If we consider your website’s homepage the first point of contact most users have with your brand, it’s easy to see why nailing everything about it is important.
Unfortunately, a lot of brands still repeatedly make numerous design mistakes that alienate or confuse their audience. These mistakes are usually responsible for a high bounce rate.
What are the most common of these mistakes, and what should you be doing instead?
Writing Bland CTAs
CTAs, as the most direct road to conversion, should be carefully considered and planned. While, in theory, customers who have been convinced by the rest of your page won’t care too much if they are clicking on a very bland and basic CTA, you still want to do your best to improve their experience.
Aim to personalize each CTA if you can by using copy like “get yours,” “give me mine,” or something similar. Also aim to make the CTA action-oriented and add a bit of energy to it. The more you’re able to tie them to your brand, the better.
For instance, UnscrambleX has a great CTA. They use “unscramble it,” which sounds so much more effective than the simpler “unscramble” or an even blander “try now.” It sounds very active, and there is no doubt as to what is about to happen.
Catering to Only One Audience Segment
One of the main difficulties of designing a great homepage is knowing how to cater to different audience segments and people at different stages of the sales funnel. How can you possibly design a page that speaks to so many different needs?
Start by considering all the various conversion paths you want to offer your audience. Do you want to send them directly to a sales page, or do they need to be given more information first? What if you show them the pricing before you let them convert?
This path will inform your CTAs and the elements you want to place on the homepage. You may end up having to omit certain aspects of your offer, especially if you offer dozens of services. Make sure they are all still available from the main menu.
Unbounce has done a great job at addressing various pain points and making sure that the majority of their offer are highlighted on its homepage. Depending on their needs, different leads will choose to go down a different path. But at the same time, they’ll all be made aware of all the other capabilities of the brand’s solutions.
Forgetting the Social Proof
Social proof should be a vital element of your homepage, as it will boost your trustworthiness and your credibility. If you fail to show that other customers have had a pleasant experience with you, you will see fewer conversions.
The type of social proof you choose will depend on the nature of your business and the pain points of your audience. Reviews, testimonials, and expert seals of approval tend to work best. However, don’t forget about case studies, user-generated content, and social shares either.
Aim to leverage the social proof to highlight certain aspects of your business. Basecamp took it to an entirely new level and used their customer’s words to describe everything there is to know about their solution.
But you don’t have to go this far. Try to single out the testimonials, reviews, or images that would best describe you, and emphasize the points you’ve tried to make with your own copy.
Limited Contact Options
Providing numerous contact avenues is a great way to enhance your credibility, and it also makes for a better user experience. Some leads will want to chat with a chatbot and get their questions answered as soon as possible, while others will want to speak to a human agent. Others still will prefer to contact you via email.
Companies that fail to clearly display these various contact options tend to miss out on conversions. Some leads give up when they can’t find an answer to a question and don’t like the communication options available to them.
Clockify offers a great example of what you should be doing instead. They are very proud of their customer support; they tell you just how good and fast it is, plus how you can contact them and when.
You don’t have to offer 24/7 service, but make sure you clearly list when your staff is available and how soon a customer can expect a response. Even if it’s a couple of hours’ wait, leads will appreciate knowing upfront and will be more likely to get in touch.
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Omitting the Search Option
Homepages that offer no search option are missing out on the opportunity to cater to their audience’s needs and save them valuable time. This feature is especially important on large websites that offer thousands of products.
Instead of asking a customer to browse through your product categories, let them search for the product they want as soon as they land on your website. Make sure you label them clearly, using obvious terms your audience is likely to use. Even if you have a quirky product name, add the keywords your audience would call it, too.
PresetLove, for example, has a prominent search bar right at the top of its homepage, and it’s a great UX-boosting feature.
With so many presets to choose from, their leads can’t be expected to scroll for hours until they find what they’re looking for. The search option gives them what they want in a matter of seconds.
Talking About the Product in an Abstract Way
A lot of brands tend to use abstract, vague, or jargon terms to describe their product or service, leaving their audience bewildered. Have you ever come across a website like that? The more you keep reading, the less clear it is what the business does and how it can help you.
No matter how expert or knowledgeable your target audience is, you need to describe what you offer so that everyone can understand you. Better yet, you should show it!
Take a look at Notion’s homepage. They go into the different features of their product, describing what each of them does and how they can help you stay organized. More importantly, they also show you exactly what they look like. You can instantly judge for yourself whether this is the style of tool you will be comfortable using.
Failing to Communicate Value
Finally, a lot of brands also fail to communicate what their USP is and why their product is valuable. They focus on the sale, as opposed to the customer, so they omit the most important conversion enhancers.
When crafting the hero section of your homepage, make sure it is clear about the following:
- what you do
- why this should matter to your audience
- what makes you stand out, i.e., why they should choose you
Take a look at Typeform. They do a great job of contrasting “boring forms” with a Typeform that makes everyone in the process happy. More importantly, they highlight the two key aspects of their service that are the likeliest to get them a conversion: no credit card required and no time limits on the free plan.
Check your homepage to make sure you aren’t making any of these design mistakes. Even if you aren’t, take some time to look at it with fresh eyes. See if there’s anything else you might do to further improve user experience and nudge your audience to stay and browse.