Good web design and development starts with good research. Website personas are the number one place to start. An in-depth, well-articulated persona will align your goals with the user’s goals and it can used as a guiding factor throughout the entire website development process. From motivations to behaviors, this blog will go into detail about why a website persona is so important, how you can start creating one for your website, and recommend the most beneficial information to add to your persona. By the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of what personas are and why you should incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
What is a persona?
Personas will pinpoint exactly who you it is you are talking to, what motivates this user to visit your site, and why they stay or leave. Without this information, you’re really just shooting in the dark to a broad audience, and that in turn means a lot of wasted time, money, and resources. You cannot underestimate the value of a detailed understanding of your users.
Why are personas important?
Personas will pinpoint exactly who it is you are talking to, what motivates this user to visit your site, and why they stay or leave. Without this information, you’re really just shooting in the dark to a broad audience, and that in turn means a lot of wasted time, money, and resources. You cannot underestimate the value of a detailed understanding of your users.
Steps to Creating a Persona:
The first step to creating your business’s persona involves research. Research will be your ticket to building a thorough persona and gathering information that will make your website a success with your target audience.
A. Website Data
The first, and most readily available, source for information is your existing site. (Of course, this only applies to those who already have a site up. For those who are starting from scratch, skip to B below.) You can find a lot of valuable insight from tools like Google Analytics. We recommend collecting all the information you can from sources like this, and moving along to step B.
Here’s a list of some of the general information you should look out for:
- Audience overview-
- Device- iPhone? iPad? iAnything?
- Behavior on site-
- What pages do they spend the most time on?
- What pages are experiencing the most drop-offs?
- What products/services are most desirable?
- What source do users go through to visit your site?
B. Survey Data
Surveys are the next place to go to collect data. There are numerous free online survey providers you can use for this step, but no matter what you choose, take plenty of time when developing your questionnaire. Make sure you have a good mix between multiple-choice questions, ranking scale, yes/no, and open-ended questions. You want to be sure that your users aren’t overwhelmed with too many difficult questions. Note general themes and patterns you see with your audience.
C. Focus Groups
Focus groups allow you to get real responses from real people. You’re able to examine the room, expand on their responses while they’re still on the topic, and steer the discussion into subjects that are most relevant. It’s recommended that you keep focus groups to a relatively small size, no larger than 8 or 9 people for the best results, use incentives to encourage people to participate, and when they’re in the focus group, always clearly identify the purpose and expected outcomes for the discussion.
2. Building The Personas
After you’ve completed all of your research, the next step is compiling it and building out the comprehensive information. This is where all of your research will finally come to a point, and you’ll be able to create 3-4 rock-solid personas, depending on your target audience size.
A. Basic Identity
This includes creating a real name like Victor Martínez or Heather Johansen and putting a face to them. While these are fictional, you shouldn’t be getting overly creative for this, instead stay as realistic to what you would imagine your target persona would look like as possible. When you’re thinking about your customer’s persona, you should be trying to picture a real person.
Demographics go into detail about the socioeconomic background of your customer. It will help you to understand where the person comes from, their income level, etc, and this in turn will tell you what kind of products/services they would be interested in buying from your business.
Some demographics include:
- Relationship status
- Education level
Psychographics will describe your customer’s primary motivators and what encourages them to interact with your products/services. The psychographics will also help you understand what kind of voice and tone you want to use when talking to your target audience.
Some psychographics include:
- Fear, achievement, power, social influence, etc.
- Hobbies and Activities
- Outdoorsy, music, athletics, arts and crafts, cooking, etc.
- Values and Beliefs
- Family oriented, religious, community involvement, trustworthy, etc.
Take a look at some of the personas we have developed for a variety of clients ranging from artist personas to restaurant goer personas! Does your marketing agency have a persona developing strategy in use? Share your advice and thoughts with us!