Visitor Personas and Video Games
Different websites have different kinds of visitors. Some visitors stay only a short time, others stay longer. There are visitors who tend to view lots of pages, while others read very few. Sites tend to have a profile of visitor with its own character…a bit like characters from classic 80’s video games.
Here’s a quick way to think about visitor personas, content and design:
- First, look at your Analytics and get a sense for what kind of visitors you have.
Do your visitors average more than 2.5 pages per visit?
Do your visitors spend more than 1:45 on your site on average?
- Next, use this guide to see what kind of content is most effective.
Soon you’ll see how to improve your
classic 80’s video game website. Ready Player One!
The original Donkey Kong game (1981) was the first appearance of Mario. To this day, Mario mostly does one thing: he jumps around. He has a goal (save Pauline), and he’s in a hurry to do it. These visitors make quick, emotional decisions.
If your visitors are like Mario, spending little time on the site and viewing few pages, you need to understand that he’s likely to bounce. You don’t have a lot of time to impress Mario, so pay special attention to these types of concerns:
Mario visitors will bounce if anything is the least bit difficult.
- Color and Size
Balance the visual prominence of design elements to make sure that Marios can find what they’re looking for quickly.
- Price, Discounts
Mario shoppers like to bounce around looking for deals. They may know what they want and now they’re focused on price.
- Delivery Expectations, Return Policy
Sometimes, Mario just wants to know when his stuff will arrive. The site that tells him this the soonest will get his order.
You know you have have Galaga-type visitors if your Analytics show healthy pageviews but little average time on pages. He’ll cruise through many screens quickly, so you’ll need the right kind of content to catch him.
Galaga visitors like the confidence that comes with a trusted brand. Once they’ve decided they’re on the right site, they’ll keep clicking until they find the right page. Be consistent in your branding.
If your product or service us used by recognized people or brands, add quotes and logos to the site if possible. Also, Galaga visitors like to see credentials and industry affiliations.
- Comments, Ratings
Galaga visitors love to read what other people think. This may help slow them down a bit.
Again, keep building confidence.
Older content gets stale fast for these visitors. Make sure that ever date that appears on the site looks current.
If they don’t find it anywhere else, they’re likely to fly into the FAQ section and look for answers there. This will help them
- Checklists, Tip Sheets
They’re in a hurry. Give them a shortcut that helps with the decision making process.
Frogger (1981) was a goal-oriented but patient little guy. He doesn’t rush out into traffic. He takes his time, waiting to make his move.
Frogger visitors make careful decisions. They may spend quite a bit of time on your site, but they don’t see a ton of pages. If you’ve got Frogger visitors, don’t rush them. Gradually build their confidence with these types of content:
- Company Information, Credentials
Go deep into the history and purpose of your business. Even if the information is way down at the bottom of the page, Frogger visitors will eat it up.
- Testimonials, Reviews
They need evidence and they’re looking for it. Adding testimonials throughout the site (not on a separate testimonials page) to build trust with Frogger visitors.
- Trust Seals
Association membership logos, BBB credentials, security certificates and awards all help these patient visitors believe in your business.
Although visitors frequently don’t know the length of a video before choosing to play it, Frogger visitors are fine with that. They want to hear the voice of the brand and they’ll take time to listen.
The goal of Pac-Man (1980) is simple: eat everything. Pac-Man doesn’t miss a single dot. He’s thorough. That’s the point.
You know your visitors are like Pac-Man if they spend lots of time reading a lot of pages. These people are methodical and voracious consumers of content. They like big sites, especially sites with these types of content:
- Process, Standards
Even if the information is somewhat technical, Pac-Man will eat it up. Tell these visitors how you do what you do. Go into detail. Don’t be wordy, but be thorough.
Details matter for your customers. PDF downloads for spec sheets might be one of the main reasons to visit. Be complete
- Case Studies, White Papers
Stories sell and Pac-Man visitors will take the time to read. Provide a variety of case studies and white papers, showing how you solve various problems. Link from the product or service pages directly to the related case study.
- Samples, Demos
Videos or animations will let visitors feel closer to the product or service. Don’t rely on the imagination of Pac-Man visitors. Offer to let them try the actual product or to show them the actual service.
- Competition Solutions, Buyers Guides
Don’t pretend that you’re the only option. Pac-Man is spending just as much time on your competitors’ sites. Acknowledge this and help them consider all the options, right there on your site. Give them decision criteria and show how you offer stacks up.
If you don’t understand your visitors, you’re going to need a lot of quarters to be successful. Aligning content with visitors is the key to a successful website.
In the end, web marketing should be fun. Try to play it like a game. The better you know who’s playing, the more likely you are to get a high score.
Credits: This article is based on a presentation given by Jenny Magic and Brian Massey at Content Marketing World. The original methodology is theirs. I just added some content types and the video game references. Brian’s got a book out called Customer Creation Equation. Check it out!
This is Andy Crestodina playing Frogger in 1984.