Written by Emma Sloan, Social Media Manager and Content Writer
Your webpage is often the first experience your prospective customers will have with your business, and there are some core components that will help them understand why you’re the best business for their current need. If your site is missing these components, you might be making it harder for your prospects to choose you. So let’s fix that.
Today, we’re breaking down the core structural components of a good webpage (the USP, the hero shot, the benefits, the social proof, and the CTA) to understand why they are essential.
Your unique selling proposition (or USP for short) is the jumping-off point for any marketing campaign. It creates clear expectations straight off the bat and can be broken down into four main elements: the main headline, the supporting headline, the reinforcement statement, and the closing headline. You should have your USP figured out before making any decisions about your website, so this message can be sprinkled throughout the site for maximum effect.
Your USP is the short and sweet statement that you use to describe your business. It needs to convey what you do, who you do it for, and why you’re the right choice for your target audience at this particular time.
Domino Pizza’s made a huge splash in the pizza industry with this classic USP: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it’s free.” This message tells their audience (people who are hungry) that they can eat a pizza (what they do) probably faster than they could make it themselves (how they’re better than the alternatives.) They’re not saying they’re the cheapest or best pizza in town – heck, they’re not even saying that the pizza is good – but they’ll get it to you so you can get it in you, fast. And it worked. While their messaging has evolved over the years, this USP is often used as an example of how to do it right.
When you create your USP, brevity and clarity cannot be overstated. Make your USP something you can tell your grandma so she can easily understand what you do, and you’ll be on the right track.
Your hero shot – the image at the top of each page, should ‘sell the hell out of your product’ (according to unbounce.com, an excellent resource to learn how to market your business). The hero is typically a product shot or video that demonstrates how your product or your service works, so your prospects can visualize themselves using it. It’s key to both capturing your client’s attention and creating a great user experience. From the moment the person lands on your page, they’ll have a solid idea of what you’re offering. For maximum utility, aim for a photo or video that shows the product in its context of use; customers want to see the product or service in action to get a glimpse into exactly what they’ll be buying.
After the USP and hero shot, a potential client will be drawn to the question “How will this product or service benefit me?” Your job is to quickly and concisely outline the top benefits and feature descriptions of your product or service. Features are what you do, but the benefits are what they do for your customers. If you’re a plumber, you might snake a drain, but the benefit is that they don’t have to worry that the water will stay in the sink after they pull the plug.
Don’t make a laundry list of benefits, but be sure to identify the main ones that your prospect might be having. Plumbers might have something like ‘we unclog your drains.’ Electricians might have ‘we keep your lights on.’ At Time2GetOnline.com, we take care of your website, so you don’t have to.
The Social Proof
Social proof is the single most powerful and persuasive tool you have in your online toolbox. Through the words of people who have bought, used, or participated in what you are offering, potential customers will be subconsciously affirmed of your quality and reliability.
Key elements of social proofs are statistics (such as how many happy clients your business has had), personal testimonials, how well-received your business is on social media, trust seals, awards, and customer reviews.
The call-to-action—or CTA for short— is your single most important conversion tool. Since the key to having potential clients interact with it, its design, placement on the page, and wording all need to be user-friendly. Make it simple, make it clear, and place it prominently. There should be no confusion as to what you want the reader to do.
Stay away from CTAs that simply read “Click” or “Submit” – they don’t work because they’re too passive. Instead, try something like “Claim your $100 coupon today”, “Click here for your free consultation,” and “Book your complimentary first appointment today.” Experiment with your CTAs to find the ones that work best for your target audience.
The Contact Us part of your website is simple but essential. For people who know about your business, it’s often the first thing they’re looking for. For new customers, it’s the first step towards hiring you.
The contact page needs to be easy to find (usually right in the navigation menu) and provides little more than your name, contact info, and address. If you have a storefront location, you can include a map to help people find you faster.
While it’s vital to have a smart USP, strong hero, straightforward services, effective social proof, clear CTA, and an easy-to-find Contact Us page, it’s important to remember that your site isn’t carved in stone. You can start with the basics and build from there. Listen to your customers to find out what they’re saying about your business, and then incorporate that into your messaging. Build your website as you build your brand – finding what works to make stronger connections with your customers, then refining that to make it easier, better, and faster.
Contact us for a free site audit to find out if your site structure is hitting the mark. We’ll let you know what you’re doing right and where you can make improvements.