How does your website conversion rate affect your business?
Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take specific actions on your site (e.g., sign up, download, purchase). Your website conversion rate affects revenue, customer acquisition cost, return on investment (ROI), and customer engagement and loyalty — some of the most critical factors determining your business’s long-term success.
So how do you create a great homepage? Let’s walk through 7 key strategies you can apply immediately to your homepage to improve conversion rates.
1. Understand your audience
Create meaningful connections with your customers by understanding who they are and what they want. You must understand their needs, goals, behaviors, and values. The best way to do that is by using quantitative and qualitative research methods and building personas.
- Google Analytics: What are people coming to your site for? What pages are they landing on? How much time are they spending on the site? These questions can reveal valuable insights about how customers interact with your homepage — and where you might fall short.
- User research: You can also learn a lot by analyzing user interaction with heat mapping. Better still, interview your audience directly about the problems they’re trying to solve, what pain points or frustrations they are experiencing while trying to complete their tasks, and what improvements they would like to see implemented.
Related read: Audience Behavior: Learn More with User Research
- Personas: After quantitative analysis and user research, you can create personas, which are fictional characters that represent your target audience. Ultimately, personas help prioritize content, design solutions, and user experience to meet better user needs. They also establish messaging that can be used across different channels — from social media to email marketing — to better communicate with customers.
Related read: How personas help with website design
2. Clear Value Proposition
Create a one-sentence description of why your company exists. It goes beyond the obvious — “we make great software” — to explain what makes your product special and unique.
The best value propositions have three characteristics:
- They are specific: They use quantifiable metrics or measures (number of customers, dollars saved, etc.) to show how your product works for the customer.
- They are unique: You should describe how your product differs from and is better than competitors’ offerings.
- They tell a story about how customers will benefit from using your product or service.
Many websites with strong value propositions effectively communicate the benefits of their products or services to potential customers. Here are a few examples:
- Grammarly – Great Writing, Simplified: The value proposition is specific and unique in helping users improve their writing skills by eliminating grammar errors. It also tells how using Grammarly can help users make a better personal and professional impression.
- Slack – Credibility and Productivity: Slack’s value proposition focuses heavily on the remote teams’ pain points by offering workplace communication and collaboration solutions. They also tell a story about how using Slack can help users stay connected and productive no matter where they are.
- Uber – Offering Convenience: Uber’s value proposition centers on providing a convenient, reliable, affordable transportation service through a user-friendly mobile application. They target two distinct audiences with different value propositions: passengers and drivers.
3. Goal-Based Information Architecture
Information architecture (IA) is the structure that supports the organization of content and functionality on a website. It is how visitors navigate a site and find the information they’re looking for. It is not supposed to be a reflection of how your organization is structured; instead, information architecture aims to provide users with access to information in a way that makes sense to them.
High findability and discoverability results from a goal-based information architecture and well-designed navigation system. It reduces the number of unnecessary clicks by offering straightforward user journeys, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
As you think about building your site information architecture, keep these components in mind:
- Organization: How we categorize and structure information.
- Labeling: How we represent information.
- Navigation: How users browse or move through information.
- Search: How users look for information.
4. Offer a More Engaging User Experience
Make sure your website is easy to use, engaging, and relevant. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Include search functionality: Searching is one of the most popular and efficient ways to navigate online. So help your visitors find the information that interests them without having to click through multiple pages or scroll through lengthy content.
- Create easy-to-scan web pages: Nowadays, people rarely read web pages word-for-word. Instead, they scan them to get the gist of what’s being said. It is especially true for users with low reading skills or who are in a hurry. To help with this, break up your content into digestible chunks that make sense and get your message across, and be strategic about how you use images to aid in understanding.
- Offer live chat support: Live chat support allows visitors to contact someone from your organization immediately if they have questions about products or services before buying.
5. Improve Page Load Time
Speed is a significant factor in the success of a website. The faster your website loads, the more likely it is to convert your visitors into customers. If your site takes too long to load, people will leave and go somewhere else.
- Images are often one of the biggest causes of slow-loading pages. Ensure you’re using the correct image format (JPEG or PNG) and compressing them as much as possible without losing quality. Also, don’t forget to check image dimensions — if they’re too large, they’ll slow down your site even more.
- Use loading progress indicators or skeleton screens for any action that takes longer than one second. Skeleton screens provide a blank version of the page into which information is gradually loaded. It creates the immediate sense that data is incrementally displayed on the screen and lets people have a great experience while waiting.
PageSpeed Insights by Google is an excellent tool for checking your site performance and getting recommendations for optimizations.
6. Design for Mobile Devices
Designing a mobile-friendly website is one of the critical things you can do to improve your conversion rate. While desktop computers are still the most common devices used to browse the Web, over 50% of all online searches happen on mobile devices. Mobile users also make more purchases on their phones and tablets than desktops (which means that your forms should be easy to use as well).
Here are some helpful tips for designing for the small screen:
- Make your site mobile-friendly and responsive: A mobile-friendly website displays correctly on any device — including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers — without requiring users to scroll horizontally or zoom to view content on their screens. Responsive design adjusts the layout of a page depending on whether someone is viewing it on a mobile device or desktop computer.
- Reduce Clutter: Mobile screens are smaller than desktops — so it’s important to reduce clutter and focus on the most critical information. You can remove unnecessary graphics and text and minimize content that isn’t crucial to the user’s primary task.
- Minimize user input: Reduce the amount of information required from users. Limit forms to only those essential fields, allowing users to submit data without entering it manually and taking advantage of touch controls.
- Keep Mobile Navigation Simple: Refine navigation to be discoverable, accessible on mobile, and easy for users to explore and complete all primary tasks without explanation. Navigation should always be available, not just when we anticipate that the user needs it. Ensure the labels are clear and concise, and all links are visually distinct to make them clear when users have activated them.
7. Craft strong call-to-action (CTA)
A strong CTA is the most crucial part of your homepage. It should be clear and compelling but not pushy or salesy. It should also take visitors to a page that matches their intent — one that’s relevant to their interests and needs.
It’s tempting to think of your homepage as an opportunity to get people excited about what you do but remember why they’re there first: because they want something from you. The best CTAs are specific and measurable (for example, “sign up for our newsletter”) rather than vague (“learn more”). If visitors need to know what they’ll get from signing up for something, there’s no reason for them to do it!
A good CTA has three key elements:
- Clear: It’s clear what visitors should do when they click the button (e.g., sign up for your newsletter).
- Compelling: The button should inspire visitors to take action, not just give them an option. An effective CTA will lead people through the funnel and get them closer to conversion than a weak one.
- Concise: Your CTA needs to be short enough that it doesn’t distract from the rest of your content but long enough that it still feels like an actionable step for visitors.
This suggestions list, while extensive, is not exhaustive. But by following these essential strategies and keeping them in mind when developing a website, you will be able to create a powerful and effective homepage that is useful for users and drive conversions that result in loyal customers and fantastic ROI.
Want to learn more about how you can leverage your website to generate demand and drive conversions? Contact us, and we’ll guide you through these strategic processes.