Whether you’re just starting your own business or doing a redesign, developing a website is one of the most important tasks you’ll ever tackle. Unfortunately, though, it’s quite easy to get it wrong.
You might tend to give too much information. Or, you might not offer enough. Either way, your aim with developing your brand’s online presence is going to be finding balance. Ultimately, a website needs to look good, match your brand identity, offer an excellent user experience, and, of course, inspire conversions.
Fortunately, there are a few rules you can stick to if you want to avoid a complete faux pas. To maximize conversions and get the most returns on your investment, try to implement the following aspects of a high-converting homepage on your website.
If you have as little as 50 milliseconds to leave your first impression, then you really need to think hard about what your website visitors see first when they open your homepage.
Ideally, what you’ll want to do in this section would be to clearly establish your brand’s identity. Show off your logo & mission statement so that visitors know what to expect from the very first moment they land on your homepage.
The company Almond Cow does this very well. Their specialty is a plant-based milk maker machine, which they advertise as a healthy, homemade alternative to store-bought kinds of milk. The header on their website takes a central position. It shows off both an eye-catching logo, as well as an easy-to-understand message that immediately tells users what to expect. Other elements include an emotionally evocative image, as well as a CTA button that takes visitors straight to the online webshop.
2. CTA Buttons
If you want your web visitors to convert, you have to be pretty straightforward about what you want them to do next. And that’s where CTA buttons come in. When done right, a call-to-action can make a big difference between high bounce rates and profits.
Ideally, you want a CTA to stand out, use compelling language, and offer the solution to your customers’ problem. This means that you’ll need to play around with design, placement, and wording, ideally backing up your choice with A/B testing.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid of repeating it several times on your homepage and about me page. Cubefunder does precisely this, and it works particularly well. The “Apply Now” CTA button is repeated after each informative section. This makes for an intuitive design that allows users to get what they need, but without having to scroll up or down looking for the next step on their journey.
3. Benefits Section
No matter what type of product/service you offer, your homepage needs to have a convincing benefits section. Simply put, you need to tell your visitors exactly why they should choose you.
When it comes to designing this part of your homepage, you’ll find that visuals tend to convert better. This comes down to the fact that the brain processes images and videos 60,000 times faster than text.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should only stick to illustrations. Depending on the nature of your business, you might find that what works best is a combination of visual and written data, as seen in this example by Aura.
Or, alternatively, you may decide to go with something a bit more bite-sized. As you can see in this example by WHOOP, the company chose to present its product’s benefits as statistics, backed up by icons that make it easier for users to notice and consume the data.
4. Social Proof
When developing a website, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of how consumers think.
One of the key aspects of consumer behavior is that the vast majority of buyers (as much as 92%) read online reviews before making a purchase. So, if other people’s experiences play such an essential role in ensuring conversions, it becomes clear that a social proof section should definitely get a dedicated space on your website.
There are several ways you could go about this. For one, you could look up to footwear manufacturer Allbirds. Their social proof section features blurbs from popular magazines, newspapers, and online publications.
Alternatively, you can go for a more personal approach, and show off reviews left by your users. (Yes, you can even include those that give you less than five stars). This ensures transparency and makes your brand more approachable, which is always a good thing when aiming for conversions.
5. Contact Info
Although your homepage may offer all the info you think web visitors need, it’s still not a bad idea to include a few ways potential customers can contact you. In addition to the standard address, phone number, and email in the footer, consider what other ways of communication work best for your customers.
One excellent choice is to include a chat app on your homepage. This allows potential buyers to get instant feedback and on-page help, which increases their chance of converting by 82%.
Furthermore, don’t forget that your website should include links to your most-used social media profiles, a blog (if you have one), as well as a section where users can subscribe to your newsletter. For a good way to include all of these on your homepage, take a look at this example by Twelve South.
Finally, don’t forget about two of the most understated aspects of a high-converting homepage – speed and mobile optimization.
Research reveals that more than half of all website traffic is achieved through mobile internet usage. However, data also shows that conversions are significantly lower on mobile, while bounce rates tend to be higher.
On the whole, this is because many websites still aren’t fully optimized to be used on mobile devices. They take too much time to load, and when they do, they usually don’t offer the same user experience as they would on a larger screen. Luckily, this is an easy issue to solve.
One of the ways you could jump ahead of the competition is to optimize your homepage as much as possible. In addition to choosing a theme that will look equally good on various screen sizes, try to keep the elements down to a minimum. This way, you’ll have a higher chance of achieving a load time that’s less than Google’s 3-second recommendation.
There are a lot of elements you could add to your homepage in hopes of getting more conversions. Still, it’s always best to back up your instincts with cold hard data.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to check your design decisions. Whether you use A/B testing, heatmaps, or good ol’ Google Analytics is entirely up to your personal preferences – as long as your homepage elements all prove to be working.