Creating a website is relatively easy. However, getting relevant traffic to that website can cost a lot of money, time and effort – usually a combination of all three!
Once you have established various sources of traffic to your website, it is crucial that the User Experience (UX) is optimised – otherwise visitors will just leave your site straight away. For example, if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose a huge chunk of traffic before the site has even resolved.
Analysing the behaviour of that traffic and conducting experiments to improve the number of leads and sales a website generates, has in the past, been more of an after-thought. With the cost per click or visitor of online ads generally going up each year across all platforms; Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) has become more of a priority.
Search Engine Optimisation too; is becoming more difficult with Google Ads taking up more and more of search engine results page real estate, there’s no quick-win with generating traffic – so you better know how to convert those that do come to your site!
It is important to test your landing page performance, using software such as Google Optimize, VWO and/or Hotjar. For your tests to provide meaningful data, however, you will also need to be generating significant amounts of traffic. Whether you have lots of traffic or not – it’s still good to know some fundamental principles when it comes to web design and conversion rate.
According to Neil Patel, you should put your value proposition in the headline. A value proposition outlines the value that your product or service can offer – for example, Slack use the proposition of “Be more productive at Work, with less effort”, whilst MailChimp uses the proposition of “Send Better Email”. Make it short and to the point, not more than 9 words.
There can be some conflict here – between SEO and CRO. A technical SEO expert will no doubt tell you to include a keyword or search term in the main header (or < h1 > tag), which may or may not be possible with your chosen value proposition. Use a headline that integrates both if possible, or make specific landing pages (i.e. separate webpages) for different sources of traffic. You may design a specific page for example, just for Google organic traffic with a keyword in the headline and then another for all paid form of traffic with a value proposition in the headline.
Use the headline to grab the user’s attention, then a relevant, high-quality image that will continue to keep the user’s attention. Preferably in a bullet point format, outline the features and benefits of what you are selling. The benefits are key according to marketing guru Simon Sinek
“People don't buy what you do, people buy why you do it”
So, for example, Moneypenny offers a call answering service for real estate agents – the “why” and the “benefits” that could be highlighted in the copy could be:
Although both features and benefits are crucial and should be communicated in your webpage copy – the benefits or “the why” are more inspiring. According to Simon Sinek, it is Apple’s ability to communicate “why” before “how” and “what” that has made them so successful. Find out what problems your target audience is having – by looking at search terms, product reviews, forums, Reddit etc. and then use solutions to these problems as your “why”.
The above image is taken from a Shopify homepage design, that was used as a great CTA & ‘social proofing’ combination example on Neil Patel’s blog.
It’s important to guide users through each stage of the buying process. By providing a free trial, with a bold call to action, coupled with social proof such as review scores or as in the above example “trusted by over 175,00 store owners” – you are reassuring the user and inviting them to get started without any risk. To make the CTA more powerful, you could also outline that “no payment details are required – quick & simple setup process” to reassure users that they won’t have to hand over any sensitive information at this point and that it’s not going to be a pain to get started.
Think of what might stop users from converting, reassure them and make it as easy as possible to get started. Finally, invite them to get going with a clear CTA button. Make people feel comfortable when inviting them to proceed in the buying process. Reviews provide ‘social proof’:
“Social proof, a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book, Influence, is also known as informational social influence. It describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation”. Quote source
Especially when the reviews are hosted on/associated with a well known third-party such as Trustpilot.
A good story has a moral, drives emotions, characters and an opening scene.
The moral of the story – is why people should buy from you
Emotions – your story should appeal to the emotional part of the brain (the limbic system) with “the why?”. The imagery is what users will usually see & ‘register’ first. What emotion does this convey? Happiness, relaxation, excitement, fun? If you are selling a business service that aims at making life easier, you may want to portray relaxation/calm or productivity.
The Character – Employees, owners and the website user – can the user see him or herself in the story?
Opening Scene – grab the user’s attention and hook them in with headlines and imagery.
For more information on storytelling, see this great Youtube video from Elementor Website Builder.
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