When you decide to redesign your website, it’s because of aesthetics, right? You know that you need a site that performs better, and you assume a better-looking website will do the trick.
However, when it comes to building a customer-centric site that drives results, you need to go beyond looks. You need a website that’s easy for your customer to navigate, speaks to their frustrations, and helps them seamlessly move through the buyer journey.
Despite what you may think, this type of site isn’t only aesthetically pleasing. A website that converts and moves customers through the funnel is strategic and thoughtful. You design it specifically for your customers' needs. We build these types of sites all the time using a few key website templates that tap into our customer’s top frustrations, priorities, and aspirations.
And these customer journey maps and buyer personas templates are not too complicated to fill out.
Using Customer Journey Maps and Buyer Personas To Build A Better Website
There are two primary templates we use to build out website strategies. First, there are customer journey maps. Customer journey maps help you get into the mindset of your customer and go through their day-to-day experience. Second, there are your buyer personas. Buyer personas are great for evaluating a customer’s primary wants, needs, and desires, especially when you know what your customer is thinking.
With both templates, you can create a website strategy that helps you execute the best possible site design.
Customer Journey Maps
With a customer journey map, you're following the path of the customer during their problem-solving. Starting with a common problem that your customer has, you do the same research, visit the same websites, read the same articles, and go through your current buyer journey. From there, you start to see things from their perspective and find potential gaps and opportunities to improve your process.
When you follow our process and template, this first customer journey map will look like this:
The goal is to identify any parts of your process that don’t work, or feels obstructive. Using those insights, you streamline the customer experience and provide more value at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
After that, you'll create a customer journey map as if the lead had an optimal experience. You'll fill in every step to reflect the type of experience your customer would love to have. You'll use the same template for this, but it might look like this.
When these templates are complete, you'll have everything you need to build a website that prioritizes the customer.
Your website exists in service of your customer, so you want to build on that works for them. With a buyer persona, you can organize the characteristics, quirks, and relevant aspects of your ideal customer onto one sheet, making it easy to identify their preferences, expectations, and more. A buyer persona will provide a clear customer summary at a glance, and you can use this to build out the buyer journey and inform all of your future marketing initiatives.
The buyer persona template we use looks like this:
When this is documented and accurate, your entire team can operate from the same information. You’ll get a better website, more effective marketing collateral, and can easily adjust or tweak the personas as customer behavior shifts over time.
How They Influence Our Website Strategy
Historically, a lot of companies built large websites with a lot of pages. Nowadays, these types of larger sites don’t necessarily perform better. Often, they make the process of becoming a customer more complicated for your lead. A more extensive website can put up barriers to conversion, making it tedious and confusing for the customer to move forward.
That’s where these strategy documents come into play. With only the most critical insights, we reduce waste and cut through any fluff. By focusing just on what the customer needs to hear, at the right step of their journey, we create pages and a flow that’s intuitive and simple for the customer to use. The result is a site that’s leaner, and much easier to navigate.
The minimal, yet direct language helps the customer feel understood, comfortable and inspired to move forward. The site can follow the buyer journey without any disruptions or distractions, putting forth the most potent message and calls-to-action at the most opportune times.
Want A Customer-Centric Site? Start Here.
If you’re thinking about new website design, I’d recommend starting with these strategy documents before anything else. You don’t need to hire an agency or select a website platform right away. You can use these documents to align yourself and your team about who your customer is, their current experience looking for a solution in your industry, and how you can be the best possible partner.
To benefit from this approach, you need accurate insights about your personas, data that reinforces or backs up your points, and an open mind about your current content assets, processes, and outreach methods. When you put yourself into your customer’s shoes, you can adapt your site, support, and service to meet and exceed their expectations.
Alternatively, you can follow the same traditional website build, and put together a site that’s too big, has too many points to conversion, and makes it unnecessarily difficult for leads to connect with you. It’s your call. If you want even more resources to create a great website, check out our Sprocket Rocket Strategy Kit. You'll get access to our customer journey maps and buyer personas, as well as other critical website documents.