The text and image of your homepage must address the desired target group. It is essential that you clearly show who you are turning to and know exactly what these people’s problems and wishes are.
Target group-specific advertisements on Facebook & Co. are now commonplace. At the same time, addressing the target group on the website’s homepage is often neglected as an essential factor in online success.
It’s time to replace generic texts and highly polished stock photos with a target-group-oriented approach and put the customer more clearly at the center.
This article shows you
- why it’s worth building an “oh, just for me” feeling on your website
- how you address subconscious problems and wishes of your customers on the homepage, and
- how you can adapt your images and texts so that your website visitor takes a bite.
Plus: You will receive a checklist to optimize your site quickly and efficiently to focus on the customer.
So let’s get started!
1.Why it pays to focus on your customers
Is there anything more impersonal than generic websites? So the ones that you have the feeling to have seen hundreds of times?
Indeed: you are in the business to solve problems, to show what you have to offer and to show how good you are at what you do.
But many others do precisely the same thing.
I think very highly of tried and tested systems – above all, tried and tested website development concepts that have been tried and tested a thousand times. It would be best if you necessarily weren’t jumping around the menu or floating clouds on your website. The frame can be known (and proven).
However, in terms of content, you can get a lot out of your site and dare to show what makes you unique.
In the case of competition, the following applies: Your potential customer doesn’t just want to know at first glance which problem you are solving for them (which, by the way, already fails many websites). He also wants to know which style, in which pitch and with which “touch” you are solving the problem for him.
If you feel like you are operating in a sea of interchangeable brands and websites, work on bringing out your own “touch” online.
With the right signals, you can respond precisely to your customers and their problems – mainly mental issues. So it’s not about impressing, it’s about listening and tailoring your content for whoever is supposed to bite.
You can incorporate such “bites” on your homepage in various ways. First of all, you have to think about who exactly you imagine in front of the screen.
You can do that:
Write down a detailed profile of your customer. Age, profession, etc. are helpful here, but the psychological factors are the significant ones. What worries does your customer have with them? At what point in his life is he right now?
Often called “ideal customer” or “customer avatar”, this description embodies a particular person whom you as a customer want to address.
The most important thing for your homepage is to be aware of the following: At what point is your customer when he or she could potentially be interested in your service or your product? Which framework are conditions changing so that he is only even beginning to consider your offer?
With this profile, you can later develop ideas on how to package your offer in such a way that it appeals to your customers at precisely this point.
2.How to address subconscious worries and desires
The reasons why one ultimately decides on something are often utterly irrational. But of course, most people would never admit that.
A sympathetic icon, a beautiful picture, precisely the right words at the right moment: Sometimes, it’s such things that are the main reason for the final decision.
Why? Because when the same offers are lined up, things suddenly become important that have absolutely nothing to do with the content. But with what “clicks” with the individual, when he feels picked up right where he is.
One of the most critical tasks for you is to find out these hidden wishes and concerns of your customers. To find out what makes the purchase decision in the end.
There and Away: How to Address Your Customer’s Problems
People buy because they want to get away from a situation/feeling or to move towards something. You have probably heard that before. But do you address these subliminal feelings on your home page?
You have two options:
- Pick up what your potential customer wants
- Emphasize what your potential customer wants to avoid
An excellent example of a combination is the FastBill homepage:
You can do that:
Write down four to five adjectives for what you want your text voice to sound like and four to five articles for what you wish to your visual voice to be like. After that, it will be much easier for you to select images for your homepage and write your headlines!
4.What to look for in the tone of your website
Don’t build walls that don’t need to be
A particular idea of professionalism often means that websites are satisfied with empty phrases and polished pictures instead of showing what kind of customer is in good hands.
Many nouns are also often a sign of artificially built distance. Such a range is okay or even mandatory if you are in “serious” industries. I see a lot of websites that would benefit if they weren’t so severe. Too many nouns usually stand between you and the website visitors. See if you could throw in a few more verbs.
How do my customers talk? “Boom words” and jargon
Above all, don’t choose your text voice just based on what you think of yourself. When selecting your adjectives, ask yourself: How do we talk? How can we discuss more like our customers? How would you describe your customers yourself? You may notice words that you have not yet considered yourself.
An excellent example in which a unique combination of tones is used is one of my last website projects, which I found particularly consistent in terms of the imagery and text language:
To use “Hömma” as the very first word is certainly unusual for a wedding speaker. But couples who live in the Ruhr and thus fully identify all, here are all ears. The pictures and subpages also speak the language (“the pot is there where I change”) and are bathed in the Ruhr area’s colors.
Perhaps you are now saying: “It doesn’t work for us! We have no regional connection.” But then you may have the opportunity to find a common denominator on another level. Is there something that unites your customers? “Jargon” and certain codewords are available for all areas and industries.
Here you have to be careful, of course, that words and especially particular words change pretty quickly. What is “cool” today can be “out” again tomorrow. Listen to your customers and adapt your language to the zeitgeist every few years. Your customers are also developing.
Stand out through personality.
If you have a combination (read: adjectives) that you want to use to align your “website tone,” it should be much easier for you to choose images with personality. Take a look at a few of your competitors’ home pages. For example, are you a digital agency, and like all other close competitors, show pictures of laptops on desks?
Maybe you have another idea of how to get your message and offer across. If your visual voice is opulent, playful, hip, modern, then bring on the still lifes around the Macbook! If you have decided against it, your visual voice is minimalist, bright, futuristic, subtle; then you should consider something else.
What motifs, combinations, and elements can you play with? Specific small details are often enough to get stuck in the customer’s memory. An individual image, a particular word, a particular type of motif that no one else uses in this context. “They were the ones with the XXX” – a sentence like this should quickly come off your customers’ lips when they talk about you. Small features are often enough to be remembered.
You can do that:
Please take a look at your adjectives and compare them to your current website materials. If you don’t already have one: select images that match this description and think about how you can structure your headings in your text voice.
So you can be sure to meet your customers exactly where they are, by speaking their language and why you are a particularly good fit, especially in this situation.
Bonus: the quick customer-centricity check
Step 1: ego vs. Benefit
Look at your homepage text and pay attention to every detail:
- Is this section of the book about self-praise or about the information that serves to build trust or to promote rapprochement?
- Is this picture about lifting ourselves on a pedestal, or can the customer find a reference or point of contact?
Step 2: Generic vs. specific
Show someone unfamiliar with your company the pictures (just the photos, no text) that you use on your home page. Give her a single keyword about what it is about (e.g., “accounting”) and ask her what kind of service you are offering and who the customer might be.
Often you will get an excellent insight into how the picture affects other people.
Step 3: combine unique.
Put your text voice adjectives and your visual voice next to your website. Do the effect and content match your desired attributes? If not, now you know in which direction to optimize!