As a kid, I loved window shopping in New York City. Walking down the street, seeing the displays in the store windows.
Fast forward to the year 2022, and for many companies – B2B and B2C alike – their flagship storefront is the company’s homepage.
So, to spark your best thinking for your website’s main webpage, in this article we bring you quick case studies from a gaming startup, influencer marketing agency, and training provider.
This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
When it comes to homepage marketing, you have two goals – get more people to the homepage, then get more people through the homepage (getting to a category, product, or content page, filling out a form, making a call, etc.).
But you won’t find success by focusing on the medium itself – in this case, the homepage. Marketing success is achieved by better understanding the customer. As our CEO Flint McGlaughlin puts it, “The marketer overcomes the negative resistance of gravity with the positive force of psychology” (via Call To Action Examples: Compare 5 versions and see a 52% increase in conversion).
To inspire your next great homepage marketing idea, we bring you three examples in this article. First, a gaming startup that attracted more visitors to its homepage by understanding the psychology of Reddit users. Then, an influencer marketing agency that increased the conversion rate of its homepage by listening to the inner thoughts of users as they navigated the page. And finally, a training provider that tried multiple homepage variations to discover what attracts a customer call.
“Reddit is definitely a good source of organic traffic,” says Dmitry Beseda, CMO, LF.Group. “The quality of the Reddit audience automatically guarantees you won’t be stuck in a cold outreach there. It is a perfect fit for some upper levels of a marketing funnel.”
One of the gaming startup’s very first Reddit posts was published in the World of Warcraft (r/wow) subreddit.
The post had a visual of characters from South Park playing video games. The World of Warcraft and LF.Group logos were superimposed on the image along with the words “A new way to find friends!”
You can see the text of the post below (terminology definition: LFG stands for Looking For Group, slang for looking for people to play online games with).
Dear community, we have a new LFG service for you. We believe it's cool. But you're welcome to destroy us.
LF.Group was created with love by people who started playing WoW back in 2004.
Now we're old, we have families and take pills to sleep better.
But we still feel deep pain every time we use in-game LFG :/
So here we are with our vision of WoW LFG toolkit.
What are the main features?
Ah, one more thing! LF.Group is completely free and we don't have any plans for monetization :)
We are open to critics and any feedback would be very valuable to us.
Welcome - discord.gg/lfgroup
Before posting, the team got in touch with the admins of the subreddit to make sure it was OK to publish what they want.
Creative Sample #1: Message to subreddit admins
The first post that introduced the service to the WoW players received 486 upvotes and 129 comments.
The team gathered feedback from the subreddit that informed major improvements.
The gaming startup’s overall content strategy on Reddit managed to raise monthly website traffic by 47% and is still driving relevant traffic even though it’s been a couple of months since their last post. Also, Reddit brings the company almost 3x more registrations than other sources.
If you would like to launch a Reddit content strategy for your IT startup, offline product, or other project, the team provided the following advice.
Start with finding the best subreddit fit for the content you want to share
It all starts with the theme of the subreddit. You can use the Reddit search engine to look for the subreddits that fit the theme of your company’s content.
When you find the biggest one, look thoroughly through its structure and contents. There’s a great chance that there could be a wiki page right in the subreddit, which shows the links to the related subs. Big communities usually have it, and it’s a very handy feature. It helps to set up a posting plan and define what exactly you can share with these communities.
“Don’t forget to do a quick content research of the subreddit you’d like to post in,” Beseda advised. “The community activity level can vary depending on different factors. There are communities which are active 24/7 and there are some [in] which activity rises at some certain points of time. The main factor here is the size of the subreddit. For example, a community dedicated to an online game with 5,000 members would be the most active the days when some major updates get released, and the same themed community with 100,000 members would remain active every day just because of a huge user base.”
Be aware of what is currently going on in the community you will post to
Speaking of major release updates…
“There were some minor issues we’ve stumbled upon, too. When we posted our bit of a long-read article in the r/lostarkgame subreddit, we accidentally hit the same time when the details of an upcoming game update were unveiled. That coincidence lowered the level of attention to our post,” Beseda revealed.
Check the latest news related to the theme of the post you’re planning to publish to make sure there won’t be any intersections you won’t like.
Warm up your product’s profile before posting
“Another issue that we were dealing with is that the content ratio in our Reddit account is not OK for some subreddits to post what we need. The thing is, we have posted only self-promotional content which includes the links to our website. Some subreddits have a self-promotion ratio rule that says that there shouldn’t be more than 10-20% of self-promotional posts in the user’s history of posting. Now we have to post some different content in different subreddits that won’t be considered as self-promotional,” he said.
Meet the expectations of the community
“We believe that we had a warm welcome with our posts because we met the expectations of the communities relevant to us. There’s also a personal touch in our posts that is met well by readers. We started our first post with a short intro about our team, noting that we are old WoW fans and we feel the pain and need for a proper LFG service ourselves” emphasized Beseda.
Write a clear headline
Always create good headlines with a call-to-action (CTA) based on the pain points of the audience, and make sure you start the posts with some catchy one-liners, describing your project.
Creative Sample #2: Example Reddit headline from gaming startup
Write a short summary for long posts
If you’re posting a long read, make sure you write a short summary before the main part of the article, marking it as a TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read” mark).
Do the research and doublecheck everything
Don’t underestimate the value of conducting research and making sure you are serving the subreddit communities you post to. Also, before posting, check all the important details. You wouldn’t want to see a reduction in your profile’s karma.
What is karma? Karma is Reddit’s algorithm for determining how much your contributions mean to the community and can affect how much visibility your posts receive.
The team at Influence Hunter wanted to drive more inbound traffic and conversions through its website. The website had low a conversion rate, high bounce rate (people exiting the site), and a low average session duration (how long people spent on the site).
The team began with user tests with Influence Hunter’s primary target audience of small- to medium-sized business owners. They discovered that users got frustrated with too many moving animations on the top image banner which diminished people’s first impressions of the site. On the How it Works page, users found it frustrating to have to hover over each block separately and only view one step at a time.
“Our team was intrigued when literally watching Hotjar recordings of users on our website and seeing exactly how they interact with it,” explained Aaron Kozinets, Co-Founder and CEO, Influence Hunter. “Users expressed immediate concern as they felt that there were too many moving animations with a changing header title, banner image, and bouncing arrow at the bottom. As a result, they felt frustrated and immediately left the site. I never would have realized that this was a potential issue had we not tested it.”
The user tests informed a full audit of the homepage.
Creative Sample #3: Full audit of influencer marketing agency’s homepage
Based on the audit, the team created a new homepage.
Creative Sample #4: New homepage for influencer marketing agency
One of the key changes the team made was to the call-to-action (CTA) button. The original CTA on the Influence Hunter website was “Book a Call” followed by a secondary CTA labeled “What is Influencer Marketing.” The “Book a Call” button would take users to a separate page where they’d be asked to fill out a form. “We discovered through Hotjar that this had a very low click rate and form sign-ups/conversions were not where we had hoped,” said Arsh Sanwarwala, Founder and CEO, ThrillX Design (Influence Hunter’s UX and web design agency).
By analyzing heatmaps and looking at other competitors, the team decided to change the “Book a Call” button to “Learn More” instead. And rather than having the “Learn More” button bring visitors to a separate page, it just scrolled the user down directly to the form.
They also decided to remove the secondary CTA completely to keep the action focused entirely on one main goal, which was to have users fill out the form.
Creative Sample #5: Two previous CTAs were changed to a single CTA for influencer marketing agency homepage
The website went from a 9% clickthrough rate on the CTA to a 30% clickthrough rate.
Creative Sample #6: Heatmap showing increased clickthrough rates with new, single CTA for influencer marketing agency
The team saw a 232% increase in weekly booked calls as well. “We literally watched users via Hotjar recordings click on the ‘learn more’ button as soon as they landed on the site,” Sanwarwala said.
They also discovered that the forms originally on the site were too long because of both the number of unnecessary questions as well as the vertical formatting that made them appear lengthier than they were. The team sat down and determined what questions were not absolutely necessary in order to increase the number of conversions while also maintaining the same quality of leads.
Creative Sample #7: Before and after forms for influencer marketing agency
Here are the end results from the website redesign:
They now get 90% of their clients through their website and they’ve generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in just the span of a few months.
“By redesigning their website, Influence Hunter was finally able to pursue their long-term vision of getting more inbound leads via SEO and Facebook Ads which they were never confident in doing so with their previous website,” Sanwarwala said.
“We were finally able to pursue our goal of inbound marketing and felt confident in investing money into our website,” Kozinets concurred. “The last thing you want is to invest tons of money into something that won’t convert and generate results.”
“We had a homepage that was doing well but we wanted to make it more appealing and get more conversions,” said Derek Bruce, Operations Director, Skills Training Group.
Creative Sample #8: Homepage for training provider (before)
The team started trying different variations – adjusting one or two elements of the page at a time to see the difference in conversion. The tests were done in a sequential manner. “We kept tweaking the page a little bit each time we did some testing,” Bruce said.
They changed the color, added statistics and numbers, removed text that wasn’t adding any value, and moved the positioning of the elements.
For example, in one variation they added the statistics and numbers in the middle of the page to grab attention. This change had the least impact. But they noticed that removing unnecessary text had a positive impact.
In their third variation, removing extra text naturally caused the numbers to be higher on the page. They noticed a minor improvement in conversion.
So, for the fourth variation, they had the idea to move the numbers higher to grab the customer’s attention, and then convert it to interest by adding a subheadline that highlighted the training provider’s expertise, “We’re trusted by some of the UK’s largest gas engineering employers.”
“Instead of using text, we chose to use numbers to grab our customer’s attention. This also showcased our achievements and sparked some interest,” Bruce said. He described the new homepage as “a balance between showcasing our authenticity and expertise.”
Creative Sample #9: Homepage for training provider (after)
This variation produced the best results. “This led to more enquires and calls for our training programs compared to before when we didn't use the numbers to grab their attention,” Bruce said.
The training provider got 37% more calls compared to before. Plus, the average duration people spent browsing the page went up by 62%. The team also noticed the bounce rate dropped by 12.6%.
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