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Build a Better Understanding of Customers, Get a Competitive Advantage Creating buyer personas, which include customer demographics and behavior, can be enormously helpful in persuading potential customers to choose you over a competitor.

By Ann Handley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A decade ago, your company website might have been a kind of digital brochure with some basic contact information. Taking that approach in 2013 will make you look like you're wearing mom jeans to Coachella.

These days, a successful digital presence is a living, breathing, meaningful experience--rooted in inspiration, customer empathy and clear utility. Your goal is to provide real value to prospects and customers by anticipating their needs, giving them a reason to do business with you and fostering their loyalty to your brand. There's even a verb for all this: grokking--understanding or communicating through empathy or intuition.

The problem is that creating a great web experience is easy in theory but difficult in practice, if only because there's so much that can be done. Broad, generalized web content doesn't resonate with visitors. So, how do you tailor your content to fit specific needs?

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