Standing out from the crowd is not about having a neon colour-scheme, or flashing banner on your website. It is about how you sell yourself with your website content. When explaining what you do on your website, you should consider what makes you stand out from your competitiors. In marketing terms this is sometimes referred to as your unique selling proposition (USP) or your unique value proposition (UVP); it is one of the most important parts of your homepage.
Visitors to your website need to be able to tell almost instantaneously whether or not you will be able to fulfil their needs. You need to effectively tell the customer what you have to offer, and more importantly, what sets you apart from your competitors. You should place text and images that conveys your message right at the top of your website, so that it is one of the first things your visitors see. Follow the steps below to come up with an effective unique identifier for your business.
1. Identify and define your target market
It is important to realise that you are not going to be able to serve every man and his dog. Before you can begin to sell your product or service to your visitor, you must define who it is you want to target. For example, if you are a caterer who solely caters for weddings, instead of targeting anyone who is looking for a caterer, you may choose to target people who are planning their wedding on a budget.
2. Identify the problem that your customers have and how you can solve it
If your website visitors didn’t have a problem, they probably wouldn’t be on your website! To make it clear that you are the correct place to be you need to spell out what problems you are able to solve. Let’s go back to the catering example. There are many people who will be looking for someone to cater for them, whether it be for a birthday party, funeral, work function or wedding. If you’re a caterer solely focused on catering weddings on a budget, then it is important to place emphasis on this. It’s important to remember that you can’t solve everyone’s problems! Be the best that you can at what you do rather than average at doing everything.
3. Point out what makes you different from your competitors
Pointing out what makes your business unique is one of the most important parts of your USP. Write down what separates you from your competitors. Are you the cheapest? Fastest? Most knowledgeable? How can you justify this. If you are the cheapest, say what makes this so. For example; Cater your wedding from $10 a head. Tell your visitors what sets you apart from other businesses who could fulfil their needs.
4. Write it out and refine it
Once you’ve figured out who your target market are, what problem you can solve for your customers and what sets you apart from the competition, it’s time to put it altogether in a short and sharp sentence or two. This process can take a while to get the final product, so give yourself plenty of time. Spread it out over a couple of days as fresh eyes are always best!
5. Put it on your website
Once you’ve come up with what sets you apart, put your text and an accompanying image near the top of your website. Linking your image to the text gives it more strength. Over time you will find that your USP will need refining again to keep it in line with the ever-changing ways of your business; if you find this is the case, just start again at step one and identify what changes need to be made.