As a business owner before you start tinkering with your website you first must understand who your website is for. Who are you talking to? What action do you want them to take when they arrive there?
You need to understand your target audience inside and out, you need know what problems they have when using your products or services and what concerns they have when they decide not to buy.
With 53% of website redesign projects are done internally it is no wonder that so many go wrong.
If you do not understand who you are speaking to then your website will speak to no one. It won’t resonate with your buyers and they will just leave feeling unsatisfied and thinking that your business does not understand them.
People are in different mind-sets when they visit your website and not all of them are ready to buy, in fact 95% of them are not ready to buy or make contact with you. This is why you have to tailor your website for every customer mind-set.
1. Buyer personas
The best way to understand your target audience is by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer: their age, their job position and roles, which social media site they use, what publications they read and all the questions, pain points and pushbacks they may have.
The great thing about spending some quality time creating these personas is that everyone in your organisation will understand who you are selling to.
Send copies to your sales and marketing teams so everyone knows what your customers look like so they understand their unique set of problems and how to solve them.
Most businesses have more than one buyer persona, for example a solicitor may offer litigation services and divorce settlements, both very different kinds of people with different challenges and goals. To begin creating a buyer persona you need to think about who you sell to.
Survey your clients and customers to understand what problems they had when they were looking for your services. What are the most common questions they have during the sales process and what pain points do they have?
Buyer personas are not only great for you, they are also great to hand to your designer, copywriter or PR company.
2. Unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is simply who you are as a company. Every business has one but many businesses don’t tell you this on their website. You should display your unique value positioning front and centre.
People need to see what you do and what makes you different within a second of visiting your website. By adding this UVP to your home page everyone who visits will understand straight away what it is you do and how you can help them.
If you do not have a UVP you need to think of one short sentence that explains what you do and why you are different. Again listen to your customers’ pain points and discover their biggest challenges when using your product or service.
If you have testimonials, read through them, you can discover great UVPs within your customer comments.
3. Unique selling proposition
Basically a good unique selling proposition (USP) takes a solid UVP and turns it into language that speaks to your buyer personas.
If a UVP tells them who you are then a USP tells them why they should care. To create a great USP you first need to have a deep understanding of your buyer personas.
A great USP will make your prospects crave your products and services and can really help lift conversions on your website. If you don’t know what they want you can’t create a great USP.
Some great examples of USPs:
- FedEx Corporation: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
- M&Ms: The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
- Domino’s Pizza: You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.
- Avis: We’re number two. We try harder.
- DeBeers: A diamond is forever.
4. Identifying your customers’ language
The language or keywords your prospects use when researching and looking for your products is very important as using these keyphrases in your content will help it rank on Google. This is what search engine optimisation is all about, right?
Well no, I would say these days it is all about creating content around topics, not keywords. If you have lots of great content on your website about a particular topic related to your business, I believe this will give you greater visibility in search.
Make sure you follow best SEO practices and include words in your main pages that your buyer personas use when searching, this will not only help you in search it will also mean you are talking your customers’ language. People are put off by jargon and industry terms, they just want simple to understand information so make sure you give it to them.
Some really good places to discover keywords can be Google webmaster tools, Google analytics, Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest, and Google trends. These are all excellent free tools that will help you understand how your customers search.
Don’t get too fixated on these keywords, remember to create content around topics.
5. Identify common questions and pain points
Now that you know who you are talking to, you need to understand what questions your prospects ask when they are doing their research.
When they type their question into Google you want your blog to show up in the results.
By creating content around helping your prospects solve their problems and address their pain points you will begin to become a trusted advisor in their eyes. Also this is an ideal way to get your prospects into your sales funnel.
What questions do your prospects have? I’m sure you hear them every day. Sit down with your sales team and brainstorm ideas as these questions will be the solid foundation of the content you will be creating for your blog and will be the first step to strangers on your website becoming a known lead.
As we are in a world of websites that don’t talk to their customers, there is more reason than ever to make sure yours does. Create great buyer personas and amazing content that talks your prospects’ language and answers common sales questions. Make what you do clear to everyone. This is the best digital marketing advice i can give you.
Now it is your turn
What does your website do? Does it generate revenue or just gather dust? Let me know in the comments below.