Did you ever step back and take a look at what your website was really communicating to first time visitors? Is your website saying, “I have a terrible design and I’m really confusing to navigate…so, maybe you should go somewhere else.” Or how about, “I don’t care what you want. This is what I’m going to show you and if you don’t like it tough!”
How exactly does a first time visitor see your website? With only seconds to grab a visitor’s attention, it is imperative that you are communicating the right message. But before you can craft the message, you have to know whom you are speaking to and what kinds of questions they are asking of you.
The best place to start (preferably before the design work on the website ever begins) is with creating buyer personas. A buyer persona is a short profile of your typical customer. It includes information such as who they are, what they like, what they don’t like, background information, and demographic information. Some companies even give their buyer personas a real name, like “Demanding Doris” or “Techie Tom” to help in developing their characteristics and personalities. Since we all have more than one type of customer, you will most likely have several buyer personas. For each one, you want to answer questions such as:
What is this buyer’s problem?
How can we reach this buyer?
What appeals to this buyer?
What is important to this buyer?
What types of words or phrases does this buyer use?
What does this buyer do online? What types of websites do they frequent?
Once you have an idea of who this buyer is, then you can start to craft a marketing program to figure out how to reach them and pull them into your website. But, once they get to your website, the same message for all your buyer personas is probably not going to work.
You’ll need to craft landing pages with custom content and specific calls to action for each buyer persona. One way to help in the development of the message you want to project, is to think about what questions are going through your audience’s mind when they visit your website for the first time. They are probably asking:
What does this company do?
How does the product or service work?
How much does the product or service cost?
If I have a question, can I talk to a live person?
How do I find out more information?
Are there any deals or specials being offered today?
What do customers say about this company or product?
If your website doesn’t answer the visitor’s questions within 5 to 7 seconds, then the visitor will probably never become a customer. In fact, they may not get any further than the page they landed on, before they turn around and leave your website forever.
So, think carefully about the questions being asked by your visitors and think even more carefully about how your website is answering them. When you put yourself into the visitor’s shoes, it can be an eye opening experience for what your website is really saying.