Developing good front page content can be quite a challenge, especially for a startup as there might not yet be a marketing professional/copywriter in the team. What is too much, what is too little? Is the phrasing good enough, is the design the best it can be? Should we include this or that? It’s a bucket of questions and no one is giving decisive answers. Here are a few points that we at Usetrace have found challenging.
The message is basically what are we selling and why you should be interested. The go to way to do that is to come up with a slogan and top that with three to five value points that get more into detail on what your product is all about. These should not be set to stone and have some room iterate. You wouldn’t want to give the wrong message, now would you? Now as a startup, we have a small team with strong opinions. What the company message should be and how are we going to phrase it, so that everybody gets just as excited as we are is not just a matter of “Hey what about…”, “Yeah sounds good!”. As the message needs to be clear, it should be inspiring.
The Design etc.
The design is not really considered content, but I’m including it anyways. With front page design you are probably going to have at least as much opinions as with the message. And maybe even more questions. Should the content all be in one page? Should we hide information behind links to maybe measure which features are people most interested in? And what about the colors and positioning? Should we keep the look and feel of the previous site or create a whole new one? Is this a positive and exiting look and feel? Images and illustrations might work better than words or really give words more meaning and clarify the message. But what sort of images and illustrations would be best for us?
Obviously our front page should inform you about our product. But should it also include information about the team? Displaying images of the team and short descriptions on what they actually do for the company and who they are can build trust to the company and the product. And yet some may feel that it diverts focus from the product and customers aren’t really interested in the people behind it. There is a strong indicator that consulting companies should probably introduce their team, since they sort of are the product. But should the product producing software companies do the same?
With all these questions and a bunch of emailing back and forth, we finally realized that we cannot really know what works and what doesn’t unless we test it. It’s actually not that uncommon for people, as well as companies to try to determine the best possible solution without really asking anyone else’s opinion. This behavior is a risk and might result to never getting the nerve to publish anything at all. Or publish too late and the wrong thing.
A/B testing seems like a great way for us test our front page content. A/B testing is basically giving different versions of a product or a website to different people and thru that, determine which, the A or the B version, produces a more positive outcome (clicks, revenue, users). It’s a great way to test ideas and features with real metrics. But even with A/B testing, making hard decisions and taking risks in front page content is something we are still left with. But with the right tools and metrics, taking those daunting steps becomes a bit easier.
Stay tuned for some changes in our front page in the coming weeks. As we are rigorously observing the metrics, nothing would be more valuable than actual feedback from users and visitors! Don’t hesitate to contact us and have a great autumn!
Photo by Simon Schmitt.