Posted to Volacci's blog on August 24th, 2011

5 Components of a Conversions-Friendly Homepage

cartoon stick figure jumping from one group of people to another to represent conversion optimization

Conversion optimization is not only about the art and psychology of convincing website visitors to convert, it is also about increasing the usability of your site so that the route to conversion is shorter. So there we have it; conversion optimization has two goals:
1. Persuade the visitor to convert
2. Shorten the route/time to conversion point

Nearly every day I see websites that excel at the first goal or the second goal, but rarely do I see sites that excel at both goals. In one case, during a search I happened across an obscure landing page that was beautifully designed and contained all the right answers to questions a wary customer might ask. It wasn’t in the form of an FAQ either, it was contained in the information about quality and benefits, in the video that showed the product in action, in the testimonials and affiliations with international organizations, and in the free shipping and no-hassle money back guarantee. This was a site that exceeded my conversion optimization dreams! (Corny, I know, but true!) I just had to see the homepage of this site! So I clicked on “Home”.

Then the unthinkable happened...

As much as I tried, I could never find a link to that landing page nor one that could compare to it. The homepage made it extremely difficult to find anything on the site that I would want to find. A conversions tragedy.

In another case, I visited a site once that had one of the cleanest, most intuitive interfaces I’ve seen. I knew from the navigation exactly where each page would take me and what they were about and I knew exactly where the site (on every page) wanted me to go next. Everything was clearly laid out! Sadly, when it came to the conversion point, there was little-to-no effort on the part of the website to try to persuade me to convert. All that was given was a little bit of information about the product (including mostly technical specifications) and there was nothing to reassure me that it was safe to purchase or any testimonials or return guarantees, etc. It didn’t address any of my concerns at all!

Therefore, it comes down to this:

*Intuitive site structure and doubt-assailing persuasion leads to optimum conversions.*

That's just a fancy way of saying that you need to make your site easy, obvious, persuasive, and should address any concerns the visitor might have.

So what do you need to do to implement this principle on your homepage?

Well, the easiest method of learning is to show by example, so I’ve picked a site that follows some excellent conversion methods and follows both goals:

The Martell Experience

Here’s a screenshot of the homepage:

a screenshot of the martell experience homepage

Here are 5 Components of this Conversion-Friendly Homepage:

1. There are clearly visible calls to action near the top of the homepage:

calls to action at the top of the homepage

2. There is a video and a very brief explanation of the company and the service provided:

video and description of site

3. There are “Credibility Badges” that reassure the visitor that the company and service is trustworthy and who they say they are:

logos of associations and publications that the company has been in

4. Testimonials are included also to reassure the visitor that the company and service is trustworthy:

testimonials about the company

5. The website includes very easy and intuitive navigation that leaves no question in the visitor’s mind as to what that page is about:

navigation bar on the homepage

So as you look at your site, keep in mind certain components that enhance your site and create a more conversion-friendly homepage to help you meet your goals.

If you're interested in finding out how we can help YOU achieve better conversion optimization rates, increase your search engine rankings, and increase your site traffic, or even get help with your content, social media, or PPC campaigns, click the link below!

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