Have you ever wondered what people do when they visit your online properties? Is it what you want or expect them to do; or are they aimlessly wandering around and not finding what they came in looking? Are your potential customers abandoning your site just seconds after their arrival?
You can stare for hours at a mountain of numbers, but how can you really zoom in on the few key metrics that really affect the bottom line?
If you are puzzled because you don’t know what visitors are doing, or why, then how can you ever create a decent strategy to offer your visitors a better experience on your website?
The means of engaging users is unique to each website. If you really want to gain success, your website should be built from the audience back; and although this certainly doesn't imply giving your audience complete control over the navigation and reigns of your website – through tailored construction you can definitely create a perceived control that should always increase sales/conversions/page views.
Observing your visitors’ behavior will help you address the actual pains they are having with your website. If they are bored, entice them with rich content and media. If they don’t know where to go, simplify their path by removing roadblocks and bottlenecks. If they can’t find what they are looking for, analyze internal search terms and modify your site’s search functionality. And, if they are too quick to abandon, give them a reason to stay online by offering a free product/download or competitive pricing on your latest product(s).
Today's consumers expect a lot from their online experiences. They want relevant, high-quality content that keeps them engaged. To meet their demands, companies must be able to create effective web sites to drive traffic, increase customer conversion, and build revenue. Marketers need to be able to deliver targeted offers to the right customer segments, analyze their effectiveness and quickly make changes based on accurate insight.
Defining potential user behaviour: Personas
Wikipedia defines personas as fictitious characters that are created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic that might use a site or product.
Working with personas is focusing on users in a certain context and helps replace typical inside-out thinking by an outside-in perspective. Often companies have a certain way of talking about their users that does not take into consideration the different context the users might be in when using a website or a system.
The intent behind a user persona is to create a shared vocabulary for yourself and your team when discussing design questions and decisions. User personas provide easy-to-remember shorthand for user types and behaviour, and can be used to refer to some complex issues in a simple and generally understood way. Sharing them between management and development teams, perhaps even with funders, also provides a useful avenue for effective communication of technical subjects.
Furthermore, it is much easier to design for a persona with whom one can empathise than for a brief, dry description of user demographics.
Creating profitable personas shouldn't be a mysterious process, but neither is it simplistic. It involves a practical application of science, customer research, psychology, and customer empathy, which already exists in most successful sales processes.
Grid14 helps customers develop successful personas and train team members in the concept. Personas are complex creatures, like your customers. Don't get fooled into wrapping them up into a single or primary "average" user (unless, of course, you're the only company in the world with average customers).
Designing for personas is the only way to properly design scent trails that lead your customers to what they find most relevant and to instigate what you find most relevant: a conversion. We will gladly help you out.