Who is Your Target Audience?
One thing that new website owners (or soon to be website owners) skip is studying their target audience. Taking the time to really narrow down your target audience from the start will help your website get off to a good start.
Trying to cover too broad of an audience can lead to disappointment. If you have decided on a theme for your website try and further narrow it down to the areas of the topic that are more specialized.
Lots of people get hung up on the number of hits and visits their website is getting. If all those hits and visitors are not turning into sales, then you are not targeting the right audience or you are not providing the type of information or features for your chosen target audience.
Studying your target audience doesn't have to be expensive (money wise), you can do this yourself with some investment of time.
Hang out where your target audience hangs out. Forums, mailing lists and events are a few ideas. Check out the websites your target audience visit. What features appear to be used the most?
By studying your target audience you will know:
- the style of website they are drawn to
- the features they look for in the websites they visit
- the areas of your particular industry that are being serviced
- the computer skills your visitors will have
- what terms your target audience uses when looking for information or shopping for your product/service
Performing a though study of your target audience will provide you with valuable information for:
1. your website design
- the type of computer technology your target audience has/uses
- whether your target audience is using mobile technology (Blackberry®, IPhone® etc.)
- how net savvy would determine how simple or complex the website can be
2. your website budget
- what kind of hosting you will require
- what kind of programming you will require
- what features are a must in your website design and which can wait when your budget allows
3. a starting point for your search engine optimization program
- the domain name you should choose
- what keywords and phrases your target audience use when using the search engines
- how your files should be named
- the heading structure of the web pages
4. a starting point for what type of web page content you need to write and include
- how to articles
- informational articles
- video demonstrations
- frequently asked questions
- do they need to see lots of detailed information before buying or will they know exactly what they want?
5. what price point your product/service fits
- willing to pay a bit more for quality
- willing to pay for high quality
6. where to advertise your product/service
- what social networking sites they hang out in
- what social bookmarking sites they visit
- what directories they use
- which search engines they use
It may seem daunting at first how much time and effort you need to invest before you actually build your website but it really is worth the time up front. Just take your time without rushing into anything right away. All the time you spend in advance on research will pay off in the end. Look at your website as a long term investment. The more you know about your target audience and the technologies available, the more informed purchaser of services you will be.