One thing you hear while building a website is to think about the *ONE* person - the ideal person - who is coming to your site.
That's a good idea, especially when writing your content, like your About page.
However, when thinking about your website as a whole, and the structure of your site and its navigation, it can help to think about the types of people who come to your site.
Consider your user groups
Think about the various groups of people who will be using your website.
How can you categorize them?
One way to think about it is grouping them by where they are in their journey with you.
Here are some types of people who might find your site:
- New to you: People who found you in an internet search and don't know anything about you
- Know you: People who have been following you on social media and are interested in a blog or offer
- Bought from you: Clients or customers
An example of types of users
Here's a specific example to think about. Imagine if you had a website for an apartment rental agency. Who will come to your site?
- People interested in renting
- People who rent from you who need to pay their rent
- People who need to let you know they are moving out
- People who have a water emergency RIGHT NOW
- People who own a rental who want you to manage it
- Rental owners you manage property for that want their portion of the rent
- Rental owners who are going to sell their property
- Other property managers who would like to refer prospective renters to you
If that's overwhelming to think about, start breaking it down:
Then start breaking it down further from there.
Make sure each group of people has what they need. For example, renters with a water emergency might need a 24-hour emergency phone number.
My pet peeve
Here's a pet peeve to illustrate my point.
There's a website I go to as a customer.
However, all the messaging on their homepage is marketing messaging.
The button to log in is hidden, tucked away and you have to scroll to find it.
It kinda ticks me off, if you want to know the truth.
My first thought is that they care more about getting more customers than serving the ones they have.
That experience has taught me to think about serving multiple types or groups of people who come to my site.
Think about how you might identify the various groups of people in your audience. What defines each group?
Once you have defined the different types of people who are visiting your site, then use the questions in the next section to evaluate each group.
Consider your users
For each type of user that you defined as a group of people in your audience, ask yourself these questions:
- What are they looking for?
- Do you provide that solution on your site? (Or in your business, and can they take a step toward obtaining that solution on your site?)
- What problem do they want to solve?
- How can you show them - not tell them - that they can trust you to solve that problem for them?
- What would an in-person conversation with them about their problem and your solution be like?
- What vibe would they respond to? Does that vibe fit your personality? Your brand?
- What resources will they have to contribute to solving their problem - time, energy, finances, mindset? Knowing this can affect how you present your solution.
- What language will they use to describe their problem? To explain what they are looking for?
- Where are they in their journey with you? What step do you want this person to take on your site?
- What's one thing you can do to make it easier for this person to take the next step with you?
Repeat these questions for each type or group of users that you defined for your business.
Knowing what people are looking for and where they are in their journey with you can help you serve them better.
If you haven't considered why you need a website, here's a link to that blog post:
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