Defining your customer is absolutely the key to improving your digital footprint and it can be done in just a few simple steps and, ultimately, the end goal is to make your website the best possible version of itself.

Defining your customer

Every single person who visits your website is unique and they are all there for their own individual reasons, they’re all looking for different things from the site and their interest will be piqued by different aspects of it and its content. This means, in essence, that everybody who visits your website will take a different action once there, depending on what they’re trying to get out of it.

The magic word here is personas!

Creating personas to improve your website is a very powerful tool for any business and it couldn’t be easier. We’ve been building personas for years but here are two of the easiest ways to get you started:

  1. Pick a current customer, this will make the process as realistic as possible and make it easier for you to relate to what you think their needs are. This is a powerful tool because you can visualise your customer and their shopping habits.
  2. Pick characters* from TV that you’re familiar with and who fit the demographic profile** of your ideal customer.

*Make sure you choose characters rather than the actors who play the characters*

**Remember demographics are nothing more than numbers or words, they don’t ask questions but people do**

For example, when we went through this process for the first time thirteen years ago we chose the characters from ‘Friends’ and ‘What women want’ because those were characters we were very familiar with and could get into the mindset of.

By going through our website as each character, one by one, we were able to ask the questions they would ask, see problems that they would see and pick holes in the site just as they would.

Here’s our story:

Case Study
Our first internet business was an online maternity fashion website called Funkybump. At the time it was one of the few online maternity fashion websites out there and we were driving a lot of traffic but wanted to build the best possible shopping experience.
We had to have a long hard look at what we were doing and started looking into personas. Bear in mind that this was before most people even knew what this concept even was (to put it into perspective – Facebook hadn’t long been launched).
So the first thing we had to decide on was what personas to use? Being big Friends fans, this is where we went:
Monica – super efficient, neat freak. She wants a website that will get her exactly what she wants and she doesn’t want anything fussy getting in the way.
Rachel – shopaholic. She will shop all day, cost is no object.
Phoebe – Flighty. She might just float around the site looking for quirky and interesting things to get her attention
Then, from ‘What Women Want’ we chose Darcy:
Darcy – Perfectionist, career driven, no time for nonsense, wants to get the job done quickly and effectively
Once we’d built out these personas we shopped through our site as each person and found the areas where each personality type would find issue with our site and implemented the changes that would resolve these and, in doing so, we halved the returns we’d previously been dogged with.
Although we might not have ticked every box for every persona, we satisfied enough of them to give a wide range of customers the information and tools they needed to buy from us with confidence.
*You should repeat this process at least once a year, which will keep you on your toes and keep your website fresh and constantly up-to-date!

Now, not only have you defined your customer but you’ve got inside their head and, having thought like them and viewed your business and your website through their eyes your website is now one of the most powerful sales tool within your business.

When you update your website from here on every piece of content will be what your customers need it to be and not what you think it should be.

Always remember that your customers are your business.

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