In Part 1, you assembled a list of pages to focus on. Way to go! Now you won’t waste time optimizing parts of the site that just don’t matter.
But … don’t look at those pages yet. Before you do that, you need to think about who your visitors are.
First, the data
How many visitors come to your site on mobile? Where do most conversions come from?
If 90% of your traffic and conversions come from desktop visitors (not uncommon in B2B), you can safely ignore the mobile experience.
On the other hand, if the majority of conversions are on mobile, you should start there. You’ll get to desktop when you get to it.
Is your traffic mostly from organic or paid search? What are they searching for?
If you’re getting visitors – especially converting visitors – as referral traffic, where are they coming from?
With answers to these questions, we’ve refined our picture of the visitors whose experience we’re optimizing. We started with
people who landed on the homepage 😴
but now we’re thinking about
mobile device users who googled ‘widget manufacturer new mexico’, clicked an ad that mentioned bulk discounts on widgets, and then landed on the homepage
We can do even better, though.
Next, the feelings
Let’s see if we can deepen our understanding in two more ways – by understanding how our visitors feel, and what they say.
This is where customer personas come into the picture, if you have them. Better than that is to have actual conversations with happy customers.
But if that’s not feasible, it’s worth taking some time to read your own reviews, or what people say about you on social media.
Your goal at this stage is to answer the following questions:
- What problem, or feeling, or idea prompts people to seek us out?
- How does it feel to have that problem unresolved?
- What causes potential customers to hesitate?
- How has life changed for our happiest customers?
- What specific language do they use when discussing ☝️these topics?
Here are some examples of how you might summarize your findings:
Most of our customers found us when a widget broke unexpectedly and “shut everything down.” They felt frustrated and angry, even scared about the downtime they faced in the midst of this tragic widget failure. (“Every six hours of downtime costs the company more than my salary.”)
They hesitated because while we promise that the sales team will respond promptly, they weren’t sure how long a “rush order” would actually take to arrive. (We call it “expedited delivery.”) And they wondered if they could get it faster elsewhere.
Now that they do business with us, they’re confident they can handle future emergencies.
This is the mindset we want to adopt when visiting the pages we’ve selected on the device types we’ve prioritized.
We’ll look at the website from an “Oh 💩 my widget broke and now we’re behind on orders, who can help?” perspective.
That’ll help us suppress impulses like “Should we redesign the nav? I kinda hate the nav…” or “Do we wanna try some lifestyle imagery?”
We only want to consider changes that we expect will help more visitors complete their task more easily.
So, what kind of changes? It’s finally time to decide. In Part 3, we’ll look at what to change, and what to test.