How to Tell a Story with your Website

Your website is a sales and marketing asset for your business – at least, it should be. It should be clear, helpful, memorable, and speak directly to your audience. It should tell your story, starting with the homepage. It should make a new visitor actually feel like you get them. And it should explain who you are and why you exist as a company.

Often the first impression people have of your brand is from your website. It establishes trust and should be engaging for anyone that lands on the site. That’s why it’s important to tell a story and be engaging on your website.

Here are 5 things you can do to help tell that story on your site:

  1. Establish empathy
  2. Take us on a journey
  3. Make us care
  4. Be clear
  5. Add some personality

Let’s dig in to each one:

ESTABLISH EMPATHY

The first thing people should see on your homepage is some type of statement that empathizes with them. Empathy is the best way to grab attention. Let them know you understand them and know what they’re going through; you get their challenges.

Mentioning how your customer is feeling right off the bat makes it about them, not you. It’s sharing that you know what they are feeling because of a problem or pain point they are facing. Then you can follow that up with what you’re doing to solve that problem.

Why does your business exist? And what are you doing to solve the issues your customers are facing? This tells your audience you are on their side.

We created a white paper as a tool to guide you in identifying your audience and establishing empathy. Click here to view it. If you have any trouble filling this out, we are here to help.

TAKE US ON A JOURNEY

Guide your users as they visit your website. You should know who they are and what they’re looking to accomplish – that should help you guide them on that journey. On the homepage, make sure each section relates to the previous one and tells that story – this is a great way to lead people down the page. Give your visitors places to click and drive them to take action throughout the site.

Entice your users to look around the site for more and don’t put every piece of content on the homepage. Explain piece by piece how the story unfolds.

MAKE US CARE

Throughout the site, your story should keep leading us on and make us want more. Make us care about your brand and product(s) or service(s). This only happens if you understand who your audience is.

Another great way to make us care is to validate your brand, product, or service. Who else uses it? Not only are you telling the story, but others are as well – validating why I am on your homepage.

BE CLEAR

According to KISSmetrics, you have about 2 seconds to grab a users attention before they leave your site. That’s very little time to explain what you do or who you are. Explain simply and remember that anyone can land on your site. Be clear about who you are and what you do. This should be brief, but informative. Don’t make your website visitors guess, because that’s when you start to lose them.

Really put yourself in your audience’s shoes and view your website from their perspective. What would they want to know and how can you quickly and clearly say it? Anticipate the questions they may have about your business and answer those before they have a chance to even ask.

ADD SOME PERSONALITY

A story without any personality is a boring one. When we read the homepage of your site, we should be able to hear your voice and envision someone saying it. This can be done through written content or visuals. What do you want people to feel when they’re on your site? Have someone read your content – do they feel that way?

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you want your website to be effective (get you conversions, purchases, or phone calls), you have to be engaging and tell a story. There are millions of websites on the internet and you need to give users a reason to stay on yours. Give them what they’re looking for in an engaging way – encourage them to be a part of your story.

Know that your story may change and website trends may change, so be comfortable with updating your site to reflect that change. Change can be a good thing.

If you need some help putting together your story on your website (or even coming up with a story for your brand), I would love to chat. You can reach out here or here. You can also view some of our past work to see how this storytelling comes to life.

Morgan Alverson