First impressions count and in the world of websites you have less than 50 milliseconds to seduce your website visitors into hanging around and finding out more about you and your business (source).
This first user experience depends on several factors: form, colours, spacing, symmetry, text length, fonts and more.
If you can get the mix of these right and have your user hang around a fraction of a second longer than usual then it could be the difference between earning money for your business or just having a pretty website.
In this post I’m going to outline the 3 key ingredients to make your homepage convert a user to want to stay on your website that I teach in my paid Membership and the Supercharge Your Website Challenge, so that you can head back to your own homepage and implement these tactics.
A Headline That Says How You Help
One of the very first things that a user should read as soon as they land on your website is either what you are selling or how you can help.
Apple.com go straight for the hard sell. They tell you what the product is with a sub headline containing the benefits:
“Lots of love. Less to spend.”
When you get to the status that Apple have you can afford to go straight with the “HERE IS MY PRODUCT” approach.
Over on pinterest.com however, they focus on the benefit for the user with their headline, using the phrase:
“When it comes to a great idea, you know it when you see it.”
It denotes that you are person who may be looking for an idea or inspiration and that perhaps the website may be able to help.
You need to connect instantly with the person who has just landed on your website.
“Welcome to PInterest” will not cut it and I see plenty of headlines like that on the homepages of small business websites!
The user landing and scanning that text will have no idea what Pinterest is (or you should assume that they have no idea). You need to answer the problem that your ideal customer has so that when someone lands on your website they can recognise themeselves in that headline.
The added challenge is that you also need to place the headline in a way that will be scanned first by the user.
Eye tracking and mouse click tracking tools show time and time again that the eye tracks from left to right on web pages.
The eye path moves from top left down to the bottom right (more info on that here) so if you are making your user look for a new pattern to scan i.e. you’ve put your headline at the bottom of the homepage, after they have been scanning pages this way for so long, you are either going to confuse them (and they click away) or “disrupt” them. I would advise not doing both and doing what already works.
A Call to Action Button
As your user’s eye scrolls down the headline text, you’ll want to meet it with a call to action button.
This is a button that takes the user straight through to the place where they can either start shopping your products or buying your services.
This needs to stand out on the page with a colour that draws your eye to it. It doesn’t have to be green (that seems to be a bit of a myth) but bold colours work.
It then need to have words on it that incite an action from the user: click here, shop now, sign up.
Pinterest have been extra clever with that the words they have chosen hint at what to expect next.
‘Join Pinterest’ suggests that it is a network or a community to be part of.
If it was just a product, then it would (or should) say BUY Pinterest or SHOP NOW and would have you thinking that you may have to purchase something after you click that button.
JOIN means you just have to hand over your email…maybe pay for a sign-up fee. All of these calculations and assessments are already happening in the user’s mind before they realise, such is the power of language signals.
As they scan to the right, you should hit your user with a image or video that fills in the gaps of information that may have been subconsciously created by the headline and the call to action button.
Yes, you might be looking for inspiration, and yes, you can “join” Pinterest, but what happens next?
What exactly IS Pinterest?
That perfectly placed product image or person using your product or service can help.
You can see with the Pinterest example that they show a user using the Pinterest app on their mobile phone.
There should be no miscoincpetion that this is what “Pinterest” is – a mobile phone app.
To further the explantion, a perfetcly placed image of pre-fired or recently fired clay pots and plates can be seen behind the mobile app image.
This builds the profile that this app is about creativity, but perhaps creativity related to craft and business?
There is room for interpretation but it moves the user to make assumptions, but you can only do that if you give them the right image to make assumptions about.
So what you can you do to improve your website homepage today and incite user to want to click that CTA button and stay on your website?
- Review your headline. Does it speak to the user about the problem you want to solve for them?
Make it about them – not you!
- Add a CTA button. Link it straight through to a page on your website where they can spend money with you or start the process of doing that. They may not click it but by seeing it they’ll know what happens next when working with you.
- Pick an image that shows your product or service being used. There’s nothing like seeing a product in “the wild” to build trust. Have that image span the width of the page too if you can.
Thanks for reading!
If you start sweating just thinking about anything tech-related and you have no idea if your own business website makes the cut, then I have something just for you…
It’s my 5-Day Supercharge Website Week where I reveal what your ideal customers might think when they visit and how to ensure they leave with a smile (and possibly as new customers).
There will actionable tasks released every day, over 5 days, in a private Pop-up Group, that will have you thinking about your websites in a whole new way…
…and more importantly, you’ll be closer to understanding how to connect with your ideal customer.
All websites (not just WordPress) are welcome and participants don’t even need a website to take part!
Sign-up below to take part and get the invite to the private Pop-up Facebook Group where the daily challenges will be released and feedback provided via posts and daily lives with me!
We start soon!