A great homepage doesn’t happen by accident.
If you want a prospect to land on your homepage and stay long enough to potentially convert them to a qualified lead, intention and strategy matter. When someone lands on your homepage, you have 8 seconds to get them engaged before they bounce. That is less of an attention span than a goldfish, so what you are serving to your customers on your homepage had better be compelling.
Your primary job on your homepage is to engage your website visitor. Why? Because engaged visitors have an xyz % higher chance of converting into leads. Here are 4 ways to ensure that your homepage keeps your visitors engaged.
1. Engagement happens below the fold (because visitors scroll)
The myth that people do not scroll is simply that, a myth. 66% of visitor attention happens below the fold because your visitors have become conditioned to scrolling. Information is best absorbed in easily-digestible “chunks” that are defined as follows:
- A chunk means a piece or part of something larger. In the field of cognitive psychology, a chunk is an organizational unit in memory.
- Information Mapping © instructional methodology—which has been around since 1972— explains that each chunk of information has a label that clearly describes its contents. The labels are set off from the text, on the left side of the page or screen, for quick and easy scanning.
People are no longer “readers” they are “scanners.” So companies who choose to design their homepage in panels, where information is fed to the customers in bite-sized chunks as they scroll maximize the possibility of user engagement.
We love how Infusionsoft has accomplished this
Panel 1 – Fantastic “grab-your-attention” key message combined with intentional chunks of guided calls-to-action. Who doesn’t want an hour of their day back?
Panel 2 – specific detail on how Infusionsoft benefits their customers.
Panel 3 – Chunks of thought leadership with the option to “load more” if their visitor is interested. User-focused content, served up in manageable chunks.
Panel 4 – One panel, divided into several blocks of proof points. If you aren’t convinced that Infusionsoft knows what they are doing, after these chunks of proof, you will be! They also follow the rule of “show, don’t tell” wherever possible, because they know readers don’t actually read anymore, they scan. Great job Infusionsoft!
2. Images tell a great story
Your words and images should work together to tell a story. A strong image strategy reinforces your key messages and convey the point of your organizational narrative even without words. Where images detract or contradict your organization’s key messages, they are negatively impacting visitor engagement.
Back to our scanning readers, we found that “Jakob Nielsen’s eye-tracking study from 2008 indicated that less than 20% of the text content is actually read on an average web page.” That means your visitors will look at your imagery before they read the text (IF they even read the text). Statistics show that 65% of people are visual learners, 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual, and presentations with visual aides are 43% more persuasive. Research has also shown that the human brain can correctly identify images in as little as 100 milliseconds, which is much faster than website visitors can even read a word of text. Where you can backup your key messaging with supporting imagery, you have a much higher probability of conversion.
Here are several of our favorite examples of organizations accomplishing strong brand messaging with supportive imagery.
Reinforces the message “grab your planner now and schedule a trip with us!”
Subliminal message “tracking time that is so easy even a kid can do it!”
Relevant key messages that are reinforced by the fun imagery. (Oh, and bonus—their imagery changes weekly, so you can visit often to see their updates!)
Their story is, “We know you are looking for a house like this one in the background, here, let us make it easy for you!”
3.People want proof
Testimonials, stories, infographics or statistics, and logos of companies you have worked with all provide scannable proof that your company has legitimacy. If you only have 8 seconds to prove that your organization is worth investing in, the quickest way to do this is by scannable stats.
One of the best ways to do this is a section right below your top panel that contains logos of the companies you have done business with. As the user scrolls down the page after other content areas, they are then served up testimonials. So in 2 simple panels, you’ve provided quick-hit proof points for your scanners.
They’ve always been a forerunner in the use of iconography, color-branded navigation, and excellent use of proof points.
With their web redesign a couple years back, IJM integrated fantastic imagery that reinforces their strong story brand, and iconography and graphic animations that guide visitors through their complex (but effective) business model.
This is accessible via a navigation item entitled, “After Kenyon,” but our team thinks great stats like these deserve to be on the homepage.
Our team loves (and uses) several of the Hubspot products because this team knows what they are doing and their product represents that. What we love about their homepage is that they have both stats and a logo bar. #Overachievers 🙂
Proof points can also come in the form of testimonials, like what One Kings Lane has done here.
4. Show me what’s next
Show me where I’m supposed to go. Please don’t make me figure it out myself. This is where panels that load as the user scrolls are a great design solution. Conversely, if you present your visitor with a homepages like these, they won’t know where to start.
Hint: If your eyes feel like they are bleeding just to find the navigation, you probably need a redesign.
Great websites coax their users to take the next step.
- Subscribe for my newsletter
- Keep scrolling
- Learn more about my organization
If you make your visitor exhaust their brain cells to figure out where to go next, they will most likely bounce from your page.
Examples of great “next step” websites…
A simple “contact us today” to help the user know whether to click or keep scrolling.
A “learn more” button that goes to their services page.
They have an arrow to encourage the visitor to keep scrolling.
We know we threw a ton of information and imagery at you in this post. Our team is pretty passionate about getting homepages just right and we’ve helped organizations just like you improve visitor retention. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact us today and we can help you!