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Try shorter messaging and different tones

Try shorter messaging and different tones

Try testing out different approaches to how you say what you want to say. Your customers might respond better to simpler phrasing or a shift in the tone of your message.

 

Word count: Less is more

That old saying “less is more” is definitely worth considering when optimizing your homepage. If you take a minimalist approach, there will be fewer elements on the page to distract your audience and your customers’ eyes will more easily focus on what’s left.

Whitespace is our friend

Use empty space and images to direct the customer’s attention to your key objectives (e.g. navigation, promos, CTAs, or products). In general, our eyes are naturally drawn to follow patterns and the emptiness can act like roads for our eyes to follow.

Focus on a few objectives

Pick a small number of key objectives and let those items and the supporting images, text, and CTAs be the focus of the page. You might even want to generate several variations that highlight different groups of objectives, depending on what your key goals for the page are.

Example: Microsoft’s homepage on a mobile device

The image on the left is the original version and the image on the right is a mock-up:

While the initial view of the homepage is fairly simple (a single image, a short header, 4 lines of text, and 2 CTAs), a few small tweaks to further simplify the text can have a positive impact.

Overall, the simplified version is cleaner and easier to consume on mobile devices.

  • The overall intent remained the same between the versions
  • Reducing the number of words and rearranging the keywords allows for less text to scan
  • With more vertical space to play with, the image can come down (so that it’s not cropped), allowing customers to see the full range of devices as intended.

 

Try different approaches to your verbiage

Consider how you say it, not necessarily what you say. How you deliver the message can make all the difference in getting a customer on board. Think about how you’d talk to the visitor if you were talking to them in real life. Often your tone will change based on how many times you’ve met the person and what their perceived level of interest is.

Test different ways of saying the same message. For instance:

  • Direct vs. casual
    • Direct: “Buy now”
    • Casual: “Consider these holiday favorites”
  • Just the facts vs. conversational
    • Just the facts: “See results in 48 hours.”
    • Conversational: “If you’re looking to place a safe bet, check out this product. Our customers can’t get over how quickly they see results. In just 48 hours, you’ll feel like a new person!”
  • Features vs. Benefit (i.e. “what we do well” vs. “your problems we can solve”)
    • Features: “Our skincare products are proven twice as effective as our leading competitor.”
    • Benefit: “You deserve beautiful skin. I promise to help you get there.”
  • Scarcity vs. abundance (e.g. “Only 3 spots left”)
    • Scarcity: “Order now! Only 3 items left”, “Only 10 hours left in the sale.”
    • Abundance: “New designs daily, keep checking back and we’re sure you’ll find something you like.”
  • Humor vs. no humor
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