BlaBlaCar — A Homepage That Actually Converts
Whether you’re a startup or an established company, your site’s homepage deserves your attention because it’s the first thing your customers will see when they arrive on your site! It’s effectively your shop window and, if you pass by a shop window that’s in disarray with all types of clothes — from goth t-shirts to suit ties — all thrown in together, you’re probably not going to feel that inclined to stop and shop. In digital marketing, this occurrence of arriving on a homepage but then quitting the site before taking the time to look around is called the Bounce Rate, and the higher this rate, the more it says about the success of your user experience (otherwise known as UX) — or lack of.
It goes without saying then that it is absolutely vital to make sure your homepage is on point, and we’re going to explore just how to do that in this article. Today, we’re going to look at one of our favourite startups, BlaBlaCar, and discuss which elements of their homepage are particularly successful in view of the Neuroscience principles that are at play.
A Search Bar That Stands Out
Perhaps the most important element of a homepage is its search bar or functionality. No matter what you’re “selling”, the search bar is an important conversion tool, helping your customers navigate through your site efficiently. It’s important, therefore, to make use of the Von Restorff Effect — by ensuring that the search bar distinguishes itself from other elements on the page through use of colour, size, position, etc. — in order to ensure your customers’ attention will be immediately attracted to it.
In the case of BlaBlaCar, where the main activity is online booking, it is essential that the search bar is as clear as possible. It is effectively the first element that we notice when landing on the Homepage as it is centralised, very large, and relatively distinguished by colour from its background image. One small suggestion here to make the search bar stand out even more might be to centre it over a more opaque background, as the image included here could potentially be somewhat distracting.
Not only does the search bar need to be clear and attention-grabbing, in order to perfectly correspond with good UX practice, it should also make use of the Cognitive Ease principle, meaning that the easier our brain can process information, the more positive an impact this will have on our behaviour. On the BlaBlaCar site, when you begin to type in the search fields, it will give you suggestions. For example, if you start to type “Lo…”, it might suggest “London” as a corresponding popular choice.
One little tip, to make your search bar even more visible (because it’s in front of on an image), you should add a transparent frame around it.
The Homepage image is the most important component of your shop window. A picture speaks a thousand words, so be careful that your image fits perfectly with the message you want to convey.
Two important things that you must know to find a background image (or images if you have multiple) for your Homepage: First, dont neglect the Visual Depiction Effect People are more inclined to buy a product when it is shown in a way which helps them to visualise themselves using it Secondly, dont forget to apply the Attentional bias that explains the way in which human beings notice and pay much more attention to things that touch us emotionally.
To sum up, you have to call on your visitors emotions !
We give BlaBlaCar a negative point here the image of an empty road will not cause the right emotions for your visitors!
All the ads are about sharing and exchange, not about loneliness !
We want to see people in a car laughing, singing, enjoying the moment! Why not have an animation as the background image (by darkening the animation to make sure that it will not disturb the use of the search bar yes we never neglect one element at the expense of another.)
Rent your apartment to strangers, travel with a stranger, pay online with your credit card, all those actions can be daunting. It shouldn’t be a surprise if I tell you that you must reassure your customers!
Using the Risk Compensation will help you to avoid scaring your customers away. Indeed, this cognitive bias explains that we are happier when we feel safe. Therefore, saying Share city-to-city car journeys with a trusted community of 30 million verified members, BlaBlaCar is applying this principle perfectly. They reassure you thanks to the figure (30 million), they show you positive reviews left by users and they use strong words as trusted and verified to make you feel safe.
Thirty million , if you take the time to think about it, it means that almost half the population of the UK uses BlaBlaCar and are verified members! And here is the Social Proof! It is the idea that we are intrinsically driven to conform and so will often be influenced to copy other peoples decisions and actions Do you know the expression act like sheep? If Scott, Jamie and Anne Marie tell you that its amazing and that half of the UK population use it, then its worth trying and there is nothing to worry about.
One last tip: Showing just one star on reviews can disturb your customers. Actually, at first glance, we can think that the reviews are negative (our brain is programmed to think that one star is bad and three or five stars is good). Be careful to avoid this kind of mistake because visual components stand out first.
In summary, the most important Homepage components are: the background image, the search bar and the trust symbol.
Want to optimise your website by implementing Neuromarketing principles? You can do it easily using Scenario, the first Neuromarketing platform for Digital and UX teams.