By Katie Mientka

As decision-making and purchasing behaviors evolve, one message emerges loud and clear: consumers don’t want to endure another sales pitch. As The Sales Bible author Jeffrey Gitomer puts it, “People don’t like to be sold to – but they love to buy.” What they want instead of a hard sell, what will build trust and interest in your business as a solution to what they want or need, is a story. When you tell your brand story of expertise, you appeal to their emotional side. You grab their attention, and you compel them to action.

Humans are hardwired for story, and your website is the modern-day equivalent of sitting around the campfire. Fan the flames.

5 Must-Have Website Elements for Master Storytelling

The logical place to start: your story! What is it? Who are you? What do you do, how do you do it, and most importantly, why do you do it? What’s driving you? Did your great-grandfather start the business with nothing and build it into a legacy? Did you have an innovative idea that was just crazy enough to work? Did you rebel against competitors who weren’t delivering the kind of value you believe your customers deserve?

Clarify your story. This is your identity. Your website will help you convey that message to prospects and customers.

1. Compelling Anchor Statement

Your anchor statement is a short, solutions-oriented statement that provides clarity around your brand. It answers the “What do you do?” question while stoking interest in your business.

It “anchors” your core values and messages, encapsulating them into a single cohesive statement. Our anchor statement, for example:

Haven helps the industry’s best design and construction professionals overcome the frustrations of marketing and tell their story of expertise.

In one sentence, it hits the pain points of design and construction professionals, while offering a solution. You don’t have to capture everything you do, but the overarching message should be: “Hey, we understand, and this is how we can help.”

You can weave your anchor statement throughout your marketing collateral (e.g. reiterating on your About Us and elsewhere on your website, as well as incorporating it into content), so you create a consistent presence that aligns with your “real life” identity.

Learn how to craft a compelling anchor statement.

2. Recognizable Tagline

Just Do It

This is perhaps the most recognizable (and we’ll go so far as to say iconic) tagline in brand history. Nike nailed it in just three short words. It is a micro-story, if you will, that manages to capture their passion, determination, and grit.

That’s Nike’s story: what is yours?


Mean Green Mowers keeps it equally simple, yet impactful: The Future Is Green. They’ve also included their distinct font and color for “Green,” so it becomes a useful and easily recognizable visual element of their website and marketing collateral as well.

Think of your tagline like a teaser, a glimpse into the full story that you will expand on with your anchor statement and other website elements.

Don’t have a tagline — or want to freshen it up? Read “The Art of the Tagline” for tips.

3. Strong “About” Page

On your About Us (or Our Team, Our Story, etc.), you can go into more detail about … well, you! Don’t treat it as an afterthought: it is one of the most frequently visited pages on business websites, and it has the potential to be a lead generating powerhouse.

Start with a customer-focused approach — remember, people hate being sold to! What are their challenges and goals? Then tell your story: how can you help them? What makes you stand out from the crowd? How did you start, and how have you grown? What core values and beliefs do you hold deeply? And, as always, how does that make life better or easier for them?

It’s not about highlighting how great you are (at least not obviously); it’s about demonstrating that you can deliver a viable, effective solution that will meet their needs and wants.

It’s also important to include:

Visuals. Break up the text so it’s more easily read and digested, while incorporating clean, compelling images or visuals.
Testimonials. Word of mouth is more powerful than ever. Include reviews from happy customers to give visitors that social proof of your quality, value, results.
Contact information. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you.

Integrate your anchor statement and keep your story real and authentic. Emphasize connection, understanding, and the ability to help.

4. Captivating Visual Content

Regardless of industry, websites should contain compelling visual elements. For design and construction professionals, this is even more vital. The proof is in the pictures, so to speak! Visual elements should be clean, clear, and of professional quality.

You do beautiful work, and this is a prime opportunity to highlight it. Photo and video galleries show prospects the results they can achieve, as well as the professionalism with which you work. Make it easy for them to visualize their own successful project with customer testimonials like this one from G&G Custom Homes.

5. Speed

This task lies with your web design/development team: a fast website is a must. What happens when you click onto a website and it takes forever to load? You “bounce” in technical terms… you move away, to a competitor who cares enough about the user experience to deliver speed.

Each fraction of a second counts. In fact, research shows that with each millisecond of delay, you face a 1% loss in terms of visitors staying on page. Faster sites also achieve a 16.5% increase in conversions.

You can find a variety of page speed rating tools online or let us know and we’ll run a test to see how we can improve performance. Consumers may love stories, but they hate waiting for them!

Don’t Sell: Tell (A Story)

Your brand has a story to tell. With these elements, you can deliver your message with clarity — and create an emotional connection with your customers and prospects.