Everyone checks their website stats right? Of course, we all want to know how many people are coming to our site, what they’re clicking on, etc. It’s an exciting thing to see traffic (especially to a new blog post or offer!)
What isn’t so exciting is taking a look at your Google Analytics and realizing that a bunch of your traffic hits are to your homepage and your homepage only; meaning people get to your homepage and leave. No goodbye, no see you later, nothing.
Today, we’re going to talk about what why people are leaving you faster than you want them too.
How to optimize & design your homepage:
BEFORE YOU START READING, DO THIS NOW:
Grab a piece of paper and answer these questions. Try to answer them as honestly as possible and don’t be shy to go into a lot of detail.
- Why are you in business? What drives you to be in business?
- Where does my income come from or where do I want it to come from? (products, courses, services, etc)
- Who is my target audience? What are they looking for?
- Which of my offerings or products are most popular or will benefit my audience the most?
- What are my primary goals for this website in correlation to my business goals? (For example: To establish my expertise and authority in a niche, build trust and a community, interact and educate with clients)
Answer those questions and come back to me.
Hello there! Welcome back.
It’s no shock or surprise that your homepage is getting the most hits. Since it’s the oldest URL associated with your domain, it probably has the most inbound links pointing to it.
Your homepage is missing the mark – here are some possible reasons why:
Too many options:
You’re hitting people with way too many options from the beginning. This isn’t some clothing store where you want to see everything before you start picking things up to buy. It’s actually quite the opposite: you want to funnel people into doing what you want them to. I know, it’s sound manipulative, and maybe it is.
People have very low attentions spans, especially since the internet is so damn MASSIVE. People are having to sift through website and website looking for the information that they need. You want to tell them what they need from the beginning and since you’re creating your website with your ideal client in mind, you should already be tapped into what they need or what they’re looking for. Give them that.
Too little options:
You’re not giving them anything. They land on your homepage and aren’t sure where they should go next. Sure they can use the navigation and figure it out on their own, but you’re missing an opportunity to showcase what you do in the way that you want. You know what pages are the most important for your business, so lead them there.
(BLOCK) the typical sweet spot of options to present on your homepage, usually just below the fold, is three.
Visitors aren’t sure what you do
This is a BIG one. You only have a few seconds of scrolls to tell them what you do and why it’s important before they decide to leave or stay. Towards the top of the page is a great place to immediately lay out what you do, who you do it for, and what the benefit or after effect of your service or product is.
(BLOCK) Fill in the blanks: “I am a (YOUR TITLE) for/that helps/provides (TITLE OF TARGET AUDIENCE) (WHAT YOU DO)”
Here’s mine: I’m a website designer for creative entrepreneurs that want beautiful websites for their brand that converts visitors into customers.
Here’s another one: I’m a wedding planner for Las Vegas couples that takes the pressure of planning their dream wedding off their plate so they can focus on enjoying the best day of their lives.
Think of it as your brand bio. Something quick and value packed that gets the heart of your brand across in an easily digestible way..
HERE’S HOW TO FIX IT:
Below are some homepage examples from my favorite entrepreneurs for you to check out. Take note of the structure and how they: lead you into selecting options that benefit you (and them!), their design choices, and how all of their copy relates to how they can help their communities.
ABOVE THE FOLD:
If you haven’t noticed, the trend of website design has been beautiful and bold headers that take up a good portion of the real estate on your site above the fold. (Above the fold is the area of your website that appears first, before you have to scroll to continue).
Here are some ways to take advantage of this trend:
- Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of you. These types of “branding” shoots are great and multi-purposeful: they give you beautiful high quality images of you to use on your social media profiles and on your about page, and they also get some good shots of you either working, interacting with clients, or in your “work-environment.” You’ve seen these types of photos before: they’re usually of the blogger in front of their laptop, at their desk, in their studio, with their equipment, etc.
- If you’re a fancy one, get a behind the scenes video of you working, creating, or interacting with a client that plays on a loop (usually with no sound) as your header.
- Or use a clean and on brand stock photo or graphic works. It doesn’t have to be crazy, it can be a simple image that speaks to the personality of your brand. For example, my homepage currently has a image of a chair. The vibe of the photo and and the idea behind the photo (the feeling of being at home) come across to visitors immediately.
STRAIGHT UP ASK THEM:
Here is where the 3 choices/doors comes into play. Remember earlier when I asked you to write down the primary goals of your website? Use what you wrote there to create a list of options that will help your visitors either: learn more, take action, or sign up/inquire.
Try this: Take one of your target audience’s questions/pain points and turn it into an “I” statement. Then answer that with what you can do to help with that pain point.
For example: If you’re a branding expert, your doors may be these:
- I’m new to branding and owning a business. I have a branding for beginners course that will walk you through discovering your brand.
- I have a brand + website, but I’m not seeing the results I need. Schedule a consultation call with me.
- I have a brand + website, and I’m having trouble with being consistent with my visuals. Schedule a call with me so we can design a brand suite that’s perfect for your brand.
Now these above need some refining. They could be a little shorter and bit less fluffy (I can be a fluffy type of writer sometimes) but I hope they help you recognize the point I’m trying to make.
They’re put into “I” statements so when your visitors read them they can immediately identify which one more closely relates to their situation.
If you’re really tapped into what your target audience needs and wants, this will come to you very quickly.
Make these options on your homepage with buttons or links that will take them to a page on your website that will get them the information they need or persuade them to take action.
TALK ABOUT YOURSELF
Add a little about yourself on your homepage as well. Remember, to write this copy with your target audience in mind. Bring up their pain points again and how your expertise, background, career journey, etc put you in the position to be instrumental to their success.
Tell them why they need a bad ass like you on their team.
Image Credit to Nesha Woolery at neshawoolery.com
Nesha from neshawoolery.com does a great job with this on her homepage: she gives her expertise and background, discusses some pain points that her target audience is experiencing, and adds in a little social proof towards the bottom:
LINK THEM TO YOUR POSTS:
This one is simple and yet powerful. If your 3 doors didn’t catch them, or maybe they’re just a scroller, place blog post breadcrumbs for them to follow. Display evergreen/foundational blog posts (these are usually posts that are the building blocks to someone learning about your industry or your business) and point them to it.
I know you’ll love this….
Three Reasons Why People Visit Your Homepage and Leave
BRANDING + web design studio for creative entrepreneurs
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