Optimized Ecommerce EP 032 – Your Store Homepage is Losing Money Unless You Do This
In this week’s exciting episode of The Optimized Ecommerce Podcast, Jacob Thomson joins Tanner Larsson to talk about how to correctly navigate your homepage store and make it more profitable. Tune to this week’s episode and learn the best strategies for your homepage, how to make it more efficient for the users, and how
Welcome to Episode #032 of Optimized Ecommerce – Your Store Homepage is Losing Money Unless You Do This. I’m your host, Tanner Larsson, CEO of BGS.
BGS means Build Grow Scale! It is a community that we founded where eCommerce entrepreneurs and physical product sellers come to learn how to take their businesses to the next level.
Today, Jacob Thomson joins me. Jacob has been with BGS for over two years and he is one of our Revenue Optimization Experts, working full time for seven to eight-figure stores. He is also part of the BGS content creation team.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
We first talked about how Jacob found BGS and what he does for us.
Jacob is from Gold Coast, Australia, he’s been working with BGS for over two years as a Revenue Optimization Expert. He is also a part of the BGS Content Creation Team.
Before Jacob joined BGS he was running Facebook ads for other companies for quite some time. He was linked up with BGS through his dad Brett Thomson and ended up partnering with our programs.
Jacob got fascinated with BGS goals and concepts and fully got on board full time and currently working for seven to eight-figure stores.
Next, we talked about the misnomers of homepages and how people treat them incorrectly.
The number one misnomer of homepages? Not providing trust and clear navigation to their customers which mostly lead to a high bounce rate.
It is best to provide trust and clear navigation on the homepage because it is the front door of your business. And even if you are sending traffic to the product page or collection page, most users, especially the first-time buyers will still return to the homepage to learn more about your business.
More than 40% of people especially first-time buyers that land on the product page return to the homepage at least once. This is because they typically rely on the homepage for their first impression and the notion of trusting your business or not.
And then, we talked about the important elements that should be included on the homepage.
One of the most important elements is to start working on the top header section website page. Put something about your brand symbol, shipping objections such as free shipping or fast shipping, and a purchase 30 or 60-day guarantee.
We also discussed a few other fun topics, including:
- How the prominent search homepage feature helps users find what they exactly want.
- The difference between a static banner versus sliding banners.
- Do’s and don’ts of homepage optimization.
- What are false bottoms and how are they applied on the site pages?
- Importance of visual hierarchy.
- How do site owners structure their homepage?
- BGS philosophy on top-level navigation.
But you’ll have to watch or listen to the episode to hear about those fun topics!
How To Stay Connected With Jacob Thomson
Want to stay connected with Jacob? Please check out his social profiles below.
Also, Jacob mentioned the following items on the show. You can find that on:
- Twilio – A software that is used to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other communication functions using its web service APIs.
- Cart Guru – An all-in-one marketing automation tool that helps e-commerce stores engage their customers.
- Klaviyo List – A software platform that combines two or more lists is to build a segment that grabs contacts from the desired lists.
Tanner Larsson 0:07
Hey everybody, welcome back to the optimized Ecommerce podcast. I’m Tanner Larsson, your host for this episode, and today I am joined by yet another amazing member of the BGS crew. This is Jacob Thomson. Now Jacob is actually kind of unique not just because he lives in a weird place where the toilets bend backwards and he has a funny accent. But also because a few episodes ago, you heard from his dad, Brett Thomson, who is our master copywriter, and you know did a big episode on copy we’re gonna do some more episodes. But So Jacob is his son. And Jacob definitely taught Brett everything he knows. But what’s actually kind of cool is I didn’t think about it, Jacob till we got on here. But so you and your dad, and we’ve got DOM and his dad Zack. So Dom was on another episode and other RO and his dad Zack is Bill Gross Scale’s COO. And then again, we have we also have Garvin and Surbey. Brother and sister developer team. We’ve got quite a bit of families mixed in.
Jacob Thomson 1:05
That’s great, I didn’t even know that. That’s awesome.
Tanner Larsson 1:08
Yeah. And now Irene and her brother also work for BGS. So yeah, so that’s kind of crazy. We got a lot of families working in BGS. Now, that’s pretty neat.
Jacob Thomson 1:19
Yeah, it’s it’s definitely a special special thing as well, for sure. So
Tanner Larsson 1:23
Anyway, today, guys, Jacob is from Australia, but we’re not gonna hold that against him. He is actually quite smart at what he does, which is revenue optimization, he is a longtime RO for us, and works in a lot of our amplified stores and really knows his stuff. And today, he’s going to talk about a page on your store that gets ignored a lot. And, or either gets ignored, or it gets overused. It never gets used correctly. And that is the homepage. And the homepage is again, one of those pages that people don’t really know what to do with, we hear a ton of stores come in and saying, Well, I don’t optimize my homepage, because I send traffic to my product page. Or I have everything on my homepage because it’s where everybody lands. And both of those answers are wrong. So we’re gonna dive in today, what to do with your homepage, how to make it rock and how to really turn it into a moneymaker. And that’s what Jake is going to share with us. So Jacob, before we get into that, I’ve already made fun of you a little bit. I’ve gotten the obligatory Aussie jokes out of the way. But why don’t you tell them a little bit about you obviously know where you’re from, but what you do, how you found BGS? And what you do with us?
Jacob Thomson 2:30
Yeah, also, thanks for the intro. Yeah, like I said, I’m from Gold Coast, Australia on the East Coast there. And basically, I’ve been working with BGS. Now for I would say, a little over two years, I could be wrong. But I i’ve been it’s been a very fast and amazing experience. So far. I loot I knew little about revenue optimization before starting with BGS. But I was familiar with Ecommerce I’ve worked in, I’ve been I run Facebook ads for a few companies as well. And I’ve been around the space for a little while before running into BGS. And basically how I began to work with BGS was my dad linked up with Matt and Tanner and became good friends and ended up going into partnering into BGS with with Matt and Tanner. And they he was sharing a little about the concept and what their goals were. And I was just so fascinated about what they do. And it was so new to me. And it was something that I’ve neglected because I’ve been running Facebook ads for so long. My my mindset was that optimization of the Facebook side and really trying to dial in traffic. But that’s that’s the mistake people make is dialing in traffic before dialing in their store, which makes the traffic easier, it makes it more affordable. You know, conversion rates higher. So traffic begins, it makes it cheaper all around. So that’s really interested me and it was something that was probably new to the market as well. So it is a very new concept. And it’s exploding at the moment. And that’s why so many people need our help. And that’s and so I began working with them. So after learning exactly what their goals were and what they do, I was fully on board and I reached out to Matt and Tanner say, Hey, I really like love what you guys do, like I’d love to come work for you. And they gave me the opportunity. So here I am today, two years later, working full time as a revenue optimization expert for some seven and eight figure stores, which has been an absolute blast. And I’ve been a part of the content creation team here BGS as well, which has been an absolute bowl. So I’m very grateful for my experience so far. And I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Tanner Larsson 4:37
Now I’m excited for you to share it with everybody today too. So let’s dive into the homepage. Right. So what let’s set the record straight. Basically, we’ve talked about some of the misnomers of the homepage and how people treat them incorrectly. But what is the actual main objectives of the homepage? What is it for?
Jacob Thomson 4:57
I would say and this is something that we speak a lot about as well. And it’s to provide trust and clear navigation there. The two, I would say the two main goals of the homepage, there is a lot of other stuff that comes comes into play. And we’re and I’m looking forward to getting into that. But the two goals, if you had a single, single each AI, it would be to provide trust, and clear navigation because it is the front door of your business, essentially. So returning, even if you’re sending traffic to the product page or to the collection page, users, especially first time buyers will still go to their return to the homepage of something, it’s like a large percent of your traffic will go to the homepage to get that to learn more about your business to know that it’s not a dodgy business, or that they feel like they’re going to get scared, they’ll go to the homepage to learn more about your business, and that’s. Yeah It’s something like
Tanner Larsson 5:48
40, something 40 plus percent of people that land on the product page, wind up as part of their due diligence, going back to the homepage at least once right?
Jacob Thomson 5:58
Yep, first time buyers, though. Like they typically rely solely on the homepage for their first impression. So it could be even within that first few seconds of your homepage loading is whether they’ve got that our notion in their mind or if they’re going to trust your business or not. And that’s why it is so important to be able to execute what we’re about to talk about so perfectly in order to get that first impression. Right.
Tanner Larsson 6:22
So I mean, clear navigation, obviously, that’s a huge one. Because again, the job of the homepage is to introduce right trust, and then get them off the homepage into the shopping areas of the site. Right. So what are some of the important elements that we should be including on our homepage to take care of those two main factors? How are we going to tie that all together?
Jacob Thomson 6:44
Yeah, that’s, that’s great question. So I would say, one of the most important elements, we can start right on the top, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind would be that like the banner on top not so I’m not talking about your, your value proposition banner or anything like that. But that little stream banner at the
Tanner Larsson 7:03
The top top header section. Above the header even, okay.
Jacob Thomson 7:06
Yeah, and a lot of people miss that. miss out on that. And that’s a, that’s a really important step as well. And if they don’t, I think I don’t have anything right right now to put there. But I want to share with you just even like a little test that we ran, including some texting, and it was actually, I’ll just label it the banner test for now, right. And we actually addressed three main, I’d say concerns in or even they could be they’ve essentially value propositions in that in that top banner. And it was actually something that was a USA arm company. And we know how important that is for a lot of people as well. So we introduce and say USA owned with a little American symbol, American flag symbol there. So it created that art that shopping with an American owned bare brand was important. And we actually address some shipping objections. And that was free shipping. Or it could be fast shipping or express shipping or anything like that, right. And the third one was actually a guarantee. So it was actually a 60 day guarantee. And how do you fit all that in? In a mobile banner if you’ve only got that little bit of space, but it was there two words each, and they’re broken up really cleanly. And that was three really big objections that we received from a post purchase survey that people had problems with, that we were able to address above the fold on the on the top end of their site. So it was the first thing they got to see. And result in the results from that. From including those value propositions on that top banner in the header, there was a 13% conversion rate lift for that particular size. So yeah, absolutely huge. And it was definitely a surprise to us. And we were really, really glad that we found that bit of gold there.
Tanner Larsson 8:46
Yeah, now that’s a big piece, guys. And for those of you who are listening to this, maybe not seeing what how Jacob’s hands are moving, he’s literally talking about the very, very top part above the logo, even on the homepage. And those three value propositions were basically divided up into thirds of that little banner section. So three boxes, each with those two words in it. And like mass that was conversion,
Jacob Thomson 9:08
It that was that was sticky across every page as well. So it wasn’t just the homepage that was able, whatever page they went on that are like your navigation stays there. That banner stayed there as well across each site. So it was reinforcing. Those are those concerns that people had. The large majority of the people had went shopping with this site.
Tanner Larsson 9:26
So it really especially if it had 13% lift,
Jacob Thomson 9:29
So Yeah, exactly. And some I’ll go into some other important elements. Yeah keep going. Yeah, so the next one would be a prominent search. And this is this is extremely important for, for a business that has a lot of products or skews or anything like that, that they need to. They want their customers to find the products easily, especially for returning traffic that don’t have to go through collections or all these subcategories to find what they’re looking for. They can have that prominent search that they’re able to type in exactly what they’re looking for. ensuring that your search is optimized as well, which is another thing we speak about. And it’s great apps that are able to do that, and to really dial in and optimize your search so they can find exactly what they’re looking for. So that’s another massive thing, which will be above the fold.
Tanner Larsson 10:14
So when is prominent search? Do you mean just like a big magnifying glass? Or do you actually mean something else? All right,
Jacob Thomson 10:20
It’s got to be in let’s just say mobile first, it’s got it’s the full width of your mobile, you’ll have your, let’s just use the mobile design. Right, we’ve got the hamburger menu on the left, let’s say this is a typical ecommerce mobile design would be a hamburger on your left, you’ve got your logo in the middle, your cart icon on the right, and then right below that, we would actually have a full bar that’s search. And within that, within that search bar, we’re actually going to have, we’re going to give the user the most search terms that we can actually we know from GA, when you dial in your GA, you’ll get your most search terms or a search app will be able to provide that information as well. And we know what they’re searching for the most. So we can actually provide that. It’s like placeholder text, right? So it gives them an encourages and encourages them to search exactly what they’re looking for. And that’s that goes before with the mobile design. And that’s above the fold, and giving them a really good shot at finding what they’re looking for right away, or encouraging them to look for something for sure.
And we know the effects of that as well. Typically, it’s something like three, we found three to five times, uhm, people that use the search bar are more like a three to five times more likely to convert than someone that isn’t able to use the search bar. Two to three times more valuable
Tanner Larsson 11:34
Than any other vendor. So you track visitors and you say, visitors that convert through normal means are worth x. visitors who convert through search are worth x times three.
Jacob Thomson 11:44
Yeah, yeah, super important. The next the next one, that would be the most crucial if not like this is this is definitely top three would be providing a clear value proposition. And this it could be in the form of a banner, which is more likely for us we we like to formulate this in a banner because it takes up a good space. And it’s actually it’s this banner could include your competitive advantage. So what you do better than your competition, because you got to give the user a reason to shop. Why do they Why should they shop with you? Why shouldn’t they go to your other competition and shop there and not be if you’ve got better prices and better products, and you need to be able to communicate that above the fold in a banner. And we like to call that our value proposition banner. The only time we will swap things out in there is if we’re running promos, or anything like that, that we could with it with it’s a like a fire collection that we need to we want most of our traffic to head to because at some particular time of year that you know that’s going to be very popular, then we can replace that but stating that an all year round banner would be a value proposition banner that states your competitive advantage. And that could with a clear call to action as well. So stating all that, but then giving the user a the ability to click on something that will take them either to a product, your main product or your your collection product, or your collection page. So it’s giving them the reasons to shop with you and then giving them an opportunity to shop with you as well. So they don’t actually have to get you hyped them all up, now you’re the best in the business, you’re giving them a reason, or giving them a opportunity to go shop with you, you don’t want them have to go find a button to to find those products or find that collection. So ensuring that there’s a call to action button within that value proposition banner is super important.
Tanner Larsson 13:34
You know, real quick on that. Sorry, I don’t mean to cut you off. Oh, you’re up. But with that. So this is something to guide people. If you’re listening to this Jacobs, not you this isn’t just like throw together any old banner, banners is above the fold some of the most valuable real estate you have. And it’s not only has to convey the value propositions, but it also has that trust element in it. And it also has to convey what your site is to the customer like that. Because when they land on that site, if it doesn’t match with the ad that they clicked on, or however they get there, if there’s any disconnect with they’re unsure of what your site does, or why they’re there, they’re going to bounce before they even look. So your banner has to do all of that. But on that point, Jake, what I actually wanted to say before I ran it off on that tangent was talk a little bit about, like the importance of a static banner versus like the sliding banners and what people were gonna do with it actually do change our banners. But we don’t do animation, right? Yep,
Jacob Thomson 14:32
Exactly. Right. I’m glad you brought that up. So what we’ve actually found is we’ve we’ve tested this time and time again, and you can do your own research if you if you don’t want to take it, take it from us. But you will find I guarantee nine times out of 10 that having sliding banners or this is even this goes for other elements on the page as well. If you’re you’re thinking to yourself, okay, what could I put there? Well, I’ve got three things I want to put there. So let me put it on a sliding banner where I can So all three opportunities like all three collections or value props or anything like that, just choose dial in one and keep it there. The reason why it was found is sliding banners are things that users don’t have control over on their own accord. So if they’re sliding in their face, and now we’re in the middle of reading that causes friction, and it’s distracting. And it’s throwing off the, I would say, the feel of that the feel of the site. So you don’t want to have sliding things going anywhere. Because it’s your eyes, you want to have that visual hierarchy, you want the user to be in control with every step of the way, they don’t want things moving, when they haven’t asked for it to move. The only thing that you would ever consider would you could add, possibly, even if you needed to do this, you would add, like I giving them an arrow at the bottom or something like that to enable them to swap to another slide, if that may, if that’s maybe but do not have any sort of automatic or animated slides or anything like that. Because if you want your users to be just fixated on a on a slide or a really cool animation, or do you want them to be taking in why you’re the best at what you do, and giving them an opportunity to shop with you. That’s what we’ve found. And we’ve tested this time and time again, that yet slidding banners or things out of these, his control is just it just causes friction. And I less click through, right for sure.
Tanner Larsson 16:23
And that’s on any page of the site. Really, right. We don’t use animations anywhere, the only place you might find an animation is if it’s an animated GIF that shows like a product doing something but very few and far between. Okay, so I spun you out of your process here. But let’s get back to it. So optimizing the homepage, what’s going to make it work, we’ve talked about the the top level above the header, the three things we talked about the prominent search, we talked about that UVP banner, and an important to having that where we go from here.
Jacob Thomson 16:51
Okay, so this is another thing you can test. Or if you don’t know, you should run some post purchase surveys, or the reason why I keep saying post purchase is because sometimes, if you’re running surveys on site, the information that you receive won’t be as valuable because you’ll get some you could get disgruntled customers, because or just people that are visiting that don’t really want to answer questions, I won’t take them so seriously. But if you’re asking a question to someone who’s just purchased from you, they trust you. And they’re more likely to give you valuable feedback as opposed to someone that’s just going to write something silly like, or the common one is are prices too high prices too high. And they weren’t serious shoppers anyway. But the next thing you could report on that you could do after the value proposition to add extra trust. And this could be utilized further down. And we’ll talk about this later as well on the actual structure. But it could be some trust badges or trust seals, so three to four trust badges or trust seals as to reinforcing why and this is something that we talked about, and that we utilized, I told you about the banner test, but this could be utilized under the value proposition banner, and it could be something USA owned or anything like that, or what what, why your customers would like to shop from you in small, simple icon. readability, like easy read readability icons that would reinforce your statement, which is something that you could really utilize or capitalize on. And that’s just straight off to the value proposition banner. Or you could place that under the next session section we’re going to talk about, and that’s our popular items, right, or our popular collections or anything like that. So on mobile and stay with mobile, because we are aware of that more than you know, you on average, more than 70% of your visitors if you’re an Ecommerce business right now that they’re going to be more than 70% is going to be on mobile, we typically see over 90% on our on our Ecommerce sites that are coming from mobile. So that’s why I’m going to focus on the optimization side of mobile first, because you sort of want to get that design down before you move on to desktop, right? So the popular items, and we know this, and we’ve tested this through as well is providing giving, giving those returning visitors especially because a large majority of returning visitors will actually land on your homepage first because they’ll come back and want to shop with them, shop with you with you. So they’ll they’ll go back there and look for the popular items or anything like that. This is something that we provide along the top. And we’ve tested it, and we’ll and I’ll talk about a test that we actually ran it was POD site, right? And they were in
Tanner Larsson 19:28
A POD for those of you who may not know is print on demand. It’s usually like apparel or textile type items that you can print whatever you want on and then have it shipped straight to the customer when it’s made.
Jacob Thomson 19:40
Yeah, so those sites can typically have hundreds of products ranging from 10s and 10s of collections. So you think to yourself, like how would you provide these popular items, you’ll know what your best sellers are, and you can position them from left to right as your top to bottom your best sellers and providing maybe tops Six products in your in your bestsellers, collection on the homepage, this gives it easy net. And we’d go back to this again, it gives clean navigation from our first question, it’s providing you a clear navigation to get to the product that they want to see. And then, and more than likely, if they’re the six best sellers, they’re going to be the ones they’re looking for. Right. And we ran a test of this particular collection that was doing really, really well. And it was, it was, I can’t share the actual collection, because it’d be giving away some confidentiality, then I don’t want to I don’t want to upset anyone. But it was a particular collection that was doing really, really well. So we wanted to bring that collection out and place it. And it was I believe it. It’s situated just below the fold, because we had our value proposition and some trust seals there. So it was the first collection, I say it, it was a large majority of people shopping this collection. So we brought that collection out and put it on the homepage, clear as day. And it provided straightaway, first implementation and we ended up iterating it later as well. But straightaway 5% conversion rate, lift the 4% AOV lift and a 10% revenue per user lifted straight away from just giving the users exactly what they want, but only to look for it because it’s there. And that’s, that’s a very small change, just adding a collection on the homepage. But it’s you will lose people when they have to make more steps. And again, if you’re just giving them what they want at the right time, it is going to it’s going to increase that impulse purchase. And and they don’t need to actually go looking for and have their kids may run in and distract them when they’re looking for or anything like that. But it’s just it’s giving them right there clear navigation to shop what they want to shop. And that’s something that we added on our homepage that blew away that that for that store right there. And that would lead on to your your next section that should be very important is providing those categories. So on the homepage, we have that menu, that hamburger menu, and in that hamburger menu, you’ll have your collections, right. But if they’re shopping, if they’re going scrolling down your homepage, that should always be there on the left. But you can actually provide bigger than our category boxes. And we like to call them boxes because they would typically make them big squares and can have an image of that actual collection. So it’s a visual image, because instead of we know how visual elements will be a lot more effective than say just text elements. So having the text elements in the menu is a great art is still great for clear navigation. But providing those category categories on the homepage, with the visual side of it with images with the text underneath that they can click on it is much more appealing as well. So we do include, you know, our top categories on the homepage as well.
Tanner Larsson 22:36
And that’s that’s a good point. You said top categories. Explain why what you mean by just top categories?
Jacob Thomson 22:42
Yeah, that’s a Yeah, that’s great one because they could you could have so many credit categories, what you’d want to do is just jump into your GA or what, whatever data gathering service you are using, and figure out I’d say your top six categories, and you want to position them from left to let’s say you’re running to two by twos on mobile, right? You want to have your top left being your most popular collection. And then obviously, the one on the right would be your second most and you just position them 123456 as your top six collections. And that’s, that’s typically what’s going to be getting the most clicks. So you don’t want to throw any random six in there. Because you want to give them what are what pieces of shopping. And yeah, so providing the most popular ones.
Tanner Larsson 23:26
And making sure we don’t overwhelm them with every category under the sun if you have a lot, right
Jacob Thomson 23:31
100% that’s, that goes into the simple versecomplex design, and then not the cognitive, the cognitive overload and just providing everything, instead of just giving the user what they looking for. Totally.
Tanner Larsson 23:43
So with that we’ve covered a ton of like elements that should be on the page, you know, you’re going to get into structure a little bit later. But before we get there are there I know there are but what are and are there any things that people should be aware of doing like what we just said, right there. Don’t put too many collections on the homepage, right. Don’t put them all. What are some other things that people need to be aware of principles of like do’s and don’ts for your homepage?
Jacob Thomson 24:09
Yeah, great question. Um, I would say, things to be aware of would be when you’re designing your homepage would be the visual hierarchy of your of your homepage. So knowing that the biggest elements we’ll get will be getting the most clicks. Typically, you want to structure that so that you’re giving your say your value proposition manner is probably the biggest thing on your homepage. When they load it up, right, it’s going to take up the most real estate. So that’s why we’ve talked about the value of that. And any sort of headlines at the top. That’s if if you’re getting like if their workout, your visual hierarchy and what you want your users to do, if you want if you want your users to buy a product, you got to sort of structure your homepage, you’re feeding them you’re giving them the information they need to to make that purchase right. So do not overload your customers with everything. Like you said. Putting absolutely anything and everything on the homepage is this, you got to give them what they want at the right time. And that’s exactly what we focused on is the visual hierarchy of the homepage. And even something as small as a headline can make a big difference. I know we ran a test on one of our amplified stores, and it was testing one of the headlines just under the value proposition banner. And it was it already had a headline, but we revised and we know that, you know, copywriting and product imagery, and all those things can account for the biggest wins in in split testing, and everything like that. But we were able to test a headline that provided a 10% conversion rate, because it was so high up on the page. And the visual hierarchy just led the users exactly what they wanted to do. So we’re able to get a 10% conversion rate lift from just something as small as a testing head testing a headline. So I’d say things to be aware of would be visual hierarchy, and the simplicity of your homepage. So simple. versed busy, not overwhelming your customers in causing a Paradox of Choice. It’s like, No, I’ll tell you, you’ve used this before. It’s like when you walk into a Baskin Robbins or whatever you guys, I think it’s Baskin Robbins in Australia. I’m not sure what you guys have.
Tanner Larsson 26:11
We have Baskin Robbins. So we probably have a better Baskin Robbins. I’m sure
Jacob Thomson 26:15
you have more flavors
Tanner Larsson 26:16
More flavors, we have to we have 32 flavors, because you only get 31. Right?
Jacob Thomson 26:20
Well, that let fades into my how you’re a disadvantage. Because the Paradox of Choice. You know, when you walk into, say, McDonald’s, right, you got three flavors, you got vanilla, you got chocolate, and you got strawberry, or caramel. So you’ve got a couple flavors. If you walk into a Baskin Robbins in in America, you’ve got 32 flavors, how, you know how long they will, how hard the decision is to shop? What what what you want to pick, like, do you feel like apple crumble ice cream, or strawberry all these like crazy flavors. Or if you were just presented with three of the four, you know, ones that like the OG the OG flavors, or the original flavors, the most common flavors that someone would choose, it’s really easy to make a decision based on those, those three to four as opposed to 32 options. So do not give your customers too much to think about. And that will reduce the cognitive load and this strain on the eyes on your eyes as well. So your users maybe going down to like, oh, they’re just exhausted looking at homepage, because you just so much information, they don’t even want to click on anything anymore, because they’re just overwhelmed. So just make it really easy for the user to understand what your mission is, or what you’re trying to sell or what you’re trying to achieve. And just be really clear on that. Because we found that, you know, clarity is definitely King and simple works better than busy. And I know simple may not always be the most beautiful, but it’s it’s the most effective, I would say for sure, yeah.
Tanner Larsson 27:48
And you know, that’s something to be said for, you know, something as simple as whitespace, right with a cluttered aspect allowing people’s eyes time to relax in between elements, which you don’t really think of when you’re doing it. But it’s actually important to cause eye strain and visual complexity. Like links, cars, our favorite site, right? It’s just like so like in your face that your eyes get hurt, just opening them when they’re when the sights in front of you. So that’s a big, big thing. So what else what else we got to do pitfall wise, well, that
Jacob Thomson 28:19
would love to quickly share with you even a test that we did on a on a homepage, like a simple verse busy. And this was in the in this was in the pet niche stride. And this was just the original was just like we said it was trying to give away too much too soon. It was just giving, putting everything on the homepage and thinking that, you know, if we give the user everything, then they’ll find what they need. But they’re so overwhelmed of stuff that they don’t need, they don’t end up shopping at all. So we actually simplified the homepage and made and gave it a lot more whitespace and just a lot more easier on the eyes. So you know they’re shopping and they’re laying in bed shopping on their phone, it’s not enough to think too much. It’s very clear and easy to understand. We tested those two designs on the homepage, a simple versed busy. And there was an 8% conversion rate difference on the simple against the busy. So if that, you know doesn’t tell you something, but that you look at your homepage today or tonight and you think you know, am I there? Is that too much? Is it Am I trying to, you know, advertise absolutely everything. Or if I’m just trying to make it really easy on my users to give them the navigation, they need to decipher what they want. And that’s exactly right. And the like I actually I really liked what you said with separating the elements as well. And another important aspect to that is that you don’t want to create with your design elements on your homepage. You don’t want to create any like false bottoms or anything like that. You want to just give it clear, distinct, make it very distinct that you’re separating one element to another and don’t try and jam it all in. And that’s that’s another aspect of the design aspect that you should be aware of when designing your homepage. So
Tanner Larsson 29:53
Explain what a false bottom is because I know a lot of people probably don’t even aren’t even aware that they’re using false bottoms and how that how that applies. Yeah, that’s
Jacob Thomson 30:01
true. So a false bottom, I would say let’s, let’s say a majority of the, the homepage would be, you know, a white and stuffs on white background. And then you have one element that’s just, it’s on like a, it’s, it could be a picture, or it could be just a particular element on the homepage that has a black background, it’s just got like a straight line black finish to a white on from one side or the other side, right? One color to another color. And it’s just stripe, that in your brain can signify like, Okay, I’m at the end of that pay, and will reduce the actual scroll depth of the user. If they are if they just see one card to another and blank because they think, okay, I’m constantly getting to the end of this content and of this content, you want to be able to use a design. You can keep you can achieve certain things. So you can even like slant the car, slant the end of that element on like a line to the right or break it up a little bit so that it’s not taking up the full width of the screen. So that I believe that that’s the actual end of of your page. And that’s creates, that’s what a false bottom is. So if you have one color to a nice one solid color to another solid color that goes across the whole site, it can signify that that’s the end of the content. And you don’t want to be doing that because obviously reducing your scroll depth.
Tanner Larsson 31:11
Reduces conversions. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Cool. All right. So anything, any other things to be aware of you want to go through before we move on?
Jacob Thomson 31:20
Um, I think that the main things would be the visual hierarchy. And then the simple simplifying, so reducing the cognitive load, and then yeah, making the design elements and making sure that no, no false bottoms or anything like that.
Tanner Larsson 31:34
Okay, so now we’ve gone through all the elements, you want some weighting elements, I’ve got some tests, and then also what to avoid. Now let’s dive into how do I structure my homepage. So we want to basically tell somebody who’s listening to this, like, give them an action plan. This is how you can structure your homepage, so they can go compare it to their homepage when they’re done listening.
Jacob Thomson 31:52
Yep, yep. Perfect. All right. It’s funny, you actually said that as soon as you said that, soon, as we moved on to the next question, I remembered something that you should be, you should be aware of, let’s hit it real quick. And it’s it’s important one, because this will reduce the bounce. This will reduce the bounce rate on your on your homepage as well. So we know how important it is to get people on our email list, right, so we have your email capture. But one thing that we see time and time again, is people that will spam email captures, they could have like something that pops up right away. So when I click on a site, the last thing I want to see something pop up in my face right away where I have to try and either navigate it, close it and then continue on to where I want to be. So if you have email captures on your site, we love to like, we like we use things such as Twilio, or even as SMS pop ups like carts guru and all these other great features that were very profitable for us, you want to ensure that these are not distracting, or I would say obstructing the users ability to navigate your site. So something that would be an obstruction or a friction point would be actually having those things on page load. And typically we have a delayed, delayed pop up where it could even be usually typically, it’s something that we do on accident 10. So we if and this is the way the program figured out if the customer is about to you know scroll off and close their that web page or anything like that, we can actually give them a pop up and try and capture that email because we know how valuable an email can be. And we can have them on our on our klaviyo Lists, and all those all those different great programs that we can retarget them later on. But do not spam or, or sort of bombard your user with pop ups or captures or anything like that, like some sites we see like three pop ups before you can even get to a click click. It’s crazy. They’re trying to get you on their email list their SMS list their messenger list, push notifications. Yeah, yeah. But before you even know what they’re trying to sell you. And it’s it’s extremely frustrating. And you’re already angered your visitor before they’ve even tried to shop with you. So make sure that things are on exit intent. If you’re going to do those things and don’t you don’t need more than one I would say, just keep it to one, find out what your what your most profitable sort of retargeting method is whether it’s email, SMS, and just and just push that one and optimize that one. And you can always get this you can always get a mobile later on through checkout or anything like that. If your job is if your site’s done a great job to sell the product.
Tanner Larsson 34:25
So sorry, that was important. No, that’s a good one. That’s the one we should not have ignored. So that’s, I’m glad you caught it. So yeah, okay, we got that one. Now let’s move into page structure.
Jacob Thomson 34:34
Yeah, awesome. So I’m going to go on the mobile design, obviously, like, you know, 70 to 90% of our users are going to be on mobile. So we want to make sure that we’re designing that first. So I’m going to this, this couple of these can be swapped around. But this is going to be our typical structure of the homepage that we use for our amplified, amplified partners. And the only times that these will be sort of swapped up as if we tested some things to be higher than others and they worked that way. But this is something that you should test for your own site as well. But this is going to be a great little sort of example that you can think of in your head and relate back to and say, Okay, this is how I should structure it. So we’ve got on our mobile, we’ve got our header banner that you could include your value propositions up there, or anything, that you’re running a promo or something like that, anything up on that top, top banner, right. And then you’re going to have your logo and your mobile menu there with your cart, and ensuring that those are actually labeled with menu and cart underneath. Because, you know, you’re, I know, it’s easy for us to assume that everyone knows what the hamburger menu is. But some people that may be shopping, haven’t done much online shopping before don’t know what three or four lines are, or what the little cart, you know, the shopping bag option option is so just labeling them, they know exactly what they are, it’s providing clarity. And then you’ll have your you can have you a banner, like your Your the one we spoke about the big value proposition banner, which is super important, obviously, that’s going to take up most of your above the fold real estate. And if you’d like below those ones, you could have your trust badges, your seals, like three to four, or that could be replaced with your most popular items collection that one, but we’re talking about that, you know, putting that a lot of users were shopping that one collection, so we put that front and center to give them easy access to actually go back into that collection and shop those popular products. Underneath that would be your your top, you know, top four top six collections that they were sure that your most popular collections that they have in the mobile menu there and bring them out of the homepage. And then right under that collection. Could be a testimonial, like your testimonials or testimonials or even a little bit about a story. We love a concept that we’ve been implementing lately. It’s actually like a it’s like a message from the CEO or we don’t like to say CEO of a business obviously like that, because we’re trying to the Small Business method.
Tanner Larsson 36:55
Like personalized it.
Jacob Thomson 36:57
Yeah, personalizing it people shop from people. So we’d like to say it could be a message from the owner or a little bit about their mission or anything like that, that gives sort of evokes some emotion as to why they should shop from you as well. And just knowing that they’re buying from real people is super important. And then under those details, this could be in the footer, or it could be above the footer is giving the user contact details especially. And one of the biggest things we’ve tested lately as well, or in the past his mobile phone numbers people would love like the trust the amount of trust that goes in when you actually add a mobile phone. So they know that they can pick up and call someone if they have any issues or if they have any questions is massive. Everyone knows that what you think like when if you’re trying to get customer service from someone or if you got like a phone bill overdue or you want it anything like that, and you know that you have to email them or something like that, and you think I could be waiting days to get this back. But if there’s always we always look for the phone numbers, we want quick action. And if you’re if your site has a phone number, right, and this could be a very, it’s very cheap to implement is on your site. So it’s a no brainer to actually do it. But to get a phone number, and put it on your site. So it gives that extra trust. So your users can pick up the phone and call you if need be. And this works especially well. So I do highly recommend including that in other areas of your site even further up. We’ve had another test instead of the value proposition is in the banner, we just put the phone number there, because it was an older demographic for this particular client. And we wanted to one of the one of the older demographic to know that they could pick up the phone and call us if they had any issues. And we had a huge convert Add To Cart increase, just because they knew that they could call the phone if they had any issues at all. And then on ensuring and this is something that gets missed as well would be your footer links. Just make sure that the informations there, people want to know that we know they want to see their guarantee or their shipping and return statements or anything like that, that you’re providing the user with those helpful links. Because if they’re not there, it’s automatically taking that trust away that, you know, it could be a scam site or anything like that. So providing all that information there. And then the last one, you could throw some social links in there, but don’t make I would say not make them too prominent, because you obviously want your visitors to stay on your site and shop with you, as opposed to actually going away to your Facebook or your Instagram. So I know I spurted out a lot of information there. But that’s to get through it all I had to. And that’s the most, I would say the most important information that you need to provide on your homepage.
Tanner Larsson 39:31
So one other thing that just popped in my head that we didn’t really talk much about was top level navigation. And so why don’t you just isn’t just related to the homepage, but it starts there. So why don’t you just talk a little bit about our philosophy on top level navigation.
Jacob Thomson 39:49
Yeah. So um, mainly for desktop, because that top level navigation will be behind the menu link or the menu button on mobile but on desktop when you load up a site, you’ll have your logo and you’ll have, you know, your your top level navigation there. And from left to right, that would include your most popular collections. So it would have. And, and another important thing is don’t people I see like people with three links, and it could be a shop link, a Contact link, and then about link, that means the customer has to go into each of these links, or go into the shop link to find the collection that they wanted. And then go to the product page, it’s giving the user more steps to find what they’re looking for. If you give your your popular collections right away on the homepage, they know exactly what they’re coming for. They have they have the collections right there on the top level above the fold. And, and then you can include an all products link in there as well. So if they’re not really sure what they’re looking for, they can go to an old products link, which will take them to the collection page, and they can sort what they’re looking for there. But yeah, that top level navigation is crucial for desktop, and ensuring that they’re the most clicked and used collections on that on that top level navigation there. And including something like an embedded OS or anything like that, if that’s if that’s really important to your site, if your site, I would say is not heavily mission focused or anything like that, then something like an About Us page may not be that important on the on the top level navigation because you won’t have too much emotional invoking information to share on those sort of pages. But ah, yeah, ensuring that there could even be a contact us button on there, if it’s something like that. And these are things, just ensuring that your collections, your most popular collections are on that top level navigation.
Tanner Larsson 41:35
So what about things like drop downs? Or you know, mega menu type stuff?
Jacob Thomson 41:41
Yeah, yeah, so the optimization side of those, our homepage elements would be for desktop, there’s been a lot of tests involving actually showing if you’ve got the room, depending on how many collections, a little thumbnail images on desktops next to the collections to sort of like that visual element of what they wanted to show that’s out. So that could be like a a intermediary category page almost on the drop down and utilizing those drop down. So I like to have, say, when you’re scrolling around a desktop, when you hover over something, and it automatically drops down. That can be a bit of a distraction, if you’re just mousing over things. So I typically like to have like clicking on click drop down menu, so they can really want to expand that collection, then they can click on it. And instead of all being overhaul because it can be quite distracting when you’re trying to navigate a site. But definitely those intermediate category pages work really well on the homepage with drop downs. And obviously sorting those drop downs from most shop or most like our, like, highest collections to, to the lowest. So you want to if your most popular collections are saying hats, shirts, making sure they’re in order from top to bottom.
Tanner Larsson 42:55
No, absolutely. And I’m glad you went through that, because I was thinking we know that’s gonna come back people are gonna be like, Oh, I have this massive navigation of all these links that don’t actually matter. And so we really want to make sure we do that. But, bro, this was good. This was really good stuff. I really appreciate it. I know everybody’s gonna get a lot out of this guys, we’re gonna have Jacob on again, we had to reschedule this one with him. Because last time we had it scheduled, it was actually 3am. And there’s some reason he didn’t really want to get up at 3am to do a podcast. I don’t know why. But we’re gonna schedule these later in the day for him so that he can do some more episodes of this because he’s got a lot more to share. But right now guys, what I need you to do is if you’re on iTunes or Stitcher or whatever, wherever you get your podcast, make sure you click the subscribe button right there. And also leave us a review. And then if you’re over on YouTube, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel. Remember, guys, this is a video podcast. So a lot of times we’re sharing things on the screen that you may want to actually visually see. Otherwise, you may just want to look and see how handsome Jacob is. Either way, you’re going to want to hop over onto the YouTube channel, make sure you’re subscribed to that I highly recommend you subscribe to both the audio version on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and then also the video and to get the show notes or links to either the iTunes or the video podcast or whatever. Just go to build gross scale.com forward slash podcast and it’s all right there. And with that, guys, we will see you in the next episode. Thank you for joining us. Have a great day.
Jacob Thomson 44:20
Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.
Ecommerce Store Audit
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Ecommerce Store Audit
Want us to do an Audit on your e-commerce store and show you how you can make some quick changes that will dramatically increase sales and profits without increasing your traffic?