Do you know the average website conversion rate? Or what percentage of your online visitors will wind up doing what you want them to do before they escape into the abyss of Google?
A slim 2.35%.
So if your site draws a 1,000-person crowd each month, only 23–24 visitors will take the desired next step or click on your call to action.
Buy a product. Book a service. Download a PDF.
But you don’t have to settle for a measly 2.35% conversion rate anymore. In fact, after tweaking quite a few websites, I discovered one slight change that could boost conversion rates by 35%.
I call it the upside-down homepage format:
Intro and call to action
Another call to action
You can probably see what inspired the name.
If you want to learn more and watch your subscriber conversion rates climb, keep reading!
The Intro & Call to Action
Best Buy, Amazon, Angie’s List, even the biggest names in the industry still do it. For the longest time, we assumed a site’s navigation menu was the most important thing for customers.
So much so that we’d broadcast it front and center at the top of the page. Customers already know what they’re looking for, right? Why not let them find it themselves?
Not only was it a waste of space, but the entire web design community was extremely naive.
Pass the Two-Second Test
That gives you more than enough time to rope visitors in and help them find what they’re looking for. Maybe they’ll read your “About Us” page or scroll through your 200-product inventory.
Wrong. But only because both of those numbers are far too optimistic.
In reality, you have about two seconds.
Yes, you read that right.
Two full seconds to make a solid first impression that also explains to customers what you can do to solve their problems.
I call it the two-second test.
If your bounce rate is on the high end (56–70%) or your conversion rates are in the toilet, you’ve got a problem. And failing the two-second test might be it.
Start With the Good Stuff
Customers have a one-track mind when they land on your website.
They don’t want to hire you. They don’t want to buy your products. And, they definitely don’t want to make decisions.
All that matters is this one question:
What can YOU do for ME?
It’s hard to get that point across with a boring, predictable, and canned menu. But by starting with a short and sweet intro, you can show value, ask a question, and encourage visitors to act.
For example …
“We take the headache out of the home buying process.”
“Are you ready for the best physique of your life?”
“The answer to your dream garden is HERE.”
How to Craft the Perfect Call to Action
Before those two seconds tick by, you need to convince potential customers to do something.
The perfect call to action has two criteria:
It’s simple. The lead-up to the button should be as precise as possible. What happens when your visitor clicks that button or gives up their email address? Do they receive a free guide in their inbox? Earn a 50% discount? Why should they click that link?
It’s customer-focused. Instead of the overused and vague “Learn more” or “Click here,” try “Yes, sign me up for free tips!” or “I love free things!”
Once you’ve nailed the intro and call to action, you’re ready to provide some proof.
It’s clear from the intro that you think you’re awesome!
Up next, proving it.
Here are two ways to show potential clients that you’re both awesome and trustworthy:
Unless those visitors typed your business’s name into Google directly, chances are, they’re comparing your brand and prices to that of your competitors.
Now’s your chance to say, “Hey, look, other people like me!”
Testimonials are a great way to build your brand reputation and put potential clients at ease.
But how impactful are a few glowing testimonials under your intro?
Well, according to INC, 84% of consumers take the word of online reviews as if they came from a close friend. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal to see a handful of stories from satisfied customers!
Surveys show that about 93% of people will read online reviews in the decision-making process. What makes product ratings even more powerful is that you don’t get to play the role of “filter.”
Customers are harsh judges of products, sometimes to a fault.
If your line of children’s toys is cheaply made, don’t be surprised by the onslaught of 1-star reviews from angry parents.
On the other hand, if your cardigans really do fit true to size and are eco-friendly, 5-star reviews from the environmentally-conscious crowd are more likely.
It’s already an awesome sign that your products are rated 4–5 stars.
Show ‘em off with pride!
What comes next might remind you of those Goosebumps Choose Your Own Adventure spinoff series from the 90s that we all know and love.
Here’s why that’s important.
Your website might target five, ten, or 100 different keywords!
Some visitors will stumble upon your site by chance when searching for something simple like “plumbers near me.” Others will Google a specific plumbing problem they’re experiencing.
They’re also at various points in the decision-making process.
For example …
Some of your visitors need an emergency plumber to fix broken water pipes before their basement floods. These folks are in a serious rush and need help now. Let’s hope your website guides them to your phone number before it’s too late!
Others know they want to replace their metal pipes with PVC and are ready to hire a plumber. These guys are sure of what they want. They just aren’t settled on which plumber is right for the job. Now’s your turn to show you’re trustworthy.
A few are still considering new sinks and bathtubs. These people might be looking a few weeks, months, or years down the line. You don’t need to shove your services down their throats. Instead, you might help them with the brainstorming process.
This “choose your own adventure” tool should include three options that guide them to different parts of your website. For example, emergencies, our services, and our educational articles.
As much as we try to be one step ahead of them, some customers won’t click the CTA or navigate your self-selector tool.
They’ll continue to scroll until they find something that catches their attention. Or, in a worst-case scenario, leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
Introduce them to something ridiculously cool:
Your story. Or rather, your business’s story!
What Makes a Good Story?
Every business has a story.
Some evolve out of a passion for helping others. Others arise from an entrepreneur hitting rock bottom. And, sometimes, the inspiration for a business came from a need to pay the rent.
Here’s the problem:
Customers don’t really care all that much about your story.
That is, unless you tell your story in a way that resonates with them and answers the same question from earlier — What can YOU do for ME?
Don’t tell the story about how you took out a $10,000 loan or built a shop from scratch. Instead, talk about how you were in your customer’s shoes once, which inspired your business.
You created a green, memory foam mattress company. BECAUSE it pained you to drive by the local landfill and witness the raggedy mattresses piling up. Or suffer lower back pain yourself.
You built an investing business that supports fractional shares. BECAUSE you know the desire to earn passive income while not having enough cash to buy full stocks.
Show your human side!
Another Call to Action
How many times in your life have you walked into a car dealership, told the salesman, “I’m just looking,” and walked out three hours later holding the keys to your new car?
Now, imagine the sales rep followed you around the lot, badgering you with the same question:
Do you want to buy this one?
What about this one?
How about this one? It has all-wheel drive!
Would you leave the dealership with a new car? Or a headache?
The idea of adding a second call to action to your homepage might make you feel annoying or even desperate. So here’s how it works and why every upside-down homepage needs one.
Why Have a Second Call to Action?
The second call to action is essentially a repeat of your first one and belongs in your story’s final paragraph. Now, I know what you’re thinking:
The first one didn’t work if they scrolled this far.
Why nag them again?
In the lead-up to CTA #2, you did quite a bit. You:
Explained what your business does and how you can help customers
Kept them on your site longer than two seconds
Proved that you’re a reliable and trustworthy business
Allowed customers to decide on the next steps
Told the inspirational story that they’re now reading
Something intrigued them enough to scroll this far, and you still have their attention. Those visitors are now even more likely to click the button and do as you ask!
Last But Not Least: Your Navigation
Once you have those five elements on your page, only THEN do you have my permission to put your menu. In the footer!
I’ve seen subscriber rates climb by 35% with this method alone. But obviously, none of this is 100% set in stone for every business out there.
Play around with it to see what works for you.
The most important thing?
Try something new!
If your site’s conversion rate falls below industry standards, keeping everything “as you’ve always done it” simply isn’t working.
You have to shake it up. Think outside the box.
That’s what inspired the upside-down homepage, to begin with.
Is your website performing as it should? Wondering why your conversion rates are so low? Download our 10-minute website audit to help you grade and improve your website!