Do you know your website’s audience?
Whether you agree or disagree that a website is necessary for business success, it is hard to doubt the strength that a well-designed web page lends to a brand’s credibility.
A business must understand its target audience, brand positioning, and brand personality to maximize the benefits of having a website.
These are three questions to consider when starting your first website or before looking to refresh an existing website.
Understanding your audience is the key to maximizing a brand awareness platform.
When we created the first Henderson-West and Company webpage, it “checked a box.” It served no real purpose. It was messy and unorganized. Visually inconsistent with how we wanted to come across to our clients. No one was coming to our site because we had no reason for them to go there. If they did visit, there was no clear goal for them.
We just needed that space. We only needed to own small space in this expansive and arbitrary world of the internet. It didn’t matter what it necessarily looked like, or if consumers thought it was not easy to navigate — it was something to tell others it was ours.
As we grew in clients and scale, it quickly became apparent that our purposeless site was a hindrance. A poor representation of what our story was and the challenges we wanted to solve. With a target in mind, we shook off the old and became something new. Or rather — something purposeful.
What’s the purpose of your site?
Why are potential clients coming to your website? What actions do you guide or encourage your visitors to do?
Perhaps the purpose is to gather email subscribers, book services, make appointments, or learn more information. Whatever the call to action is, make it known and apparent to your customer upon arrival. If you aren’t fully utilizing your homepage or other site pages to maximum efficiency and impact, you are wasting resources.
Know why your site exists and tailor it to your audience. Make sure that it aligns visually with the rest of your brand and is attractive to those who would use your service or donate to your nonprofit.
Do you know your website’s audience?
Branding is 99% about the client and 1% about you. Suppose one does not understand the target audience with as much detail as one hopefully understands their brand. In that case, you are most likely not operating as efficiently or effectively as you could.
Know their goals, recognize their challenges, feel their emotions, and understand their overall journey interacting with your business.
When it comes to site-building, you must know what your audience likes. Do your clients prefer blogs over case studies? Do they rely strongly on testimonials when they make a decision? And, perhaps most importantly, does your audience even want or need a site?
Providing insight into your own buyer’s journey and clarifying your priorities for each part of the informational hierarchy helps designers pinpoint improvement areas and help you maximize your business resources.
How do you want to engage your audience?
Is your audience more attracted to witty brands or serious brands? What is your brand personality, and does your site reflect that?
Would your donor be more inclined to donate to a website heavily focused on user interaction and dynamic content, or would they prefer causal and straightforward animations? For answers to these questions, look to your competitors.
Many of our clients look at their competitors for inspiration in how to achieve business success. However, when you look at your competitors, remember the goal is to set yourself apart, not to copy.
To take this further, assume your shared audience’s perspective and observe saturated and under-served markets. Find out how to differentiate your brand position, capitalize on that niche, and figure out how your site can appeal to that target audience.
Branding is 99% about the client and 1% about you. Know why your site exists and tailor it to your audience. Look to your competitors for inspiration in how to increase customer engagement. Once you understand your site’s purpose, audience, and personality, you are ready to seek the help of a branding expert or web designer.
If you are looking to refine your target audience and better understand your customer, we offer Brand Development 101. We’ll meet with you and your team for three hours once a week to either develop or refresh the foundations of your brand positioning and identity.
Here at Henderson-West and Company, we are full of brand curators and storytellers. We help contextualize and empower diverse stories so that their tellers(you, dear reader) may learn to actualize development and defy the impossible.