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Strategy

Personalizing Your Home Page: Best Practices and Ideas

Research shows that customers abandon a company if it fails to provide them with a customized experience. Learn how to do it right

Victor Ijidola
April 19 2018

Salesforce’s 2017 State of Marketing report reveals that 52% of customers and 65% of businesses are likely to abandon brands if a company or vendor fails to provide “customized communications.” In other words, customers want your website designed specifically for them. Let’s imagine Jane the real estate agent relied on traditional methods to drive customers to her agency for the past 15 years. Now she wants to go digital, but she knows nothing about designing websites and doesn’t even have the time to learn how to materialize her vision herself. Jane figures she needs a website designer who specializes in real estate. She searches real estate web designer on Google and you show up in her results (assuming you’re a web designer for real estate agents…). Jane lands on your “well-designed” homepage, but it doesn’t really jive with what she’s looking for — a real estate focused web designer.

Jane may stay a little longer on this homepage — due to its beautiful design, but she was specifically looking for a real estate web designer with industry-related experience, not a general designer. When she resumes her search on Google, she finds this homepage (from IDX Central):

Chances are high she’ll engage with this site, as the designer created this page from the end user’s, (the real estate agent’s) perspective.

Attention spans online are now lower than ever, and users quickly bounce from sites that don’t “get you”. Ensure your homepage (and your entire site) is designed to show you really understand your target audience. When conceptualizing your homepage, consider the following: Who are you targeting? What challenges is your audience facing? How does your product solve a specific problem for your target audience? IDX Central (above) indicates that they solve one specific problem for their target audience and this sets them apart from a sea of other web design agencies.

Steer clear of hyperbole

Hyperbole does nothing but make people question your integrity. If you exaggerate every subject, people question your credibility and become skeptical of your brand. Most have found themselves in a situation where a salesperson is advising us to buy something, but we shied away because we suspected the product wouldn’t live up to the pitch. Last year, I found myself in this very situation. I needed to purchase a new computer and the salesperson was steering me towards a popular brand, a change from my usual pick. I stuck with my brand of choice, but a few months later, it failed me. The salesperson’s advice I go a different route was spot on, but I doubted his sincerity because of his hyped up pitch. His exaggerated statements about how great it was was lost on me because he wasn’t backing them up with facts and figures, just gestures and emphatic cries of “This is the best” “You have to have this!” Hyperbole is the reason I didn’t believe the salesman. It’s probably the reason most people don’t trust your homepage copy. Let’s look at the copy below:

This reads as empty words. It says nothing. What exactly does “The #1 Twitter marketing platform” mean? What problem does this product solve? How will this be of use for our specific needs? Now compare that to this:

In contrast, Twilio does a great job explaining the exact problem it solves for its target audience: building software that communicates with everyone in the world. That’s should be one of the driving goals of your homepage. Be clear on which issues your site addresses and can sove for your customers. Don’t exaggerate and make the message to understand at first read. Otherwise, potential customers will become lost in your copy and look elsewhere for a solution to their needs.

Highlight Your Happiest Customers

We’re all aware that happiness and a smile is contagious. Your marketing efforts are best executed when referencing psychological patterns and behaviors. A simple way to enhance your homepage is by featuring customer headshots and accounts. While testimonials on their own are good for product insights, without an image, prospects will have a harder time connecting with the customer and imagining how your product could help them. Including a quote and an image can help mitigate any doubt visitors have when visiting your page and even address important questions or concerns. Testimonials are a great way to show potential customers who is buying your product or using their services. If they see someone they can identify with on a business level, they’ll have an easier time imaging themselves succeeding with your help, and if that person looks happy? They’ll picture themselves feeling satisfied with your product too.

Kissmetrics, for instance, features this testimonial on their homepage:

Testimonials like this may not be the sole reason people are converting on your homepage, but they can help build a connection between potential buyers and your business.

Use these best practices to maximize your homepage, drive customers to your site, and encourage engagement. Put yourself in Jane’s shoes and give users the reassurance that you’re ready to attend to their needs, know what they want, and can help improve their bottom line.

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