The Simple Trick that Makes Your Website More Engaging and Persuasive

by 10 08/06/2013

Would you like to learn a trick that can make your website more persuasive? And help you win more customers?

Implement today’s tips and your videos and blog posts will become more engaging. Your web copy will become more compelling. Your web design will become more seductive.

Sound good?

The power of describing your buyer persona

A buyer persona is a distinct group of potential customers, an archetypal person whom you want your marketing to reach. ~David Meerman Scott

A buyer persona is marketing lingo for your perfect customer, your avatar, or your ideal reader. And as David Meerman Scott says, buyer personas are the most fundamental aspect of great marketing.

Why is a buyer persona so important?

If you’re trying to target a crowd of people, then your marketing becomes wishy-washy, watery, and ineffective. Target specific people instead, and your marketing efforts will become more engaging and persuasive.

Want proof?

  • RightNow Technologies quadrupled their lead conversion when they moved to a persona-focused website (source: David Meerman Scott).
  • Brand Regard tripled their click-throughs when they switched from feature-based paths to persona-based paths (source: David Meerman Scott):

Brand Regard

How to describe your buyer persona

You should know your buyer persona so well, he becomes like an imaginary friend. You need to know what makes him tick, what makes him laugh, and what makes him shake his head in disbelief. You need to know which questions he wants to ask you so you can answer them.

To be able to picture your buyer persona, start with deciding a few simple demographics like age, gender, hair and eye color, and general build.

Next consider his home situation: Where does he live? What type of house? Does he have children? How much does he earn? What car does he drive? What’s his job?

Also, think about his hobbies. Which movies does he like? What music does he listen to? Which books does he read? Which social media platforms does he use? What are his favorite websites and blogs? What humor does he appreciate?

Lastly, consider his wishes and fears. What keeps him up at night? What does he dream of achieving? And how does he make his decisions?

If you’re in B2B, you want to consider his influence on purchasing decisions. How is he involved? How does he make decisions? What’s important to him?

Your buyer persona tip:
Describe your buyer persona on an A4 sheet, give him (or her of course!) a name, and try to find a picture that looks like him. If you target different buyer personas, create profiles for each of them.

How to improve your website using buyer personas

You can use your buyer persona to improve any website aspects—whether it’s creating specific landing pages, adjusting the language you use, or creating dedicated case studies.

Let’s look at a few examples.

1. Create different paths

Different buyer personas have different needs and wishes. To customize information for them, create different paths.

Forrester, for instance, asks you to choose your role before supplying you with “personalized” information:

Forrester home page

Often home pages become cluttered with news and blog updates; but that doesn’t always help customers to find what they’re looking for.

Your website shouldn’t list what you want to tell your buyer personas, it should help them to find what they’re looking for and to do what they want to do.

Your buyer persona tip:
What is your home page like? Is it focused on what the stakeholders in your company find important? Or do you serve your buyer personas?

2. Adapt your marketing messages

Potential customers come to your website to learn more about your products or services. Right?

Wrong!

They want to find out what you can do for them. People aren’t interested in your company or your products. They want to know what’s in it for them.

When you know your buyer personas, you can tell them exactly how you can help them and solve their problems. There are two useful copywriting formulas to do this: FAB and PAS.

The FAB formula tells you to focus on the benefits you offer to your buyer personas. FAB stands for Feature – Advantage – Benefit.

Features are characteristics of your product. Advantages explain what it does better than the competition and benefits tell your buyers what’s in it for them.

Zappos matches features with benefits in their product descriptions:

Zappos product description

The PAS formula focuses on the problems you solve rather than the benefits you offer. Dan Kennedy suggested PAS may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented. PAS stands for Problem – Aggravation – Solution. This is how to use it:

  • Highlight the problem your buyer persona experiences.
  • Show you understand the emotions he feels due to this problem. Is he afraid? Angry? Anxious? Frustrated? Fed up? Empathizing with your buyer persona makes him feel you understand him; and that makes it more likely he’ll believe in the solution you offer.
  • Demonstrate how you can help your buyer persona solve their problems.

On their Premise landing page Copyblogger Media shows they understand the frustrations of online marketers; and they explain how Premise can help solve these problems.

Premise landing page

Your buyer persona tip:
Do you address the problems of your buyer persona? Do you highlight the benefits he’s looking for?

3. Choose the right tone of voice

When you’re writing, imagine talking to your buyer persona. Pick the words he would use. Use only jargon if he understands it. Choose expressions he likes. Address him by using the word you.

When you speak in the same language as your buyer persona, he feels that you address them directly, personally. Your message becomes stronger, your tone more engaging, and your copy more persuasive.

This is how ThinkGeek writes for their audience:

So this particular arc reactor isn’t going to keep shrapnel from working its way into your heart or power your repulsor beams. What do you expect for under $30? A shirt that glows? That, we can provide.

Your buyer persona tip:
What are the words your buyer persona uses to search for information about your products and services? Do you use those words on your website? And which tone of voice chimes with your buyer persona?

4. Create relevant content

When you know your buyer persona, you can answer his questions. You can address specific objections. You can provide case studies, videos, and blog posts that your buyer persona finds interesting and helpful.

Sales Benchmark Index writes blog posts for different buyer personas:

Sales Benchmark Index blog posts

Your buyer persona tip:
Does your buyer persona prefer video or text? And what information can help him? Or entertain him? Can you remove any content that’s irrelevant to all your buyer personas?

The truth about your website

You can create the most beautiful website in the world, but if it doesn’t address your web visitors’ needs and problems, you’ve wasted your time and squandered your budget.

The only way to create a sales-boosting website is to understand what makes your buyer persona tick. Translate features into benefits he cares about, and into problems he wants to solve.

Understand the fears you need to overcome. Appreciate the desires you can fulfill.

Know your customer as if you can read his mind. Understand how to sell to him. And your website will generate more leads and more business.

About 

Henneke Duistermaat is a marketer and copywriter, who's on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make faceless companies charming. To receive her free copywriting and content marketing tips, sign up at Enchanting Marketing.

Get our Daily Newsletter

Get conversion optimization, design and copywriting articles delivered to your inbox FREE

10 COMMENTS

Christina Gillick

Great article and awesome examples! I especially love the http://www.forrester.com/ example. Thank you!

August 6, 2013 Reply

Henneke

Thank you, Christina. You’re most welcome :)

August 6, 2013 Reply

Spook SEO

Hi Henneke! Awesome post! I usually focus on trigger phrases
on the contents written on my site. These trigger phrases are in place to make sure that when the prospect buyers read them, they end up reminded of their problems and how much they want to solve it. Once my visitors are on that mindset, it almost always causes them to ask a question or even buy at first visit.

August 12, 2013 Reply


Leave comment

Some HTML allowed

Get conversion optimization, design and copywriting articles FREE >>>