Your website is important, but trying to sell without any customers won’t get you very far.
But what are the components of a customer-centric website?
You’ll be glad to know that I’m about to make things quite a bit easier for you, by highlighting all the essentials you need for a customer-centric web design, below:
This is first on my list for a reason. Your website should be clearly marked so that your customers know where to find the most important things on your site – after all, there’s no point in having your website optimised with all the below items on this list, when your users get so lost and frustrated they end up clicking away before they reach any of that great, well thought-out content.
Try looking at it from the perspective of someone who’s never visited your site – what will they be looking for first? Is your design user-intuitive and easy to navigate? What could make it better?
2. Designed with buyer personas in mind
By now, you should know that buyer personas are crucial to your business’s success. These semi-fictional representations of your ideal buyer should be well-researched and based as much as possible on your previous and best customers.
I’m hoping you already use buyer personas to create content, new offers and to introduce new products, but you should also use them for your web design. To give you a good idea of what you could do better, why not try surveying previous customers to see what they thought of your website? Remember, you should be constantly building on your buyer personas, so don’t be afraid to add to them.
TIP: My next blog will tell you exactly how you can use buyer personas to create an effective customer-centric web design. Why not subscribe to my blog and get it delivered when it goes it live?
3. Talk their language
Your website’s content should be well thought-out and written solely for your users at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Use your buyer personas to make sure you’re using the right language, and write in a friendly, engaging tone. When possible, you should acknowledge their challenges, common questions and pain points so it feels like you’re reading their mind. This should continue right through to your blog, which I’m going to talk about below.
4. A blog to answer common questions and pain points
From an inbound perspective, your blog is probably the most important thing you’re going to need. So, if it’s just sitting there gathering dust, you probably already know you’re doing it wrong. Your blog is actually your most effective tool when it comes to inbound marketing, but having one is just half the battle.
For best results, sit down with your team and think about all the frequent questions, concerns and pain points your customers experience or ask you about on a regular basis. Now, write your content around that – your customers will thank you for it. I’d recommend blogging – and sharing your content on social media – at least twice per week to get decent results. I’ll also mention social sharing buttons below.
5. Fill any extra space with useful content
Got an empty space on your homepage? Avoid the common pitfall most companies make, and try filling it with useful content rather than self-promotion or TV ads. How about a CTA for a helpful ebook or guide? Clicking could take them to a landing page where they can fill out their name and email address before downloading your well-written guide – you get a lead, and they get helpful information, and everybody’s happy.
6. Unique value proposition (UVP) that resonates with your buyer persona
This doesn’t mean you should bombard your website visitors with offers and promotions, or even talk a lot about your company. Instead, think of what THEY need, and the value you can provide that they won’t be able to find elsewhere. Find a way to demonstrate this early on (sometimes, just one powerful line will do) so that your visitors will be able to see straight away what you can offer them – your UVP should also have a prominent place on landing pages and in your marketing campaigns.
7. Responsive design
Almost half of searches are now conducted on a mobile device, and 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour (statistics courtesy of iAcquire and Survey Monkey). Those are some powerful findings, and they mean that if your site isn’t optimised for mobile devices, you’ll definitely be missing out on some big business. Fix it by making your next web design responsive – otherwise, you could be sending mobile visitors straight into the arms of your competitors.
8. Easy to share
What do most people have in common? We’re social beings, and if we find something that’s particularly useful or resonates with us, we like to share it with our friends, family and colleagues. Adding social sharing buttons to your blog will make it just that bit easier for people to share your fantastic content, and will even encourage them to do so.
9. Powerful, effective CTAs to show them what to do next
Your call-to-actions (CTAs) need to be absolutely clear, so your customers will know what they’re getting before they click on them. Make them too vague, and they may not be interested, or think that they’re going to be getting something they’re not – both lead to disappointment. Is it an ebook, whitepaper or guide? Then make that perfectly clear – no-one likes to waste their time. From an inbound perspective, this also helps to guide your visitors into becoming leads.
If you’ve figured out that customer-centric web design is one of the keys to getting great results with inbound marketing, then good news: I’ve just made it even easier for you. The above nine points should help you create an effective, customer-centric web design that is a joy to use, talks their language, and gets your customers coming back for more. Good luck!