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What is the Grunt Test?

If a prehistoric caveman were to look at your website, could they “grunt” exactly what you do just by looking at the homepage?

The “caveman” can be considered anyone who lands on your website and has never heard of your business before.

The fact is, the human brain is millions of years old and its natural instinct is to “survive and thrive", meaning that our brains will filter out anything unnecessary or confusing. Your brain is wired to conserve calories.

The human mind is drawn toward simplicity and clarity, and away from noise and confusion.

As a business owner or marketer, you might look at your website and be in love. You might think your message is clear, but do your potential customers know how you solve their problems?

“What is a grunt test?”

As a StoryBrand guide, I often hear:

“Our website is getting traffic, but we’re not making sales. We’ve tried everything, SEO, Google Adwords, social media but we’re still not growing as fast as we should be.”

If you experience this issue, chances are, your website message is unclear and it is causing you to lose customers.

There are countless things we can do to improve your website, but for now, let’s focus on the Grunt Test. But why?

It's because it's a quick to fix and will cost you almost nothing – you can literally do this yourself, and fast!

The response from your potential customers will be almost immediate. You’ll be making more sales overnight!


When someone lands on your website, you have 5 seconds to answer these three questions:


Is it a product or a service? If it’s a service, is there an easier way to articulate your offerings? Are you in retail and want to frame your business as a brand?

Example: If you're selling ‘networking services’, then say ‘networking services’. If you are a Realtor say ‘real estate’ or 'Realtor'.


1. How will it make my life better or why should I care about what you sell?

2. What problem does your service solve for the customer?

3. What pain point do you address with your products or services?

This is where you can invoke a positive emotion:

Image examples:

IT COMPANY: "Easy solutions to your IT frustrations."

REALTOR: "Your guide to finding you the dream property you'll love."


What is the next step you want your potential customer to take? A lead generator with an opt-in form, a demo of your services, purchase button or a discount code?

It could be 'Buy Now', Start Here’, ‘Schedule A Call’, ‘Begin Here’

Be clear and simple. If you are a builder don’t say something like this:

“King Landscapes, We do it right, since 1989, we're your trusted landscaper."

Instead, just say “King Construction. Commercial Landscaping You Can Be Proud Of

Clarity in communication always leads to growth in sales.

Reach out to a local business you frequent, and send them a short video of you viewing their website, without scrolling, just the header. Use the grunt test to ask if they're selling their products or services as much as they'd like to be. If not, you've got the answers on how to fix the problem!

Here are 4 Grunt Test Pass Tips:

1. What comes above the fold is crucial. Make your header relevant, clear and uncluttered.

2. Less is more when it comes to word count. Use clear and concise language to explain what you offer.

3. Have a clear call to action in the top right corner of your header and on your hero image.

4. Use imagery that shows your customers a happy result.


In this video, Donald Miller shows us the best possible example of a website that works:

Would you Like to Know if your Homepage Passes the Grunt Test?

If you’d like us to run a complimentary GRUNT TEST on your website click HERE>

We'll give you a 5 minute video of us running the GRUNT TEST on your website! Then you can take decide if you'd like to make the changes we might suggest!

Want to learn how to use the grunt test more effectively? Book a call with us and let's chat!

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