Know Who You’re Talking To – The Importance of Understanding Your Audience
A common fault in the creation of content for company websites occurs before a word has been written or a photograph taken. Thinking about what the company has to say, the image it wants to project and the methods of delivery it thinks are best to use is a significant error, but one users encounter on a regular basis. The reason this approach is a mistake is simple – it fails to take the user’s requirements into account.
Having a clear picture of why people would come to your site and what they would hope to find there is absolutely essential. Having great rankings or marvellous ads isn’t going to help you if people visit your site and either cannot find what they are looking for or find the whole experience so unintuitive that they leave.
It is not necessarily easy to shift perspective. It is natural for a business to want the chance to tell people all the reasons why they are great, why they have the best deals or why they offer the best value, but if that isn’t what the visitor needs to know it won’t help at all.
Take time to look at your market, at your competitors and at the things users are searching for. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and anticipate the problems they might be having or the questions they might need answered. By all means let your personality shine through and allow your site to reflect who you are as a business, but do not fall into the trap of talking to yourself.
There is nothing more frustrating for a user than to visit what seems like a relevant website and then struggle to get the information they need or to complete the action they set out to take. Make life a little easier for your visitors and they will respond positively.