When someone lands on your website for the first time, there’s a lot on the line. Either they’re going to have a meaningful experience that leads to a positive impression of the brand and/or a purchase, or they’re going to have a negative or indifferent experience that drives them away.
Ultimately, you have influence over what your audience experiences.
Try These 4 Techniques
Every visitor who lands on your website has some sort of experience. These experiences will be diverse and have to do with the individual on the receiving end, as well as a variety of external and independent factors that have nothing to do with your website. And while you can’t do anything about the uncontrollable factors, you can design and develop your website – particularly the homepage – so that it engages visitors on a meaningful level.
If you’re unsure of where to start, you aren’t alone. Engaging first-time website visitors is challenging, but the following tips and techniques may be able to show you something:
- Tell a Story
It’s one thing to list a bunch of facts and tell visitors why your brand is so great. It’s something else entirely to wrap these details up into a story or narrative that explains where your business came from, what you’re doing today, and where you want to be in the future.
As humans, we’re naturally drawn to stories. It’s why we like books, movies, plays, music, poetry, and history. They’re all rooted in storytelling. By finding a way to tell your brand’s story through web design and content, you can tap into this human desire and strategically position your brand in the minds of prospective customers.
- Use Social Proof
Are you currently using social proof on your website? Well, you need to be.
“When you’re browsing a landing page and see a testimonial from an industry expert you respect, that’s social proof,” digital marketer Shanelle Mullin explains. “When you’re cruising a pricing page and you see that an industry giant is already using the tool, that’s social proof. When you sign up for a demo because you see the tool solved the exact problem you have for a similar company, that’s social proof.”
You can implement social proof in several ways – including through testimonials, case studies, endorsements, relevant data points, and trust icons from reputable groups and organizations. The key is to keep it simple and let the proof do the talking.
- Use Video to Humanize
Written content has its place, but it’s impossible to deny the efficacy of visual content – especially video. It has a unique ability to breathe life into what is otherwise an inanimate object (your brand). If you study successful brands, you’ll notice how they strategically leverage video to humanize their products and services.
This overhead doors website for Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. is a good example. If you scroll about halfway down the page, you’ll notice a video with the caption “We believe in the power of our people.” It’s a professionally produced video that features the people behind the business, rather than the product. This results in a stronger feeling of who the company is and what it stands for.
- Make the Homepage Easy on the Eyes
Finally, you need to make sure your homepage is easy on the eyes. While some users will arrive on a landing page, most first-time visitors will, at some point, find their way to your homepage. Simple, clean, minimalistic design will take your business far.
Don’t Miss an Opportunity
If it were easy to engage first-time website visitors, every business would have stellar conversion rates. But it doesn’t have to be nearly as challenging as some make it out to be. By following some basic psychological principles and proven marketing/design tactics, you can make progress in this area.