Why Buyer Personas are Important in Website Redesign
If you’re thinking of redesigning your website, you’re probably considering elements like navigation, content, images, design, functionality, and user experience – and of course, these are all critical considerations. But have you considered your buyer personas in this mix?
If you’re not correctly targeting the different buyer personas within your target audience on your website, you could be missing out on leads and customers. It’s important to tailor your website as closely as possible to each persona, making it clear how their problem or need will be solved with your product or service, providing answers to their questions, and using words and images that resonate with them. That way, your visitors feel that your website was meant for them, and can find the information they need as quickly and simply as possible.
So how do you redesign your website to accommodate multiple buyer personas who want different things? Let’s start at the beginning…
What is a buyer persona?
Buyer personas, also referred to as ‘marketing personas’ or ‘customer personas’, are fictional characters designed to represent a group of customers with similar values around the use of a product or service – they are different sections of your target audience. They are not simple demographics or guesstimates – although some educated speculation is necessary – but in-depth profiles based on real data. Personas help you understand and articulate to your customers better, which improves your success in designing products and creating content for real people with real needs. Buyer personas also create a common language and identification for your internal team so that everyone understands who they are creating content for.
Why buyer personas are important in website design
According to Hubspot, “Using marketing personas makes websites 2-5 times more effective and easier to use.” If you know your customers intimately, you can create a much more powerful website experience based on their needs.
If you know what questions they ask, you can answer them. If you know their pain points, you can explain how you solve them. If you know how they like to purchase, you can create that experience for them. If you know what they want to buy, you can put it front and center and make it as easy for them as possible.
The bottom line is that you can increase your lead conversion rate and revenue by redesigning your website based on your buyer personas.
This includes all elements of your website, from design, navigation, and messaging to content, offers, and calls to action.
An example of using buyer personas in website redesign
At LimeLight Marketing, we have recently worked with the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program on a major website redesign project. Their target audience can be clearly divided into different groups – woodworkers, architects, drafters, and general contractors.
All of these buyer personas have unique needs and questions. Previously, the website tried to answer all these needs and questions in a general way, appealing to all buyer personas at once. Redesigning the website to address the needs of each target group individually has made the user experience much clearer, more personal, and has resulted in an increase in website traffic of 265% within 10 months for each of the persona focused pages.
Benefits of identifying buyer personas before starting a website redesign
Here are some of the benefits of creating and using your buyer personas when you’re redesigning your website:
- Buyer personas help you develop a customer journey and therefore the elements and content you need on your website to guide them through this journey from awareness to advocacy.
- You can set your company apart from your competitors. Redesigning your website using your buyer personas will be much more appealing to your customers than a generic website. Make sure to evaluate your competitors’ sites from the point of view of your personas so you understand their positioning and can objectively develop your own.
- Putting in the time and effort it takes to create buyer personas pays dividends in return on investment when your website starts driving sales.
- You’ll attract better quality leads – the key is in the word “quality” – when your website is more targeted.
- It will help improve the volume of organic search traffic and increase your search rankings.
- You can create better content and more targeted messages – it’s unlikely that a 20-something female and a 50+ male will understand, relate with or react positively to the same message.
- Your employees can better empathize with and understand what your customers want and need.
- Buyer personas can help you create a website that’s right for your customers – rather than creating a website that you and your stakeholders like. You’ll probably have a lot of different opinions on your latest design, and buyer personas remove at least some of this subjectivity.
How to identify your buyer personas
There’s a wide range of depth, research, and complexity that can go into the development of buyer personas, and in some cases – especially in more complex businesses and industries – it’s absolutely right to go to that level of detail.
Our four-step process is simple and straightforward, allowing you to create and begin using personas within a week or two. This approach relies on your internal team having a good understanding of who your customers are. You can also expand this process by conducting customer interviews to gain insight or validate the assumptions you have about your customers.
4 steps to creating your buyer personas
- Bring together a small group of employees who know your customers well. Common participants include the owner or CEO, sales reps, and customer service reps. Three to five people is a good size.
- Spend 30 minutes brainstorming and identify your two to four core groups of customers. Some common ways to group your customers include job title, industry, buyer type, or psycho-graphic identifiers. These will become your personas.
- Spend three to five minutes brainstorming and describing each persona. You can use our templates to help with this. Start with a single persona, brainstorm all categories, and then move to the next persona.
- Demographics: Facts, who, where, when. Pick a name that fits this customer. You can include profession, job title, brands they buy, places they shop, social channels they use.
- Story: The psycho-graphic information about a user. The personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, lifestyle and challenges driving your user that relate to your brand.
- Goals: Based on the story and how it relates to your product or service, what goals does your customer have? Connect these to your story as much as possible.
- Needs: Based on the story and how it relates to your product or service, what needs does your customer have? Again, connect these to your story.
- Use this information to document your buyer personas and give each of them a face by selecting a photo of someone who represents the persona. With a name, a face, and a description of the buyer, you’ll have the basic buyer persona to guide your website redesign.
How to design your website for your buyer personas
Once you know your buyer personas, you can then tailor your website experience (functionality, content, and design) to each of their requirements.
There are various ways to do this. From a navigational point of view, you could include links that identify each of your personas as we did for the Architectural Woodwork Institute. This allows visitors to choose the most relevant content for them and means you can funnel them in the direction you want them to go and ultimately to take action. Creating bespoke landing pages for each buyer persona means you can use tailored content, messaging, images, videos, offers, and calls to action just for them.
You could also use dynamic content, which means your visitors will see content and messaging relevant to them depending on various different parameters, such as what they’ve clicked on, which pages they’ve visited, how long they’ve been on your site, and more.
4 useful tips for designing your website around buyer personas
While creating customized content is a great way to channel different buyer personas through to the relevant information, what if they enter your website in a different way, such as through a blog post or via a social media link? It’s a good idea to ensure you still deliver relevant content, even if your visitors miss their targeted landing pages.
- Section out blog content using tags: If you visibly tag your blog posts, visitors can choose the posts that are most relevant to them from different categories.
- Use targeted calls to action (CTAs) for each persona: Make sure you optimize your chances of converting visitors into customers by using clear CTAs that are relevant to the persona and more likely to make them take action. It’s also a good idea to test CTAs to find out which ones perform best.
- Segment case studies: If you have case studies, you can also segment these so that your different buyer personas can easily find the ones which are relevant to them.
- Use images that will appeal to your different personas: Humans are visual creatures, so make sure the images you use are relevant for each buyer persona.
A successful website should very clearly show the benefits of your product or service to each of your buyer personas, and make it easy for them to find what they need. Use your buyer personas to design or redesign your website so that it’s relevant, useful, and informative for each persona and makes it simple for them to buy from you.
Make sure your business stands out – contact us to chat about your buyer personas and a website redesign for your brand