Assuming you have created your company’s brand story using the story brand frame, it’s time to use this framework to refine your homepage so that you can grow your business. By definition, a home page is the page typically encountered first on a website that typically contains links to other pages on the site.
A good digital presence starts with a clean and efficient home page. Prospects can hear about your business through social media, paid ads, or word of mouth, but prospects will often go to your website to find out more. When a prospect lands on your website homepage, their hopes must be upheld and they must be convinced that you have a solution to their problem. Gone are the days when a website was a clearinghouse for all of your business information. Today, your homepage should be the equivalent of an elevator pitch, not a giant repository for everything about your business. Your home page is likely to be the first impression a prospect will have of your business. There are five things your homepage should include:
- An offer above the waterline
- A clear call to action
- Pictures that show what success looks like
- A breakdown with links to your offers
- Fewer words and more lists and images
An offer above the waterline
When a prospect lands on your homepage, the first thing they should see is a picture of what success looks like., a line of text designed to encourage and attract the prospect to buy from you, and a call to action, all above the fold. The term above the fold comes from the newspaper industry and refers to the carefully selected teaser articles printed above, where the newspaper is folded in half.
On a homepage, the image, single line, and offer above the fold are things a prospect should see and read before they start scrolling the page. Think of the posts you share above the waterline as equivalent to the first date. This should create enough intrigue to make them want a second date. As a prospect scrolls down the page, you can share a little more content, suitable for the second or third date. But to get a second date, you have to go on the first.
Above the waterline you will need a short sentence or a single line that will help the prospect understand what you are offering and an image that will show them what success will look like. For example, if you visit the Shopify homepage, you will see their simple post that says “Anyone, Anywhere Can Start a Business,” a woman developing her own website on a laptop and a transition call to action for “Start Free Trial” in the upper right corner.
Make sure the images and text meet one of the following criteria:
- They Promised A Budding Identity – Can You Help Your Prospect Become Proficient At Anything? Will they be a different person once they get into your business?
- They Promised to Fix a Problem – Prospects don’t go to your website to find out how your business started, they want to see how you can help them solve a problem.
- They say exactly what you are doing – for example, “We sell clothes” or “We do hair”.
A clear call to action
The purpose of your home page is to create a place where a call to action makes sense and is engaging. People don’t read your page from top to bottom like it’s a newspaper article. Instead, research has shown viewers are browsing the page. Therefore, there are two main places you will want to place a call to action. The first is at the top right of your home page and the second is in the center of the screen above the fold. A prospect’s eyes will move quickly in a Z pattern on your homepage, so assuming the top left corner is where you have your logo, the next best place for a call to action. is at the top right. If your tagline is at the top, the next best place for your call to action is in the middle of the page. For best results, your call to action should exit the page and appear in a different color and / or font.
Prospects who land on your homepage don’t want to see your building facade or spend their mental energy reading about the features and benefits. These types of images and messages are best displayed under the cover.
Above the fold should contain an image of a smiling, happy person who has had the pleasure of engaging with your business. Images of people smiling and / or appearing satisfied speak to your prospect and represent an emotional destination they would like to head to. If you want to display images of your products, show them in the hands of a smiling customer. Of course, not all of your images need to include smiling people, but they should communicate a sense of well-being and satisfaction and the easiest way to do that is to simply display a happy customer.
Think back to the problem in your story brand frame. How can you show a client how to conquer their villain, solve their external and internal problem, or demonstrate victory over their “should” or “shouldn’t” philosophical dilemma?
Distribution of your products or services
If your business has multiple sources of income, your challenge is to find a general message and image that unifies them. For example, when I had an invisible fencing business, we offered both self-installation kit as well as installation. The text above the fold might say something like “The key to a great pet containment system is a custom installation” and the picture might show me as a guide telling the customer how to make sure. that his dog would never be again. unearth their precious roses or escape down the aisle. In this way, the image and the text would also be suitable for the do-it-yourself and do-it-yourself options.
As the prospect scrolls down the page, they can see a section that talks about the DIY product and another about your DIY service. If you have multiple products or services, you can always use a series of transition calls to action for each of them, which will direct the prospect to a separate landing page. By definition, a landing page is a separate page on a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink on another web page, typically the home page of the website.
Very few words
Prospects no longer want to spend a lot of time reading content on landing pages. Rather, they simply scan them. If you include a paragraph of text above the fold, chances are your prospect won’t read it. When a customer scrolls down the page, it’s okay to use a few more words, but never resort to a dense description. Some of the more successful websites used ten sentences or less on their entire homepage. It is best to use as few words as possible by using lists and pictures to reduce the number of words you use.
How can you use the story branding framework to revise your homepage?