A client emailed me recently with a link to a site that she really admired. It wasn’t the content, images, or even layout she liked – the business was in a totally different industry – but the tone. “It’s very approachable,” she told me. “How can we build something that feels so… inviting?”

What made that site so approachable was it’s direct attention to the needs and wants of the site visitor. As soon as I clicked through to check it out, I felt listened to, and heard. Rather than talk about how they’ve served others in the past, this site talked about how it could serve me, today. I felt like this business really understood my problems and was ready with a solution.

This is key capturing leads – visitors don’t want to browse through your top hits and see how others have benefited, they want to know how you’re relevant to them and how you’re going to solve their problems.

A good web site anticipates the problems visitors bring to the site, validates that “pain”, and readily offers actionable solutions. Whether you’re selling items, outlining services, or serving up content, be sure your copy and content always puts the visitor first. Do your research, understand why and how people will come to your site, and turn that experience into a satisfying solution that will bring them back again and again.

Action Plan:

Develop “personas”, or profiles of a variety of potential visitors who will come to your site. Who are they, where do they live, what do they do with their time? Then consider why they’re looking at your site, what problem(s) they’re trying to solve, and what action steps they’re ready to take today. And, most importantly, make it easy to take those steps through intuitive navigation and clear calls-to-action through the site. Understanding why they’re browsing helps us to give them the buttons and tools that make taking that next step easy.