If your business is planning a website design or redesign, don’t make the common mistake of basing design decisions around your own preferences, rather than those of your target audience or consumer. Obviously an error, since it will be the consumer using the website. Clearly defining who your target customer is crucial for all marketing and this holds especially true for the prosperity of your website.
Last week we discussed how to design your website for your target audience, so we thought we would drill down a little bit into how to solidify who your target consumer is. What this basically breaks down to is a series of questions you can answer, a lot of times from analytics, that will give you a clear picture of who is using your website.
For new website development, you can use these same questions to gather information about the target consumers you would like to have and utilize the answers for your graphic designer to create a superior design.
Who Uses Your Website?
It is important when defining your audience that you know exactly how they will be utilizing your business’ website and what prospects want to gain from doing so. Let’s begin with defining who your website’s users will be or are. Start out with some basic demographics by answering the following:
- Are they a business or a consumer?
- What age group?
- Male or female?
- Income level?
- Education level?
If you are a location specific business, narrow that information down to people in your area. For example, if you are planning a website design for a Chicago-based business that caters to locals, like a restaurant or mechanic, refine your data to reflect that.
What are Their Consumer Habits?
Once you have the basic details of your audience, you can move on to assessing their habits. Answering these questions will define whether they know who you or your business are:
- Are they familiar with your offerings as an option? (Name recognition.)
- Have they previously made this type of purchase or a similar one?
- Are they former or current customers you have done business with in the past?
What Thoughts Motivate Your Website Visitors?
Answer these characteristic questions to gain insight on what would motivate them to purchase your products or services:
- What are your users’ pain points?
- What is the motivation that spurs them to buy the type of product or service you are selling?
- What are their purchasing fears regarding your product?
- How do they expect the purchasing process should go?
- How do they expect your products to perform?
You need to have concrete idea of why people are coming to your website and what they are hoping to gain by doing so. Does that coincide with your website’s purpose? Does your website’s design also reflect that purpose?
If you want visitors to purchase a service or product, the most important ones should be featured. If you want to educate on your offerings, direct them to the information. For example: case studies, white papers and how-to articles.
Do you need prospects to be more aware about what you offer and understand how it is a unique and valuable answer to your problems? Then don’t just say it with copy, highlight it with design that addresses the answers to the questions above.
Don’t Overdo It
Defining both your target audience and what motivates them to visit your website can be a difficult process for sure, but don’t over-analyze it. Keep it simplified — but do document this information to share with your graphic designer and all team members of your website development project. This will enable everyone involved in your website’s design to work with the same target customer in mind. Thereby upping the your chances for success.
Image credit: erick hrz aguirre/Flickr