You have 2.6 seconds to make a conscious impression with your homepage.
In those seconds you have to communicate what you have to offer and a compelling reason why your customer should choose you.
No small task.
Using your brand story as a guide for your homepage design will keep people engaged and clicking for more. We’ll explain how to use it and increase the likelihood your visitors convert to customers.
Why use storytelling?
We are wired to remember stories. The survival of the human race depended on our ability to communicate in a meaningful way and pass our stories on to future generations. When we hear a story, it engages the same areas of our brains as if we were experiencing it for ourselves. Our brains release chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine to help us remember. That’s a pretty powerful impact.
In order for your brand story to have meaning for your customer, you have to make them the hero of your story. Your brand is a helpful guide, there to usher your hero customer to success.
Use your brand story on your homepage to clarify your message and make it easy for your potential customer to see why you are the simple clear solution to their problem.
3 common homepage mistakes
To understand how to design a captivating homepage, let’s first review the three main issues with ineffective homepages.
1. The focus is on the product or service.
Your homepage is not the place for going over the features of your product or service and how it’s better than everyone else’s. The focus needs to be on the customer. It is the place to show how you can solve the customer’s problem or improve their life.
2. The message is unclear.
Remember those precious seconds you have to capture attention? They are wasted with a cluttered homepage often used in an attempt to communicate every last bit about your business on one page. Tell a clear story to convey your message.
3. The product is poor and doesn’t solve anyone’s problems.
If this is the case, the business has much bigger issues that a homepage isn’t going to solve.
To avoid making these mistakes, let’s look at what a homepage needs to accomplish and how using your brand story can help.
What does a successful homepage contain?
A successful homepage captures attention and succinctly answers the following questions:
- What does the business do?
- How does it help me?
- What do I have to do?
Using your brand story to answer these questions will get to the point directly with a memorable framework that speaks to your customer’s heart. People make purchases based on emotion, as evidenced by brand loyalty. Your brand story sets your brand apart from the competition. Communicating with your customer’s emotions with your brand story will speak volumes.
A highly successful example of brand storytelling (and a great homepage design) is Apple. Steve Jobs purposely developed his storytelling skills to market his product and develop loyalty. Each product release is highly anticipated as we are given half the story and left with a cliff hanger until the day of release. Clearly the power of the story is a useful tool for any brand.
How to incorporate your brand story into your homepage design
Hopefully, you have already established your brand story. If not, take a few minutes to sketch it out (or get some help from the professionals in the brand narrative).
Have you got your story in mind? You’re ready to put it to work on your homepage.
Here’s how the elements of your homepage bring your brand story together.
First, identify and empathize with the customer’s problem through headlines. Use them to communicate what benefits your customer will gain from your brand? How is your brand like a weapon? the hero can use to defeat the problem.
This is how you tell about what you do in a clear and concise way.
When writing headlines always keep in mind that companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions to internal. Speak directly to your customer’s problems to keep their attention and commitment.
Second, Establish your expert status and generate trust with testimonials, logos of companies you have worked with, awards and accolades, or media appearances. Show that there are real people behind the brand who will be there with the right tools at the right time.
Give them a plan and show them how to execute it with a call-to-action. Whether it’s a direct CTA to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Get Started’ or a transitional CTA like ‘Get in Touch’ or ‘Learn More’.
It should be very clear what their next step needs to be. Showing that you have a clearly laid out plan increases the trust factor while decreasing the element of risk for your customers.
Last but not the least, show what success looks like with images. Show photos that illustrate, what their life will look like with your product. Set the scene so they feel like they have already made it.
Never assume people will connect the dots – you have to lay it out for them. And do yourself a favor by using high-quality images that are relevant, current, and load quickly (39% of users stop engaging with a website if images don’t load or take too long!)
And one more thing – keep your text to the point with plenty of white space. No one is going to read a long block of text!
Bring it all together with your branding – consistent use of fonts, logos, colors, and language that show your personality, appeal to the eye and are recognizable as your brand.
Also read: Website design trends in 2020
Successful homepages start with storytelling
Maximizing those few precious seconds when a visitor lands on your site is critical to converting visitors to customers. Using your brand story is one method to ensure the design of your homepage meets your customer’s needs and encourages them to take action.
The way your website is presented influences how users view your brand. Making a few simple changes to your homepage can enhance your first impression and extend your reach.
If you need a hand giving your homepage a facelift, contact Austin Digital today.