No matter what business you run, your websites goal is to make a great first impression.
But making a great first impression isn't always easy and it's also not the most important goal to have.
Really? You ask… YES REALLY.
Today, I'd like to reveal to you what the best businesses are doing with their websites. Using this technique will not only make the best first impression but also make your website more effective in generating leads and sales.
Digital marketing has evolved and matured a lot in the last few years thanks to the technology afforded to marketers. Smart marketing companies can analyse data, user behaviour and conversion metrics to see what brings the best results.
Because of this, companies that split-test repeatedly have begun to show us the way to practise sound digital strategies. This is great news for small businesses who are observant because they can replicate these ideas without the expensive overheads of the big corporate giants.
So, what is the #1 technique being used today? It’s what I call creating a clear pathway to profit.
Take a look at Xero.com
The home page has a very simple interface with 3 core elements;
The headline: “Online accounting software for your small business”
The sub-headline: “Xero is beautiful online accounting software. Log in online any time and see up-to-date business financials – from anywhere on Mac, PC, tablet or mobile.”
Call to action: Two primary click throughs; “Try Xero for free” and “Learn More”
Now look at your website.
How much do you have going on right now?
Is there a clear message and a focused pathway that your customers will follow?
If not, then it’s time to re-think your online presence and clarify your online objectives.
This is even true if you sell multiple products or services. Defining a clear pathway that is easy for your visitors to access is vital to creating a pathway to profit.
In other words: Reduce overwhelm and limit the visitors choice so they’re more likely to take the actions you want them to take.
Headlines That Pack A Punch
Vague and ‘clever’ headlines rarely convert visitors to customers. Speaking plainly while clearly identifying benefits to your customers make a big difference.
Let’s break this down further.
The headline: “Online accounting software for your small business” simply states what Xero is. There are a lot of different headlines you could start with, but this is simple, clean and to the point.
It's important that your headline grabs attention. In Xero's case, there's great design technique allowing the top of the page to breathe – there's a lot of space and what is important is all alone on the page. Each other example in this blog post follows a similar pattern – for good reason. This is what you want your customer to focus on.
The sub-headline: “Xero is beautiful online accounting software. Log in online any time and see up-to-date business financials – from anywhere on Mac, PC, tablet or mobile” is packed with features and benefits in a simple, easy to read format.
Here’s the features and benefits;
- Beautiful – if you’re like me you only choose software if it is beautiful to look at and use.
- Online accounting software – some people are looking for an online (cloud based) solution.
- Any time – Want to check your cashflow at 11pm? No problem.
- See up-to-date business financials – Targeted at owners & managers, up-to-date is as good as it gets.
- From anywhere – Away on holiday and want to see how the business is going? Xero has you covered.
- On Mac, PC, tablet or mobile – Covered on all devices so this removes any possible objections.
Your sub-headline gives you the ideal opportunity to really highlight what is great about what you provide. Use it wisely.
Your Pathway To Profit
A lot of businesses have a primary product or service and minor products and services.
If you were to split your revenue based on your services you might find that 80% of your profit comes from one particular service. The remaining 20% might come from secondary services or 1-off small jobs that you occasionally take on.
If that's the case, your pathway to profit is the service that creates the 80% of your profit. That's the key ingredient to focus on with your home page headline and calls to action.
It makes sense for that to be the most prominent on your site, yet most businesses give equal size and positioning to their core service as they do to their minor offerings.
Work out what your primary service is and promote that first and foremost.
Your secondary services can be promoted in minor pages and found through your menu structure.
The button, “Try Xero for free” is Xero’s pathway to profit. It’s the one action the company would like you to take because it gives the best opportunity for the company to convert you from a visitor to a paying customer.
The button, “Learn More” is a great way to lead prospects who aren't ready for a trial to find out more information.
Here are a few more examples of companies that continually split test and optimise their website for conversions. As you’ll see, they all follow a very similar approach.
The headline: Simple Help Desk Software
The sub-headline: Delight your online customers with awesome, personal support.
Call to action: Sign Up Free
The headline: The All-In-One Sales Platform
The sub-headline: Sales people use Base to win more deals faster. Sales leaders use it to gain powerful pipeline insights. Win-win.
Call to action: Try Base For Free and Request A Demo
The headline: Built to Optimize Marketing
The sub-headline: Kissmetrics delivers key insights and timely interactions to turn visitors into customers.
Call to action: Log In With Google
The headline: Products to Power Your Online Visibility
The sub-headline: Online marketing is complicated. Moz software makes it easy.
Call to action: See Moz Products
The headline: Helping companies create remarketing experiences
The sub-headline: Easy and visual marketing software for automating the customer journey
Call to action: Try it now free
Work out what your first impression will be and create a clear path to profit. Use the prompts below to create the headline, sub-headline and calls to action for your website.
Headline Ideas: Clearly state what your business does so new visitors can quickly identify if they’re in the right place
Sub-Headline Ideas: Create a list of features and benefits then formulate an easy to understand, compelling sub-headline
Calls to action: Stick to one or two calls to action only. A ‘learn more’ call to action can lead prospects to another page that has more information.
I can imagine you’re going to struggle coming up with something as simple and elegant as the examples shown, but don’t quit now! You’re so close. Also, I know from my own personal experience that this does NOT come easily.
At Digital Domination, we often re-work headlines dozens of times before we’re happy with the result. So give it a go and see what you can come up with.