Know your audience and what they came for

1 February 2018

As a business owner it is easy to get caught up in the tools that allow you to do business and lose sight of what your customers actually want from you.

Imagine going to a great new restaurant, looking over the menu, the chef himself comes to take your order. But first, must tell you about their new dishwasher. It’s probably great; but you’re not interested in that at all.

When building a new website it is important to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. There’s a huge difference between building a website and looking at a website. Don’t be distracted by the minutiae of your website’s design and features if it isn’t clearly explaining your benefits and services to a potential customer.

Websites are technical, but website content doesn’t have to be

This is especially true when technology is involved. There’s so much about the websites I create that excite me, but I know my audience or customers’ have no interest in.

Recently I was visiting the AFL website where this popup covered the page:

AFL website popup

This is strange, but I’m intrigued. Perhaps they truly do have some great new features to show off…

AFL website popup

…wait, what?

Picture a Venn Diagram of AFL fans and people who are really into optimised code. It’s a slim crossover. I can’t imagine any more than 1% of people who find this information useful or interesting.

If page load is improved, it should be something that’s enjoyed subconsciously. It should result in increased engagement and time on site.

Code optimisation is only interesting to the people that run the website. I know the development team must be excited about the work they’ve done.┬áBut this is not relevant to the casual AFL fan that came to read the latest news.

Highlighting irrelevant information is a great way to distract, annoy or push website visitors.

(And at time of writing, this page still scored a C on Google PageSpeed so, keep optimising?)

Key points to keep in mind

  • Communicate to your customers, not your colleagues or yourself.
  • Don’t distract visitors with irrelevant information.
  • Imagine (or actually watch!) visitors using your website, they’ll have a different insight to your thoughts on how it should look.

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash