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Every small business wants a website that dazzles visitors, tells them a compelling story, and delivers it with credibility and confidence. Many conversations about building the ultimate website focus on aesthetics (how the site looks and feels). The visual impact of a site is incredibly important, but looks aren’t everything.
Relevance is what separates good sites from great sites, and that means understanding your customers. Being a customer-centric business requires seeing the world through your customer’s eyes and adjusting your website accordingly. Start by asking yourself four questions.

1. Who are Your Buyers?

Don’t overcomplicate this, but identify two or three of your most common buyer profiles. Document what you know about them, including their core interests or concerns. This becomes much more important as you refine your messaging and website.

2. What Brought Them to You?

What likely initiated their interest in your website? Were they doing searches around discount terms in a product category? Luxury terms? Competitors? Do they have an urgent need for your product or service, or are they more likely passive, opportunistic shoppers? This will vary across your different buyer profiles, but spending a little time thinking through these scenarios can provide helpful insight.

3. What Device Are They Using?

There is value in considering if your target audiences are more, or less, mobile. Audiences finding you and interacting with your site on a mobile device may have different needs or hot topics to be addressed versus audiences finding you through desktop or laptop devices. It’s also worth considering if the audience is using multiple devices in their journey, potentially doing initial research via a desktop or laptop computer but responding to promotions or doing last-minute shopping on mobile device.

4. What’s Most Important to Them?

Considering all of the above, evaluate what is most important to each of your buyer profiles as it relates to your product or service. It might be price, safety, reliability, convenience, or some other factor. It may be distinctly different across different buyer types, but this is the foundation for your messaging to each group.  

Build Your Site Around Stories

Each buyer profile will respond to a unique story. Your site should deliver the most relevant story to each visitor. Many websites allow users to identify a profile and navigate the site through that selection. This works hand in hand with product or service-oriented navigation and can differentiate you from competitors with websites featuring only lists and descriptions of products or services. Put the value you provide in a context your customers will understand.  
Customer centricity means taking the time to understand your customers, what they want, what they need, and how what you do fits into their lives. Take the time to understand them, weave those insights into your site, and you’ll turn a mediocre site into something fantastic.

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