Your site’s homepage is likely one of the first points of contact your audience has with your brand. Even if they have already seen you on social media, a great website homepage is the most comprehensive touchpoint you have for communicating value and credibility.
The sheer amount of pressure that comes with trying to leave that amazing first impression in just a couple of seconds can effectively make you question even your best ideas. How do you communicate what you stand for in just a couple of scrolls?
Lead with a Killer Value Proposition
The first thing your visitors will read is your value proposition. If it’s not composed well, i.e., if you don’t clearly communicate what you are offering and what you can do for your audience, most of them are likely to bounce.
A good value proposition needs to address a clear problem, show the benefits of your product or service, and connect its value to the solution. Ideally, you want to focus on the customer and not on yourself. Customers are not at all likely to care about all the research and hard work that has gone into getting you where you are now. All they will care about is whether you can solve their problem.
Let’s take a look at an example. Aura ticks all the required boxes:
- They are making realistic promises — without using any numbers or percentages, they are saying you can maximize your Amazon sales.
- They are using the language of their target audience without reaching for jargon. Terms like Amazon repricer and revenue analytics will be understood by their leads.
- They’ve kept it short and to the point; they aren’t veering off course.
- There is a great balance between the value of the product (increasing sales and profits) and the features of the product (artificial intelligence and machine learning).
- They are clear about who they have made the tool for: FBA sellers.
- They give you two routes to take: learn more about the product itself or start a free trial and see for yourself.
Give Your Brand a Human Face
In the B2C world, it’s incredibly important to show you are more than just a faceless brand that cares about its bottom line and nothing else. Customers will prefer to do business with a relatable brand, someone whom they perceive as trustworthy and human.
It’s also much easier to connect with a brand when you know who you are working with. By adding a face to the name, or in the larger sense, a face to the brand, you can forge relationships faster and make them more meaningful in the long run.
The best way to do that? Say it with a video! Menlo Coaching features a very short clip of their founders talking directly to the camera, i.e., the client, which makes you, the viewer, feel like they are speaking to you as an individual. You are not just a sale to them; you are a valued customer.
They have also very cleverly shown some shots of their staff, which adds another layer of humanity and connection. The video is not overly produced, and it isn’t too polished. Just two people telling you how they can help your MBA dreams.
Showcase Your Product
If you are selling products, it’s important to show them as early on as possible. This is especially important if your product is something rather complex or unconventional, something your audience might not be too familiar with.
Aim to strike a balance between explaining what you do but without overwhelming a visitor with too much information and too much text. You want them to feel intrigued and eager to explore more, not give up out of sheer frustration.
Use images to show the product instead of using excessive words. Keep your sentences short. Each of them should contain just one thought. Limit yourself to the key features and benefits.
January does a great job with its site’s homepage. Their value proposition piques your interest, and as you keep scrolling, you learn more: what the app does and how, why this matters to you, what you need to do, etc. The screenshots they’ve provided show you what to expect from the interface without overwhelming you with medical jargon.
Shine a Spotlight on Product Reviews
Most brands will feature product reviews on their product pages. However, you shouldn’t wait until someone lands on a product page to see what other customers have to say about your products. If they never make it past the homepage, they will never see them.
Since you are already showcasing your products on the homepage, make sure that you also show their star ratings or some of the positive reviews customers have left. This will increase your chances of customers clicking through and checking out these products in more detail.
Make sure you find the right balance, though, as you don’t want to turn your homepage into a category page. You still want it to contain plenty of copy and imagery that speaks about the brand itself and not just about a specific product or range of products.
Take a look at ATH. They have a relatively small section on their homepage that showcases their products, and they’ve cleverly included the ratings of each product, as well as the number of reviews these ratings are based on. It’s a great way to show how satisfied their customers are.
This is especially important in their industry or for any other “your money or your life” brand that sells a product that can significantly impact the lives of their customers.
Link to Earned Media
A lot of brands are listing their earned media mentions as a form of social proof. And while this works very well and can certainly boost your credibility significantly, it’s also often rather hollow.
Think about it: anyone can put up a Forbes or Inc logo on their homepage. How will a visitor know if they have actually been mentioned by a said news outlet? No one will actually take the time to do a search and see what the article says. They will probably just skip over the earned media section in a “seen it before” manner.
It is much more meaningful to actually link to the articles that mention your brand. This will allow your visitors to read them and give you an added layer of credibility. Plus, it will prove that you were actually mentioned by said major media outlets. StarryAI did this on their homepage, and they instantly stand out in a sea of similar homepages that feature no links.
Get a Specialist to Endorse Your Brand
There’s nothing like being endorsed by someone to elevate the credibility of your brand. Don’t think of this person as a celebrity or a social media influencer. Think of them as someone who is an expert in your field or industry or whose word and recommendation will help you prove to your audience that your product or service is genuine.
You don’t need to look for someone who is a household name or someone who has a huge following. Their own credibility is more important than their salesmanship.
Somnifix did a good job by choosing Mark Burhenne, a family and sleep medicine dentist, to endorse their brand. While he does have his own website, that’s not what makes him the right choice. It’s his expertise in sleep hygiene.
They’ve also chosen a great quote. You’ll notice that he doesn’t even mention the brand itself. He talks about mouth breathing and what it can do to your health, which gives an added layer of gravitas to the rest of the copy on Somnifix’s homepage.
Show Some Convincing Numbers
Some customers will want to see hard proof that your brand is worth their time and money. They will care less about your words and more about cold, hard numbers.
If you decide to feature digits on your homepage, make sure you are exceptionally careful with the context in which you mention them. You want to be perfectly clear if this number (whatever it is) is something all of your customers can expect or if it’s just an example.
The best solution is perhaps to show the kinds of numbers that don’t make any particular promises. For example, WordStream has chosen to focus on the impact they’ve made. They list the number of their customers and the number of leads they’ve delivered to them, which is enough to convince you that this is a brand you will want to work with.
Answer Customer Questions
Another great way to add more credibility to your homepage is to provide the answers to the questions your leads are most likely to have. This will save them the time of having to look for the answer on some of your other pages or having to get in touch with you directly. Saving them time and effort is also a great way to boost user experience.
The questions you choose to answer will make all the difference. A lot of brands choose to stick to the most basic ones that they’ve already answered elsewhere or questions that don’t actually impact their decision-making process.
Gong has done an excellent job with this strategy. Note that they don’t actually provide the answers. They just throw you the hook and expect you to book a demo. They have tailored this section of their homepage to different customer roles. Thus, they’re able to appeal to various audience segments easily, demonstrating their value for all of them.
Use a Video (Only If It Makes Sense)
Using a video on your homepage can also give you the space to demonstrate your credibility more effectively. This format allows you to share more information in less time, and you can truly capture the interest of your leads.
However, there are a couple of things to note about using video. First, you need to make sure that it loads very fast and completely seamlessly. If it slows your homepage down, it may tank your Core Web Vitals scores, meaning your rankings will suffer. It will also be very bad for your UX, as customers are not likely to wait around for longer than a couple of seconds.
You should also carefully consider whether you want the video to autoplay or not. It may be distracting to a lot of visitors, and you may get on their nerves inadvertently. Definitely make sure to mute the video at least, even if you do put it on autoplay.
Technogym has done a decent job. The first slide on their homepage is a still, and only the second one is a video. They do have several autoplay videos further down the page, which all show their product and what it does for their customers, so it’s not a bad effort, but it is somewhat distracting from the copy.
On the other hand, you can argue that the video does a better job of converting visitors than the text ever could.
Optimize for Various Sales Funnels
A great way to communicate your credibility is to let your audience choose their own conversion path. This will tell them that you understand that they all have different needs and that your brand has the scope to help solve all kinds of pain points.
Ideally, you will highlight your two most important conversion paths. Don’t try to put more than two front and center, as giving your customers too many choices will seem overwhelming. Unless, of course, you have three or more distinct services or paths that you want to highlight, all of which are equally important.
Take a look at Unbounce. They have two CTAs in their hero section. One is designed for those looking to write better copy, and the other is aimed at those who want to build a landing page.
The brand has more products, but they’ve chosen these two as the ones that will likely be the most popular. Their menu and the rest of their homepage give you more options, but by cutting the road to conversion shorter, they’ve shown that they understand their customers. Plus, they’ve certainly shown just how advanced their solutions are.
With these ten tips in mind, take a look at your homepage with a fresh set of eyes. You may discover that there is nothing that you need to change. On the other hand, if one of these examples appeals to you (and you believe it might work for your audience, too), take the time to analyze all the relevant metrics you are currently seeing to be able to compare the tweaks you’re about to implement. Otherwise, how would you know your new homepage is performing better?