How to Create a Persona-Driven Web Design Approach
What is a persona web design? When you create your site for buyers, you hone in on the key characteristics of a particular segment of your audience. Every business reaches people with a specific set of demographics and psychographics. Knowing who yours serves best allows you to meet their needs.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are approximately 31.7 million small businesses in America. The country boasts an additional 20,139 large enterprises. No matter your industry, you’re up against some stiff competition online, both from local and international sectors.
One way to stand out from the crowd is via your website’s approach. People respond to pages personalized to their needs. Create a persona-driven web design by following these steps.
1. Speak to Their Preferences
Once you understand who your buyers are, it’s much easier to meet their needs directly. The entire customer experience on your website improves as you use the colors, images and language your customers prefer.
Run every element of your design through the filter of what your personas might think. For example, if most of your customers are working women, the color brown might be a turnoff. Studies show most women prefer blue but brown ranks low.
Gillette Venus uses some soft blues with brighter pops of color. Notice how the gold is a deep hue to avoid the use of brown on the page. When you first land on the site, a pink strip appears across the top, offering a discount code. Everything about the page’s color scheme considers the typical person who buys these razors and targets their preferences.
2. Rank the Importance
Almost all businesses have more than one customer demographic. You likely have several personas representing different segments of your audience. However, one faction usually buys more than all the others. Rank your personas, paying the most attention to the one bringing in the most revenue over time.
You may find some personas only buy once and don’t return, while others purchase repeatedly. Figure out who represents your bread and butter and put the emphasis on the persona.
3. Create Separate Landing Pages
Each persona has unique needs. While your homepage can focus more on your primary audience, you should also offer options for the other personas. Each landing page should have language, images and calls to action geared to the group you most want to reach.
Fidelity Life separates personas by their current situations, such as single, partnered, with kids or partnered with kids. The four categories represent their four buyer personas. When the user clicks on one of the options, they arrive on a landing page geared for their needs. They ask for additional information along the way to further personalize the experience.
4. Offer Escape Routes
People potentially land on your website from any page. While you might address the needs of all your personas on your home page, what happens if a user lands on a page not pertaining to them? You must offer an easy escape route that takes them back to the home page or a place specific to their needs.
5. Identify Needs
Your buyer personas each face unique pain points. How can you solve the problem they have? Once you identify their needs, it’s much easier to separate the solutions into pages on your website.
While it’s wise to separate your landing pages into solutions, you also must keep in mind some buyers may need more than one solution. Persona A may have some of the needs of Persona B and vice versa.
CIT Bank does an excellent job of meeting the needs of their customers by offering tabs for the different solutions, with the categories of bank, borrow, learn and resources. If Persona A needs a new money market account, they know to click on the “Bank.” On the other hand, if a business owner isn’t quite sure what their needs might be, they can click on “Learn.”
Offering a clear path to different solutions meets the needs of all personas. The website avoids a situation where the person lands on a page unrelated to their expectations and bounces away.
6. Categorize Content
You likely developed an extensive repository of resources for site visitors. This could range from blogs on how to better connect with your customer personas to guides on how to create a website from scratch. You may host all of this content in one location, such as a blog or library. However, you should recategorize it to better meet the needs of each of your buyer personas.
You should personalize content to each segment. Separate topics into sections and create a page targeted at the buyer persona most interested in the piece. Use categories and tags to separate blog content. Name your ebooks according to the need met by the material.
7. Customize Your CTAs
You’ve already developed separate landing pages for each of your buyer personas. Now, spend time tweaking the language of your calls to action (CTAs) to target each segment of your audience. Would your persona respond positively to the word “free?”
Do some surveys and A/B testing to see what combination of phrases works best with your audience. With a little effort, you’ll improve your conversion rate and your customer experience (CX).
Focus on the User
A user-centered approach takes into account the needs and preferences of your customers. The better developed your personas, the more you can customize your site and create an outstanding CX. The best way to stand out from your competitors is by personalizing your website and solving client pain points.
Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.
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