What You Need to Know About Website Design

How to Map Keywords to Buyers Search
How to Map Keywords to Buyers Search
April 21, 2017
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May 9, 2017
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Website development has changed a lot over the past 2 to 3 years.

Let’s be honest – it needed to.

With the rapid shift in the way people buy, how websites are designed and developed had to change.

In the early days, it was important for your website to be beautiful. It was also important for the design to be intuitive. We’ve gone from really complex, highly customized code intensive sites to highly intuitive and simple to navigate, code-light sites.

Because the majority of all humans use the Internet to do their pre-buying research, every single business must understand what that means for their websites. A significant amount of research and strategy development is necessary in order to understand how to create website pages that attract your buyer right where they are today.


Buyer Bait: High-Quality Content

As you may be aware, content is your buyer bait (so to speak). Not just any content, though. It must be keyword phrase, optimized, high-quality content that contains the phrases, thoughts, emotions, and experiences your ideal client is experiencing – at each phase of their buying journey.

The content itself must help the buyer answer questions, and provide information that helps them move through the Buyer’s Journey. It should help resolve pre-purchase questions and even provide support and suggestions to help them with the challenges they are experiencing prior to buying the solution.

3 Phases of the Conversion-driven Website Development Process

Research must be conducted to understand how your various buyer types (buyer personas) will naturally use your website. This over-simplified explanation, informs the design and development process.

A well-designed, conversion-driven website has three phases:

  1. The research and strategy phase
  2. The core site launch or launch pad phase
  3. The continuous improvement phase

The Research and Strategy Stage

Defining Your Buyer Personas. The goal of this first phase is to gain an in-depth, granular, and personal understanding of each of your unique buyer persona types (regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C business). You must have a clear understanding of what they are looking for from the moment they have a symptom related to your product or solution to the post-purchase needs, questions, and support you provide to help increase their success with your solution.

The conversion-driven website process (also referred to by some as the growth-driven website design process) is a very detail rich seven-step process. It involves a comprehensive, research-driven process and concludes with the development of a detailed strategy and action plan that drives the design, development, content creation and conversion funnel tactics.

The seven-step process includes:

1. Analysis of Your Business Strategy. We’ll work with your leadership team to gain a deep and clear understanding of your business’s organizational goals. With a clear understanding of your company’s goals and objectives, we begin to map out the ways a conversion centered website can help achieve them.

2. User Experience Research. This includes research about your buyer personas (various client segments that make up your target market), existing clients and loyal brand advocates.

Our teams begin:

  • Conducting various types of interviews
  • Developing and distributing surveys via email, web page, chat and other appropriate forums
  • Using relevant social platforms to learn more about your customers, prospects and brand advocates.

Other methods we use to collect user data include:

  • Multiple analytic software
  • Real-time user testing
  • Analyze any existing conversion funnels and data

3. User Analysis. We use a proprietary process, which includes data collection, analysis and hypothesis testing to understand what each of your buyer persona types are looking for at every phase of their buyer’s journey. It helps us understand the triggers that cause your potential buyer and customer to switch to your competitor for parts or all of their solution – pre- and post-purchase.

4. Assumptions and Hypotheses. After stringent research, we create a document that outlines what we believe are the core contributors to your current success, as well as core contributors that may not yet be in place.

We will use this document to validate our assumptions and hypotheses. We will then transfer what we’ve learned in the final strategy phase.

5. Buyer Persona Research and Development. A Buyer Persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. We will conduct research to define or refine your existing Buyer Personas.

A Buyer Persona is a critical – must have – document that creates a research-based understanding of each of your buyer types. This document is important to all departments of your organization.

The Buyer Persona document helps your company create a shared understanding of the personalities, needs, expectations, demographics, habits, thoughts, beliefs and more.

Well-defined, research-based, accurate Buyer Personas allow us to develop:

  • High-value, highly-relevant, high-search-engine-ranking content that your buyer will click on
  • A website that attracts and converts customers
  • Intuitive design and navigation that delivers exactly what your customer or prospect expects
  • Brand loyalty and more

6. Buyer’s Journey Map: Research and Strategy. Each specific Buyer Persona has a unique buying process. The Buyer’s Journey Map outlines every trigger, thought, emotion, need, information and solution your buyer is looking for – from the first symptom to post-purchase implementation of your solution.

It breaks down the kind of information or content they will look for in each of the stages of the buyer’s journey. They buyer’s journey map outlines where your buyer persona “hangs out” as well as where they are likely to look for information.

The Buyer’s Journey Map also identifies the types of engagement mechanisms you should develop to nurture the buyer through the buying journey and ultimately, to purchase your solution. They buyer’s journey helps you become the hub and provider of the ideal purchase process for each individual buyer persona you are targeting.

7. Comprehensive Website and Content Marketing Strategy. Once steps one through six are complete (including regular review meetings with your project team to review and refine the details at each step), a comprehensive, conversion-driven website strategy and action plan are developed. As each phase of the strategy is implemented, we use real-time data to measure results.


Maximizing Results

We identify the key performance indicators for your unique goals and website. We measure them daily, weekly and monthly, making refinements in real time for the purpose of continually increasing goal aligned results.

One of the unique benefits of the conversion-driven (growth-driven design) process is the ability to launch a “core” website that gets the conversion process going quickly. If your website is large and complex, you don’t want to go through the painful, traditional process of redeveloping the entire thing prior to launching.

There are several problems with this traditional approach:

  • You have no systemized, strategically developed conversion funnels in place
  • You cannot ramp up the lead generation and conversion process until your site is launched
  • If your site is large and comprehensive, it can take 6 months or more to fully complete, test and launch – the cost of the “opportunity loss” is huge
  • Your site’s design, concept, and data have changed significantly from the time the research began. The assumptions have likely evolved and are no longer fully relevant.
  • The combined investment for development and months of loss of opportunity is significant
  • Your new site is really, already old by the time it launches. The customer’s original vision for the website has already evolved many iterations, but the site is exactly what you agreed upon in your original scope of work.

While all of these challenges are present in any traditional website redesign, a smaller site might not need to divide the launch into phases. Most smaller, less complex sites can easily be developed using the conversion-driven process and then launched traditionally – all at once.

In some cases, for large, comprehensive websites, we’ll complete our research and then develop and launch inbound marketing campaigns that drive the lead to newly developed landing pages.

This is an extremely beneficial strategy that will allow you to capitalize on opportunity, leads, and conversions. It also allows for testing the research, measuring results, refining and maximizing campaign results (getting new customers) long before the core website or the full website is launched.


Is Your Website Outperforming Your Best Salesperson?

If your existing website is not producing more new business than your best sales person, you need a new website.

Before you start shopping for prices, be sure you understand what you need.

There are a lot of guys, sitting in their bedrooms in their underwear knocking out websites at ridiculously low prices. Choose them as your provider and you’ll get the same thing you already have.

A beautiful website. No lead magnets. No new conversions. No Bueno.

If you are ready to learn more about how to turn your website into a new customer conversion machine, schedule a free consultation with us.

We’ll ask questions and learn about your business and your goals and help you identify what you really need.

You’ll be empowered and equipped with the information you need to make a wise decision that leads to impressive returns on your investment.

No pressure. No obligation. I promise.


Request A Consultation


Jillian Vanarsdall
Jillian Vanarsdall
Founder of Blue Iris Marketing. An inbound marketing agency assisting businesses, from start-ups to high-growth firms, to phenomenally tell their unique story in a noisy digital world. Our services include inbound marketing, Wordpress web design and development, SEO, and social media.

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