If getting found and getting leads from people searching on Google is important to your business, then you need to read this post about what every homepage must have to get results in local search.
First, consider why people search on Google and go to your website. Visitors are coming to your website with these specific goals.
- A solution to their problem.
- Connection with a provider that understands their problem and how they feel.
- Someone who knows what solution they need to their problem.
- A simple way to get started toward the solution to the problem.
- Brief education on the benefits of your solution to the problem.
- Someone they can trust.
Visitors Who Land on Your Homepage are on a Quest
Notice how I cleverly underlined the word “problem” in the above list?
There is really only one reason people search on Google, click on your listing in Google and then read your homepage.
The reason is that they have a problem. I know that sounds overly simple but hear me out. They are on your homepage as part of their quest to solve that problem.
To engage and convert a visitor, your homepage must articulate and connect with the reader about that problem. A great way to make that connection is to use storytelling marketing. Specifically, a storytelling technique called the quest narrative.
This article describes the sections every homepage must have to present your brand’s story in a compelling, quest narrative way.
Homepage Structure Tells a Story
Storytelling marketing is a method of using a structured narrative to communicate a message. The goal is to connect to the homepage reader (or the hero, in storytelling terms) and make them feel an emotion that will inspire them to take action.
In digital marketing, your website’s homepage is a great place to use storytelling to capture the visitor’s attention. The sequence of the homepage sections contributes to the meaning, just like a story has an evolving natural flow with a beginning, middle, and end.
Think of your homepage as a “stack” of sections. Each section is a chapter in the visitor’s quest to solve their problem. The following are seven sections every homepage must have to fully tell the story of the quest and get the desired “conversion” from the visitor.
Bold Promise Section
Answer this question: Do you provide solutions related to my problem?
At the top of the homepage, in the header area below the menu, make a bold promise or claim that shows you understand and can solve the hero’s problem. Your goal is to grab the reader’s attention, keep them on the page and motivate them to keep scrolling and reading down the homepage.
The homepage must have a headline that is clear, simple, and short as possible. Describe the visitor’s problem as if the problem is already solved. Paint a picture of the visitor having the results they want. You can use a main headline and subheadline if the main headline is short.
- Imagine if Moving was Fun
- Studying in Less Time with Less Effort
- We Make Your Phone Ring
- Feel. Look. Be. Sexy!
- Confidently Scale Your Business with Our 3-Month Accelerated Program
- Create Remarkable Real Estate Experiences
- Be Confident Your Team is Drug-Free
- Small Business Websites Without the Painful Upfront Cost
- Your Freedom Is Our Focus
- Same-Day Appointments for Quality Health Care
- Your Complete Satisfaction With Your Fence is Our Top Priority
Goal: Convey that you understand their problem.
Answer this question: Am I in the right place? Do you solve my problem?
People search on Google and visit your website for one reason, to solve a problem. A proven way to connect with people is to clearly articulate their specific problem back to them.
When we define the problem and talk about it, the reader receives a slight emotional connection. The reader feels, in effect, “OMG; this company gets me! They understand my problem.”
At this point, the prospect feels they are in the right place to solve their problem. They are excited to keep reading.
To create this feeling of connection, provide a short paragraph or bullet list of specific examples of the problem. You can also include examples of the problem solved. Include emotions if possible.
- If you’re facing criminal charges, then you are understandably worried about your freedom and future. We understand how you feel. You have lots of questions and want answers from someone you can trust. (Criminal lawyer.)
- No matter what ______ issue might be plaguing you – a troublesome ____, a _____ concern, or a puzzling ____ – our team can provide a fast turnaround with the answers you need.
- You’re tired of wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work. You need leads that are the right fit, so you’re not wasting time and money dealing with unqualified prospects. (Marketing company.)
- You’ve tried _____, and it isn’t working.
Examples (problem solved):
- 2x website leads.
- A-level employee candidates are continuously in the pipeline.
- Keep your driver’s license.
- Your business runs without you.
- Your privacy fence is straight, level and strong.
Goal: Convey that you know the way to the solution.
Answer this question: What do you do that solves my problem?
Now that your homepage visitor feels you understand their problems, you can start talking about your products and services.
Keep this section brief. Don’t provide long-winded descriptions of your products and services. Rather, focus on the benefits of your products and services.
A great way to talk about benefits is using a “feature/benefit pair.” These are one, maybe two-sentence statements that state a feature of your product or service and its associated benefits. Radio and magazine ads regularly make their pitch using feature/benefit pairs, because it works.
- Don’t let IT problems ruin your day. Solve your software issues in minutes just by picking up the phone.
- Sell your house quickly, for the highest amount possible, by tapping into my proven strategies that sell homes in your area.
- Find the right employees to take your business forward without wasting time, energy and money.
- When you’re in a rush and need your best suit or favorite dress in a hurry, take advantage of our two-hour service.
Tip – Don’t use Yeah, Yeah Phrases
Don’t use phrases like “excellent quality,” “top-notch services,” or “best value.” As soon as a prospect reads “high quality” they think “yeah, yeah – of course; that’s what everyone says.”
Ever heard someone describe their product quality as average, not-so-good, or even bad? You become less persuasive when your homepage visitor reads your product or service description and starts saying yeah, yeah to themselves.
Goal: Build trust
Answer this question: Can I trust you to solve my problem?
This is the point in the story where you prove that you can solve the visitor’s problem and that your products or services work. How you do this depends on your industry. Your goal is to reassure your prospects that your product is tested, works great, and is safe to buy.
- Size of your company and years in business
- Customer testimonials
- Photos and videos
- Case studies
- Number of customers served
- Awards and memberships in influential associations
- Guarantees and warranties
Combining these items is especially powerful at conveying the credibility of your business.
Call to Action Section
Goal: Visitor takes the desired action.
Answer this question: How do I get started? How do I buy from you?
Once you have shown the reader that you understand their problem and have proven solutions, you can ask for a conversion. However, you must make it super easy to do business with you. If you confuse, you lose. Give the visitor a simple plan to work with you and solve their problem.
Your homepage must have a great call to action that is very simple. A first step that will provide value to the prospect.
- Get a Free 1:1 Business Transformation Strategy Session Valued at $1,500 – Limited Spots Available. (Not a sales pitch)
Goal: Overcome objections
Answer: Common questions that are obstacles to conversion.
If the visitor did not convert in the previous section, they might still have a few “objections” about accepting the call to action. An objection is a thought or concern in the buyer’s mind that a barrier exists between what you’re offering and the need they want to be satisfied.
Often, the buyer wants to proceed with the purchase, but they need a little more information to overcome their objection. FAQs are a great way to overcome objections.
Brainstorm 4 to 7 of the most common objections you get from face-to-face customers and phone inquiries, then state the objection in a question and answer format.
Goal: Bolster trust
Answer this question: Do these guys really know their stuff?
If the prospect gets this far down the home page they may be in research mode and not ready to buy. That’s fine because you’re ready to fill that need as well.
This is a great place to feature a few of your blog posts that provide detailed information about your products and services. If the prospect is in research mode, they can click into the blog where you can impress them with your depth of knowledge.
You can also provide a detailed paragraph about your business. Many people will visit the about page of a website before accepting the call to action. Providing a summary of the about page here on the home page can often fill the need for background information on your business.
If your business is a good fit for storytelling marketing, the homepage of your website should tell your story. In this post, we identified the seven key sections that every homepage must have to use storytelling and the quest narrative to convert visitors into buyers.