Most websites we’re called in to redesign suffer from two main problems. They aren’t speaking to their target audiences and they don’t have the right Call-to-Actions.
Mistake number one — referring to your target audience in singular form. Multiple target audiences require multiple messages. Can you do that on a single home page? Of course you can. That’s where the design comes in.
Example #1: A startup company is trying to sell their product or service, but also wants to look attractive to investors. If you showcase your product or service in a way that’s easy to understand, and the site looks high-end and professional, then you can accomplish both.
Different target audiences think differently. Different areas of a home page can communicate differently. In fact, they can actually be very visible to one audience and be practically invisible to others.
Example #2: A college website targets (among others) incoming students, parents of incoming students, guidance counselors, current students, and alumni. Incoming students may be focused on campus life and programs of study. Parents may be focused on facilities, safety, and financial aid. Guidance counselors (who help recommend colleges to students) would probably be focused on all of the above. Current students may focus on events and social sharing aspects of the site. And alumni want to see their Alma Matter growing both physically, as well as read about successes of other Alumni.
A successful website design will prioritize the audiences, and then the messaging. Most, if not all of the elements mentioned above can be included on a college’s website in an organized way. Prospective students will look at the photos and people first wheras Alumni might go to the news block first. These areas can be side-by without detracting focus from each other.
The Call-to-Action is a message directing the user to do something. Some sites have none. Others have a simple “Call us today”. A more targeted message will lead to more conversions. Rather than “Call us today”, how about “Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation”. Consider changing the copy on submit buttons under forms from “Submit” to “Sign me up for my free trial.” If you are speaking to different audiences, then pay attention to the different CTA’s as well.
Spend a little time up front thinking about what your target audience needs. Answer your audience’s questions before they think to ask them, and conversion rates will go up. How does your site measure up?