What’s worse than spending a chunk of time and money on your website design, and not getting a constant stream of quality leads who are ready to buy from you? NOTHING! Having a website that doesn’t work for you is incredibly frustrating, and costly.
Just getting people to your website can be challenging enough, so once they’re there you want to make sure that the right people are taking action, and giving you the opportunity to make a difference to their lives with your product or service – because that’s why you’re in business, right?
Common homepage mistakes
In our experience, there are a few key mistakes business owners make when it comes to their website homepage:
- You don’t say exactly what you do and who you do it for
- You don’t show your ideal clients that you understand them and their needs
- You don’t set yourself up appropriately as the best solution to their problems
- You don’t give them a clear picture of how you can help them
- You don’t make it easy for them to take action and engage with you further
Ultimately what all this means is you don’t capture and maintain the attention of your ideal customers, so you lose them from your site and they keep searching for solutions with your competitors.
It’s not about you
The cardinal sin that will cost you the most in terms of engagement and conversions, is making it all about you. Of course it’s important to let them know who you are and what you do – but you must do this at the right time.
It’s like having a conversation with someone and that person only talking about themself – have you experienced that? It’s annoying isn’t it? In that scenario, how likely is it that you’ll want to continue the conversation and take the relationship further? Slim to none, right? It’s exactly the same for your homepage.
By showing an interest in your audience and showing that you’re committed to understanding them and delivering something that fits their needs perfectly, the chances of you taking that relationship all the way to a sale are significantly increased.
How to optimise your website homepage for engagement and conversion
Ok, so now you understand the premise of an effective homepage, let’s talk about the 5 key elements that will help you to quickly and easily optimise it to get more engagement and quality leads.
1. Create a killer headline that stops your ideal clients in their tracks
Imagine you want to get someone’s attention in a crowd. If you shout something generic that applies to everyone, you’re not going to be able to single out the person you want and they’ll disappear further and further into the sea of people.
This is the same for the Internet. It’s incredibly crowded and noisy. So in order to attract the attention of the people you want (your ideal customers), you must create copy that shouts something which is specific to them, so they essentially turn their head.
For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer and you have a training program for new mums. Which headline do you think is more likely to get a better response?
Personal Training for New Mums
New Mums! Get Your Mojo Back In 90 Days
Or Your Money Back!
With the second headline you’re achieving a number of important things:
- You define exactly who you want to speak to
- You show you understand what they want – a major priority for most new mums is to shed their baby weight and feel good about themselves
- You eliminate risk by offering to give them their money back if they don’t get results
2. Create a one-liner that clearly describes what you do and who you do it for
Once you’ve got the attention of your ideal client, you need to keep it by confirming that they are indeed the person you want to talk to, and letting them know that you have something that might be of interest to them specifically.
Create a one-liner that describes who you are, what you do and the results they will experience when they buy your product or service. E.g.
We provide safe and specialised personal training programs specifically for new mums, who want to feel good about their bodies again and have enough energy to keep up with their little ones
As I’m sure you’ll agree, after reading the headline and the one-liner there’s no doubt in your mind what these people do. So if any of it applies to you and your situation, you’ll be motivated to read on and explore the website further to find out more detail. And that’s exactly the goal with the homepage – grab their attention and get them to go further into your website and take action.
3. Show them you understand their problems and needs
The key to great messaging in any marketing is to demonstrate that you know your customers better than they know themselves, so when they come to your website they feel like you’re talking directly to them.
One of the best ways to do this is to articulate the problems they’re experiencing and show them that you have a specific solution to those problems. We actually achieved all of this in the above one-liner:
- They don’t feel good about themselves
- They’re tired
- They’re worried about getting back into training and injuring themselves
- Safe and specialised programs specifically for new mums
You can, of course, elaborate on this with a short paragraph underneath the headline and one-liner, but be careful not to bombard your website visitors with too much information all at once. Remember, the key of the homepage is to capture their attention and get them interested enough to explore further – then they can click through to all your other pages with more detailed information.
4. Use an image that represents how the customer will feel after they’ve used your product or service
People buy on emotion, they justify with logic. So in the previous step you will have evoked some emotions around how uncomfortable they are in their current situation, which will motivate them to make a change. And then you’ve shown them that you can guide and support them through that change.
So the final step to really solidify the emotional journey towards a sale is to show them how good life will be on the other side. An image displaying this result is the perfect way to do this, as they can mentally transport themselves into the scenario and simultaneously feel how good it feels. And since they’re experiencing those feelings while on your website, they’ll naturally associate them with you and believe that you can give them all of that. So the next natural step is to make an enquiry and/or buy.
Take a look at this article for tips on optimising your imagery.
5. Make it clear what they must do next
So by this point, your customers know:
- You’re talking to them
- You understand them and their needs
- You can help them to overcome their problems and transform in some way
- How good life will be when this happens
Now it’s critical that they take action immediately before they get distracted and forget everything! Make it ridiculously easy for them to do this. Design your website with bright coloured buttons throughout the page saying – “Enquire Now”, “Buy Now”, “Book your free consultation here”. It’s important to have more than one button, as different people will take action at different times.
It’s also recommended to have a softer call to action for those who are still not quite ready to go all the way. This typically comes in the form of information – something helpful that will be of value to them and demonstrate that you do indeed know what you’re talking about!
In the industry, we call this a lead magnet. The point is to get them to exchange their email address and/or phone number for the information, so you can continue to engage with them and support them towards a decision to buy – if indeed that is the right thing for them.
Classic lead magnets include:
- Downloadable PDF reports
- Case studies
- Video series
So there you have it! Follow these five simple steps to optimise your website, and you’re guaranteed to increase the number of quality leads you receive.
In order to execute this plan effectively however and get maximum results, it’s critical that you get strategic and first understand who your ideal client is. The more you understand who you’re talking to, the more specific you can get, and the more engagement and emotion you can create.
Meaning more quality leads, more customers, more profit and more freedom for you to focus on what’s important and achieve what you want.