Welcome to Part 2 of my 7-part series on how to create the website you really want, on time and on budget. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far:
- Step 1 – State your GOAL. The best way to set your website project up for success is to start with the end in mind by considering what you need that website to do. The more specific you are about what you expect to get out of it, the better. And of course, be sure to communicate this to your website developer.
And now, on to the next step…
Step 2 – Identify your AUDIENCE
In order to get the results you want from your website, it’s critical to build your website for the people you want as customers.
Before you start building a site, get very specific about who the user is, who you’re trying to reach. This will allow you to gear your message around who your customer is and what they are looking for, which will improve the conversion rate of visitors into customers.
How to identify your target audience
Here are some questions to consider:
- Who are your best customers?
- Who uses the types of products and services you offer?
- Who is not purchasing from you that should be?
If you don’t already have one, create a profile of your ideal customer. What are the characteristics your best customers have in common?
Take into consideration demographics such as:
- Income level
- Level of education
And because you need to connect emotionally with your website visitors, your audience profile should also include psychographic characteristics (“psycho” as in psychology, not psychopathic). What are their:
- Technological savvy
- Sources of influence
The most important psychographic characteristic to consider is this:
What do they urgently need that you have a solution for?
With both demographic and psychographic characteristics, focus on the things that set your best customers apart from everyone else. In other words, you don’t have to specify where they’re located or their technological sophistication if those factors are irrelevant to what sets them apart from non-customers.
Take a look at other websites that meet the needs of the same type of person you’re targeting. Consider what colors, verbiage, features, CTAs (calls to action), etc. they use to connect with the same audience.
Using your audience profile to design your website
Once you know who your ideal user is, you can design a website that turns those users into customers.
The understanding you have of your audience will influence such decisions as:
- What headlines will be most effective
- What the main call to action is
- Text to visuals ratio
- The tone of the copy
- How much information to give them before you ask them to take action
- What information to give them
- Preferred contact methods
Just as you’ve built your business around the needs of your customers, you want to create a website around the needs of your users.
Not considering your audience will turn people away from your site, attract unwanted “problem child” customers, and be ineffective in meeting the goals that you want to accomplish with your website.
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