And how to write a homepage copy that sells?
First, what does a Converting Home Page mean?
A converting homepage is the one that persuades the visitor to take the desired action.
And here’s the thing…
Increasing conversion on the homepage does not mean making more sales because the homepage is not a sales page and making a sale is not the goal of a homepage.
Before we learn how to create a homepage that converts, let’s take a step back and understand the objective of a homepage.
Two major goals of a homepage are
- To act as a direction signboard and help them land on the correct page or
- To get more subscribers
If your homepage’s goal is to get more leads, then conversion means more subscribers. If you have a variety of offerings that aren’t much related, then the homepage acts as a direction board, and if they land on the right page, it’s a conversion.
98% of the people who land on your homepage for the first time will not buy.
But the reality is-
Homepage can’t make a deal, but it can definitely break one.
Whether you’re running a webinar funnel or running ads to send them on your sales page, people do check out the homepage and if it is missing basic elements, then it can be a problem.
Irrespective of what goal you decide for your homepage, here are a few things that you must keep in mind.
1- Have a Clear Hero Section (aka above the fold)
The hero section of your homepage (aka above-the-fold) is one of the most important sections of your website. It is the section of your homepage which is visible without scrolling down.
It’s important because it’s your first impression. It takes .05 seconds for them to scan and decide whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay here or not. You must make the most of it.
So, what goes in the hero section?
1- Headline and Subheadline explaining
-who is this site for,
-what you help with
-How do you help
-Benefits or why should they choose you over competitors
2- Complementing Visuals
3- CTA- What to do next
All the above elements must work together to communicate the value proposition clearly.
Let’s discuss all three elements of the hero section one by one.
Headlines are important. 8 out of every 10 people will read your headline. If it isn’t clear, you’ll lose them.
Let’s look at Unbounce’s homepage copy.
The hero section shows three different images in rotation. They say- convert more customers, convert more leads, and convert more sales. It’s very clear that they’re promising increased conversion.
The subheading is divided into two parts- the first subhead explains how they help- by creating custom landing pages, and the second sub-head talks about why you should choose them over others or what’s unique about them.
The only thing that they haven’t mentioned above the fold is whom they help.
Example of how not to write a value proposition
Can you guess what the company does by looking at the above-the-fold section of the below company? The full text reads ‘The Future of Business is Yours to Shape’.
Yes, you can, if you’re familiar with this popular brand, but someone who doesn’t won’t be able to guess.
The company is Square. The company facilitates payments by turning mobile devices and computing devices into payments and point-of-sale solutions. Their value proposition is hiding down the page.
Users spend an average of 5.9 seconds looking at a website’s main image.
That’s a lot of time.
That simply means that the header image is an important element and should effectively communicate and reinforce the message we’re trying to convey with our copy.
The simple reason why images work so well is our brain can process images 60,000 times faster than the text.
Not having an image in the hero section looks like this-
Take a look at the value proposition.
We Push. We Get Results. Let’s Get To Work.
What do you push, and which results are you talking about? Get to work? Yes, but why you?
Nothing is clear from their value proposition.
On the top of it, there’s no image to help you understand what they’re talking about until you read the heavy text below.
Isn’t it a good example of how not to write a website copy?
In fact, sometimes it’s difficult to explain what you do, especially when you have complex and technical solutions.
In such cases, you need something more than an image. And that’s a video.
Here’s an example of a saas company having an explainer video in the header.
Video marketing is no more an “up-and-coming” thing. Videos are great for conversion on the homepage.
C- Call to Action (CTA) button
Can you imagine 70% of small businesses do not have a CTA button on their homepage?
Is it required? Certainly.
Say there was a sudden snowstorm last night, and I was stuck inside with two kids. I wanted a snow removal service urgently. So I spent hours looking for a good company near me providing this service, but heck they don’t have their number, or maybe it’s somewhere I can’t find immediately.
Do you see?
If you provide a service that requires immediate action put the call now button right in the hero section. Else, guide them towards the next best action.
Simply having a CTA button won’t cut it. CTA copy matters.
For an e-commerce store, for example, ‘Buy now‘ outperforms ‘add to cart‘.
Another example of a good CTA button is the CTA copy on the Transferwise site. Instead of writing ‘Learn more’ ‘ Watch Tutorial’ which sounds like a lot of work, they’ve written ‘see how we send money’ which is intriguing, specific, and action-oriented.
2- Don’t Mess with What’s Obvious
Imagine you’re super hungry and ordered Ladyfingers and Sweetbread…
sponge cakes in a delicate fingerlike form in place of some ladyfinger dish you were imagining
thymus or pancreas of a calf in place of a sweet bread recipe that you were expecting.
Because they call it that.
Would you feel frustrated? Of course.
Well, these are real recipe names and those who know might be familiar. But for people like me, it can be a horrible experience.
Don’t let it happen on your website.
Give them what they expect in the place where they expect it the most.
In a survey, only 50% of internet users could predict where relevant content would be based on standard website navigation structure.
So, how to design a homepage that converts? Simple, keep it simple. 🙂
Do not innovate with the obvious stuff.
According to a study, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services, and 52% want to see “About Us” information.
Don’t try to cramp your homepage up with every piece of information you want to share.
And remember, be clearer than clever.
3- Build Confidence
Apart from ensuring that they’re in the right place one of the objectives of a good homepage should be to strike a connection and build trust.
Which one is more believable?
Me: I’m good at writing.
Another client: Shweta’s good at writing.
You get it.
Famous author and marketer ZigZagler once said- ‘if they like you they listen to you, but if they trust you they do business with you.
If you want to make your homepage convert well, you need trust elements. It can be testimonials, reviews, case studies online reviews etc.
91% of the people trust an online review as much as they trust a personal recommendation.
For example, Stripe lists out some of its popular customers on the homepage. Showing that they have big-name companies as customers. This assures visitors that they are a legitimate business.
In the conclusion-
Your business is a living and breathing organism. It needs regular care and attention. As your business evolves you get deeper insights, new things add up, a few obsolete things are dropped that should be reflected in your website copy regularly.
And this is not all. For the simplicity of the topic, I’ve chosen the essential elements.
But with these essential elements, I hope you now have a better understanding of how to create a homepage that converts and what to check on your website if your homepage isn’t converting.
Want me to have a look at your value proposition? Let’s get in touch.