In conversion optimization, the visitor is king. Getting to know your customers is the first step in conversion optimization. Most companies understand the importance of knowing their customers, but very few really understand what “knowing the customer” really entails.
This process usually starts by gathering detailed market information and then using this information to shape how your website interacts with its visitors. The goal of this process is to put yourself in the visitor’s seat and view your website from their standpoint.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are your visitors general buying patterns?
- How do visitors view your website?
- Does your design install confidence in visitors?
- What trigger words will have the most impact on visitors?
- Which website elements persuade visitors to remain on the site and why?
- Which elements cause the visitor to exit and why?
- Which of your competitors are your visitors most likely to consider?
By asking these questions you’ll be able to better understand what your visitors are thinking, what objections they may have and how they will navigate and browse through your site.
Once you understand your visitors the next step is to develop empathy toward your visitors by converting the data into actual personas.
So, what is a persona? Personas are examples of hypothetical individuals who represent a target consumer. The purpose of the persona is to relate to customers at an individualized level, hence “knowing the customer”.
An example of a persona for an art website:
“Janet, a 65 year old retired marketing manager. Her hobby is collecting art by new artists, or replicas of classical art pieces. She enjoys decorating her home with unique art pieces and is always on the lookout for new designs to add to her growing collections. She not concerned about price but rather wants to be ensured that her satisfaction is guaranteed. Return policies are important to her.”
The persona you create must be believable. Here are a couple of things to consider to mold life like personas:
- Include rich details about a personas life: hobbies, quirky attitudes, anything that keeps the persona from being cliché. If your persona doesn’t resonate or generate affection or evoke opinion in your team. Then in all likelihood it’s too generic.
- Include a quote from each persona. Use transcripts of customer service conversation or email where possible, to invoke the actual voice of the customer.
- Track down the right photo. A picture speaks a thousand words and if it doesn’t seem to fit, it won’t evoke empathy.
There are four types of personas:
1. Methodical Persona – Makes slow, logical decisions when buying. You’ll need to do the following:
- Show a proven track record
- Provide links to case studies or white papers
- Describe your experience
- Describe how they company came to be
- Describe the companies values and details of how you live up to those values
2. Spontaneous Persona – Make fast and emotional buying decisions. You’ll need to do the following:
- Briefly explain what’s new or different about your company
- Show your companies personality
- Be flexible
- Be innovative and on the edge and explain why
3. Competitive Persona – Fast logical buyers that don’t waste time, but need to be convinced that your company can help their needs. You’ll need to do the following:
- Explain what your company stands for and what it’s committed to do for them
4. Humanistic Persona – Make slow buying decisions, who seek valuable relationships with the companies they buy from. You’ll need to do the following:
- Tell your companies story, introduce key players, have links to bio pages
- Tell stories of what you do for your customers
- Show your companies personality and introduce people behind the company
- Link to your blog so these buyers can stay in touch with your company
Remember by really understanding your visitors you’ll be maximizing your chances of increasing your “visitor” to “buyer” conversions.