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Creating a Customer-centered Web Design Experience

Customer Persona and its Significance in Web Design

A common mistake that people make in their web design and development is that they make it all about them instead of focusing more on their customers or buyers.  After all, the point of having a website for your business is to attract prospects which you can market to as profitable leads and hopefully convert into actual customers or buyers.  Thus it makes perfect sense for such websites  to cater to the kind of web experience suited for their targeted prospects.  They often subconsciously ask themselves “ What is in there for me?” when checking out your website and to succeed in web marketing, one has to deliver a website design experience that clearly presents all the great things that your website and business has to offer and why they should care.

Indeed it is vital to approach web development, design, experience and content with your prospects in mind.  As a matter of fact, there is strong correlation between making a sale and how much time a prospect spends on a business website engaged on what it offers.  So how exactly do you approach website development in such a way that you are putting the personas of your prospects first, greatly improving results in web marketing?

Now before you even think about website development or redesigning an existing website, one should take into account the personas of their prospects (marketing personas or buyer personas).  These personas are taken by dividing your targeted prospects into specific groups that fictionally represent your ideal buyers or customers based on actual data taken from audience demographics and behaviour online, along with valuable insights about their needs, concerns, motivation and history.

Let’s say that you are a looking to bring in new business for a hotel through web marketing – you’ll have various different prospect personas to target which includes:

  • Event planning
  • Vacations for family and friends
  • Business travelers or corporate travelers
  • Newly-weds planning their wedding reception

As you can see, each of the personas mentioned above have distinct preferences and interest.  Having your website address these personas in general will doom it to fail in answering the important question – “What’s in it for them?”  It would be best to approach web design with the intention of directly addressing the specific interest and needs of a particular type of prospect that you are targeting, resulting in a much more personalized and comprehensive website that effective fulfills your business goals.

How to identify prospect personas for your business

  • Demographics – Begin developing prospect personas by looking into your current consumer base and pinpoint the most common customers or buyers in your line of business.  Depending on the kind of business that you are into, you can have as little as 2 or as much as 20 different types of personas. Provide descriptions for each one with as much detail as possible such as their name, industry and the jobs or roles that they take.
  • Needs and concerns – What concerns do they have or what issues are they trying to get hold of a solution for?  What current trends are there in your market that may affect their business or personal lives?  What information do they need?
  • Behavior – What do these people do online?  Are they actively using social networks like Twitter and Facebook?  What keywords do they usually use when doing online searches?  What products or services do they usually look up online and how do these people usually make use of these products or services?

Identifying key prospect personas for your business can take a lot of  time and effort but it’s certainly well worth it.  The information acquired can prove immensely valuable not only in website design and web development but in all other web marketing channels like lead generation and nurturing, social media marketing and e-mail marketing.  In order to succeed in your online marketing campaign, one would need to adopt a marketing message or content that caters to the needs of a specific prospect persona.

Web Design for Prospect Persona

Alright, so you now understand the significance of prospect personas and how to acquire such information and what makes these people tick.  How do you integrate all these in web design in order to provide a personalized and truly profitable experience?  Well there are certainly several ways that you can look into:

  • “Choose your own adventure” theme for your website homepage – it is perhaps the easiest and most comprehensive approach to integrating prospective personas to website design. Provide links in your homepage that would enable visitors to tell you who they are and allow your website to provide individual users with the kind of experience and content most relevant to them.
  • Creating personalized pages for every prospect persona – customized landing pages that suit the needs and interest of every targeted prospect persona is where your “choose your own adventure” links should lead to.  Featuring such pages in your web development efforts will enable businesses to feature content, offers, messages and media content that best appeals to a specific segment or prospect persona.
  • Creating and featuring content that offers value and sparks the interest of each prospective persona – this includes everything from special offers like eBooks, demos, webinars and blog posts.