What is a persona?

The first thing we do when we plan a website is to think about who we’re building the website for. Ultimately, it’s for users, people who will be visiting the site.

But who will be visiting site?

A persona helps us define the user base of a website. It’s a fictional character who embodies the general demographics of our clients’ customers.

Of course, a persona is a bit of a generalization. One character can’t possibly define everyone who will be using the site. But it gives us a place to start brainstorming. It sparks imagination. As we’re developing the site, the persona becomes a touchstone we can refer to when we’re figuring out problems.

Some questions we ask to develop a persona include:

  • What age group do your typical clients fall into?
  • Is a particular gender more or less attracted to your product or services?
  • Who are you trying to reach with your marketing?
  • What problems does your business solve?

The persona may be fictional, but the result is not. Having a person in mind helps us build a better website that’s more user-focused, which is better for search engine optimization.

As a web design company in Saskatoon, Vireo’s main persona is a middle-aged entrepreneur who is looking to take their business to the next level. We have an even split between genders, and our clients tend to be between 45-65 years old. Their business is growing and they need their website to reflect that change. Of course, not all of our clients fit that persona! We have clients who are teenagers and seniors, and mom-and-pop shops and non-profits that are steady as they go. But keeping a persona in mind allows us to focus our content.

Who is your business’s persona?