You don’t need to redesign your website – that is, if you’re not going to put your buyers front and center.
Technology and buyers change quickly, so if your website is older than (dare I say, 1) or 2 years, you need to update it.
But a website redesign project requires a lot of your TIME, RESOURCES, and MONEY.
You don’t want to waste these precious things on a website that doesn’t speak to buyers.
If you build a website that doesn’t speak to your buyer persona, however, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
The first rule of designing a website from the ground up or updating a website is this: Know who the website is for.
Don’t Mistake This Mistake
Maybe I’ve lost you already, because you’ve always designed your website (brochures, case studies…whatever) for your business.
That’s the wrong approach.
Yes, the website will support your business, but it shouldn’t be a digital billboard announcement of who you are and everything you do.
At least, that shouldn’t be the primary goal.
This kind of talk is almost heresy in the business world, and I realize I’m asking you to make a big shift in thinking here.
But it’s a shift you MUST make if you want to be successful in today’s market.
Now, I’m not saying the website won’t showcase your brand and sell products/services. It will.
But the website is really for your customers.
So it should be designed to appeal to what they need, want and desire.
Think about it: It’s your customers who will buy your products or pay for your services, so they are, in effect, paying for the website! They’re keeping you going, so put them first.
Thinking Like a Customer
Your buyer persona (most businesses have at least one, and perhaps as many as five) represents the typical customer that buys from you.
When you profile this person, you can dig deeply into his or her motivations, needs and desires. With this understanding, you can build a marketing and website plan that’s based on facts – not your assumptions.
The buyer persona will act like a checks-and-balance when making decisions about website design:
- Not sure if an image will work? Go back to the drawing board (your buyer persona).
- Wondering what CTA to use? Review the buyer persona.
- Can’t figure out how many website pages to start with? You get the picture.
Buyer Persona 101
If your business has never created and used a buyer persona, now’s the time to get started!
Set aside time to work with your team (include marketing, sales, managers – whoever has insight into WHO your buyer is), and brainstorm.
Here are the factors the buyer persona should cover:
- Professional background (if necessary).
- How you help solve problems and challenges.
- Your company’s unique selling proposition (USP).
- What sets you apart from the competition.
- Sales objections (things that stop them from buying).
- How to overcome objections
You’ll gain a lot of insight by conducting interviews with internal staff – especially if you gather together employees who interact with clients regularly (they’ll know customers the best) – but you should also look outward too.
Talk to customers and clients who best fit your ideal buyer persona. Ask them about their background, needs, challenges, and interaction with your company.
Try to interview as many customers as possible; 5-10 interviews should provide you with enough information to put together a pattern from the subjects’ answers.
You can use the buyer persona information for much more than just website creation. Put the document to use when writing blogs and emails, case studies and offers.
You’ll target your marketing strategy to really hit the bull’s eye.
And that ultimately means fewer wasted resources and more conversions and revenue!
Has your business used buyer personas in the past? If yes, in what ways has it helped you to improve marketing?