Five seconds. That is the amount of time that your website has to provide its visitors the information that they are looking for once they land on it. That's because according to a 2023 software study by Forbes, 61% of consumers say that if they do not find what they expect within five seconds of landing on a website, they will move on to another website to find it.
That means when it comes to most of your website’s visitors, you have less than ten seconds to convey all of the pertinent information that they’ll need to know in order to keep their attention and influence a favorable perception of your brand—which is what will ultimately lead towards them going on to making a purchase from your website.
In fact, the same study showed that 57% of the time visitors spend on a website, is spent above-the-fold; which is the upper half of a website’s landing page.
What this data tells us is that when it comes to your website’s visitors, you only have a finite amount of time to make a favorable impression and compel them before they’ll leave your site and take their attention—and business—to one of your competitors. Which is why it is an absolute must that your website wows them instantaneously.
1. Your story
Understanding the expectations of your audience is one of the key components to actually being able to deliver on those expectations. And according to a 2023 survey conducted by GoDaddy, 65% of respondents said that they are more likely to make a purchase from a business if they knew its personal story.
I don’t know about you, but the fact that 65% of consumers say that they’d be more inclined to make a purchase from your business simply by knowing its story, sounds like a great thing to me.
And what better place to tell the story of your business than on its website?
The best way to do that is by devoting an “Our Story” or "About Us" page on your website that is totally designated towards telling your brand's story. That story should consist of informing your website’s visitors as it pertains to the following details about your startup:
Who - Is your business for.
What - Does it have to offer that’ll make their lives better.
When - Was it created.
Where - They could find it.
Why - You created it.
If your startup’s story page addresses those points known as “The Five W’s,” your business will have a much greater chance at touching your audience emotionally. And when it comes to purchasing intent, emotion almost always wins over logic and reason.
2. What’s at stake
Speaking of stories, keep in mind that every consumer that visits your website views themselves as the hero in their own story. And what does every great story involving a hero contain? Something at stake that could destroy the hero or something that the hero loves.
- For Superman, it was the diabolical genius Lex Luthor’s devious plots to rid the world of his superpowers (along with Kryptonite).
- For Batman, it was The Joker, The Penguin, and Two-Face all seeking to cause chaos in Gotham City by disturbing the peace with their villainous exploits.
- For Spiderman, well... I'm sure you get the point.
As a founder, CEO, or marketing professional, here's where you must get in bed with your customers (figuratively speaking, that is). In other words, think of what keeps them up in bed all night staring at the ceiling. Then, ask yourself, what ill-fated outcome awaits them if they do not purchase your products or services?
Would their family be less safe?
Would they become less healthy?
Would they become less wealthy?
Would they become less cool amongst their peers?
Would their life become mundane?
By clearly addressing what's at stake for your audience, they'll be much more receptive to taking your business up on its offerings.
“A lifeguard doesn’t have to spend much time pitching to the drowning person.” Writes Donald Miller and J.J. Peterson, co-authors of the book, Marketing Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Storybrand Guide For Any Business. “When you show up with a life buoy, if the drowning person understands what’s at stake, you don’t have to run ads to get them to hold onto it.”
To successfully capture and hold your website’s visitors' attention and direct it towards your offerings, identify what’s most at stake for the heroes who visit your website—and clearly articulate it above-the-fold.
3. How they’d stand to benefit
This is the part that most people associate most with marketing—especially advertising. In this process, you’ll describe to your website’s visitors what they actually have to gain by taking a desired action like: purchasing your products, becoming a subscriber, or signing a contract to receive your services.
By already articulating what’s at stake for your audience and informing them of what they could lose by not taking a desired action, it’ll become much easier to now effectively express to them a perceived benefit of how their lives will improve by doing business with your brand.
For example, if your startup focuses around a health app; the perceived benefits of your app will mean different things to different people. To some, your app’s primary benefits would be a longer life spent feeling great with their loved ones. To others, your app's primary benefits would be to help them attain their ideal physique.
“Benefits live at the sweet spot where the things you want to say about the product overlap with your reader’s self interests.” Says Tom Albrighton, author of, Copywriting Made Simple: How to write powerful and persuasive copy that sells.
Albrighton goes on to state, “As long as you’re offering your reader a real benefit—clearly expressed, they’ll stay with you. On the other hand, if they can’t understand the benefit you’re offering or appreciate why it’s good for them—they’ll walk away.”
Keep in mind that when it comes to consumers, perception is reality. And while you cannot control how people will perceive your products or services, you could certainly influence it.
The way to do that is by understanding what your target audience would ultimately come to your website looking for—and clearly communicating in your website’s copy—just how they could receive it.
4. Effective imagery
Have you ever heard a song that you really liked, but enjoyed it so much more after you finally were able to see the music video for it? Case in point, take the song, Thriller, by Michael Jackson. On its own, I’m sure that most people would admit that the song would be an absolute smash hit regardless of whether it had a music video or not.
However, it was the music video for the song that really took Thriller into another stratosphere. That’s how powerful effective imagery is to an audience. It illustrates and helps influence an already formed perception of something.
Use the power of effective imagery to your startup’s benefit by featuring images of the types of people who’d ideally belong within your brand’s target audience on your company’s website.
If you need help with finding your startup’s ideal target audience, you could discover how to do that here. Also, keep in mind that people relate to people much more than they do products. So, be sure to feature plenty of images of the types of people who would be congruent with your ideal customers on your website.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; so save yourself a whole lot of words by displaying great pictures of people on your website.
5. How to easily make a purchase
You’d be surprised at just how many startups we come across that make this mistake. They’ll have a stunning website with most of the key components that’ll entice consumers to make a purchase—only to ruin all of that great work by putting unnecessary obstacles in between consumers’ purchasing intent—and actually being able to purchase the startup's products or services.
If you’re wondering, “What’s the big deal about making this mistake?” The answer is simple.
The more that someone has to think about how to do something—the more calories they’ll burn doing so. And naturally, the human brain is designed to conserve as many calories as possible—not burn them unnecessarily.
So whenever a consumer visits your website and has to think about how to get around the obstacles in-between paying for what they want—and actually receiving your products or services—the more calories their brains will burn. As a result, they’ll simply take their business to one of your competitors that’ll make it easier for them to make a purchase.
Avoid making this mistake with your startup’s website—while also maximizing your site’s sales potential—by removing all unnecessary barriers on your website; and encourage consumers to easily make a purchase—with clear calls to action throughout the pages on your website.
Let’s discuss your startup’s website
Without a doubt, your startup’s website is the virtual headquarters of your business. For that reason, it is extremely important that your startup’s website conveys all of the necessary elements above in order to captivate and persuade its visitors to take a desired action.
We’d love to hear from you about your startup and discover ways that we could possibly help improve your website and its marketing. Reach out and let us know how things are coming along and whether or not you feel that anything needs to be revamped.