Hey, what's up everyone. It's Nicolas. Welcome to Online Marketing For Profits. This is episode 8. I should probably say this is the episode I was most excited to record when I was thinking about releasing a podcast because I knew this was going to be somewhat controversial and not controversial in a way that I'm going to offend anyone or something like that, certainly not, but it's going to be controversial I think because it goes against current design trends and the way that we as designers and internet entrepreneurs design websites these days. I'm really, really looking forward to sharing with you this template I've come up with. I've had tremendous success with clients. I think my batting average is probably over 80% meaning that four times out of five when I test this template with a new client it gets a win. It gets an increase in conversions, an increase in leads, increase in sales. It's an excellent template to test at least on your website.
Before I get started with that, I just wanted to do a quick side bar. The releases of the episodes you might be wondering there's been quite a gap between episode 7 and 8, about three weeks, the reason being that wasn't really planned although it fit well to some extent with the Christmas break. I guess everyone was busy and everyone wanted to spend time with their family and travel and everything like that. Maybe you didn't miss me as much because you were so busy with everything else. I get that. That wasn't what I was planning. I was actually planning on releasing an episode every week even during the Christmas and the holiday season. The reason I didn't do that though is that my father passed away just before Christmas. The days leading to that and the weeks after that I decided to completely shut down everything and take some time off with my family and spend some quality time with them. I appreciate your patience from episode 7 to 8.
It's 2016 now. I'm ready to get back in it. Hopefully this episode, episode 8, is going to be something that is an eye opener for you. It's an excellent episode to kick off the year. Because I think if there's one test or one thing you can change on your website probably, it would be something that looks like what I'm going to discuss today. I'm quite excited to share it with you.
A Controversial “Homepage” Template
The official title of the episode is A Controversial Homepage Template, but honestly this is a template that you can use on a lot of pages on your website the homepage being one but also product pages, opt-in pages, pop ups, exit pop ups/entry pop ups.
Actually the template itself is not revolutionary. You won't fall out of your chair necessarily because you've probably seen something that looks like this very often on a lot of websites. Probably your opt-in page, your pop ups, your product pages resemble what I'm going to discuss. I'm sure there's some elements in there that I'm going to throw out at you that you might want to add to these pages that you might have already. I think where the controversy starts is for homepages. I've talked about this on episode 2 when I talked about the conversion mistakes that start ups and even Fortune 500's make. Because when it comes to the homepage especially, the current design trend is to keep it very simple, very lean. You typically have a big imagery, a headline, a call to action and that pretty much sums up what a lot of web designers are coming up with these days.
WordPress is a big culprit of this. A lot of themes out there are built like that because it tends to be current trends. Typically that's wrong. It's a template. I mean the way we design these homepages these days with the big imagery and just the headline and the call to action it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on those elements to deliver. If you're just using a headline and a call to action to get people to sign up for your service, sign up for your product, sign up for your list or whatever it is if that headline doesn't deliver, doesn't connect with them, it doesn't give them the good benefit or what they want to hear, they're done. They're out. If you see a good exit rate on your homepage and you're seeing that you're not necessarily properly funneling people through your website, this is certainly a template you want to look at and maybe some changes you want to make on your homepage.
Because again if you miss on the copy of that headline or the call to action is not quite in line with what your user base is expecting, they're just going to bounce out or they might just never convert, never come back. This template is much heavier than current design trends where you have a lean image and just a headline and call to action. It has a lot of copy in it. It has a lot more persuasive elements and a lot more design things, design elements that actually work towards conversions. When you have a big imagery behind that headline, sure it can set the mood, it could relate some emotion that is in line with what you're trying to sell, but typically it stops there. It won't necessarily do anything to convert them forward. I mean it might be semantics but the design elements I'm going to introduce today in my template are much more in line to get them to convert. I'll explain what those are today.
If you really like the current design trends, don't be discouraged when you hear everything that goes into my template. There are ways to merge current design trends in my template. I'll tell you about those also at the end of the show. Like I said this can be used for homepages, product pages, opt-ins, pop ups, but especially I think the controversy is for the homepage. This is where you should at least try and test it on your homepage because from my experience working with dozens of clients this is really a good winner to try.
How does the template work? You want to imagine basically mostly above the fold content. That's basically what the template is. There's some things we want to do just below the fold. If you don't know what that is when you stumble upon a page, the fold is whatever is underneath what you are already seeing. Whatever you have to scroll down to see. Depending on your computer, your resolution of your card, depending on the resolution of your monitor and all of that you'll see more than some other people. Some people will see less. Whatever is below the fold is basically everything that you have to scroll down to see. The template covers everything that's above the fold and some elements below the fold to make sure that people do scroll and see things down there.
1. A Strong Headline
I want you to imagine that area of your web page and split it into two columns, so the left column and the right column. The left column is going to be very copy intensive. It wants to start by having a headline, a good bold headline that you can easily see at first glance. It needs to be in a font size that automatically draws my eyes in. It needs to be big enough. Although you can test it you don't necessarily want something like twenty words in it. It should be something smaller than that. Although if you test it and twenty words is the winner, then that's fine. As a general rule you want something that can easily grab my attention and that basically is the first thing I'll see when I come to your homepage.
The headline should have a benefit or a like. What do people like about your product or your service or maybe a counter objection, so something that's bothering them that concerns them before they sign up with your service or product or about your product, and what you could do to counter it. If for example you're not necessarily known to your audience but you have great clients, this is a good place to start saying here's why this company and this company uses us every day or something like that. It throws in there that you are an established product or service that a lot of people like. If you're looking for headlines and good ways to grab attention with either a benefit or a like or to counter objection, then you can look in my toolkit available at onlinemarketingforprofits. If you look at my swipe file, in there are over a hundred headlines from some of the best in millionaire maker copywriters that you can grab for free just look for the toolkit in my swipe file.
Obviously also on top of having a benefit or countering objections you want define what your USP is, which is your unique selling proposition. That headline needs to hit a lot of things. Unique selling proposition is where you differentiate yourself from other websites like yours. What makes you special? What makes you unique? Maybe you have the lowest prices, maybe you have the best quality whatever it is you want me to understand at first glance when I see that headline what you're all about. I should understand what you're selling and why I should be paying attention to you that's what your USP does. Try to be as specific as possibly. Generic things like, “We have the greatest customer service”, everybody says that and so I'm not going to care. You want to be as specific as possible and differentiate yourself in that USP that headline.
At first glance when I see the headline on the homepage, I know what your website does, I know what you're going to possibly sell to me, and what makes you different, why I should not bounce off basically. That's the headline. Make it big and bold and that's basically the top part of the left column.
2. Sub-Headline Introducing the Bullets
Underneath that headline we're going to have a sub headline. Basically the first job of the sub headline is to introduce what's going to be underneath the sub headline and there it's going to be bullets. I'm going to get to the bullets in a sec. Basically the sub headline needs to introduce and make me read what those bullets are. This is a good place where I like to inject trust building numbers something like here is why, I'm just making this up, “Here's why 12,587 parents used us in 2015”, something like that. The “here is why” type of sub headline is going to make me read what's underneath there because I know in the bullets something that's coming up you're going to give me the why.
Also the 12,000 parents is a good way to inject social proof in there. If you're not using for example clients or big brands in your headlines, that's fine, but a sub headline is a great place to do it, “Here's why Apple, Google, and Mattel trust us with their SEO strategy”, whatever it is. This is where you can do two in one. You want to make sure that people read the bullets that are underneath that, and also you can inject some good trust building numbers. You have the headline, big bold, and the sub headline. Obviously the sub headline is going to be in the smaller font.
Typically I like also to change the coloring a little bit so that the headline pops more than the sub headline. For example, if the headline is going to be black or if there's a dark background that's going to be white, then the sub headline is going to be a light gray so that there's a different shade there so you know that you need to look at the headline. Obviously the sub headline is going to be in a smaller font size, slight change in the color like I said, and so it introduces the bullets.
3. “Ready to Scan” Bullets
Still in that left column you're going to have number three. Number three is the bullets. Typically you want to have three bullets. Why three not four, not two? Two seems a bit too small of a number. When you get above three, it becomes more and more difficult to read. Typically people will read the first bullet, maybe the last bullet, anything that's in between that is more likely to get lost. If you have three bullets, you want your strongest bullet at the top, your second strongest at the bottom, and your weakest bullet in the middle. If you're going to use four, that's fine too, but just be mindful that your middle bullets are not going to be read as much as your top and bottom bullets.
When it becomes more than four, it becomes more and more difficult to get the template to do it's job just because of spacing. You're pushing other things that are really important too far down the page that I'm going to get to. Try to limit it to four. It may be one or two lines of copy. Three is better. You can have two to three lines of copy in those bullets and really get your point across better. I prefer three. Sometimes I go with four. That's fine too. The way that you're going to structure your bullets because you're not going to …
What are bullets really? Bullets are basically headlines and sub headlines that you're just shaping differently. They're appeals, again benefits or likes or countering objections, but they're less important than what you want to convey in your headline. The way you want to shape those bullets is there's ways to visually make them much more appealing than what people typically do. Typically people will have a bullet point and then just have the copy there and that's okay. It's certainly better than nothing. The bullet point can be something that's positive.
Typically a green check mark is the best one to try out. Maybe a green arrow is something also you can try. If you have some icons that are really relatable to what you're saying as you look at Online Marketing For Profits … By the way if you look at onlinemarketingforgprofits.com today the homepage, you'll see a version of this template that I'm talking today. It might be different because I'm testing things out. I'm always going to be testing, especially such a prominent page there. There might be some tweaks here and there that I'm testing out. You'll see that the homepage that I'm using on onlinemarketingforprofits is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about today. Typically your bullet point just try a green check mark it's what conveys the most optimism. A check mark conveys the fact that it's done. It's a fact that those bullet that are coming after are not negotiable. These are things that are accounted for. It increases the trust factor.
The way you're going to structure your bullet is you're going to have a title to your bullet. The first thing you're going to have is the green check mark and then a small title just maybe three or four words. You're going to bold that title and then you're going to get to the rest of the copy. For example, if you have … Let's go back to the example of those clients, some of your clients and you're selling SEO, your bullet title might be, “Trusted by Apple, Google, and Mattel.” Then you can have … and, I don't know, “Hundreds and hundreds of other clients in fifty-three countries”, so it's a very, very strong bullet. Obviously the way that we're designing it is that some people will not want to spend the time to read your bullet entirely. By having that three or four words that are bolded to started bullet if the people are just scanning around the page, they're much more likely to grab to that. Obviously the bolded part of the bullet needs to be the strongest of your bullet. Make sure it snaps and people can resonate with that.
If they're just scanning your bullet, you'll get your point across and they'll get it. Just a few words in bold and then the rest of your copy try to keep it maybe two or three lines max for just scanning reasons in the way that if it gets longer than that it starts to look like a big block of text. People read those less. Like I said three bullets, green check marks, title your bullets in bold for scanners and keep them two three lines … Again if you're looking for inspiration ideas for those bullets, bullets are really just headlines and sub headlines. It's the same thing, same way that you should structure them. Go to my swipe file on onlinemarketingforprofits.com and grab that hundred headlines from those copyrighting giants to help you out.
4. Eye-Catching Hand Written Copy + Arrow
On the left-hand side we've got the headline with benefit, your unique selling proposition, a sub headline introducing the bullets, and we've got those three bullets with the green check marks and the bolded title. Now we get to the last part of that left column and that's where you'll want to draw the eyes into the right column because the call to action, as you probably notice we haven't talked about a call to action yet, is going of be on the right-hand side. I want to make sure that people once they read the headline, the sub headline, and the bullets they actually start looking right where the call to action is. What I'd really like to do here it's really, really powerful, you can see something like that also on my homepage, is to have some handwritten font because handwritten font is something that instantly grabs our attention. It's like faces on a web page. We just are drawn to those because it's so different than what we typically see on a web page.
Obviously we don't have handwritten fonts. When we do use handwritten fonts, it has a much higher success rate of being read and getting your point across. What you'll want to have is some handwritten copy and an arrow, typically also a hand drawn arrow, pointing to the right-hand side of the page and typically that's where the call to action is. I'm going to get to the right column in a bit. That's what this handwritten copy is going to … the purpose is going to be. You don't want to just say, “Hey, guys look to the right.” Say you're selling an E-book you don't want to just say, “My E-book's over there.” Also include benefit in your copy. Reiterate maybe your strongest benefit and draw the eyes to your visitors on that call to action on the right-hand side.
If you're selling an E-book, you might want to say, “Grab the latest copy before we sell out.” I'm just making something up. It might be a benefit. It might be something like I just used which is time restraint, a sense of urgency, that adds to persuasion. Whatever it is don't just say, “Hey, look right.” Try to either include a benefit or some persuasion element like urgency to draw the eyes into the call to action on the right-hand side. That's the last column so we have the big bold headline, the sub headline introducing the bullets, those three bullets, and then a handwritten font with a handwritten arrow pointing right to the right column. That's the left-hand side.
As you can see it's much more heavy copy wise than what you typically see on homepages. You might have seen a template like this on product pages or opt-in or pop ups. Typically on product pages the copy is going to be on the right. I'll explain when I talk about the right column why on a homepage it should be different. It's quite different than what you typically see on homepages these days. I urge you to test it out. If you are in line with your user benefits likes and counter objections, I bet certainly a good amount of money that this is going to be out converting your current homepage. Let's break for the Offline Ignition Minute where we talk about your body language as an entrepreneur. When we come back, I'll talk to you about that right column. What are we going to put on the right-hand side? It's going to be very interesting you'll see. I look forward to sharing that with you after the Offline Ignition Minute.
5. Quality Video or Image Shot
Back to that controversial homepage template that just sells more. Before the Offline Ignition Minute we talked about the left-hand column lots of copy. Now, on the right-hand column it's going to be much more fun to some extent. What do we have on that right-hand column? I hinted to that on the last part of the left column which is the handwritten font, the arrow. I'm going to get to that in the next step. The fifth element of the homepage template basically on the right side of your headline, your sub headline you want to have some kind of imagery. You want to have a video if you can. Video sells a lot. If you have a video introducing your product or service in a good way tailored to your user base with some benefits in it and all that, you can put that there. If you have some imagery of your product that you're selling …
For example if you look at Online Marketing For Products right now, you'll see a mash up of my toolkit that you can opt-in to get, so my swipe files, so those headline templates I was talking about in the first part and other things you'll want to maybe look at. That's the imagery I'm using. If no matter what you're using is an image or a video, you'll want to use something that lightens the mood. The left-hand part is a lot copy heavy. We want to make sure that on the right-hand side it's a lot more light. It's less noise. It's less intensive. A good size image, a video, is a good thing to add there. What you want to do no matter what you use, image or video, is you'll want to add a caption too underneath that image or that video.
6. Caption with USP or Offer Benefit
Oftentimes I like to restate the unique selling proposition or the offer. For example if I have a video, I want to give them a reason to watch. I'm not going to say watch this two minute video of our CEO Nicolas Fradet. That's boring. That doesn't give me really a good reason to watch it. You'll want to say something like watch this two minute video … If it's a video, you'll want to add the time length especially if it's quite short because I don't want to get into a fifteen minute video at this time. If it's just a few minutes, you can say it. That's always good. You can say something like watch this two minute video of Nicolas our CEO to get this product for free or to get whatever your USP is, your offer is, you'll want to state it in there in the caption.
Captions get read a lot. That's why we're adding one there. Even though you have that big imagery or a video, you want to make sure that people will get what it is and understand what's in it for them. Using a caption is a great way to restate a USP or to restate your offer. That's on the top part of right column.
7. Call-to-Action with Trigger
Next underneath that you're going to have the call to action. You want to make sure that whatever the dimensions of your video, your image, of your thing about how big am I going to make this, basically you want to make sure that the call to action that's underneath that lines up with the handwritten font and arrow I was talking about in the left column. You want to make sure that people read the copy on the next column, they see the handwritten font, they see the arrow, their eyes is drawn into the right-hand side and that's where the call to action is basically that height. The call to action is that big button. You want to make it a bold color. I've seen some people say, “This color converts better than that color.” Typically that's not really true. What is true though is that the call to action needs to stand out. It needs to be a bold enough color that's not repeated somewhere else on the site.
If you have in your logo there's red, in your navigation bar there's red, the headlines red, don't make the call to action red. It needs to be a unique color in your entire website. Whenever I see green I know that green is a call to action. It could be blue. It could be green, could be orange, yellow, red whatever it is that's fine. Typically it won't matter what the color is per se, but it will matter if the color of the call to action is the same color as everything else. Then your call to action will get lost and that's when you lose conversions. Make sure the call to action pops and that it's a unique color in your color scheme.
You have that big button, bigger is better typically. You want to have on that call to action make sure that you're using copy that makes sense. Tell me what's next. Tell me what I'm getting into when I click that call to action. Don't say, “Submit”, or some crap like that just say, “Get started with this the new SEO”, whatever it is get a hint of a benefit. Tell me what's going on when I click that call to action. If you're looking to add a little bit on that call to action, you'll want to add what is called a call to action trigger. What is a trigger? A trigger is the small line of copy underneath the call to action. Typically it's the same color as the call to action. If your call to action says that, “Get started in two minutes”, has a benefit in it, super quick that's good, “Get started in two minutes”, underneath that I want to have a line of copy to reiterate the benefit of clicking that call to action.
Perhaps something like, “You'll be set up with your account and be working on the software very quickly in just under two minutes”, whatever it is just restate something. It's a good place to have trust building factors. For example, if it's a paid product, a paid service, and there might be a credit card involved in the transaction, you might want to add as a call to action that you're getting a free trial. You can cancel anytime. Something like that are good things to add as a trigger. The trigger and the call to action are basically one big object. Let's say it's green the big call to action, green with a good benefit, and underneath that a trigger that you add just a line of copy there just to reinforce and give additional benefits … Like I said if it's a free trial just cancel anytime something like that, is really, really powerful as a trigger.
That sums up the top part of the homepage. The left column a lot of copy with the handwritten font to the right and on the right column either an image or video, a caption reinstating the USP or the offer, and then a big bold call to action with a call to action trigger those are good to have. That's the top part. Those were two columns.
8. Good Testimonials
Now underneath that you're going to have something else that's going to span across the entire width of the page. No more two columns now. It's going to be across the entire width of your page. There's going to testimonials. Typically the way you design it, I mentioned in the start of the show about making sure that people read what's underneath the fold, and so you want to make sure that those testimonials are where the fold falls so that people understand that there's something beneath the two columns basically at the top. Make sure that it's tight enough that people understand and they start to see those testimonials.
I've spoken about testimonials in a previous episode. If you want to get to that, it's episode 5. You want to get to how to do testimonials right. Basically you'll want to have two testimonials there, maybe three, below the two columns. Two great ones is better than ten in a carousel. Don't do carousels. I've talked about this in episode 2 in the conversion killers. Those are bad. Just have two, maybe three great testimonials. Again, if you want to really learn about doing testimonials properly, go back to episode 5 when we talk about doing them right. Even if you don't have some by the way, I've got some great cues in there about finding testimonials even if you don't have some specific to your own business.
9. Clients and their Logos
You have across the two columns the two or three testimonials that span the entire width of your page and then you want to get logos of some clients. Clients and logos of your clients are trust building factors. Obviously you probably seen them all over the place and there's a reason for that because it works. It's simple as that. You might say that's fishy or that's too trendy and things like that. There's a reason why things work and people use them all over the place. It's because they work. You want to inject if you can some logos of your clients. If you just have a few, just have a few in there. If you have some big brands, make those bigger. Maybe give a quick explanation of why these clients use you again with a headline of that section with clients and make sure that people read them and get the extra benefits of using you reinstate those.
In everything I've discussed today don't be afraid to say things twice. If they miss your sub headline, they might see the client logos because that's going to draw their attention better. Don't be afraid to reinstate some of your key winning persuasion points twice on the same page. It's fine. People will miss some parts and they'll see the next so it's always good. That was the controversial homepage template. As you can probably imagine you've probably seen this on opt-in pages and product pages before. It's not that controversial for those pages, but honestly these days the homepages are designed too differently that it tends to really kill conversions.
Now for product pages something that's quite different that you want to do probably is to flip the two columns around especially this is mostly because of big giant selling websites like Amazon that have the product images on the left and more of the information on the right. It starts to make sense when you are using your own product to start doing them. Obviously I would test it. I've had some success with some clients where we actually put the imagery on the right. We have the good selling copy on the left just like the homepage template I just talked about and that worked better. You want to test that. That's certainly something to look to. You'll see it's a lot different. The testimonials if they're done right like I talked about in episode 5, they do a great deal. Again, you want to make sure you don't have that false bottom I talked about in episode 2 in the conversion killers where people start to miss what's underneath there. Be weary of how you design and how your height is between the two columns and then the testimonials.
Again for reference sake go to onlinemarketingforprofits.com. Go to the homepage you'll see a pretty good rendition of this template. It has a few tweaks in it here and there as I'm testing things. Most of the elements I talked about today are there. I guarantee they're going to stay that way because I know this template works. If you're wondering about current design trends, “How do I reconcile the two?”, because maybe you like that big imagery and you really want to stick with that … Obviously using that copy elements and all that is going to have some things that don't fit well together. If you're going to use mega images, that's okay just make sure that all the elements in my template stand out. Basically that the copy can be read easily.
This is something that people do even when it's just a headline. Because of the mega image behind the headline, the headline is blurry you can hardly read it and that can kill readability and conversions. If you're using a big image, make sure it's in a color scheme that doesn't contradict or isn't in conflict with the rest of my template that's step one. Step two you can make it blurry a little bit so that the copy and everything else stands out a bit more. Something you can do also is start to use less textured images. Obviously the more texture there is in the image, the more detail, and the more shapes there are the more likely it's going to be in conflict with what you're putting over which is my template with a lot of copy.[Listen to this podcast episode to learn more about how images impact website conversions.]
You can also use a transparent box underneath my template. You can have the big imagery that spans across the entire width of the monitor of your website. When you get to the template I talked about, you use a transparent box. It makes sure that the copy pops more and you're not losing the image underneath there because it's transparent a little bit. That's a way to really reconcile the two. I really urge you to test it out. Yes, go for it. It's probably going to be a very bold thing to test on your website if you're using just the standard design trends, which is the headline and the big imagery. Oftentimes it really works. I can't guarantee it's going to increase your conversions, but the chances are very, very likely let's put it that way.
If you're wondering, I was talking about the homepage template. I talked about a few elements, what comes beneath those two columns, those testimonials, those logos of clients that's where you basic want to get into the details of what you're selling. You want to give more of those benefits, more detail about your product or service. I'm not going to get into that. Typically honestly people don't read those sections as much. Basically everything that's above the fold has much, much bigger impact. You want to focus your energy on that. Whatever is underneath that, whatever you have already on your homepage, just keep it that way underneath my template and you'll probably be fine because most of the test and most of the changes you want to do is above the fold content or close to it.
Now if you really want to just copy and paste this template and use it on your website, I've got an easy way for you to do it. Go to onlinemarketingforprofits.com/download in my swipe file you'll see a link to click funnels which is … You probably heard of tools like Leadpages. Click funnels is just like that but they really allow you to share a template like this homepage template I've talked about today really very easily. If you go to my swipe file on onlinemarketingforprofits, I'm going to give you the link where I share with you that homepage template. There's also links for the opt-in pages and other pages I've built in click funnels that I'm going to share with you.
If you want this specific template I talked about today, it's really, really simply. It's that simple. You click on the link to click funnels. It'll tell you, “Nicolas has invited you to share this template.” You can sign up there. Instantly, I want to say in a matter of minutes, you can have this template in your click funnels account and then host it on your Word Press page, or if it's not hosted on Word Press, it still works. Go and use it.
Don't have to build it yourself. If you don't know any coding anything like that or if your Word Press theme doesn't allow you to do that go just use my own template on click funnels. It's built for you. Just swipe it all, change the copy, and you'll be good to go within the next hour. I hope you appreciated this episode. If you want to have the show notes and all that, the show links, go to onlinemarketingforprofits.com/eight. Let me know what you think. I would really, really like if you eventually test this template and get an increasing conversion somehow. Let me know in the show notes and the comments on this page on onlinemarketingforprofits.com/eight. I'm really looking forward to hearing about your results and all that. I'll see you next time for our next episode when we talk about images and how to optimize your images for better conversions. Look forward to sharing that with you then. I'll see you next time on Online Marketing For Profits.[/TRANSCRIPT]