The Wonderful World of Web Personas

There are four people living under my roof: 2 kids, a husband, and myself. I am undoubtedly the shopper for all of our Haarmann needs. As a result, I shop online quite a bit; maybe even a lot. I’d almost say “too much” but that would just affirm my husband’s philosophy, so we’ll stick with “a lot.”

The Haarmann Household: Online Habits and Web Searching Techniques

To elaborate on my role as household spender, I am – dare I say – a millennial wife and mom of two in suburban St. Louis who is anxiously gearing up for Christmas season. And I have a very specific way of perusing the internet; I have my own way of “Googling,” my own response to Calls to Action, and my own needs that must be met in order to convert me into a customer.  I read reviews. I price shop. And I’m willing to pay more and wait longer for a better product. I use my phone first, my laptop second, and if my phone is dead I’ll resort to a tablet. Notice those statements are all focused on me. As online consumers, we want our questions answered, our needs met and our expectations exceeded. And those questions, needs and expectations are different for each and every one of us.

Now, I know exactly how I navigate the digital world, but think about the other three people in my house. Do you think my carefree and trendy 11 and 9 year-old kids would have the same online approach that I have (that is, if they had any money to spend)? I don’t think so. What I call sweatpants, they call joggers. My “stress ball thingy” is really their “squishy.” Dutch oven = well, never mind, you get the idea. The list goes on and on. They don’t care about written reviews; they’ll turn to YouTube Kids to watch other kids play with, and talk about, the latest craze. Even my husband doesn’t read reviews. He’s the impulse buyer. He doesn’t care how he found it, or what it’s called; if it’s reasonably priced and delivered quickly, he’s sold. But if we were all consumers of your project or service, how would you attract all of us to your company; and how would you get all of us to convert online? That’s where web personas come in.

Developing Web Personas

Web personas are fictional characters that you create to embody your different audience. Give them a name and a backstory; bring them to life on paper. It’s a way to identify, organize, and visualize your audience(s). On the surface, keep it general enough to blanket a whole group. But deep down, focus on the details; the keywords, the needs, the roadblocks to converting.

When you fully understand your audience(s) you can create a strategy to genuinely connect with them. Don’t limit yourself to just one persona, you’ll likely have several. Just a few things to consider, and include, when creating your own web personas:

  • Keywords they would each use
  • Demographics
  • The devices they gravitate towards
  • Online goals
  • Purchase journey
  • What motivates them to take action
  • What discourages them
  • Digital and social profiles

Web personas are becoming more and more important. In this evolving digital world, consumers are looking for a more personalized experience. In the good-ole-days your website and digital campaigns could be tailored specifically to your brand. Now, your online presence must be tailored specifically to your audiences. How do you attract the “pop” and “soda” lovers through a Google search? How do you convert the review junkie and the impulse buyer on your website? It can be a tricky thing, to put something out there that speaks universally to the world, but also speaks simultaneously and directly to each of your individual personas. But that’s what we’re here for. We can help you identify – and weed out – all of the personas in your next digital project.