The Homepage Design Answers Who, What, and How
Unless you’re a well-known brand or company your business needs to explain a few things right off the bat so that customers will know they’ve made their way to the right site and you are giving them the right information. If visitors can’t figure out what you do within seconds, they won’t stick around. Your homepage needs to be narrowly focused and speak to the audience in a familiar way. The three keys questions your website should answer are:
- Who are you?
- This would be your brand name and logo, perhaps tagline.
- What do you do?
- If you don’t have a tagline or it doesn’t explain what you do, there should be a short piece of content where the user can see it.
- How can you help the user?
- A Call to Action. There should be a way to hook the user up immediately with either a way to sign up right there or a button that takes the user to the right page.
The design needs to communicate a compelling value proposition to the customer because when a user visits your homepage, they need to be compelled to look around. The homepage is the best place to show off what your business values. If the user decides that your values and design taste match up with their’s they will continue on; if not — they will go to your competitors.
Content Creation & Updating
Creating content specific to each franchise is an important part of building an online presence. Not very many franchises take advantage of this strategy, unfortunately, they don’t know how powerful it really is, and they wait for corporate marketing to do what they want. However, a local franchise needs to think about creating unique content such as newsletters/eblasts, blogs, events, offers, and special products or services. Creating relevant digital content helps raise website rank on keywords and also provides content for customers to share on social media. This not only keeps customers up-to-date and drawn back over and over but when a site is continually refreshed with new content it keeps the company from feeling too old or out-of-date.
Create a Unique Experience
A particularly good example of a franchise creating a special product that spread the word like wildfire is the infamous Unicorn Frappucino at Starbucks. All it contained was a mess of colorful powders and syrups, yet it catered to just about everyone on social media. Now, obviously, Starbucks doesn’t need help with bolstering their franchise because everyone has heard of them. They are so wildly popular because they create unique experiences that keep the customer engaged time after time, even when they aren’t actively going to get a drink there. If you are a fan that thinks they know the menu backward and forwards you still need to check out their homepage because for every special it is updated (about every two weeks or less).
A less heard of or new franchise business can easily shoot to popularity through creating custom content. Just think about it, franchises like Starbucks, Chipotle, Lush cosmetics, and more started in the 90s and have become increasingly popular over the past (almost) three decades. Everyone can blame Gen Y (Millenials) or Gen Z for their nostalgia mixed with the avid use of twitter and Instagram for the rise of these kinds of franchises but the companies really know how to work their target consumers. They are catering to the youngsters by having the following components:
- Great websites that tick all the boxes
- Easily accessible
- Using informal speech or slang (mimicking how teens and young adults speak)
- Good social media interaction
- Continuing to create unique products in their industries
We think you get the idea by now — be creative and refreshing! It’s the fun part of the job.