Standing out in a crowded marketplace is a challenge familiar to nearly every business owner at one point or another. No matter the size of the business, the industry or the geographic area, competing for customers’ attention can feel like an uphill battle.

You need to overcome the sheer number of distractions that can prevent your customers from learning about you, finding you and taking action to engage with you.

That’s why it’s crucial for every business to present a website that that attracts customer attention — and entices visitors to engage. Here are three ways to help your website stand out from the crowd:

1. Show what makes your business unique

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes your business different from competitors. For some businesses, it may be hands-on service or the latest fashions or unusual menu offerings. Understanding your own USP helps you communicate it on your website well. Ask yourself what makes your business unique, and then showcase it.

Lighthouse Sounds, one of the six businesses selected for a marketing revitalization during Season 3 of Small Business Revolution, knew that its best-in-class equipment and the expertise of its staff set the studio apart from other recording studios in the area. The Deluxe team helped Lighthouse Sounds bring that vital information front and center on the website, so customers looking for recording studios could see right away what made Lighthouse Sounds different from the rest.

Lighthouse Sounds put its USP to work on their website by highlighting “Where artistic passion meets audio perfection” on the home page. The words give visitors a feeling of security as they know what to expect and what Lighthouse Sounds can offer.

Pro tip: If “low prices” is the only unique selling proposition you can come up with, it might be worth revisiting your products and services. Customers do want low prices, of course, but if two businesses feature the same pricing structure, then other aspects of your business — excellent customer service, the variety of inventory, etc. — can nudge you ahead of the other guys.

2. Tell your story in style

It’s crucial that your website doesn’t overwhelm visitors with information. This can require a balancing act to ensure your website tells the story of your business but also leaves room for users to get to know you and find what they need.

Take Today’s Beauty in Alton, Illinois, as an example. The shop focuses on beauty supply products for African American consumers. That’s its USP. But visitors to its website learn even more about the full mission of the business: Today’s Beauty wants customers to look their best, feel their best and do their best. To get that point across, the Deluxe team worked with Today’s Beauty to share information quickly and guide people to visit the shop.

While sharing its story, the website also has the design element of space between words and images to ease the transition between website sections. Callouts such as the “VISIT US TODAY” button and enticing product images make it clear where to focus attention:

The site makes it easy for visitors to see, in just a few seconds, what Today’s Beauty offers, and where they should click next to take certain actions. The space also helps visitors feel the inclusive spirit of Today’s Beauty and understand the type of interactions they can expect in store: bright and welcoming.

Pro tip: Your USP is a crucial part of your business, but it’s only one aspect of it. Additional sections or pages on your website help expand on what makes your business different from others. To make the most use of your website, ensure your copy is short, easy-to-understand and punchy. This keeps visitors engaged and helps them navigate your website with ease.

3. Shape your website with strong design

At the heart of a powerful website is a good user experience. As one of the six businesses given a marketing makeover during Season 4 of Small Business Revolution, nooma Yoga Studio provided a unique scenario: It had strong attendance and a website, but the website wasn’t holding its weight. It was a great start to establishing the nooma brand, but it needed a revamp that would offer visitors a more compelling experience, provide more information about what members could expect from classes and increase nooma’s discoverability on search engines.

To correctly grasp the experience of having a unique workout for their mind, body and soul in a supportive environment, nooma needed to thread it into the website’s messaging and design.

The newly designed website now makes nooma look professional and captures the energy of the studio through lively colors and videos. The Deluxe team worked with nooma to streamline the layout and make it easier to drive visitors to the website’s primary call to action (CTA): Encouraging prospective members to learn more about the studio and the classes offered. Simplifying the navigation also improved the user experience — when visitors land on the homepage, they should not feel overwhelmed.

The homepage’s design immediately immerses visitors into the nooma experience, and captures the energy, the community, and the notion of mind, body and spirit coming to life.

nooma's new website

Pro tip: What do you want potential customers to understand about your business after just a few moments on your website? Ask friends or family who have never been to your website to look at it for five seconds. If they can’t determine what to do on the site or your most important services in that short span of time, that’s your cue to change the way your website communicates with customers.

A strong website is a must for every business. But not just any old website will do. Make sure your website sets you apart from the competition and garners the attention your business deserves.

Not a marketer? Not a problem.

This downloadable guide covers marketing in 8 easy-to-understand sections — each filled with professional tips and advice you can put into practice right away.

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