What do you do when the website you agonized over just isn’t producing the conversion rates you had hoped for? You poured time, energy, and a good chunk of cash to build your perfect website, trying to get everything just right so you could start meeting your sales goals and really start growing your business.
What’s worse is you might be staring at a report with tons of data you aren’t really confident interpreting or using to improve customer engagement and conversion rates. What if I told you that the page most often neglected (especially in the eCommerce industry) could also have a high impact on reducing bounce rates?
The key to a great homepage is having a solid focus on how your product or service can benefit your customers. It’s all too easy to get sucked into shouting about all of your product’s incredible features, but this isn’t what will ultimately drive their behavior. You need to show them how your brand, product, or service is going to solve their problem. People ultimately choose to buy things because of how they feel. Features are great, and there are appropriate and useful places to list them, but the purpose of the homepage is to get your customers engaged and for them to find what they want as quickly as possible.
We are going to walk through some specific changes you can make to your homepage to increase engagement and reduce bounce rates (a fancy way of saying the customer leaves your site without committing to anything). We will cover how to choose the perfect hero image, creating a benefit-driven headline, where to place your call to action, and where to add social proof and products.
The first thing you need to set up on your homepage is a hero image. This is generally a banner image at the top center of the homepage, usually spanning the width of the page. Although you have many different options for styles and sizes, a short, small hero image that effectively sets the tone for your brand is often the best bet. We want the hero image to be engaging but also provide plenty of space for other aspects we want above the fold. A large, dynamic hero image is alluring, but it doesn’t have a big enough impact on engagement to take up that much real estate, and complex hero images can cause the website to load slowly or lag. Keep the hero image short and simple for the best results.
The next thing we want to see on the homepage is a benefit-driven headline. What is that, exactly? I’m glad you asked! A benefit-driven headline actually highlights the solution your product or service is providing to your audience. This is especially important on the homepage because it shows the reader quickly that you understand their pain points and you know how to fix it.
A great headline will show who you are, what you stand for, what problem you address, and how you solve that problem. Focusing on the benefits of your products and services is so important in increasing conversion rates!
Call to Action
After the small, effective hero image and benefit-driven headline, we want to make a big call to action. Your call to action should compel the audience to take immediate action. We’ve already caught the audience’s attention with an engaging hero image and shown them we understand their pain points, so now we are going to ask them to take action, right now, that will hopefully lead to a sale.
A great call to action has the following elements:
- Start off with a strong action verb relevant to your business (ex: buy, order, download, etc.)
- Use words that evoke emotional responses
- Show the clear benefit to the reader if they take action now
- Spice it up (don’t be afraid to get creative)
Now that you have a killer call to action right on the homepage, you want to include some social proof just in case the reader is hesitating on committing to the next step. What kind of social proof are we talking about, exactly? Reviews and testimonials are the best if you have any available. This section serves to build trust in your brand, product, and customer service. Having glowing reviews and testimonials right under your call to action can be that quick bump in confidence your reader needs to commit to a sale!
The last tip is adding some products under the call to action. This could be your bestsellers or highest rated products to really give the wow-factor in what you’re offering. Showcasing some of your bestselling products can also get the reader’s interest piqued into what other awesome stuff you have available.
Again, we want the homepage to get the reader engaged and to the information they need, and want, as quickly as possible. Having products easily accessible (and in close proximity to that call to action) means your customer can get a bird’s-eye-view of what you have to offer without having to click through another page or search function. We get them engaged in the shopping experience immediately.
Take some time to evaluate your website’s homepage today. Is it focused on features or are you consistently talking about the benefits to your reader? Is your hero image engaging, but small enough to allow room for more impactful information? Do you have a compelling call to action that inspires immediate action? Do you have strategically placed reviews and testimonials that will help develop trust around your products and services? And are you showcasing your bestselling products and services on your homepage to get your reader engaged quickly in the shopping process?
Being intentional about how your homepage is designed and what information is provided will create a much better user journey, decrease bounce rates, and increase your sales profits and conversion rates!