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RealAge Case Study (a health information website now owned by ShareCare and Dr Oz) was interested in revamping their website. In general, when a CEO asks for a "revamp" - they think they simply want a fresh, new look. But if you're about to drop $100,000 on a new website, you want more than a "new look." What you REALLY want is significantly higher conversions and engagement.

Before we started the project, we wanted to fully understand their audience. And that's when we noticed an issue. One we could solve.

Let's start with an understanding of a Persona. A Persona is commonly used by large and small companies to define their customer base in more detail. In generations past, marketers would define their customer as “Female, 40–60 years old, married with kids and a family income of $90,000.” That’s it. Done.

Stopping there assumes that everyone understands the significance of that customer depiction to the company. They don’t, not without some additional insight. Furthermore, it’s obvious you also have customers that don’t look like that at all.

So modern marketers go further to develop personas that define the following:

  1. Demographics

  2. Lifestyle

  3. Who influences their choicesWhat are their goals

  4. How they respond from an emotional perspective

  5. Past behaviors

  6. How do they research for your product

  7. Where are they when they are looking for information

But here’s the number one mistake. Companies don’t dig in enough to understand their prospects goals. I mean, REALLY dig in.

Find out what your prospects goals are (#4 above)? This may sound like one of the items you can skip. Au contraire, mon frère. This is the most important! A few usability experts have proven to us that the answer to this question can guide the creation of an effective website that converts.

At our client, RealAge (a health website), we conducted 1-on-1s to learn more about a person’s goals for weight management. We met with a dozen women (and some men) between 40 and 60 years old. We asked them to expand upon the reason why they wanted to lose weight – what was their motivation.

We thought that the majority of people would say that they wanted to be an appropriate weight in order to look and feel better, but when we dug in, all of them said that they wanted to have more energy for their kids when they got home after work.

Wow, okay - at that point our website didn’t say anything about gaining energy. So with that answer, we understood so much more about our members and could modify our site accordingly. We added imagery with people filled with energy and taking action. And we added tons of high-energy words.

Then we got emotional.

Find out how your prospects respond from an emotional perspective.

This is asking you to describe your customers overall emotional perspective, not necessarily the emotional perspective toward your product. For a working mom, it may be “concern.”

What we learned from our client above – RealAge – the prospect wanted to lose weight because of their immense concern about spending quality family time with her children and her family. This is what got our target audience emotional.

At this point, we added photos of families….happy families. This motivated our target audience and motivated a conversion.

RESULT? The website saw significant increases in conversion AND engagement. And it became the largest health database in the world. Not a bad result, eh?

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