Mostafa Dastras June 29th, 2020

Top homepage design practices for more conversions

Your website’s homepage is the forefront of your business. It could lure people in or scare them out of your store.

This is the place where you introduce your products, explain how they can help people solve their problems, gain people’s trust and ensure them that you’re the business they need to work with, help them deal with their uncertainties, etc. 

If you already don’t have a strategy to address all these in your homepage, you’re basically missing out on a lot of growth potential. Your visitors are passively visiting your homepage and you’re missing out the opportunity to capture them as leads and increase your conversions. Here are some practised to optimize your homepage and increase homepage conversions:  

1. CTA’s above the fold 

There’s always been a debate on whether you should include your most important CTA’s (call to actions) above the fold or below it. It seems quite logical to note that people see above the fold first and so it should have more influence on them. However, some marketers argue that people tend to scroll through the page (especially on their mobile phones) and the notion of above the fold might not be that relevant these days. They tend to look for CTA’s below the fold where they scroll down to find more information. 

However, according to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, people view the 100 pixels above the fold %102 more than the 100 pixels below the fold. This is the heatmap that the study presents to back its claim: 

Red dots are the places people look at the most. Yellow dots are the places people looked less, and white dots are the places people paid almost no attention to. So obviously marketers defending the above the fold notion have something to say when it comes to data-driven research. 

This has a strong message for marketers: 

If you want the most important elements on your page to be seen and clicked more often, you need to place them above the fold where people pay the most attention. 

One of the most important elements of a home page is the call to actions (CTA’s). Some buttons with texts asking you to do a specific action such as “subscribe”, “read more”, “buy now” or any other action. You need to use these CTA’s to trigger people to do the action you desire the most from your visitors. If you need your visitors’ email addresses for email marketing, it’s a good idea to offer a lead magnet and use a “subscribe” button to ask for their email address in exchange for your lead magnet. If you want them to read your blog first and get to know your thought process, it’s good to use a “read more” CTA button. 

The point is to have the maximum visibility and effect on your readers, you need to insert your most desired CTA right above the fold. 

2. Various CTA’s 

Now that you know the importance of CTA’s in a home page, it’s a good idea to consider whether you should only include one specific CTA with only one intention in your homepage, or you should include various CTA’s with different goals in it. 

It makes sense that using only one CTA will make the decision-making process way easier for your visitors. If browsing our Joomla templates inventory is the main action we want our visitors to do why not only one CTA to ask people to do it without adding other CTA’s to divert them from the main action we want them to do. 

Some marketers might disagree with unilateral CTA’s on the homepage because it would attract only a portion of your visitors. People come across your website with different intentions. They might be looking to review your products, they might tend to read your blog, or they might have done their research and only visit your website to buy right away from you. In this case, it makes perfect sense to include some CTA’s with different intentions to make sure you’re eliciting some action from all your visitor segments. 

In a study published on WordStream, I found that most top business websites had multiple CTA’s above the fold and that the most common combination of these CTA’s was Sample + More info type CTA’s. In another study, ReferralCandy explains that for a CTA to be effective, it needs to have certain features including: 

  • Using action phrases
  • Using first-person
  • Creating a sense of urgency
  • Eliminating roadblocks or friction
  • Standing out and easy to find

3. Social proof

When people visit your homepage for the first time, they’re looking for some signs that indicate they can trust you. It’s not that they would be amazed at your services and buy from you right away. They do everything they can to make sure your claims are valid and that they can trust you. 

Your homepage plays an important part in building trust with your visitors. You need to use social proof on your homepage to gain people’s trust. Some of the most popular social proofs are: 

  • Case studies: You could mention the detailed success story of your clients.
  • Testimonials: You could use recommendations from your happy customers.
  • Reviews: You could feature real reviews of your products or services by trusted sources. 
  • Social Media: Showing how many followers you have or showing their positive posts about you is a good way to gain new visitors’ trust.
  • Trust Icons: You can showcase the logos of the companies you’ve worked with or the publications you’ve been featured on.
  • Data/Numbers: If you have worked with an impressive number of people or have achieved impressive results with them, you can show the data/numbers on your homepage.

Getting any of these social proof elements for your website is easier said than done. You need to have a really good track record so that you could get testimonials from your clients. Reach out to your previous clients and ask for testimonials. You should also actively reach out to bloggers and ask them to review your products in their review articles. An example of a great review article to be featured on is Ben Aston’s best Gantt Chart Makers review. You might want to offer them a free trial of your software and an affiliate link to get featured in their review articles. You can then take an extract from the article and feature it on your homepage as a positive review. A good website template is a time saver when placing testimonials on a page. If you’re using WordPress, premium WordPress themes have the testimonial section by default.

Using any of these elements on your homepage would make it possible for your visitors to trust you. Automate.io uses various social proof types on their Zapier alternative landing page to build the most level of trust with their visitors.

Finally: 

To increase your homepage conversions, you need to stick to some of the tried and tested homepage optimization practices recommended by most experts. You can also A/B test some of these elements and see what’s working best for you. Some of these practices are using your main CTA’s above the fold, using various CTA types to capture people with different intentions, and using social proof on your homepage to build trust.


Photo by UX Store on Unsplash

Mostafa Dastras

Mostafa Dastras has written for some companies such as WordStream, SmartInsights, LeadPages and MarketingProfs. What keeps him up at nights is how he can help his clients increase sales with no BS content marketing. Visit his blog, LiveaBusinessLife, or connect with him on LinkedIn to get him to write for you.

2 comments

    1. Not the author of this post, but… is there a better term that you’d like to share with us?

      I still use ‘above-the-fold’ on a regular basis.

      It’s still very relevant, especially with Google’s Core Web Vitals update putting emphasis on First/Largest Contentful Paint, which is… how long until the ‘above-the-fold’ content appears loaded.

      Google calls this content that is “visible within the viewport” which I don’t think is necessarily better or less confusing to laymen.

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