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.
The key to maximizing any brand awareness platform is understanding your audience.
Many of our client's initial web pages were described to us as "checking a box." It served no real purpose other than being a purchased domain landing page. It didn't matter what it looked like or if consumers thought it was not easy to navigate — it was something to tell others it was theirs and available if needed. The sites were often unorganized and visually inconsistent with what they wanted to communicate to their consumers.
No one was visiting the website because nothing brought them there. If they did visit, there was no clear goal for them. The sites were a poor representation of their brand stories and the challenges they wanted to solve. However, after developing their brand foundations and having a target audience in mind, we were able to help turn them into websites with purpose and intention.
These are three questions to consider when starting your first website or before looking to refresh an existing website.
1. Do you know your website's audience?
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? Providing insight into your buyer's journey and clarifying your priorities to define your informational hierarchy helps designers pinpoint improvement areas and help you maximize your business resources.
Know their goals, recognize their challenges, feel their emotions, and understand their overall journey interacting with your business.
2. What's the purpose of your site for your audience?
Why are potential clients coming to your website? What actions do you guide or encourage your visitors to take?
Whatever the call to action is, make it known and apparent to your customer upon arrival. Perhaps the purpose is to gather email subscribers, book services, make appointments, or learn more information – can your audience tell? You are wasting resources if you aren't fully utilizing your homepage or other site pages to maximum efficiency and impact.
Branding is 99% about the client and 1% about you.
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.
3. How do you want to engage with 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 donors be more inclined to donate to a website focused on user interaction and dynamic data presentation, or would they prefer causal, straightforward, bullet-pointed information? For answers to these questions, look to your competitors.
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, define your unique selling proposition, and determine how your website can appeal to that target audience by integrating what you know.
Know why your site exists and tailor it to your audience. Look to your competitors for inspiration on 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 want to refine your target audience and better understand your customers, we offer Brand Development 101. We'll meet with you and your team to either develop or refresh the foundations of your brand positioning and identity. Once completed, we'll help connect and manage your web development team through our Partner Network of vetted freelancers and experts. Set up a free consultation today!