In theory, targeted website design is a simple process. You narrow down your audience and design a website that both encourages them to convert to leads and return as often as possible.
But reality isn't often that simple. Especially if your website targets more than one audience, the process moves from singular to pluralistic. And even within a single core audience, you may have developed different target personas that need varying strings of communication depending on their needs. If you're wondering how to speak to multiple personas with your website, consider taking the 4 steps below.
1) Identify Your Personas
It may seem obvious, but your undertaking cannot succeed without an in-depth understanding of your various buyer personas. This template to create buyer personas gets you started in the process of identifying your 'ideal customers' based on both qualitative and quantitative measures.
As it relates to this post, be sure to identify which typical web behaviors your personas want and expect. What types of content are they looking for, and how do they typically move around web pages to find it? Answering these questions will be crucial for the steps below.
2) Create Navigation Paths
Next, it's time to develop a page structure designed to accommodate multiple personas. Before the actual site creation, map out the navigation paths your personas could take. Then, develop a sitemap that accounts for these navigation paths while avoiding confusion.
The start to your individual navigation paths should be on your homepage. As you might expect, it's the most crucial part of your website, and also one that invites the most potential confusion if you're looking to reach multiple audiences. Clear calls to action here can guide your audience in the right direction.
If, for example, you target both businesses and individuals, clearly distinguish between these two on your homepage. Then, invite your audience to identify themselves as one of the other with a single click, which will lead to a more targeted landing page for their persona.
3) Develop Persona-Specific Content
Within each of your navigation paths, you should offer plenty of content that speaks to your individual personas. The aforementioned homepage call to action gets your audiences started on the right path, but you will need content that is relevant for them to keep them engaged.
For you, that means categorizing individual blog posts using persona-specific tags, and showing only blog posts relevant to the audience in question on persona-specific web pages. Targeted long-form content such as eBooks and whitepapers, complete with sign up pages developed with a single persona in mind, can further help engage your individual audiences.
As an added benefit, these landing pages allow you to build and SEO strategy specifically with individual personas in mind. Businesses may search for your brand using very different key phrases than individuals, an accounting for both behaviors is crucial in attracting both audiences.
4) Evaluate Regularly
Finally, don't treat your website as a finished product. Even the most strategic process, using all of the steps above, can lead to confusion by your various audiences if they happen to venture into the wrong navigation path. Identifying these issues, and addressing them to avoid future confusion, is paramount to the success of any complex website.
For example, you may find a high number of potential business clients engaging with and converting to leads on landing pages targeted toward individuals. Understanding why they strayed from their navigational path, and how you can clarify your message to tailor another section on your website for them, plays a crucial part in converting, engaging, and delighting your leads.
Building a website that targets multiple personas can be difficult, but it's far from impossible. A strategic approach that includes a continuous evaluation goes a long way toward ensuring that all of your target audiences receive the content they need to become customers. For more help in building a website that effectively communicates with multiple audiences, contact us.