Should Your Homepage Be a Sales Page?

Is your website the face of a product, service or membership? If it is, you may be making the same mistake as the website we're reviewing in this video.

In today’s Website Review, we’re looking at My Fishing Cape Cod, a paid membership site offering a community and resources around fishing at Cape Cod.

The website is home to some fantastically targeted landing pages and copy. So what’s the problem?

Unless button mashing is a hobby, a new visitor would never make it far enough to see those fantastic landing pages. The homepage just doesn’t give them the opportunity to.

More...

While this is My Fishing Cape Cod's homepage, it also acts as the main sales page for the membership.

Apart from the headline and video, the homepage doesn’t sell the paid membership well. The most important elements, such as what you actually get with the membership, are hidden among the rest of the page.

From Homepage to Sales Page​

Let's take a look at the original page, and our remake:

(click to enlarge)

Taking It to the Next Level

The changes above are a huge improvement, and a sure fire way to improve conversions. But what could they do to take it a step further?

Bring some of that brilliant landing page copy to the main sales page.

As it is, there's just too little explaining going on on the homepage.

​Each feature of the membership has it's own dedicated page that highlights and explains the benefits of that feature. These are great, but they only work if a visitor clicks through to see them.

Pulling some of that great copy onto the homepage itself, by adding either a more detailed feature list or creating more sections on the page, could really help with driving conversions straight from the homepage.

Update

Take a look at My Fishing Cape Cod now. They've changed their homepage based on the review, giving their visitors more chances to take action, and highlighting the membership features directly below the main CTA.

What's Your Take?

Are you in a similar situation? Is this website review causing you to rethink the way you've structured your homepage? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Stephanie Kelly

Stephanie is a slow traveler who loves anything that can be described as remote, country or outback. She dabbles in documentary making and seeks out unique experiences. With a passion for helping small business utilize the internet for growth, she enjoys demystifying the web for those who could benefit from it most.

40Comments

Kate Smith Reply

This is very helpful information that comes at the perfect time. I am redesigning many of my pages including my home page. Thank you!

Heyy there Stephanie! This is an excellent video as I am working on revamping my website at this time. You, Shane , Hanne and all of the folks at Thrive do such a fantastic job with breaking things down in an easy to understand format. Thanks!

    Stephanie K Reply

    Thanks Kim :) Trust me, it doesn’t come naturally. Explaining things in an easily digestible way is a lot harder than it sounds, and we’re constantly working on improving that skill!

Excellent review!!!

Mirko m Reply

Excellent review with some utterly convincing make-overs for the membership-site – looking forward to more videos from you!

Lawrence S Reply

Wow, what a difference. This makeover definitely gives me ideas for adding sales elements to our home page.

    Stephanie K Reply

    It’s very easy to forget that a homepage can be both. Hopefully the changes get you some extra conversions Lawrence :)

Hey Stephanie,

Thanks for this overview.

I’m in the middle of redesigning my homepage and turning my site into a more robust Membership site.

I’m a little concerned with modifying my homepage because I’m currently relying exclusively on organic SEO for my target keywords, which means my on-page SEO needs to be optimized to the fullest (which it currently is).

Do you have any tips, insight, or recommendations on how to turn my homepage into more of a “Sales Page” while keeping the on-page SEO requirements for the page to rank well in organic searches?

Thanks,
Mike

Fabulous, constructive critique of a good looking, albeit not designed for conversiona website. You did a marvelous redesign of the home page, Stephanie. It is much more effective. I’ve been wanting to redesign my site so this was really relevant.

    Stephanie K Reply

    Thanks John, I can take all the credit. Once the re-shuffling was done, our designers had a hand in making it look presentable.

Great looking updated site. quick question: how did you get the top menu to have two different levels vs. the standard straight across look?

    Stephanie K Reply

    Hi John,

    This design was based on creating the whole page from scratch with Thrive Content Builder. The top ‘menu’ items are buttons, that you can just drag and drop in.

    If you wanted to do it with the native WordPress homepage set up, it would depend on what theme you’re using. Different themes have different options for the headers.

    If you’re using a Thrive Themes Theme, you can achieve a similar effect with the “highlighted menu item” function.

    I hope that helps!

Jae Burnham Reply

Great video. Now how do you do that?

    Stephanie K Reply

    Good question Jae :) Since this is someone’s actual website we wont be able to do a tutorial on building it. However, for a complete walk through on how to build very similar sites, take a look at the Landing Page from Scratch series in Thrive University.

David-Dorian R Reply

Really enjoyed this review! I just put together a re-launch of our website using Thrive Themes. This is perhaps the 3rd or 4th version of the site since we launched 5 years ago – and the feedback from our members is that this is the best one yet.

Still – this review gave me some additional ideas – particularly to include a whole section on features of the membership, displayed more explicitly, right under the fold. I’m even inspired to submit our site for review! Thanks Stephanie!

    Stephanie K Reply

    Glad you enjoyed it David. If you are Thrive Themes member and you did want to submit your site, you can do it here (make sure you’re logged in first).

Elizabeth R Reply

Excellent review Stephanie. It is a critical look at how a person like me would be able to revisit my site and improve on ways I would be able to revisit my site and improve on what my site would look like, and I’m sure it would improve my conversions. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Stephanie K Reply

    Thanks Elizabeth :) It’s always easier to do these sorts of reviews from fresh eyes. It can be hard to notice these sorts of things when it’s your own site.

Thank you for this! It’s super helpful.

Vincent D Reply

This has helped guide a new design for a client. Very timely. Love Thrive blogs – stoked we bought the Developer license. Thanks!

Suze K Reply

Hi Stephanie – thanks for a useful vid. I really liked the icons – are they icomoon? Thx

    Stephanie K Reply

    Hi Suze,

    You can find very similar (if not the same) icons in icomoon. Some of the more flamboyant designs are available in the premium (paid) icon packs, but there are also some great unique designs available in the free packs.

Marjolein Bakker Reply

Loved this! Very helpfull and it makes me want to switch themes! I am currently using a WP standard theme but I think your themes are better. Could you help me picking the right theme for our business Stephanie? Or is that too much asked for? We are a personal training studio and we provide grouplessons as well (we are not a fitness or regular gym). How can we use your theme to increase our sales? Thanks iin advance for helping us out! Can’t wait to start working on our new site! Thrive is such an inspiration!

    Stephanie K Reply

    Hi Marjolein,

    Any of our themes should work well for you. I know this sounds like a cop out answer, but the reason I say this is because all the Thrive Themes have the same powerful back end, and for something like what you’re describing you could use one of our landing page templates (such as ThriveBiz Beauty or ThriveBiz Medical) or if you want something slightly more customizable, take a look at Hanne’s Yoga Landing Page From Scratch video. It includes the template for the page she creates, so you can import it to your own site.

    These Landing Pages override any of the design elements included with the theme, so by loading one onto you site it doesn’t really matter which one of our themes you use. You’ll still have the back end power of a Thrive Theme, while having the freedom to make the front end look however you want.

Lots of great ideas for a membership site, which I happen to be working on for my own site and a site for and organization I’m working with. The idea adding testimonials is also a good idea.

Adrian Iacob Reply

Thank’s for sharing us this useful information!
I wanna ask you or the team if is it a way or a tutorial where we can find how to make with Thrive a short sales page like this: http://tony-robbins-upw-tickets.com/ . Whit video-background and transparent layer?
Thank’s!

Ryan C Reply

Thanks again Stephanie for the fantastic website review!

I have updated my homepage according to your recommendations > https://myfishingcapecod.com/

I feel this is going to be HUGE for my online business!

    Stephanie K Reply

    Great to hear Ryan. Thanks for being part of the review and I hope the changes work well for you!

Wow, that video makes me want to fish Cape Cod!

Hi Stephanie,
Great review! I am thinking to change the structure of the my website’s homepage and regarding what you did on your remake (put call to action buttons after each section), i’m on the good path!

    Stephanie K Reply

    Sounds like you are Murat, every good homepage needs a call to action!

juliebartkus Reply

Can thrive function as a membership site? Can pages be password protected? Thanks so much. Just learning about you. Looks awesome.

    Stephanie K Reply

    Hi Julie,

    We have a plugin called Thrive Apprentice that will be released soon (or is available now in the Membership) and this will create and host membership courses and content for you on your WordPress website, but you’ll still need a membership plugin like MemberMouse to handle the membership accounts and logins.