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 don’t bring business strategy into our websites. We bring customer avatar pain points, strategic calls to action, and hero images that draw the reader’s attention to our shiny CTA buttons.
It’s tempting to think this is the best way to create a website. If the experience is designed for our customer avatar—why would we bring our business strategy into it?
In a few minutes, you’re going to have a lightbulb shining brightly over your head. You’re going to say, “Ohhhhhhhhh,” hit CTRL + T to open another tab and take a scroll through your website with tons of new ideas as to how you can make it better.
We’re not talking a little better either. We’re talking about the difference between an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 11. Bringing your business strategy into your homepage is that next level touch that you get to have that your competition doesn’t.
And that sounds pretty sweet, 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 essential part of a great website homepage. Based on 5 key elements of a business strategy, he can integrate these strategies into a homepage in a way that attracts the right audience and shows them why you’re the solution to their problem.
As Frank mentions in his Certified Partner Training Day session, these are far from the only elements of your business strategy. You need to be strategizing as a business owner or marketer, but these are the 5 key elements that can really help you create that top-tier homepage.
Here are Frank’s 5 key elements of a business strategy and how you can use them to create your best website homepage yet.
Element #1: Purpose
Why does your business exist?
Sorry to send you into an existential crisis. Unfortunately, it had to be done. Before we can start building your website homepage, we have to know why it even exists in the first place. To be clear, we’re not asking you to go full-Zappos on us and let us know that you’re here to make the world a better place.
Frank doesn’t require you to figure out your “higher calling”—all you need to do is figure out why your target audience cares that you exist. If you’re Tom’s shoes, your audience does care that you have a higher calling to give a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold. In that case, you can use that on your website homepage (and we’re sure Tom’s does). But, if your business isn’t focused on something like that, then all you need is to curate a mini Mission Statement.
This Mission Statement should be “big enough” that it never needs to change. This means that you could leave this copy written as is for years to come because it still encompasses what your company does and why.
A key part of figuring out your purpose is knowing that it’s not the actual labor you do—it’s the outcome you create. Use this formula to create a purpose:
“At [BRAND], we exist to help/empower/take/etc. [HIGH-LEVEL WHO] [BIGGEST OUTCOME].”
Here are a few examples of what a purpose looks like:
“At ACME, we exist to help dental practice owners increase awareness and demand.”
“At ACME, we exist to help manufacturers create highly safe workplaces.”
“At ACME, we exist to help CPA firms triple their revenue.”
“At ACME, we exist to help Fathers become Dad of the Year.”
In DigitalMarketer’s CEO Ryan Deiss’ High-Converting Homepage Insider Training, he gave us the harsh truth. Your above-the-fold content gets 84% of the attention of your website. Below-the-fold content gets the remaining 16%. Kind of stings a little when you think about how long and how much you paid for that below-the-fold content, huh?
That’s why we need the above-the-fold content to be perfect. Perfect in this case means that it has a core message. As Ryan explains in his training, that core message has to start with clarifying your audience. That’s 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 serve and what outcomes you create.
Element #2: Passion
What will you be the best in the world at?
Don’t be scared. We know that we just sent you into a mini mid-life crisis in the last section and now we’re telling you that you need to be the best in the world at what you do. Frank wouldn’t ask this of us if he didn’t know with certainty that we were capable of it. In Frank’s Certified Partner training, he explains how your passion turns you into the best in the world at what you do.
Specifically, it shows you what slice of the industry you are lasering in on.
Let’s clear something up first. Niche is often confused with a target market segment. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about your niche in terms of the segment of your industry that you focus on and excel in helping.
For example, at DigitalMarketer we don’t help you with your marketing—we help you 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 an industry, but racing-inspired sports cars are a segment of that industry.
When you’re creating the copy for this section of your homepage, you need to write it for your audience’s awareness level. Audiences have different awareness levels depending on how familiar they are with your business. Ryan calls these levels of awareness the Homepage Lifecycle Phases. A brand-new company’s homepage should look entirely different than a 20-year old company’s homepage.
Yes, that means you should not be crafting your homepage to look like Apple’s. You need to be creating it based on your audience’s level of awareness.
There are 4 phases of the Homepage Lifecycle:
Phase 1: Problem Aware (the customer knows they have a problem)
Phase 2: Solution Aware (the customer is evaluating which solution is best for them)
Phase 3: Product Aware (people already know your product)
Phase 4: Most Aware (people know exactly what you sell and who you are)
At each phase of the Homepage Lifecycle, your audience needs something different from you.
Phase 1: Hope
Phase 2: Clarity
Phase 3: Assurance
Phase 4: Novelty
As you nail down what you’re the best in the world at in your business strategy, you’re going to bring that to your homepage and translate it based on what phase of the Homepage Lifecycle your business is in. (Hint: Chances are you’re in Phase 1 or Phase 2)
Element #3: Differentiation
How are you different from other options?
In your business strategy, you’ve narrowed down your competitive edge. Why does somebody want to buy your product over a similar product?
You need to show your customers how you’re different on your homepage. As Frank puts it, “What is the unique way that you deliver your Passion?” Frank does a great job of explaining this concept in four words:
Avoid selling the commodity.
When you sell the commodity (and just that), you don’t differentiate yourself. You have to sell the commodity differently. For example, Frank shows how we’ve done this at DigitalMarketer.
You’re familiar with the Customer Value Journey, the 8-stage process of taking a stranger and turning them into a raving fan of your brand. We’ve used the Customer Value Journey to set ourselves apart with how we deliver digital marketing (the commodity).
Here are two more examples of differentiation at work from Frank:
“Business Management Consulting” with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)
“Accounting Services” with the Profit First Method
We love differentiating ourselves because it makes our lives better. Yep, better. When you differentiate yourself with your own process, you find clients who want to hire you for *your* way of doing things. This means you avoid the people who want to micro-manage or aren’t ready to let someone else run the show.
Anyone who hires you or buys your products wants to do it because of your unique way of delivering them—which helps you have a more seamless client or customer experience.
Element #4: Promises
What can your customers count on when doing business with you?
Aside from your differentiators as your competitive edge, the promises you make to your customer avatar are part of your business strategy. They’re the cherry on top that makes you an obvious option for their business.
The key to curating a great promise is by placing yourself at the top or near the top with it. Here’s what Frank means by that: don’t promise to have a fast response rate, have the quickest response rate in the industry.
By being the fastest, most successful, most luxurious, etc. you create an impact. You set yourself apart from competitors with similar products. Add this on top of your differentiator and your business becomes its own pillar within your industry (not an ivy trying to crawl up someone else’s established pillar).
Your promise(s) will be your winning attributes or top 3 features and benefits. As Frank says, these are often born from the things customers despise about companies like yours.
Follow this template for creating your promise:
“When you choose ACME, we will [PROMISE] so [BENEFIT].”
Here are some examples from Frank of promises:
“ACME—Fastest Response, Real-Time Analytics, and Best Warranty.
“When you choose ACME, we‘ll respond to every request within two business hours so you won’t be kept from moving the project forward.”
“When you choose ACME, you’ll have 24/7 access to a real-time analytics dashboard so you’ll always know exactly where your campaign’s performance stands.”
“When you choose ACME, you’ll get a three-year warranty so that you can rest assured that your investment will last.”
Element #5: Focus
How will you ensure you maximize your Differentiation and Promises so that they help you establish marketplace dominance?
Here’s when things start to simplify. Frank teaches Verne Harnish’s “One Phrase Strategy” that says, “If you can’t state your strategy in one sentence, you ain’t got it.”
This is where your business strategy starts to help you make all of your decisions moving forward (including how strategically create your homepage). All decisions must go through this lens of focus.
Should we develop this new product?
Should we acquire this company?
Should we take on this project?
Is this the right team structure?
Is everyone in the right seat?
Is your homepage maximizing your Differentiation and Promises?
Frank shows us a few great examples of companies who live by their differentiators and promises.
Southwest: Makes their differentiator that there are no first-class tickets and promises to use the time they get back from not having to separately board first-class passengers to take off on time.
Ikea: Their differentiator is their easy to build furniture and their promise is that because it’s flat-packed you’ll be able to get it from Ikea to your home easily.
Did we turn that lightbulb above your head on yet? At this point, it should be shining so bright the competition notices it and thinks, “Uh oh, we’re in trouble.”
Using Frank’s 5 elements of a great business strategy, you’ll be able to craft a homepage that suits your audience perfectly. Not only will you call them out for the specific problem they face (that you solve), but you’ll meet them exactly where they are (problem or solution aware).
And that’s the key to revolutionizing your website homepage.