These days marketers talk about conversions a lot. That’s simply because they matter. For the uninitiated, it’s about taking a casual visitor and turning them (‘converting’) into a paying customer by having them complete an action. This is why you’ll find marketers also talking about Calls to Action (CTAs) because it’s strategically placed CTAs and engaging page content that convert.
Given that the homepage is possibly the only page of your site that a large number of visitors will probably ever see, as well as the one that more loyal visitors will consistently return to, you probably shouldn’t need our online digital marketing experts here at PENNInk Productions to remind you that your site’s homepage is pretty crucial to your business success.
Remember, after all, that this is the part of your site that needs to tempt casual visitors to keep clicking through to explore the rest of your online presence, so that they learn more about you and are moved to purchase a product or service from you (i.e. ‘convert’).
With that in mind, here are five of the steps that will serve you best when putting together your site’s homepage.
1. Refine the UI for best user experience
User experience (‘UX’) is of paramount importance and needs to be absolutely central to the user interface (‘UI’) to make your site a pleasurable place to browse. That means you’ll need to carefully consider whether it’s quick and easy for the visitor to find what they need, paying close attention to such elements as the navigational menus, CTAs and any email marketing signup.
Never forget that a customer who is frustrated in their attempts to find what they require will almost certainly drop out of your sales funnel by going to another site. Their store of goodwill is limited and anything you do to make them think too hard or wait will use up that store of goodwill very quickly.
2. Make the design responsive
Statistically people aren’t accessing the Internet primarily via a desktop computer anymore. Instead they start exploring by tapping away on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It makes good sense to take a ‘mobile first’ approach to your UI. In 2018, this means ensuring the design is fully responsive, automatically adapting to the size of the user’s screen and providing a perfectly acceptable UX, regardless of the screen size or resolution.
As WordPress web designers here at PENNInk Productions, we guarantee that every website design is fully responsive and tested on smartphones and tablets to ensure maximum compatibility.
3. Answer likely customer queries
Your homepage certainly can’t answer every single question your customers may have, as most queries will need to be reserved for a dedicated frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. Nonetheless, your homepage must answer the most pressing questions that a visitor will have if, as will often be the case, they haven’t encountered your website previously and know nothing about you or your business.
Such queries will definitely include:
- Who are you?
- What does your business do?
- Does your product or service address their needs?
- Where are you based?
- Why should they trust you?
Your answers to all of these questions need to be concise and compelling to tempt prospective customers to take the next step of browsing further around your site.
4. Adopt a split-testing approach
Understandably, you may struggle to determine which elements of your homepage are best for converting visitors into customers. In that case, why not present a certain version of your page to some of your customers and another version of the page to the rest?
This method is known as split testing and enables you to see which elements get a better response from your audience. By testing just one element at a time, you could theoretically use this approach to build the most powerful possible homepage for your site.
5. Optimise for speed
We’ve come a long way since the days of having to wait for a phone modem to connect to the Internet and many people are accustomed to lightning-fast loading speeds. High speed broadband and 4G connections means that they expect your site to load quickly. How quick is ‘quickly’? Let’s say in under 3 seconds, ideally, at least the top part of the page, at any rate.
It’s therefore vital to always keep a close eye on your site’s code and images, perhaps going to such lengths as using code minifiers to reduce file sizes and turning to a content delivery network (CDN) to provide content to your visitors from the closest possible server. All our sites are built with this functionality to keep loading times down and performance high, as well as being hosted on a dedicated server, optimised for WordPress websites.
Even if you only shave a second or half-second off your homepage loading times through such steps, this could make all of the difference to your efforts to keep hold of more of your potential customers.
The above is not an exhaustive list of every element of your homepage (or any other page, come to that, because every page on your site is a potential landing page) that you need to address if it is to deliver the best results. That’s why it’s always advisable to get in touch with PENNInk Productions’ skilled and experienced online digital marketing experts, so that you can benefit from the highest level of website design know-how.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.