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5 tips to improve your homepage conversion rate

Why do we purchase stuff? The answer lies in-between our aversion for pain and our longing for pleasure:

– I had a promotion. Yay, let us get bottles of wine and drink it together tonight!
– The next day. Oh, I have a hangover, let me go get an Advil!

In IT terms; logic shapes our front-end but our back-end is emotional. People decisions are based on emotional impulses rather than on logical reasoning.

The purchase process follows these touch points:

A) An emotional impulse is triggered at the subconscious level.

B) A purchase decision is made.

C) Our mind comes up with a story (can be true or false) justifying the decision.*

*A decision surfaces the conscious mind usually ~7 seconds after being made at the subconscious level.

Accordingly, here are some tips for the next time you attempt to revamp your homepage.

1. YOUR HERO IMAGE MATTERS

Studies show it only takes within milliseconds for your subconscious mind to form a judgment about a person. Such judgment is dependent on our past experiences and encounters but is also nuanced by the person’s mood, outfit, teeth colour, hairstyle, etc… Details which can play such a huge role!

The same goes for your homepage. After all, it is the depiction of your company. If you win a prospect’s attention right from the beginning, this new audience will likely read the rest of your website. Make sure you don’t BS.

Homepage of Gunsberg showing a juicy beer.
Gunsberg’s homepage is great. Get to the point, make it appealing right away and don’t write an essay.

Most of my clients find it difficult to nail their hero image/page. The recipe is simple. Be you, be honest, and make sure the message matches the graphics. Don’t associate “The last management app you don’t want to miss!” with a background photo of a mountain or a portray of an attractive person holding a smartphone. This leads me to my second point.

2. BE CLEVER AND HAVE FUN

Get on ‘Dribble’, there are many artists with fair prices. Get them to work with you and carve out a visual that represents you and your company only. Consult friends and experts to leverage the shy ray of creativity within you to derive fun concepts for your homepage.

Homepage of pitch.com asking for your e-mail address.
The hero page for pitch.com. Fun, playful and creative.

3. KEEP IT SHORT

You don’t have to say everything on the homepage. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to push the relationship further with your prospect. Leave the rest of your story for other times/pages. Your website is similar to a restaurant menu. Organize it well. Let the customer find what they want according to their own pace and terms.

Homepage of opennode animated by a gif.
Bitcoin for every day. Simple yet powerful.

4. TESTIMONIALS MATTER

Encourage your customers to leave you testimonials. Word of mouth matters. Many business owners have the wrong idea and think that their prospects read all their website’s content. It is not accurate because we process a website content as follow:

A) We don’t read, we only scan the essential elements of a website.

B) When we spot the most critical elements, we read those sections only.

C) Then, we subconsciously look for confirmation or social proof. You can’t sell if you only want to rely on informing, you must also present social evidence.

Homepage of drift.com animated by a gif showing their partners.
Drift.com is artfully practicing being out there openly and fully. Wait that’s in the background?

5. DON’T FORGET TO SELL

I know some business owners who don’t like the act of actively selling themselves and their products because it has a “bad connotation”. It doesn’t have to, though. Here’s how I see selling.

Selling is a process through which you charm your prospects and impress them. Through this process, your prospects’ need for appreciation, consideration, and creativity are met. As a result, they are willing to listen to you. Even if your product has fewer features compared to the competitors, actively listening and showing empathy will allow you to go on with your sales.

So please, don’t be afraid to sell the product of your hard work, your business is at stake!

About Bonanza Design

We’re a creative studio based in Berlin and our clients span from industry leaders to promising startups. Clients usually come for diagnosis and one of the very first areas that get our attention is their homepage. Crafting a homepage that converts is an art and takes many iterations. Feel free to talk to us if this article resonates with you at some level.