When planning out a website for your business, there’s the temptation to make it as appealing as possible — you want everyone who visits your homepage to feel welcome and that the site was built especially for them.
Everyone under the sun is not going to be buying your product. Instead, businesses need to design their site with their target audience in mind.
As a business owner, you should already know who your audience is. You’ve probably reviewed your sales, client base, and the demographics of people visiting your site and social media platforms. For example, an air conditioning repair company is going to focus on homeowners, not renters. And if women in their 20s are flocking to your site for your clothing, or men in their 50s are seeking your legal advice, those are the people who you need to build your messaging and digital identity around.
It’s OK to profile your target audience when you’re building and updating your website and digital messaging.
This includes not only the colors and theme you choose, but also word choice. Your law firm is staffed by a group of capable attorneys, but depending on your audience and your region, potential clients might be searching online for a “lawyer,” not an “attorney.” The same goes for labeling yourself as an “accident attorney” versus “injury lawyer.” Or, if you’re selling auto insurance, you might have more success by changing the language on your site to “car insurance.”
A good example of a targeted website design is one we developed for a client of ours that is in the home service business- specifically a designer of window treatments. We’ve made that focus clear from the first moment a visitor reaches their site. From color palette to navigation items, visitors see blinds, shutters, and drapery in all imagery and content throughout the site. Most of their clients are women, so the design hones in on aesthetics that are typically pleasing to that demographic. Think white space, light teal accents, and sans serif fonts for a modern look.
Another facet to consider when building your website is not just who your audience is, but why they’re there – the user intent. You don’t need to (nor should you!) give even weight to your full catalogue of goods and services. Focus on what the majority of your clients come to you for.
For example, there’s a lot of reasons that someone may visit the chiropractor, but each office most likely has a bulk of patients coming in for similar treatment. One client of ours is a chiropractor that specializes in a unique treatment approach. Just one look at their website and it’s clear that the majority of their patients are coming to them for nerve pain treatment. Right on the homepage they give visitors hope of relief from nerve pain, particularly Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and fibromyalgia. The site is calming, has generous spacing, and is easy to scroll through for different topics. Most patients are women, which is reflected in the photos and videos displayed. Every feature when building this site has their end audience and its needs in mind.
On the other hand, another chiropractic client of ours, has a completely different audience they cater to. Their patient base is people who were in car accidents and are looking for treatment of injuries they sustained. These people are not looking for routine services and will probably not return once they’ve healed. With that knowledge, the site is built around information about whiplash, herniated discs, sciatica, and localized pain. The majority of images feature male clients.
As your business grows and evolves, so should your website and digital presence. Never think of your website and digital presence as something that’s complete, but rather always evolving. As you get to know your client base, structured AB testing features, words, and imagery can help you identify the type of elements that align best with your core audience. But in the end, as long as you have your target audience at the forefront and keep a business mindset of catering to them, you will see the benefits.