How a business strategy is revolutionizing the way you build your website homepage
When was the last time you brought your business strategy into your website design? If the answer is never, we get it.
As marketers and business owners, we do not bring any business strategy to our websites. We bring customer avatar vulnerabilities, strategic calls-to-action, and hero images that draw the reader's attention to our shiny CTA buttons.
It is tempting to believe that this is the best way to build a website. If the experience is designed with our customer avatar in mind, why should we bring in our business strategy?
In a few minutes, a lightbulb will shine brightly over your head. They will say, "Ohhhhhhhhh". Hit Ctrl + T to open up another tab and scroll through your website with tons of new ideas on how to improve it.
We don't talk a little better either. We're talking about the difference between an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 11. Bringing your business strategy to your homepage takes you to the next level that your competition doesn't.
And that sounds pretty cute, doesn't it?
The 5 key elements of a business strategy
Frank Cowell, CEO of Digitopia and DigitalMarketer Legacy Certified Partner, recently visited the DM office stage to explain why business strategy is an integral part of a great website home page. Based on 5 key elements of a business strategy, he can incorporate those strategies into a homepage in a way that will attract the right audience and show them why you are the solution to their problem.
As Frank mentioned in his Certified Partner Training Day session, these are nowhere near the only elements of your business strategy. You need to be strategic as a business owner or marketer, but these are the 5 key elements that can really help you create that top notch homepage.
Here are Frank's 5 key elements of a business strategy and how you can use them to build your best website homepage yet.
Element 1: purpose
Why does your business exist?
I'm sorry to send you into an existential crisis. Unfortunately it had to be done. Before we can start building your website homepage, we need to know why it exists in the first place. To be very clear, we are not asking you to burden us with full zappos and tell us that you are here to make the world a better place.
Frank doesn't ask you to figure out your "higher calling" – all you have to do is figure out why your target audience cares about your existence. If you are Tom's shoes, your audience cares about that you have a higher calling, for every pair you sell, giving a pair of shoes to someone who needs them. In that case, you can use this on your website homepage (and we are sure it will with Tom). However, if your company isn't focused on this, all you need to do is create a mini mission statement.
This mission statement should be “big enough” that it never has to change. This means that you can leave this copy as it is for years to come as it still includes what your company is doing and why.
An essential part of determining your purpose is knowing that it is not the actual work you are doing, but the result you are getting. Use this formula to create a purpose:
“At (BRAND) we exist to help / strengthen / take / etc. (HIGH LEVEL WHO) (GREATEST RESULT). "
Here are some examples of what a purpose looks like:
- "At ACME, we help dental practice owners increase awareness and demand."
- "At ACME, we support manufacturers in creating highly secure jobs."
- "At ACME, we help CPA companies triple their sales."
- "At ACME, we are here to help fathers become Father of the Year."
In the High-Converting Homepage Insider Training by Ryan Deiss, CEO of DigitalMarketer, he gave us the hard truth. Your above average content will get 84% of your website's attention. The remaining 16% are given under the fold. A little stings a little when you think about how long and how much you paid for this under-the-fold content, right?
That's why we need the above-average content to be perfect. In this case, perfect means that it has a core message. As Ryan explains in his training, that key message needs to start with clarifying your audience. This is exactly what you do with Frank's mini-mission statement.
Make it clear what your purpose is by creating a mini mission statement that shows website visitors who you are serving and the results you are getting.
Element 2: passion
What will you be the best in the world?
Have no fear. We know we just sent you into a mini-mid-life crisis in the previous section, and now we're telling you that you have to be the best in the world at what you do. Frank wouldn't ask us to do this if he didn't know for sure that we could. In Frank's Certified Partner training, he explains how your passion makes you the best in the world in what you do.
In particular, it shows you which part of the industry you are focusing on.
Let's clear something up first. Niche is often confused with a target market segment. We don't talk about that. We talk about your niche in terms of the segment of your industry that you focus on and that are great supporters.
At DigitalMarketer, for example, we don't help you with your marketing, but with your digital marketing. A furniture store is part of the furniture industry, but a luxury furniture store is a segment of that industry. Cars are an industry, but racing-inspired sports cars are a segment of that industry.
When you make the copy for this section of your home page, you need to write it for the awareness of your audience. The target groups have different levels of awareness depending on how familiar they are with your company. Ryan calls these levels of consciousness the Homepage Lifecycle Phases. The homepage of a brand new company should look very different from the homepage of a 20 year old company.
Yes, that means you shouldn't make your homepage look like Apple's. You need to create it based on the brand awareness of your audience.
There are 4 phases of the homepage life cycle:
Phase 1: Problem aware (the customer knows they have a problem)
Phase 2: Solution-conscious (the customer evaluates which solution is best for him)
Phase 3: Product Aware (People Already Know Your Product)
Phase 4: Most Aware (people know exactly what you are selling and who you are)
At each stage of the homepage lifecycle, your audience needs something different than you.
Phase 1: hope
Phase 2: clarity
Phase 3: Security
Phase 4: novelty
When you find out in your business strategy what you are best at in the world, bring that to your homepage and translate it based on the stage of the homepage lifecycle your business is in. (Note: chances are you are in phase 1 or phase 2)
Element 3: Differentiation
How are you different from other options?
In your business strategy you have limited your competitive advantage. Why would someone want to buy your product over a similar product?
You need to show your customers how different you are on your homepage. As Frank puts it, "What's the unique way you convey your passion?" Frank explains this concept brilliantly in four words:
Avoid selling the goods.
If you are selling the goods (and exactly that), you are not differentiating yourself. You have to sell the goods differently. For example, Frank shows how we did this at DigitalMarketer.
You know the Customer Value Journey, the 8-step process in which a stranger becomes an enthusiastic fan of your brand. We used the customer value journey to differentiate ourselves from the way we deliver digital marketing (the goods).
Here are two more examples of the differentiation in Frank's work:
- "Business Management Consulting" with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)
- "Accounting Services" using the Profit First method
We love to differentiate because it makes our lives better. Yes better. When you differentiate yourself through your own process, you can find clients you want to hire for * your * way of working. This means avoiding the people who want to micromanage or are unwilling to let other people run the show.
Everyone who hires you or buys your products wants to do so because of your unique way of delivery – which gives you a more seamless customer or customer experience.
Element 4: promise
What can your customers rely on when doing business with you?
Aside from your differentiators as a competitive advantage, the promises you make to your customer avatar are part of your business strategy. You are the cherry on top that makes you an obvious option for their business.
The key to curating a big promise is putting yourself at the top or at the top of it. Frank means: Don't promise to have a fast response rate, but the fastest response rate in the industry.
By being the fastest, most successful, most luxurious, etc., you make an impact. You stand out from the competition with similar products. When you add this on top of your differentiator, your business becomes a pillar of its own in your industry (not ivy trying to crawl up someone else's established pillar).
Your promises are your winning attributes or the top three features and benefits. As Frank says, these often arise from the things that customers despise in companies like yours.
Follow this template to build your pledge:
"If you choose ACME, we will (PROMISE) (BENEFIT)."
Here are some examples from Frank for promises:
- "ACME – fastest reaction, real-time analysis and best guarantee.
- "If you choose ACME, we will respond to every request within two business hours so you can not move the project forward."
- "When you choose ACME, you have 24/7 access to a real-time analytics dashboard so you always know exactly where your campaign is performing."
- "When you choose ACME, you get a three-year warranty so you can be sure your investment will last."
Element 5: focus
How do you make sure you are maximizing your differentiation and promises so that you can establish dominance?
This is where things start to simplify. Frank teaches Verne Harnish's "One Phrase Strategy," which says, "If you can't put your strategy in one sentence, you don't have it."
This is where your business strategy begins to help you make all of your future decisions (including building your home page strategically). All decisions must go through this lens of focus.
- Should we develop this new product?
- Should we buy this company?
- Should we take on this project?
- Is that the right team structure?
- Is everyone in the right place?
Does your homepage maximize your differentiation and promise?
Frank shows us some great examples of companies that live by their differentiators and promises.
Southwest: Distinguishes them from the fact that there are no first class tickets and promises to use the time they get back if they do not have to board first class passengers separately in order to be able to take off on time.
Ikea: What sets them apart is the easy-to-build furniture, and they promise that since they are flat-packed, you can easily bring them to your home from Ikea.
Have we turned on the lightbulb above your head yet? At this point it should be glowing so brightly that the competition will notice and think, "Oh, we're in trouble."
The 5 Elements of a Great Business Strategy from Frank can help you create a homepage that perfectly suits your audience. Not only do you call them about the specific problem they are facing (that you are solving), but you also meet them exactly where they are (problem or solution conscious).
And that's key to revolutionizing your website homepage.