Questions to ask for service industry homepage success

Matt Scaysbrook
Director of Optimisation

Questions to ask for service industry homepage success

Part two of our Lessons in CRO Mini-Series (2 of 10)

This mini-series covers 10 lessons we have learned from some of our favourite recent experiments (and the results).  If you're facing similar challenges and want to understand why some things work better than others, or you simply want some new ideas to test, we hope these lessons help guide and inspire you with your next experiments.

Here’s lesson two:

Lesson #2: Asking the right questions before designing a test is half the battle

Results

  • 12% increase in homepage hero CTA clicks
  • 11% increase in product page visits

The problem

This client struggled to move visitors deeper into their site from the homepage. As the dominant landing page, this was a major loss in potential customers very early on in their journey.

What we did

We started by asking the four key questions for any services business homepage:

  • Why use a service like yours?

    This establishes the industry value to the visitors.
  • Why use your service?

    This establishes the business’ differentiators in their industry.
  • What is the most powerful rationale you can provide for a visitor to stay on the site?

    For all landing pages, the number one job is to avoid a high percentage of visitors bouncing – if you can’t do that, the quality of the rest of the site is meaningless.
  • Where do you want a visitor to go next?

    Create and prioritise your signposting based on what you want to sell and what you expect to interest a high percentage of visitors.


Armed with the answers to these four questions, we completely overhauled the hero & sub-hero areas of the homepage in the following ways:

  • Why use a service like yours?

    We changed the H1 to focus on the benefit of the service, not the feature. Answering calls was the service provided, but the value was in never missing a potential lead or an existing customer’s query.
  • Why use your service and what is the most powerful rationale you can provide for a visitor to stay on the site?

    We used instantly-recognisable icons to show the scale & quality of the client’s business as the leading provider in the UK.
  • Where do you want a visitor to go next?

    We got rid of two existing CTAs with no visual hierarchy. In their place, we added two new CTAs with a clear hierarchy, determined by business priority and the scale of visitor demand.

The reasons it worked

People buy value, not services

What you sell as a business is far less important than the value your customers get from it. Focusing on that value increases the likelihood of sale.

The next positive step should be the most visually obvious

Clear signposting will almost always move more visitors in the right direction. Assuming of course that you’ve researched the cross-over between their needs & your priority product / service.

Visually-obvious trust marks

Keeping visitors onsite is the first job of the landing page. Don’t rely on visitors to read to achieve this as you’ll likely fail. Trust marks should be visually obvious & instantly scannable on landing.

Your next experiment?

Assess your homepage against the four key questions above.

Squint your eyes at your homepage – if the next step you want visitors to take isn’t the most visually obvious, you should look to address that.

If your bounce rate remains high, look at the messages visitors receive offsite before clicking through. Often there is a narrative disconnect at the root of the problem.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow us for the rest of the blog mini-series ( 8 parts to go!)

In case you missed it here’s part 1.

Like what you learned but not sure how to get started? Check out our free conversion surgery to help.