Building a nice looking website has never been easier. Numerous companies now offer well designed templates that can be quickly and easily populated with content, photos, and products. One familiar concept separates these websites from ones that are able to attract customers and have high conversion. That concept is “one size does not fit all”. What is appealing in one industry may not be in another, and what grabs the attention of one consumer segment may send another running for the hills. Did you know that Google split tested dozens of color variations of the same shade of blue before deciding which to use in their logo?
So how do we know what will work for our unique clientele? It all comes down to conducting intelligent market and consumer research! Understanding what your customers demographics, psychographics, and pain-points are can tell you volumes about what color scheme, layout, wireframe, and functionality will lead to optimal conversion and what price points will maximize profitability. If you have established direct competitors it’s only logical to take a look at their social media to help understand what content resonates best with their customers.
So how do we start gathering such information? Depending on the resources a company has available we can conduct either primary research, which implies going out and getting feedback directly from customers, whether through surveys, focus groups, or feedback forms. Secondary research is the more common option for small companies. This implies using various publications, as well as academic and professional databases to compile customer profiles in all of your segments. Segmentation is one of the most neglected aspects in marketing. A woman from the South should not be marketed to the same way as a man from the big city, a college student should not be marketed to the same way as a senior citizen, etc. Building these segmentation buckets allows companies to publish content that get maximum engagement, because every person needs to be spoken to in a manner that’s most appealing to them.
A big mistake companies tend to make is to use their own, past Google analytics data to obtain these vital conclusions. This is ok if your company is very established and achieving top conversion rates, but if you are still growing or not getting the results you need, this can actually play against you. Reason is this data is based entirely on your own marketing tactics, which may or may not be right, and without knowing the answer to that question and having extensive volumes of data to mine, this one dimensional approach can lead to critical errors.