Homepage design: Getting your visitors to page 2

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Homepage design: Getting your visitors to page 2

Web marketing has spawned a burgeoning industry in web analytics. Any company worth its salt will have one or more trackers built into their website, designed to accumulate basic information about visitors: where they are geographically, what browser and operating system they’re using, how long they look at each page, and other statistics designed to help the site owner see how effective their design really is and make tweaks if necessary.

One of the stats usually collected is the site’s “bounce rate.” This tracks the number of visitors who look at only one page and then leave without clicking any links further into the site. This percentage, which averages anywhere from 40 to 70 percent depending on the site’s subject matter, is particularly interesting for designers. Generally speaking, the higher the bounce rate, the less effective the homepage is in pulling visitors into the site and eventually converting them to customers.

A site’s homepage is, without a doubt, the most important single page on the site; so much so, in fact, that many businesses have no idea what to do with it. Because of this, their homepage design is ineffective. Copywriting, calls to action, and images are all over the place. This problem could be fixed if businesses understood the guiding philosophy to homepage design: The purpose of the homepage is to get the visitor to page 2. Once the visitor has made the choice to come in, they have answered the first great sales question: “What can I help you find today?”

Let’s discuss some common homepage design flaws which might put off potential customers, and how to eliminate them.

Don’t talk about yourself; talk about what you can do for them

The harsh reality is this: Visitors to your site don’t care about your business. They only care about the problem they’re trying to solve. This is why a good homepage tagline is about the problems your company solves, not about the products you offer or services you provide.

Let’s say a company offers cloud computing services. A typical business might have a tagline like:

Offering cloud computer services globally. Fast. Reliable. Cost effective.

These are the types of statements web and branding companies work with their clients for months to develop, and yet they’re still totally ineffective. Why? It’s not about the customer. So make it about the customer instead of the company:

Keep your company’s records digitally backed up forever without experiencing downtime ever again. Save huge in the process.

See the difference?

Keep the message simple

This may be the most important “best practice” of homepage design as we move forward in the digital age . Remember, consumers define a worthwhile web experience by being able to find what they’re looking for quickly. With this in mind, stuffing the homepage with a bunch of text, buttons, calls to action, or videos can have the opposite of the desired effect.

For this reason, it’s critical as a company to understand what the goals of your site are, including the homepage, and then design it accordingly, not allowing for unnecessary distractions.

Don’t give visitors all your information up front …

Many companies, unsure what to do with their homepage, will throw everything they have at it: mission statements, company blogs, and paragraphs of text describing everything they do and the benefits of each in minute detail. In this way they think they’re being very open and upfront about their business, but all they’re doing is giving away the store.

Consider this old sales technique: a salesman, presenting a contract to a potential buyer, takes out his pen and uses it as a pointer as he discusses all the various sections of the contract. This is a subtle trick to get the customer used to seeing the pen so they will be more comfortable using it to sign the contract. With web design, clicking is much the same thing; once you get the customer “in the door,” so to speak, they’ll be a little more prepared to click on things that matter.

… But don’t give them too little, either

Beware of going too far in the other direction: giving a visitor only a few cryptic links and a couple of pretty pictures, and expecting them to dig right in. You have to give visitors enough information to tantalize them, to put them at ease, to coax them inside, and to let them know, at least in general terms, what they’ll get when they click on something. A great tagline or well-written intro paragraph will go a long way toward that.

There’s also the problem of search engine optimization. Some people have read a few articles about this and think they should just slather their homepage in buzzwords. But SEO isn’t about bulk word volume, it’s about making the right words count. A finely crafted set of key phrases, properly implemented both in your readable text and in your site’s meta data, will help much more than throwing every possible permutation of search phrases all over your site willy-nilly.

Make your site capture customers

There are of course many other methods to effective web design beyond a site’s homepage. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional web designer to ensure that your company’s site is getting you the most conversions and bringing in the most business it can. Matcha Design has many years of experience with useful site designs which catch a customer’s eye and keep them involved from first visit to final sale. Give us a call today and discover what an effective sales tool your site can become.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

Related Tags

You Might Also Like