Getting new customers to your homepage is hard enough.
It involves pushing, pulling, and prodding your way through your competitors advertising on Facebook, Google, and elsewhere. But that is only half the battle. The other half, the more important half, is getting those visitors to convert into a lead or sale. The process of maximising conversions is known as Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO for short. Here we will explore how to improve CRO on your homepage. Don’t let your website visitors be just that, visitors! Learn how to transform your homepage into a high conversion machine.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Walking into a store, paying for an item, and leaving has long since been replaced by a meandering, unpredictable digital consumer journey. CRO involves improving your website to increase the likelihood of these intrepid online visitors performing the desired action once they find their way to your page – whether purchasing products and services or signing up for trials.
CRO will not work overnight, nor will one approach fit all. Through tactical tinkering and data-driven design, you can boost the chances of visiting traffic converting into new customers.
The Unique Challenges of Homepage CRO
As the entryway to your company, your homepage wears many hats. From welcoming visitors to demonstrating your brand, homepages are busy multi-taskers dedicated to leading visitors to desired pages, displaying products or services, and establishing authority within your field. And now you have to worry about conversion too!
For your homepage to become a conversion machine, you’ll need to:
Present your company but focus on visitors.
Focus on all visitors at every stage of the customer journey.
Address visitors’ interests but ensure it doesn’t take longer than 10 seconds and is above the fold.
Have a familiar design but ensure it stands out from the crowd.
Sounds easy enough, right? Everyone enjoys a good challenge, so let’s face this one together. Here we will explore some of the best practices you can employ to improve CRO on your homepage.
CRO Practices to Improve Your Homepage
Ensure Your Homepage has Intuitive Navigational Elements
Navigational elements on your homepage are the catalyst to conversations, transporting your visitors where they need to go to make their purchases. The essential element for improving CRO on your homepage is familiarity. Users aren’t overly interested in admiring your ingenuous webpage design; they just need to find the right options to move ahead.
Let’s look at how to improve CRO by leveraging navigational elements:
Find options faster: Use icons on your menu that are universally understood; this may be specific to your industry, so extensive research will be required.
Users should know they are clicking on a link: Make your links stand out visually by changing a colour, adding an underline, or changing the cursor. It’s the little things that make all the difference!
Don’t Let Customers Give Your Search Function a Second Thought
Searching is such an essential function on your homepage that most customers won’t even think twice about it, and that’s exactly how you want to keep it! Poor search functions will be an obstacle for many consumers’ shopping journeys.
Consider the placement of your search bar; remember familiarity is key, so placing it in the usual top right or top centre positions is best. You should also use easily recognisable icons so visitors can quickly find the search bar. While only minor details, these changes will ensure your search function remains a no-brainer for visitors to your homepage.
Information First, CTA Second
While there is plenty of advice floating around on CTA copy and button design, none of it is complete without appropriate placement. The general consensus is that your CTA should always come above the fold of the page; it’s where visitors spend most of their time, so it makes sense to have a strong call to action. However, there are exceptions to every rule.
Your CTA is only as effective as your visitors’ product knowledge. If your visitors need to be well-versed with the product information before deciding, you may want to consider placing it below the fold.
Homepage content plays a serious role in conversion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get silly with it. Injecting a healthy dose of humour into your content will help engage customers, leading them to consume more content, browse products, and ultimately be more likely to make a purchase.
However, there is a fine line between humorous and horrendous content that you need to be aware of. Never stray away from your established brand voice for the sake of a joke. Make sure your audience has an appetite for it before injecting humour throughout your content. How to improve CRO through humour is by hitting this sweet spot, ensuring visitors remember your brand and are motivated to engage with it.
Two Heads are Better than One: Integrating CRO with SEO
There is no single be-all and end-all approach to digital marketing but rather a collection of strategies that work together to complete the story of your marketing efforts.
CRO and SEO go together like arts and crafts, producing a digital marketing strategy well worth an A+. SEO focuses on search optimisation, driving traffic to your website. Once it gets there, it’s CRO’s job to convert visitors into customers. Without CRO, all the traffic you have directed to your site goes nowhere and achieves nothing, and without SEO, you won’t have any traffic to convert! Nobody wants a wasted investment, so incorporating CRO and SEO into your digital marketing strategy is essential.
About the author
Pure SEO is a Google Premier Partner, which means it's in the 3% top performing agencies in New Zealand.