The perfect homepage anatomy in 4 easy steps.

Updated:
February 27, 2021
It is easy to put everything onto your homepage. This article explains what elements are most important to convert your visitor. Delete the rest.

Table of Contents

You’ve built a beautiful website and many visitors have come. 

But you’re noticing that not many are contacting you.

So now you’re here to look for ways to improve your homepage so more visitors will become customers?

You’re at the right place. 

All you need to do is remember a simple acronym. 

WISE

  1. Who do you help?
  2. Identify your customers pain points
  3. Support with Social proof
  4. Entice with Call to action
WISE

That’s it. 

WISE Meme 1

Get that right, and you’ll be converting much more than you were before.

Let’s get started.

Who do you help and how?

Webpages that work the best are ones that help a specific type of individual. 

They work because when someone that fits that description lands on this page, they will feel like this page was written just for them.

Why did they come onto your site?

It is very likely that they are looking for a solution to their problem. They are really hoping you will be the one to give them their answer.

They want to know that you understand them and can empathise with them.

If you happen to show that you understand their problem, the next part of the puzzle is to show how you are uniquely different from your competitors.

If you are in a competitive industry, it is likely there are dozens of competitors local to you or countless many online. 

Why should your customer work with you and not your competitor?

Let’s take a look at some good examples.

Example 1 - podiatrygrowth.com

Podiatry Growth

We know exactly who this website helps. 

This website helps Podiatrists grow their business. 

This absolutely answers the two questions:

  1. Who do you help? - Podiatrists
  2. How? - Marketing

Example 2 - flux-academy.com

Flux Academy

Flux Academy helps budding creatives become better at Web Design. 

It is simple and effective. If you are looking to improve your web design skills and you land on this page, you know you’re at the right place.

Identify your customers’ pain points

Showing empathy is an important trait to have.

Especially when it is on a website and not face to face.

Empathy is #1 rule for “new product innovation success” according to a Nielsen analysis of 61,000 SKUs representing more than 12,000 new launches since 2011. 

What does showing empathy do?

  • It gives them the feeling that they are being understood.
  • It creates a connection between you and your customer.
  • They are more likely to trust you.
Pain Points

How do you show empathy?

You start by understanding their problem and articulating their feelings. 

Here are some examples of feelings that potential customers of installing solar panels on their roof:

  1. Frustrations with poor Post-installation warranty.
  2. Annoyed that the solar installer they were speaking to are not the ones that are installing because the work was subcontracted out to underqualified staff.
  3. Fear of fire hazards and leaky roofs because they have heard of other installations going bad due to poor workmanship.
  4. Skepticism towards all Chinese solar brands as they have heard of low-quality manufacturing for some brands.
  5. Confused with dozens of different choices, leading to indecision
  6. Doubt that the system being sold will end up saving them the amount of money that was promised.

All these pains would lead to inaction and objections by the consumer. 

Once you understand what your customers are feeling, now it is time to spell it out in 1 of 2 ways.

  1. Ask the right questions
  2. Give a quote that your customer might say themselves.

Asking the right questions - jonathanstark.com

You have to ask the thought provoking questions.

Asking good quality questions shows you understand what is going on.

It shows expertise.

Because only experts know  what questions to ask.

Typically, the questions you ask illicit a “yes” answer.

Here’s an example of something that worked for me.

One of my problems was wanting to charge more for my web development services. But I had a fear that if I asked for an hourly rate of $300/hr, my customers would run away. 

The copy on this page was perfect for me. Jonathan understood my problems because he was able to articulate how I was feeling.

Value Pricing Bootcamp



You don’t need to have fancy images, sliders (link), animations, etc. Good copy on your page will work.

Giving a quote - refactoringui.com/book

I knew (and still do) that I suck at design.

I look at all these beautiful UI examples of thousands of creative individuals and organisations out there, and my designs seem to pale in comparison.

I wanted to improve. 

I look at my designs, and they’re ok.

Just “meh”.

But I’m not sure how to make it better.

And then I came to this website that sells a book on how to improve your design skills.

And this was one of the first things that I read:

Reactoring Ui

This sentence spoke to my soul.

This page knew me better than I knew myself.

I could not click the “buy this book” fast enough.

It was the most I ever spent on a book. 

But it was worth it.

Refactoring UI book

Giving a quote - go.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/how-to-talk-to-anybody/

iwillteachyoutoberich

Support with Social proof

You’ve done great to get this point. Your copy and structure would now be better than many of your competitors. 

The next step in your customers’ journey is to lower the perceived risk.

Show them that you have helped others who have had similar problems as they did.

Social proof can be accomplished in many ways.

Testimonials

Not all testimonials are the same.

Compare these two. One testimonial is all “fluff”, whilst the other is full of figures and results.

Testimonial 1:

Daniel from Company A was really easy to work with. He responded to our requests, did what we had asked him, and we would recommend him to our friends.

Testimonial 2:

Daniel from Company A decreased our home page bounce rate by 20% and increased our conversion rate by 5% within 2 weeks. Our sales have increased by 40% as a result.

Which one is more compelling?

Of course Testimonial 2!

Even if you’ve done a great job, your customer may not know how to write the best testimonial for you. 

So the next time you’re asking for a testimonial, be sure to prompt them with these questions:

  • What problem did you have before?
  • What problem did I fix?
  • How long did it take me?
  • What was the outcome?
  • How has your business improved as a result?

Here’s a look at an example of a fantastic testimonial:

Entourage Testimonial

Other customers taking action

There are very few marketing efforts as effective as FOMO. Also known as “Fear of missing out”.

The tactic preys on your fear that others are getting the benefit of a product, whilst you are not. Whether the product has any real or tangible effect on you is not the issue.

At kogan.com (online retailer), whilst browsing their thousands of products, your attention will be cut every few minutes by a small popup on the bottom left-hand corner.

It shows what they bought, when it was bought and their suburb.

This is very compelling.

Kogan Social Proof

Case Studies

A case study is a retelling of the story between you and one of your previous customers.

Who doesn’t like a good story?

Everyone does.

You are giving a behind-the-curtains sneak peek at your process, what problems you can solve, and what the outcome was.

More importantly, it is a “before” and “after” comparison.

You are demonstrating expertise and that you can apply the same methods from a previous customer to a new customer.

Here’s an example of a website I built for formaselectrics.com.au

Formosa Electrics Case Study

Previous clients

Showing logos of companies that you have previously worked with gives a good indication of what you are able to do. 

Here’s an example of stripe.com

Previous Clients

The companies that use Stripe are large and well known. Your customer will feel more confident dealing with you.

Entice with Call to Action

Your customer has reached the point where you are asking them to take action.

Just a recap, this was their journey:

  • They came looking for a solution to their problem.
  • They felt like you understood their problems better than most.
  • They’ve read that you’ve helped others with the same problems.

If they are convinced, you must give them an action to take.

The action should be framed in such a way that the customer is getting additional value.

It should be very easy to see.

That action should also be free. Or extremely low commitment - eg. $1.

Also, be sure to use a verb at the start. You’re asking your visitor to take action. Here are some verbs you can use

  • Download
  • Get
  • Book
  • Call
  • Watch
  • Create
  • Start
  • Add

Give them a free resource

The free resource could be an ebook, more tips, email drip sequence, video or something that is behind a wall of some sort. 

In exchange for this free resource, ask them to commit something small, such as their email address.

Once you have their email address, then you can start having conversations with them, and continue to offer value.

Value Pricing Bootcamp

Ensure that the email address is linked to a CRM. Mailchimp is free and easy to set up. 

In addition, ensure that there is an easy way for your subscriber to unsubscribe. It is far better to have them not be a subscriber any longer than for your list to be marked as spam.

Book a call

To your customer, it could be extremely valuable to have a 15-minute one-on-one phone conversation with you. 

The call isn’t so that you can sell your services to them. That would likely turn them away. 

The call is so you can find out what problems they have, and see if you can cater a custom solution for their problem. In essence, the call is another way of giving value.

For free. 

The easiest way is to create an account with calendly.com. Their user interface is fantastic and extremely easy to use both for the vendor and the client.

Calendly has a few ways to integrate with your website. 

Calendly

Any one of these would work well.

Download something for free

Spotify

Downloading a piece of software, PDF, video etc for free feels like actually getting something. Although it is not physical, your visitor gets to keep this permanently. 

It feels tangible.

Simple contact form

If you do not have the resources to create either of the above for your customers, at least have a contact form for them to get in touch with you.

Contact forms should have as least fields as possible. If all you need is an email address to get started, then just ask for their email address. You don’t even need their name.

But if you do need their name, then try limiting it to just 3 fields.

  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email
Form Fields

Be warned. The more fields you ask for, the less likely they will be willing to give it to you.

Don’t use “Submit”. This is bland and overused.

Use one of the action words above.

Conclusion

You’ve now gone through the WISE process.

  1. Who do you help?
  2. Identify your customers pain points
  3. Support with Social Proof
  4. Entice with Call to Action

It is time for you to implement onto your website.

WISE meme 2

Additional questions

Features and Benefits?

“What about features and benefits?”

“Features and benefits” is very much focused on you.

Your customers don’t care about you. They only care about themselves. 

They came to your website looking for a solution to their problem.

“Features and benefits” will dilute your message.

Take a look at your competitor’s websites. At least 70% of them will show some type of “features and benefits”. 

Here’s an example:

Features

Anyone can write this. There is nothing special with these features, nor does it seem unique in any way. 

It is entirely focused on the vendor and not on the consumer.

If you must include it, this section should only be included at the end, not at the start.

Latest posts

The primary goal of your page is to guide your visitor to your call to action.

Your blog articles should be a place for your visitors to come into your website. 

Not a place where you want them to go after your home page.

Here’s an example:

Latest News

The articles may be great, but they tend to do more harm than good.

Furthermore, as of the publishing of this article in Feb 2021, the latest posts on this particular website show that they are 8 months old. There have been no new articles since then.

This could indicate to your visitor that your website is not maintained and kept up to date. 

Unless you are capable of producing content on a regular basis, I would suggest not having a latest post section.

There is a difference between showing your latest posts, and putting links into copy. I don’t think showing latest posts is worthwhile, but linking out to them on the page is useful. 



Lucian Wu

Lucian Wu

Lucian is passionate about fighting climate change. He is an engineer, husband, father of 2 boys, solar panel enthusiast and hopes to one day own a Tesla. Sometimes, he wakes up at 4am to watch Liverpool FC play.

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