user personas

User Personas: Why they are important for your business

Phill Myers on Dec 01, 2016

If you want your business to connect with the right type of customers online. Then creating user personas will do just that.  If you don’t identify who your audience is, and what they want, then you spend all your time guessing. This may leave you off-base and you’ll end up losing customers as a result. By not identifying what your users are looking for when they visit your website. This can result in poor customer engagement, and lost sales. You’ll be doing your company much more harm than good in the long run. It is never a good idea to create website content without first identifying who your audience is.

There is no one way to identify who your brands target audience is. One way is to create focus groups, or speaking to individuals who you think may be ideal customers. This is one option, but is more time consuming, and complicated to get results. The more appealing option would be to create a user persona which can bring great benefits to your brand. This will allow you to better reach your ideal target audience.

 

What are User Personas? 

User personas aren’t real people. They are a fake person who we will construct using sample data that we have collected from actual users. User Personas are built using creative methods that identify a brands target audience. A user persona is more than just a hypothetical person. We give them a name, a image, a background, skills, a age, education level, where they live, habits, and what devices they use to connect online. We have now created a representation of a businesses’ larger target audience.

Taking the character traits we’ve created for this hypothetical user. We now set objectives, and goals that they will want to complete when they visit your website. This will give us a better idea of how the user may try to complete their mission for visiting your website. Then we can optimize content, and parts of the website where the user may have trouble, or become lost.

 

What makes User Personas Helpful?

Our hypothetical user represents who our larger target audience might be. Having a high level of detail helps us to better know the user persona as if it were a real living and breathing person.  Now that you have an idea of what persona’s will do when faced with different tasks on your website. You can now work towards ensuring your site navigation, or user flow is optimized.  This allows them to easily move through your website.

User personas are helpful for you to better understand certain requirements you may need. Such as how many informational pages you should have for a service, or product. Also, how much space you might need to allow for writing content. This may even help you realize if a requirement is needed for larger fonts for older users to view your pages easier.

If you are considering personas for marketing purposes. They can be helpful when you consider how your target audience might relate to what you are promoting.  By creating content that focuses on their needs. The persona can help you answer difficult questions about your online business. Then you can focus on what wording my appeal to your users, and you can create an emotional connection with them.

If you are having a difficult time planning and identifying goals for your website. Personas are a helpful tool because they can use during the entire development process. They will help bring goals into focus because your website should be more about your users. If you have a team planning your goals, then this can help keep everyone on point. By developing good user personas, the entire planning process begins to come together. Creating a website is much easier when everything is goal driven around your users. When you rely on data and what type of users are using your website. You have much better potential of being successful than when you rely on a guess, or gut instinct.

 

Should I have more than one user persona?

Having a business, you may want to target more than just one type of audience. This can be especially true with e-commerce retailers. They want to sell their products to a large variety of consumers. It becomes obvious that having one user persona just won’t work.

There isn’t a limit to how many personas you can create for your business. However, there does become a point where you may end up with information overload, or too much of a good thing. You may think that having more than a dozen user personas is a good idea. But a general rule of thumb is to limit yourself to less than 5 user personas. This allows you to keep your content focused on users who will benefit your business the most.

User personas can’t capture your website user’s behavior completely. But, when you have a good idea of most likely actions your audience may take. Having less than five user personas is more than enough to make this effective. Having more personas will only make for a complicated experience for the users you do want to focus on targeting.

 

Summary

When creating a website for your business. Please realize that you cannot make everyone happy. But information overload and targeting everyone can alienate you from reaching good quality customers. By taking the time to create a well thought out plan using user personas. You will be much more likely to have a successful online presence.

When you take a personal approach of creating user personas, and connect with them on a personal level. You will more than likely create better relationships with your customers.  By getting to know your ideal customers better, you will find that the benefits can be endless.

 

Are you currently using user personas for your businesses online marketing strategy?

If you’d like to learn more about how user personas can help your business online. Please contact us.

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