Is Your Old Style Homepage Killing Your Conversion Rate?

23 Sep 2017

 

Does your homepage have a ton of text on it? Hate to tell you, but that's probably not working as well as you'd like for converting visitors into clients.  The long homepage format  -- of 1000+ words of persuasion, objection nullifying, and benefit building -- that used to be THE wise way to market, is now considered unproductive, unnecessary, and virtually dead. And in the virtual world, that ain't good.

 

What happened?

 

A number of factors are contributing to the demise of the content rich home page:

 

1. Rapidly increasing internet browsing on cell phones. Those 1000+ word homepages seem three time longer on a cell phone, and become quite tedious to scroll through, giving us what one designer calls "finger scrolling fatigue". Visitors want quick access to what they came there for, or they will go elsewhere. That means designing a home page that quickly shows the reader what to do to get what they are looking for -- if they even see the homepage at all.

 

2. Social media done right takes readers directly to niche pages or blog. If your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn posts are referring people to your website -- and they should be -- those links should be going either to the blog post you are promoting, or to a niche specific page.  In other words, if your social media post is about suicide prevention month and hotline number, that post should link back to your website page on depression or to a blog on what to expect when calling a hotline. 

 

3. Visitors have little patience for wading through a long form marketing pitch. Anxious or depressed visitors just want a list of symptoms to validate that they are right in thinking they need help, and a then a second list of ways they can feel better by working with you.

 

Highly sensitive or empathic visitors who think they are going crazy from picking up others' emotions all the time are looking for points of understanding what psychoenergetic empathic connection is all about, and then a brief list of ways to have stronger perceptual and interpretive boundaries.

 

People experiencing messages from their deceased grandma are hoping to learn how to distinguish between psychospiritual phenomenon and mental illness.

 

4. Newest design styles are modular and prioritize images. Websites that have a wall of text just plain look old, tired, and boring. Use of huge photos -- called hero shots when used at the top of a page -- are in.  Big, vibrant, pictures worth that 1000 words tell your story better than paragraph after paragraph can. 
And that's challenging for psychotherapists in particular who don't have tangible products to feature on a homepage. And those blocks of color and brief sentences are much easier to deal with on a cell phone or iPad-mini screen.

 

What's true of the demise of the homepage is, to a lesser extent, also true of what I call the niche specialty pages -- those titled something like Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Channeled Messages from the Deceased, Reiki for Pets, and so on.

 

 

If Your Homepage is Dead, Can it Be Revived?

 

Definitely. With some work, a new vision, and a change in your marketing mindset. 

 

Overhaul and Repurpose

Solopreneur websites that have been around for more than 3-5 years really need an overhaul in both design and content editing and repurposing. I'm seeing my colleague designers redoing theirs, and I'm working on mine too. It's smart to upgrade your online look to avoid being thought of as a relic -- or worse, out of business.

 

Here's what I'd recommend for you:

 

Blog, Blog and Blog Some More

If you haven't been blogging much, it's time to start. This is where your best SEO and conversion juice is now. If you need help with finding ideas, get a copy of my guide on blogging -- use the sign up form on the main blog page.

 

Convert Pages to Posts

If you are reluctant to throw out well written niche pages -- and I wouldn't -- consider shifting some of those long pages over to being a blog post, and add an optimized photo to it. Then install a blog gallery feature to the bottom of your niche pages and set the gallery to show only the related topics category. That means needing to add the category to each of your posts so the Wix tool can find the right posts to show in the gallery.

 

Rewrite Your Niche Pages & Add Relevant Photos

There is a sweet spot between too little content and too much. Although some years ago one or two research studies showed that the longer a web page was the better it performed, that message missed a few key points. What is important is that: 

  • niche pages make an emotionally compelling connection 

  • content speaks in client's language

  • you avoid professional jargon

  • you outline the problem they way the client experiences it

  • you enumerate the benefits of your solution they way they want to feel it

  • content tells them exactly what to do next (strong call to action)

Those key points can be done in 500 words, or 1500. The length is NOT the magic. Don't fixate on word count.

 

Highlight Brief FAQs

If you have a short FAQ page that is basically just the naming of your fee, a list of insurances you take, any important limitations such as don't bring children to your personal session, and buttons for your forms, consider moving that material to your new homepage.

 

Specialties Links

List your specialties on the home page as a set of links -- each one should forward to a niche page for that topic. Do this even though they are in the menu bar because as a special section of the page they are more visible at a glance.

 

Delete Contact Page

If all you have on a contact page is your address, phone, map, email and email form, consider putting all that in the footer of the website so it's visible on all pages. Install an anchor for the footer that connects to the menu tab for Contact. Explore the new map designs to find one that best matches your site's color scheme.

 

Promote Your Blog Posts on Social Media

Many of my clients are unsure how to use social media. Rather than just sharing memes others have created, or commenting on political or mental health posts, promote your own blog! If nothing else, this can be a useful way to drive more people to your website, which is good for SEO. Do that by taking the url for each new blog post to your social media status, pasting it in, and saying something enticing about the blog that will get people to click your link. Look for the special tool Wix provides during the blog publish process to make that relatively easy.

 

Use Animated Text and Video Backgrounds

Two of the more obvious features that distinguish a fresh contemporary website from a dead one is the use of movement to draw and hold attention. That movement is commonly done by animating how headlines enter the page, and by having a web-optimized video background on the home page.  Here's an example of the homepage of my own newest website.

 

Want some help in re-envisioning your older website? Send me your URL and request a quick consult. More info at DeWixDoctor.com.

 

 

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