Though every target audience is unique, most users would agree that a clean, modern website design is more appealing than navigating through a cluttered web page.
Designing for the users’ journey, however, is a different conversation. For example, if you manage an eCommerce site, you probably want online users to explore products, add items to their shopping carts, and check out—preferably after signing up for your newsletter for product news, reward points, and future discounts.
Now, if you’re a dentist or optician, the users’ journey is quite different. You may want them to explore your services or find answers to their questions—all with the intention of navigating them to the contact page to eventually schedule a future appointment.
But here’s where most businesses fumble the ball. What you want and what your target audience wants may not always be the same thing. That means when designing a website, you have to find a way to connect to your audience and cater to their needs while simultaneously guiding them to the end goal. So, to address the query, “how do we design for our target audience,” we really need to answer these three important questions first:
- Who is my target audience?
- What are their wants/needs?
- How can I use my website to provide them a desirable solution?
Notice that the first two questions have nothing to do with you? That’s because though it’s your company’s website, the design has very little to do with you and more to do with them. Yes, of course, ensuring your site’s design is on brand so that users recognize you from competitors is important. But building a business website is all about serving your current (and future) customers first!
It’s about providing a solution to their problem. That should always be your end goal.
Website Designing Process – Discover
First things first, before we can even start brainstorming a quality web design, we need to know who our target audience is.
You might already have a solid understanding of this group. If not, invest in finding out who they are because without this knowledge, you’ll waste tons of time, energy, and marketing budget with little to show for it.
At Brandography, we offer comprehensive website discovery audits to help you identify your target audience, their age range, gender, online behaviors, and other important demographics. We’ll help you remove the guesswork of defining who your target audience is, so you know who you’re targeting and can create campaigns that connect and engage them long term.
Website Designing Process – Identify
Once you know your target audience, you’ll need to next identify their wants and needs. Let’s go back to the example of the optician.
Why do most people go to an eye doctor? They either need an eye exam, new glasses, to renew an expired contact prescription, or maybe they’re experiencing eye discomfort.
But that might not be all that’s on their mind. Most people worry about
- Costs—maybe they have limited insurance coverage, or they need to pay out of pocket for care
- Discomfort or pain from a procedure
- Going into a new doctor’s office (did you know that 15% of Americans experience white coat syndrome?)
When it comes to health, people have many questions and a few reservations. That means when they visit your site, they need to know you’ll help alleviate those concerns and provide them with solutions. And if you give them what they’re looking for, they’ll feel empowered to take the next step in their wellness journey (i.e., book an appointment).
Website Designing Process – Deliver
After you identify your target audience, along with their wants and needs, you can finally decide how to use your site’s design to convert them.
Going back to the optician’s site, you’ll want to spend a fair amount of time and investment on the home page, as this is the number one page that most viewers will land on first.
To reach both new and returning customers, you may decide to create two calls to action buttons above the fold.
- One call to action that speaks to returning visitors might be a button to “schedule an appointment.”
- For first time users, you’ll want to ease them into the site, so maybe include a button that directs them to “learn more about our practice.”
This way the pressure is off to BOOK NOW, and instead, you’re inviting users to get to know you, your practice, services, and support team before they decide what’s best for them.
Remember when we talked about costs being an issue? If your office provides financing or special discounts, you’ll want to include this information on the home page, as well. Especially, if this is one obstacle standing in the way of your target audience scheduling an appointment.
Ideally, you can implement the same strategy for an eCommerce site. Think about it: new users might not be ready to BUY NOW. They may need a little more introduction to your products and brand first.
Therefore, you may want to include a link to see past buyers’ testimonials that showcase the success of existing customers and why they continue to use your products. You might also include a FAQs page to provide users with more information about your products, shipping, and return policies to give them more confidence before placing an online order.
The big takeaway here is that though you want users to book or buy now, you need to give them something first, whether this is more information, reassurance, or incentives to choose you over the competition. By doing this, you’ll give them more confidence to make that final end goal decision on their own.
Need to Revisit Your Website Design Process?
Need help reaching more users and converting them into returning customers? We can help! Contact us today for a consultation, so we can learn more about your business. Our team will help you identify your target audience, their needs, and how you can use your site to provide the best solution they’re looking for.