Running a successful eCommerce store in the increasingly competitive online world is becoming, to put it mildly, a challenging task. Now that companies from almost every industry in the world are venturing into the online realm in order to stay afloat during a global pandemic (or simply because digital technologies facilitate easy eCommerce integration), the online marketplace is becoming more saturated than ever before. This is why you have to invest in optimizing your website across the board, as an amazing website is one of the most important elements of a successful startup.
However, while you will see many articles detailing the tips on optimizing your website as a whole, rarely will you find a guide on optimizing the first page people will see when they venture on your site – your homepage. This is the place where people will immediately form an opinion of your brand, which is why your top priority should be to optimize your home page in order to boost website conversions, gain brand exposure, ensure brand stickiness, and build trust and loyalty. Here to help you achieve all of this are the five tips you need to implement.
Start with the user’s intent in mind
People search the web for a specific reason, which is why you need to optimize every page on your site to answer their questions, help them find what they’re looking for, and most importantly, to fit their exact intentions. Think of it this way, would you buy anything from a site that tried to force you into a purchase with flashy pop-ups and aggressive CTAs when you only wanted to research a product and educate yourself before making a purchase? Of course, you wouldn’t, and in fact, chances are that you would never return to the site again.
The same goes for your customers. This is why user intent is so important because it tells you what stage of the shopping journey the customer is in. Leverage your analytics tools to find out if your homepage visitors are looking for information, comparing prices and options, or if they’re ready and committed to buying. Then, optimize your copy, CTAs, and content, in general, to inspire them to stick around and ultimately make a purchase.
Optimize for high SERP ranking
Yes, it’s imperative that you optimize your homepage for stellar user experience, but what good is it going to do if people can’t find your website in the first place? You have to ensure a consistent ranking on the first page of Google if you are to build brand authority, trust, and consumer loyalty, which is why you have to invest in search engine optimization, which will ultimately bring more traffic to your site.
Now, while it is important to optimize every page, your homepage should take precedence because you don’t want your product pages to rank high while your homepage is nowhere to be found – remember that people will want to check out your homepage first in order to get to know the brand. Be sure to weave your most relevant keywords into the copy and your visual content, utilize your headers, meta descriptions, URL, and technical SEO such an XML sitemap to help Google index your homepage properly and propel it up the SERP ladder.
Use much visual content as possible
Visuals can make or break an online brand, especially in the fast-paced e-commerce realm where people don’t really have the time or the willpower to read lengthy homepage copy. Instead, they want to obtain as much information about your brand as possible quickly, so you have a pretty narrow window of opportunity to dazzle them and inspire them to stick around. This is why you should leverage visual content to tell the story and convey your value proposition.
Some of the best examples of high-converting visual content include the infographics and illustrations from the Infostarters team that specializes in branded visuals that condense information, keep the users engaged, and inspire them to create an emotional connection with the brand. Instead of using written content, use images, infographics, and illustrations to achieve better results.
Guide your customers on a journey
Speaking of better results, keep in mind that people that land on your homepage is most likely not ready to buy anything. Your goal should be to inspire them to make a purchase and to do that you need to guide them on a shopping journey. Be sure to use creative content and compelling storytelling to create an engaging narrative, and introduce the customer to your brand, your world, and your values.
This will further incentivize them to learn what you’re all about and to check out your product pages. As you might have guessed, storytelling is also one of the key differences between good and bad web design in eCommerce.
Weave social proof throughout
And finally, no matter if you’re trying to improve your corporate brand or if you’re striving for personal development and are trying to create an amazing personal eCommerce business, you have to use social proof on your homepage. This is the not-so-simple act of incentivizing new visitors to repeat the actions of your existing customers by showing them user-generated content and displaying subtle notifications whenever someone buys a product or interacts with your website in a positive way.
In practice, this means that you need to weave user-generated content like testimonials, images and videos, and reviews into your homepage, and then use a social proof tool that will display those little notifications in the corner to show the visitors that others are actually buying from you. This will help create a homepage with a high conversion probability.
Your homepage is arguably the most important page on your site. This is the place where people will decide to stick around or hit that back button, so be sure to use these tips to optimize your homepage for maximum conversions, brand loyalty, and long-term success.