Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re going to get online leads. And redesigning an outdated website along the same lines doesn’t mean you’re going to fix this, either. If your website isn’t talking to the right people about the right things in the right way, then you aren’t reaching your target audience effectively. It’s essential that your website redesign produces an online presence that frames your company’s brand and selling proposition in such a way that it persuades your target customer to act – otherwise you might as well not have a website.
Identifying the Target Audience
The secret to reaching the right people through your website redesign depends, first and foremost, on knowing who you want to reach. Sure, you’ve done your target market research and you’ve identified who your target customer is. I’ve found that the gap occurs between making the identification and creating a website that speaks to the target in language he (or she) can understand.
The main reason for this, I think, is that the information gets “lost in translation” between whoever does the research and the website developer. One way around this is to ensure that your website developer is involved from the outset in setting the goals and objectives for your website, doing the target market research and planning the site redesign.
Whether your developer is involved from scratch or not, the best way to ensure that your website redesign is going to appeal to and attract the people you want is to create buyer personas. This is just like playing “pretend” when you were a kid:
- First, you conjure up a mental picture of your ideal customer, the type of person who usually buys and uses your products or services. This isn’t just pulled out of the sky, though; it needs to be based on solid intelligence from your market research data.
- Next, “flesh out” your customer persona, by giving him a name, gender, income level, family situation and type of home. This makes sense; you don’t want to waste your time designing a website that promotes home renovations to people who rent, do you?
- Include as many details as you can about your ideal customer, from demographic information such as age group through values, wants and needs, as well as—very importantly—the type of communications channels they are most likely to access.
- Give your persona a name and a backstory, which makes him as real as possible. If you have more than one ideal customer persona, examine the characteristics they have in common with each other to identify the real “sweet spot” that you need to relate to. Don’t select more than three or four niche markets or you’ll find yourself having to generalize to include them all, and that’s never a good online marketing strategy.
Once you have your primary buyer personas outlined, you can move on to choosing how to reach them all.
Selection of Content Types
Your market research has identified that Joe Bloggs who sources IT Services for his employer, a large corporation, is your ideal customer. He is typically married with children under 10 years. He lives in suburbia and watches television from 8 to 10 pm most weeknights to catch the news while his wife puts the kids to bed. After this, he goes online and catches up on news and information about his line of work before turning in.
This knowledge and timing gives you the perfect opportunity to reach him with new material via the content types he typically consumes. If he likes to read, then written copy in the form of blog posts and social media are the way to reach him. If he prefers to rest his eyes after a long day, you want a video or podcast that he can view while he relaxes.
Getting a Website Redesign that Works
Once you know who you need to reach and how, you’ll have a much better chance of crafting or commissioning a website redesign that contains suitable value propositions and key messaging that will appeal to your audience. Forget trying to reach everyone; forget trying to cover all your bases. Focus on creating a website that speaks to the people you want it to speak to, in a language they understand.