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Cutting-Edge Web

Top Converting Home Pages (Part 3 of 3) – The “Authority” Site [Template Inside]

Photo by Markus Spiske

This 3-part blog series on the top converting home pages is devoted to helping you choose a website that not only looks good, but actually supports your specific business model.

Not all websites are created equally and finding the right layout can add tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to your bottom line, while allowing you to make a bigger impact.

In our first post in this series, I talked about the “list build” site, which is great IF you’re an information marketer or online business owner whose business model is based primarily on selling trainings, group programs, or products. The #1 goal of the “list build” site is to turn a new website visitor into a subscriber to your email list.

On our second post, I revealed the “call me” site, which is best for coaches, consultants, creatives, independent professionals or service providers whose business model is based primarily on 1:1 advice and done-for-you services. The #1 goal of the “call me” site is to inspire a new lead or website visitor to get on the phone with you for a free discovery session.

Our 3rd kind of website is the “authority” site.

This site is for you if you’re an author, speaker, media personality, or thought leader whose business model is based on primarily on selling books and ideas, getting paid to speak, or high-end consulting.

The top goal of the “authority” site is position yourself as the #1 authority in your field so you can build a following, attract new opportunities, and command high fees.

Why?

Because the most well-known, best-paid leaders and consultants are not just brilliant experts, they’re brilliant marketers who understand how to build and position their value. (Or they’re smart enough to hire someone to brand and position them.)

So what exactly does an Authority Site look like?

First let me share one of our top converting “authority” home page wireframes, so you can get an instant visual, then down below I’ll break it down for you section by section so you know exactly why this wireframe is so powerful.

Section #1 – Branding & Navigation

This wireframe incorporates our “slimline nav” style that’s minimizes your personal brand name and buttons to quickly focus your audience’s attention on the call to action banner below, because, as we’ll see, sometimes pictures speak louder than words.

Section #2 – “Call to Action” Banner

Next we have an oversized call to action banner featuring a stunning, professionally shot photograph of you, preferably in an environment that supports your authority positioning and personal brand image.

If you’re a woman and you have the resources to invest, I recommend hiring a hair and make-up artist to make you look gorgeous, as well as choosing your clothes carefully.

You’ll also notice this page contains a headline letting people know why they should care, as well as some optional body text, and a call to action button.

That button can launch an opt-in modal, take someone to your about page, or any other page that best gives them an experience of your personality and the value you can offer them.

Section #3 – As Seen On Logos

If you’re a thought leader and an authority, then people are talking about you. And not just any people. Important people. Preferably journalists from major publications.

As Seen On Logos gives you instant credibility to your audience. When we see a Forbes, Fast Company or Entrepreneur Magazine logo, we think you’re the real deal.

Section #4 – Video (optional)

Just like media logos bestow credibility, so does video. Especially when it’s looks professionally shot and you come across as clear, concise, comfortable and confident.

We all kinda grew up watching TV and we’re used to thinking that people on TV are authorities or celebrities.

Nothing amount of written content can replace the immediate power of being able to see someone talk about their story, where they came from, why they do what they do, and what they believe in. That’s what I recommend you share in this video.

If you don’t know what your story is, I’ve got a free training that can help you find the stories hiding inside of you and start expressing in your business so your audience can get to know (and love) the real you.

And, if you’re not comfortable on camera yet, check out this blog post on how to bust through your discomfort and step forward as the face and voice of your brand. Because, if you’re a thought leader or authority, you gotta get used to the spotlight… 😉

Section #5 – About You (optional)

Now that you’ve shared your story, your background, why you do what you do, it’s time to share the more official bio. Or the handful of awards and accomplishments that give you real credibility in the eyes of your audience.

While some personalities prefer the story – and choose you based on your life experience and relatability – others prefer to know what makes you qualified and what kinds of results you can get for them.

I recommend using a photo of you here in a position of authority, such as speaking on a stage, or standing in the company with someone well-known… and perhaps more famous than you. 😉

Section #6 – Get Started “Pathways”

You’ll see Pathways like this on almost all the sites we’ve ever built. Sometimes there are 2 pathways (like our example here), sometimes 3, and sometimes as many as 4.

The reason these pathways are so important is that they allow you to segment your audience based either on who they are or what they want. That way, they self-select what they’re interested in and click through to a page all about just that.

“Pathways” are kind of like the air traffic controller of your website, guiding new visitors to the right for them.

Section #7 – Social Proof

This is also an essential piece of every website we build, since nothing speaks more powerfully about you, then what other people say about you. I recommend choosing at least one powerful testimonial of someone whose life you changed.

Even if you haven’t helped someone achieve specific quantitative results – such as making a certain amount of money or losing a certain amount of weight — you can still ask them to share how you shifted the quality of their life in a profound and fundamental way.

Section #8 – From the Blog

One of the best ways to build your tribe and grow a movement around what you do, is through consistently producing content that reinforces your area of expertise.

I recommend featuring that content right on your home page, so repeat visitors can quickly see what’s fresh and new on your website.

Since this is an “authority” website, we’ve included a more visual blog excerpt format here that leads with a big image and strong blog title.

You’ll also notice these posts graphically show the number of social shares and comments each article has gotten. Your level of engagement with your audience creates a huge amount of social proof, which in term creates more engagement.

In the right sidebar, we include a custom blog navigation widget allowing visitors to dig deeper into your content by topic, featured or popular posts.

Then we incorporate an “internal ad” that you can use to feature your book, an upcoming event, or anything else you want to highlight.

Next up, we’ve got a live Twitter feed and a Facebook like box, giving your visitors an opportunity to follow you across your online platform. Again, the more fans and followers you have, the more people look to you as a leader and an authority.

Section #9 – Call to Action #2

In addition to your top call to action banner, I recommend capping your page with a second call to action banner.

I’ve used a video banner here, since I recommend featuring as many photos and videos of you as possible on an authority website, since each one reinforces your expert positioning.

I also recommend varying the call to action from the top banner to appeal to different audience segments.

This a great way to catch visitors who didn’t sign up at the top of the page.

Section #10 – The Extended Footer

Having an extended footer at the bottom of your site also allows you to catch visitors who have made it all the way down the site without taking action. It gives your visitors a quick “at a glance” directory of all the sections and sub-sections of your site and allows them to choose their own adventure. So if they haven’t taken you up on your suggestions of where they should, you give them the opportunity to choose what they want to do next. 

Section #11 – Legalese

The bigger and more popular you get, the more liability you have.

You’re going to want to protect yourself from the FCC and anyone else who may want to come after you with the standard legal pages and copyright info.

I also like to anchor the page with your logo, so you end with a personal, branded touch.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog series. Leave me a comment and let me know which site best supports your business model.

BONUS VALUE POINTS: If you’d value a little help figuring out how these templates best “fit with your business, check out this free training I did just the other day!

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This is a 3-part blog series on our top converting home page templates.

You can read part 1 here: The “List Build” Website.

And part 2 here: The “Call Me” Website.

 

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Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Joy Livingwell

    More excellence! Thanks so much for posting these — they clarify a lot of stuff I’ve been wondering about for years.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome…

      Reply ·
  2. felicity

    Great Read

    Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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