How to Connect with Your Website Visitors and Earn New Customers
“If you frequently visit a local coffee shop for example, they know you personally. They might even have your coffee order just the way you like it ready as you step up to the counter. Why is that not happening on the web? Why can’t we help businesses re-create that warm and fuzzy feeling online?”
- Neil Patel
Knowing the right thing to say to prospects is key to turning them into enthusiastic customers. Achieving that with your website means truly understanding your buyers and your relationship with them.
No More Awkward Encounters
The interaction between your website and a visitor is just like a real-life interaction between you and a customer. If a business website doesn't take into account the nuances of its relationship with its audience, the result can be an awkward encounter for the visitor. You've probably visited a website for the first time and been immediately accosted by a pop-up window demanding you sign up for their newsletter. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, not unlike if you met a complete stranger and they leaned in for a big hug. You’d probably think, “Hey, buddy, back off! We just met!” When your customers approach you in real-life or online, they're looking for certain kinds of interactions and information, and a certain type of relationship. An effective website will be built with an in-depth understanding of what your buyers are looking for and designed to meet them exactly where they're at.
Start With the Buying Cycle
If you've completed a buyer persona exercise for your company, you understand who your buyers are. Taking buyer personas one step further means understanding your relationship with them. This relationship is dependent on their mindset. Your relationship and their mindset is often referred to as "buyer persona disposition". An easy way to understand a buyer persona's disposition is identifying which of the four stages they're at in the buying cycle.
Buyers in Stage 1, Awareness, have just learned that you exist. Or they may vaguely know of you, but not yet know you have something they need.
Buyers in Stage 2, Consideration, now recognize that you have something of value they might be interested in. But they need more information or incentive to take any action.
If they move into Stage 3, The Purchase, they've decided they want something you have and are ready to make a purchase, or at least take another action that involves some investment, such as signing up for a free consult.
Finally, buyers in Stage 4, Advocacy, have made a purchase, are happy with you, and are motivated to tell others about their positive experience. This kind of customer is worth their weight in gold because they have the potential to bring you more word-of-mouth customers, which are the best kind of all.
Consider Background and Context
In addition to where they are in the buying cycle, think about what situation your buyers are in when they visit your website. Do they come with a specific need, or are they still unclear? Have they already done a lot of their own research or do they bring their questions right to you? Do they know exactly what they want to buy before they get to your website, or are they just browsing? Are they bargain hunting? Has their boss sent them on a mission to find a solution to a particular business problem?
Understanding this kind of background and contextual information will help you choose what information to put on your website and how to present it.
Real World Examples
Here are two examples of businesses that understand their buyer persona dispositions and created websites to serve them effectively. Notice how the persona disposition determines the websites':
The Clever Cooking School
A local, thriving cooking school earns most of their revenue from repeat customers who attend a variety of classes on a regular basis. They have a large, dedicated community of aficionados. Thus, most of their website is geared towards serving people who are very familiar with their business and are coming back to take another class. Customers can register for classes, sign up to receive class schedule updates, and quickly see what classes are coming up next week. They make their website a fun, welcoming and easy-to-use resource for their students. The cooking school loves new customers, but they understand that their bread and butter is with repeat business. They need their website to quickly and efficiently serve these cooking enthusiasts who are hungry for the next interesting class.
The Hardworking High-Tech Manufacturer
When buyers come to this medical device manufacturer, they know exactly what kind of part they need and are just looking for the best partner to build it. These serious buyers need to feel a very high level of trust before they make their decision. They need to know that the engineers have the technical expertise required to make their products perfectly. The manufacturer's website is designed to build credibility. They provide downloadable case studies proving their competence and white papers displaying their extensive knowledge. They also use their site to showcase their hard-earned industry certifications, which they know their prospective buyers specfically look for. Their website is designed to back up their professionalism and convey trustworthiness.
These businesses do a great job of meeting their buyers where they're at and giving them the kinds of information, exchanges, and relationship they're looking for.
What Do Your Buyers Really Want?
Buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues.
Identifying buyer persona disposition involves finding out what they really want. Here are some ways to sleuth out this information:
- Talk to them! Hopefully you have people at your company who are out talking face-to-face with customers and prospects on a regular basis. Have them ask people what they want most of all from your company and website.
- Send a survey. Tools like Survey Monkey and Google Surveys make it easy to send out a quick poll to your contact list asking for feedback on what you're doing well and what you could improve upon.
- Pick up the phone. Taking an afternoon to drop a line to some of your customers will be well worth your time if you engage them in an honest conversation about how they feel about your business and website.
- Listen in. Explore social media for conversations about you and companies like yours. Listen to what people are saying and what makes them a happy or unhappy customer.
- Analyze the data. Dig into your Google Analytics and results from e-newsletters and pay-per-click campaigns. Look at what seems to be working and what clearly isn't.
- Comb your keywords. Review what keywords people are using to search for you online, within your website (if it has internal search) and what relevant keywords are gaining steam out there in the online market.
Your buyers are real people with real needs, problems, and questions. Your website is often the first major encounter people have with your company. When visitors come to your website, you greet them in a way that's appropriate to their expectations and personality. Meet their needs, solve their problems, answer their questions, and make them feel fantastic about deciding to do business with you. Keep in mind buyer persona dispositions in every website content, functionality, and design decision so your website connects with your customers in a way that brings you the results you're looking for.