Your website should be given the same thought and care you give the front entrance to your farm/ranch. This is not the place to start a junk pile of rundown farm equipment that you're keeping around for spare parts. Nope, this area of the farm receives a "best foot forward" mentality, and rightfully so. Your website and particularly your homepage is the first impression for all of your digitally engaged prospects. Below I've outlined 6 tips you can take action on to ensure your website is making the first impression needed to eventually convert those prospects into customers
1.) Remove the distractions.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in farm websites is simply presenting too much information up front. It's been said that the average person encounters over 3,000 advertisements on a daily bases so as a result, we have all developed extremely short attention spans. This is especially true online. If you're not extremely clear and brief with the information you present on your website, your visitor is likely to disengage and move on to another search result.
If you go to sevensons.net you'll find we don't present visitors with much information or links to other pages. However, the information we do include is incredibly clear and speaks to what we believe our ideal customer is looking for. You don't want to burden your prospect with winded paragraphs or a lot of links upfront. This only gives your visitor the opportunity to become distracted from what you really want them to do.
A helpful test to keep your website clear is to pretend each content section is a billboard along the highway, and your visitor only has a few seconds to digest what you have to say. If you don't think that's possible, you need to simplify.
2.) Create Your 'One-Liner' Statement
The header section (which is the section you see before any scrolling) should be thought of as your 15-second “elevator" pitch. Example: let's say you're at a conference, and someone steps in the elevator with you, notices your nametag, and asks, "What do you guys do?". Hurry--how do you answer? You only have 15 seconds before the doors open so you'd better think quick.
Again, in the online world, folks even less patient, so your elevator speech should be condensed into something that can be understood in just five seconds. This can best be achieved by with something called a one-liner statement. This is a very brief sentence that answers three of the first questions that are likely to be on your web visitor's mind:
What do you offer?
What's in it for me?
What's the first step I need to take to buy it?
Again, this needs to be done with a single sentence. A long paragraph is asking too much of your visitor upfront. You should also include a background photo, that helps answer those three questions. The photo below is an excellent example of achieving this. "Pasture-Raised Meats" answers question #1, "Delivered" answers #2, and the "Shop Now" button answers #3.
When you craft a compelling one-liner statement, you're more likely to capture your prospects attention and inspire them to want to learn more about you.
3.) Create a Single CTA
Another thing that can confuse visitors are too many CTAs (call-to-action) buttons.
Think about the #1 action you want your prospect to take and make that a repeated call to action throughout your website. Do you want them to shop at your on-farm store, find you at the local market, or simply subscribe to your newsletter? Then end goal for our website is to convert visitors to online shoppers, so we make repeat the CTA to shop our online store. Giving your visitor too many links and buttons will distract them from your #1 goal and create analysis paralysis.
So, decide what that #1 action is, create an obvious big red button that takes them there, and repeat that throughout your website.
4.) Agitate the Problem
Your customer always comes to you with two types of problems; external and internal. External problems are the tangible/physical problem your customer must overcome in order to survive and thrive. In business, this is the physical product you have to offer (grass-fed beef, pastured pork, etc). Internal problems are how the lack of your product is causing your customer to feel.
Our problem as direct marketers is that our website message typically only speaks to only the external problems, and our customers only buy when they’re convinced we’ll solve their internal problem. Take a look at the below example from our website at Seven Sons. We don’t talk about products or protocols and instead, we simply speak to their customers’ internal frustrations & desires, which helps our visitors identify us as a solution to those frustrations.
5.) Preview Your Offerings?
This is where you make them hungry. Showcase all the different types of products you have to offer by using the photo grid content block within GrazeCart. This will display your product categories in a symmetrical format that link to the associated collections on your store, which is where you want to lead your visitors. Attractive product photography is crucial here, so if you don't have high-quality images, purchasing stock is well worth the investment.
6.) Provide a Plan
The decision to a make a purchase is risky because it’s the first time our visitor has something to lose. And most people will not be ready to make that decision online without a clear understanding of is going to arrive in their possession. So, we want to ease any concerns or objections they might have by helping them understand that buying from us is going to be safe and easy.
The best way to do this is to provide a list of steps someone must take to buy from you. This is the bridge your customer must cross in order to arrive at the picture of success you’ve painted for them. When there’s a wide gap between your visitor's interest in your product and their understanding of how to acquire it, they’re less likely to take a risk with you.
The more clear and simple your plan is, the better. Ideally, the process of buying from you can be explained with three simple steps. If your process can't be summarized in three steps, then your system may be too complicated and you should focus on simplifying.
Creating a clean and user-friendly can be very time consuming, but it's also very high leverage. Once it's set up, it's working for you 24/7. While these tips are universal and can be implemented on any website, we created our GrazeCart website builder with pre-built templates that are already designed in formats that make creating the elements we've discussed straight-forward. Simple add your message, drag and drop photos, and you have the ingredients needed for a high-converting website.
- Perform your own virtual 5 second test at Usability Hub:
- Custom and stock product photography:
- Read our documentation for further info on using content blocks in GrazeCart:
- Gain a better understanding of how visitors are using your site with heatmaps, visitor recordings and more: