CG #34 - Fix Your Homepage Conversion Killers

August 27, 2022
Nathan Rodgers
Turn your website homepage into a client-attracting digital asset rather than a sinkhole of despair.

I’ve audited hundreds of personal and small business websites and see the same mistakes over and over again that make them ineffective at generating new leads and clients.

In this issue, I share six common mistakes that are preventing so many websites from converting well.

Client-Getting Strategy of the Week:

Purpose:

Turn your website homepage into a client-attracting digital asset rather than a sinkhole of despair.

Who / What it Works For:

If you have a website, you have a website homepage, and this is for you.

How it Works:

Your website homepage is your most important digital real estate.

It’s where people who are looking to find out about your product or service will start, or the page they’ll likely check out if they first landed on a blog or other page from a search or link.

Yet, most small business homepages are terrible.

Here are the top six mistakes I've seen, and how to fix them:

Mistake 1. Focusing on themselves, not the visitor

When someone visits your website, they are asking themselves one question: Is this relevant to me?

They only care about what you (or your product or service) can do for them.

Focusing on you: how long you’ve been in business or what makes you great or filling your page with platitudes is a good way to get a visitor to click that back button as quickly as they can.

What to say instead?

Connect your message to what your customer needs and want.

When you talk about yourself or your business, make it about them:

Help them see you understand their pains and desires and make it clear why you’re the perfect person/business to help them realize your big promise and get away from their big problem.

Mistake 2: Wasting the above-the-fold

The above-the-fold section is what someone sees when your page loads, before they need to scroll.

Don’t fill it with your logo, business name, meaningless slogans, or cheesy stock photos.

That’s wasting your best chance to grab your visitor’s attention.

What to do instead?

Craft a great headline and subheadline that grab your ideal client's attention and let them know there is something in it for them.

Add a relevant image, illustration or video if it helps reinforce your headline.

And include a clear Call to Action that lets your visitor know what you want them to do (see Mistake 4 and check out this previous issue for a clever way to add a video with a built-in call to action to your homepage).

Mistake 3: Not being clear about the offer

It’s incredible, but many businesses make it hard to understand what they do and who they do it for.

They use jargon and buzzwords, blocks of text that are difficult to read, or spread their key message across multiple pages.

What to do instead?

  • Keep it simple.
  • Write at a 3rd-grade level.
  • Leave no room for doubt about what you do and who you do it for.
  • Make your headings and subheadings easy-to-read so someone can get the gist just by scanning.
  • Break text blocks up into bullets or cards

Mistake 4: Not being clear about what a visitor should do

Websites often have a lot of things for a visitor to do.

This can be confusing and lead to them bouncing because they feel overwhelmed or clicking aimlessly until they get bored or distracted.

How to fix it?

Create a clear path for a visitor to follow that guides them to the action you want them to take.

Be explicit about what you want them to do on each page, and make it easy for them to do it.

Mistake 5: Making it too difficult to give them money

This manifests in several ways:

  • Too many steps to check out
  • Bland contact forms
  • Multiple, confusing, or unclear paths to buy

How to simplify?

  • Cut out as many clicks as possible to purchase
  • Replace contact forms with calendar booking widgets or chatbots
  • Describe the steps to buy (or get started on the buying path) and make it clear what to do next at each step of the way.

Mistake 6: Not capturing emails

Most people will not be ready to buy your products or services the first time they visit your website.

In fact, it can take anywhere from seven up to 20 touch-points before someone is ready to buy.

The best way to get those touchpoints is by capturing emails when people visit your site, and then emailing them regularly.

The best way to capture emails is by giving away a free lead magnet or by enticing them to sign up for your newsletter by positioning it as a solution to a problem they have rather than simply "Stay up to date".

Download my free guide on getting started with email marketing for more on how to do this.

Keys to Success:

Here are a few other things you can do to improve the ability of your homepage to attract clients:

1. Include Social Proof

Let’s face it, we’re herd creatures.

Nobody wants to feel like an idiot because they trusted someone who couldn’t deliver.

You need to prove you can do what you say you can do.

How do you show it?

Short testimonials from satisfied clients that talk about specific ways you helped them.

Have clients but no testimonials?

Ask for them from those for whom you got the best results.

No clients yet?

Do what you can to get your first client, get them incredible results, and then get a testimonial.

2. Keep the Design Simple

Poorly designed websites compound the mistakes mentioned above.

With so many website builders with ready-to-use, good-looking templates, there is no reason not to have a decently designed website.

What to do?

Unless you’re a graphic designer or can hire one, pick a clean, simple template in your website builder and stick to it.

3. Make Sure it Works

A lot of businesses have websites that seem half-built:

  • Buttons and links that don’t work.
  • Lorem ipsum dummy text is still showing.
  • Referring to pages that don’t exist.

What’s the solution?

Password-protect until the site is ready for release.

Test every link.

Grammar check.

Have someone else review the site before launching to make sure everything looks good and works as it should.

Additional Resources:

Web Design 101 from Webflow

8 ways to get started with website Conversion Rate Optimization

23 small business websites to inspire your own design

This looks like a great way to collect testimonials and easily share them on your website.

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