Remember when anything could qualify as homepage content?
You could use almost any type of copy, image, color, fonts, etc. and still drive optimal conversions.
Today, the typical homepage is like a time bomb. You’ve got only a few seconds to convince visitors your site is worth spending time with, or they bounce. If they bounce, you lose sales, other customers they could refer, etc.
It’s an entirely different story if they stay: they convert, you make money, get referral customers, etc. So you want them to stay and convert.
Without further ado, here are 4 unique elements to tweak to boost your homepage conversions:
1. Homepage background
A bad homepage background can easily kill conversions.
Why? We’re hardwired to want things looking nice and dandy.
You don’t even need any statistics to prove this (although there’s a study that does). It’s something you experience daily. You hate disorderliness, but embrace niceties. An ill-looking homepage background is simply not pleasing to the eyes. And so it decreases the chances for conversions.
Example, compare this…
Which do you find more attractive? Which would retain your attention for longer?
IFFT’s homepage is obviously the winner here. The clean, nice-looking homepage background gives you a good reason to stick around and pay more attention to the copy.
Another brilliant example comes from Your Mechanic — a platform where car owners find mechanics:
The background gives you the experience of a customer sitting in front of her home while a happy mechanic does all the heavy lifting. Even before you think of using this business to find your next mechanic, you already have a feel of what your experience with them would be.
Funny how something as trivial as a homepage background can impact conversions, eh?
Typography: The visual component of the written word.
Just as ‘action speaks louder than words’, ‘fonts speak louder than copy’. They can add emotional expressions to your homepage content.
Renowned graphic designer Sarah Hyndman puts it this way:
Physically, we use our voice, facial expressions, gestures and posture to convey a wide range of emotional cues from the subtle to the dramatic. Typefaces [i.e. font types] and the way they are used provide a similarly extensive emotional range typographically.
So, typography can be a powerful tool to demonstrate the emotions you want readers to experience when reading your copy.
Why emotions on copy, you ask? Customers are no robots. They laugh at jokes, feel bad when insulted, cry when needed, etc. No matter how intellectual they are, they still are emotional people like you.
Hence, exhibiting emotions via typography is a good way to entice people to take action. And here’s an example of what your fonts shouldn’t look like:
Honestly? The copy on this homepage is phenomenal. It speaks the language of the company’s target audience — investors. But you’d agree the typography in those red boxes isn’t so great.
You’ll mostly have to strain your eyes to read most of the lines there — which would only hurt conversions. But check this out:
Kissmetrics’ homepage has fewer words, but the typography is so on point. It’s clear enough for almost anyone to read. Even more, the typeface (font type, typography) obviously communicates in a mild, gentle tone the value that the company provides.
Another example: take the homepage of this DJ software:
The thick, slant font style resonates with the (casual and playful) type of audience this business is targeting — DJs.
If you’re at all familiar with conversion optimization, you know how a seemingly unimportant element like typography can impact conversions. So, you want to make sure every element on your homepage content improves the chances of your visitors converting, instead of deterring them.
3. Visuals that communicate benefits
Visuals are great already. But when they communicate benefits? They become rockstars. We all walk around with one main thing in our heads: What’s in it for me?
So, visuals on your homepage will naturally perform better when they communicate key benefits to your audience. A good example is Hotjar’s homepage:
Each of the tabs on (the right side of) the page leads to an image that communicates benefits to the reader. This particular one (above) shows how Hotjar’s heatmap feature helps people understand how their visitors interact with their site.
Another brilliant example of visuals communicating benefits is found on Hootsuite’s homepage:
The homepage headline reads Manage all your social media in one place and there’s an image on the background that gives people a feel of exactly how that looks and works.
Next, relevant keywords.
4. Relevant Keywords
You already know you can’t leave keywords out of homepage content — or you’ll be missing out on search traffic. What you may find difficult is how to use keywords that both drive search traffic and conversions on homepage simultaneously.
For example, you’re a HR company. You’re considering these two keywords:
A. “HR for startups”. A term that gets 7,000 monthly searches — and you’re in a good position to rank on SERP 1 for it.
B. “Retain key talents in your startup till you become BIG”
Which would you go for? A will get you more search traffic, but will convert way lesser than B if used as homepage copy. B, on the other hand, will drive little to no search traffic, but it converts better as homepage copy.
So, would you sacrifice convversions for traffic, or traffic for conversions?
What do you do? Which do you pick — keyword A or B?
My answer: The two. Why? Because there are seo tools today that’ll allow you to use A for SEO and B for conversions on homepage — simultaneously. That is, you’ll be taking full advantage of both keywords — A drives you traffic from search, while B drives conversions on homepage.
Wistia has this copy on their homepage: “Hi, we’re Wistia, your friendly neighborhood video platform.” But their description on google is Video Hosting For Business.
They’ve used an SEO tool to ensure they use the best phrases for both their homepage conversions and search traffic. This helps them get search traffic from a highly searched keyword. If you searched video hosting right now — a term that get’s 2,400 monthly searches — Wistia is the very first organic result you’ll see:
Summing Up: Start converting with your homepage content
Prospects don’t land on your homepage by mistake. You targeted them. They’re mostly there because you drove them there. You positioned your ad, guest post, etc. where you knew they’d find it and visit your site.
The last thing you want to do is not maximize the opportunity. You need to get them to convert. This means you tell and show them what they want to hear and see.
Remember, an homepage doesn’t convert optimally because you’ve got creative writing or design. It converts well because it communicates the value your visitors want to see.
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