by anthony on 10/28/10 at 3:36 pm
After weeks of hard work, you’ve finally finished designing and developing your website. Now you’re ready to drive users to it to and convert them into sign ups or sales. Many users land on your home page, but leave immediately because they can’t see the value you offer. This is a common problem with many websites today. But you can fix it by making your home page easy to scan so that users can see value instantly.
Users have short attention spans. You only have a few seconds to communicate your value to them. If they see value, they’ll invest time and energy into reading your content or learning about your product or service, which can lead to signs ups or sales. If they can’t see any value, they’ll leave your site and never come back.
Users Look for Descriptive Headlines & Images
Research shows that the lack of a descriptive headline is one of the most common causes of poor conversion rates. Users need descriptive headlines and images to see the value you offer them. This is because headlines and images are the quickest and easiest to scan. Make your headlines and images big and put them above the fold so that users can scan them as soon as they land on your home page.
Your headlines shouldn’t have any pretentious marketing words that embellish your offerings. Instead, stick to the facts and speak in a descriptive, honest and concise way, so that users can see your value clear and fast. The images you use should accurately represent what you’re offering. For example, if you are selling a product, you should display a real image of your product, not a generic stock image that looks like it.
When users notice that your site has value, they’ll click through the home page to view other pages of your site. Once they’re engaged, they will invest more time into your site by reading and viewing your content. This user engagement is what will increase your conversion rate. The opportunity to engage your users starts as soon as they enter your site and expires in a matter of seconds. You have mere seconds to engage your users with descriptive headlines and images.
Paragraph Text & Stock Images Turn Users Off
What makes users abandon home pages are paragraph text and stock images. Users not only have short attention spans, but they have little patience. If they can’t scan your home page and see value, they’re not going to put any more effort into your site. Paragraph text aren’t scannable and need the user’s close attention to read. They don’t belong on the home page, but rather on pages that users click to from the home page. An engaging home page will have more descriptive headlines than paragraph text.
Research shows that users ignore stock images. When users see fake, generic photos, they can lose trust in you. Any uncertainty they have is not going to make them sign up or buy. Stock images also don’t give users any useful information. They’re often used to decorate a site without offering relevant information to users. Users want real content that describes the value you offer. Give them that by using genuine photos of your service or product.
You want every user who visits your site to see the value you offer. This can only happen if your home page uses descriptive headlines and images. Users scan for value first before they invest time and energy into reading content. Getting signs ups and sales is a step-by-step process. You have to engage users first before you can convert them.