With data easier to access than ever, when planning a website redesign, the focus often falls to measuring, analyzing, and optimizing important KPIs. While you can design and plan to optimize for conversions, putting forth a value proposition that resonates with your visitors helps to build trust and build a narrative that will get users eager to want to engage with you.
Your value proposition is the reason. It’s the reason your organization exists, it’s the reason your organization makes progress, it’s the reason people want to be a part of what you’re doing.
In this post, we’ll take you through some questions to ask yourself to redefine your value proposition before heading into your website redesign, plus tips for making it prominent on your website.
Questions to Help You Refine Your Value Prop for Your Website
1. What value do you create, and for whom?
Your value is meaningless without the context of the people whom it’s valuable for. Think about the people who use your product or service. What do they value? What is their day to day like? How do you help them solve problems with your solution? While you may already have firm notions about how you create value, unless you can articulate it in a way that your users both understand and see the value, then your message will be lost on them. Frame the value you create within the context of the needs of your users.
In addition to this exercise in empathy, you can create visitor personas to help you understand some of the demographical information of your visitors. You can find more about visitor personas here.
2. Who, ultimately, is the customer? Your website visitor or the organization they work for?
This question helps you determine the tone of your website. Are you creating content that will empower an individual to choose your solution within their organization? Are you creating content for different people at the same organization, if a group decision must be made about using your product or service? If you’re marketing directly to the customer, you’ll want to create more of a sense of intimacy and belonging, creating an experience more narrowly focused on a certain type of visitor.
3. Do people know they need your solution?
When someone has all their pens “borrowed” and never returned from their coworkers, they know they need to get new pens. When they go to purchase new pens, they might weigh some of the options in the pen market, or they might just reorder what they already had (maybe monogrammed this time to avoid pen thieves). If you are a pen manufacturer, you would be focused on differentiating yourself from your pen competitors.
What if you’re a manufacturer of molecular gastronomy at-home kits? The process isn’t quite so simple. You will have to do some convincing to get people to see your value. You need to get people to take that leap. Maybe you can target chefs who like trying something new. Maybe you target chemists interested in occupying their time in a unique way. Either way, you have to create a story that resonates with these people to get them to see how your offering fits in with their own narrative.
4. What does the lifetime of the relationship look like with your visitors?
How long do you expect to engage with your visitors? Do you want them to buy one time? Does your industry require you to build a lot of trust with your visitors over a sustained period? If you can map out and envision the desired relationship you’d like to have with your customers, you can determine what you want to convey. If you’re creating a new product that people buy once, you can speak in a way that’s exciting and creates a sense of urgency. If you want people to be lifelong members of your community, you might speak more to values and reference longevity.
5. What change do you seek to make in your visitors?
As a website agency, we seek to change the way people think about websites. As opposed to a static entity that is redesigned once every two years, we want people to think of websites as ongoing, iterative, future-friendly, results-oriented assets. What change do you need to make to your visitors’ mindset to make them appreciate the value of your product or service?
Planning Your Value Prop for Your Website
1. Write your value prop using a formula.
A great formula to use when writing your value prop is [YOUR COMPANY NAME] is a [WHAT YOU ARE] that provides [YOUR VALUE] to [YOUR VISITORS].
When thinking about your website, you’ll need to tweak the formula a little bit. The value prop for your website should look something like: Our website is a [BLANK] that seeks to [PROVIDE X VALUE] to [YOUR VISITOR PERSONAS].
You should follow this formulation for an overarching goal of your site, as well as for your individual personas. When you do the formulation for individual personas, be sure to fill in the value that pertains to that persona (you may have more than one).
For the [BLANK] part of the formulation, your website might be different things to different personas. If you’re an association, your website might be a portal to connect people. Or a membership conversion platform. Whatever it is, make sure it ties back to your overarching goals for your site.
2. Update the language of your value prop for use on the website.
Now that you have a formulation of your value prop that helps you understand the value you provide to your visitors in a clear, concise way, create some boilerplate messaging that defines that value for your users.
Some organizations create taglines, like “just do it” that convey value and meaning to visitors. If you can’t come up with a tagline, a reworking of your formula should suffice. For example, HubSpot has on their homepage, “With HubSpot's marketing, sales, and CRM software, you can grow like a company twice your size while connecting like a real human being.” This lets the visitor know exactly who they are and what they do, and what value they bring to people who use their product.
You’ll want to create some boilerplate copy that you can use throughout your site. The reason for this is that while creating copy for your site, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture of what your value is to your visitor. If you remember to pull from your boilerplate copy that clearly states your value, then you’ll be able to refer back to the value you bring throughout the site.
3. Look at every page of your site through the lens of your value prop.
Your value prop isn’t just reserved for the homepage. In fact, you’re going to convert and engage people more on other pages of your site if you’re bringing them down a funnel or having them complete goals. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that each page reinforces the value of your organization’s solution.
4. Reinforce your value prop with visuals.
The design of your website can tell a user a lot about your organization without them having to read the page. While your value prop is formulated using words, think about ways to translate those words to your site’s design. If your organization is based on innovation, you’ll want to use innovative techniques on your website’s visuals and give your visitors a standout, unique experience.
5. Work with an agency to build your website that understands the importance of a value proposition to your website.
In many cases, agencies will have experience in helping organizations to clearly work their value prop into their website. Working with an agency that knows how to do this successfully relieves some of the burden off you if you are new to how it works.
Working your value proposition into your website is a worthy endeavor. As our web presence becomes more and more intertwined with our organizations’ functioning, it’s important that your website embodies the values of your organization.
While it’s easy to get people on board with the idea of improving your metrics, be sure to have a discussion with stakeholders focused around how you’ll convey your value prop on your website, and how important this is to engaging and building trust with visitors.
Finally, when you’re ready to write your website copy, follow this framework for inserting your value proposition and then follow these tips to create effective copy.