Whether or not a site succeeds is based on many, many factors. Of course, every site has its own definition of success depending on the ultimate goal of the site. Informational sites are there to educate and inform. E-commerce sites end goal is to sell products. A service industry website’s purpose is to reach customers and create leads. Branding sites are often part of a larger online marketing campaign to build awareness of a brand or product. But in order for any of these sites to be successful, they will all need to do one thing: determine their target audience.
For some businesses and organizations, the target audience may seem obvious. For example, if I’m a Realtor, I want my site to attract persons looking to buy or sell a home. But what if I only sell upscale, luxury homes? Or maybe I only sell commercial properties. Perhaps I specialize in selling homes to people who are trying to rebuild their credit. In each instance, my target audience is going to be vastly different. How those websites are designed and optimized will be vastly different as well.
So how do you go about determining a well-defined target audience? The first thing you want to do is to examine what you have to offer and then paint a picture of who your ideal client is. Ask yourself, is what you offer more geared towards men or women or both? Is there a certain age group your product or service appeals too? Who would find value in what you offer? What problem can you solve for someone? The more you can define your ideal client, the better chance you will have at reaching the right people with your website.
Basic categories to define when determining your target audience:
We are also in the social media age which is a great resource for not only finding potential clients and customers, but it can also help you discover who your audience might be. It’s a good idea to follow your competitors on social media so you can see how they are marketing and to who. In most cases, you can go to your competitors social media page and see who their followers are. Take note of those that engage with comments or shares, as you will want your followers to do the same.
One quick note about social media, it will be well worth your time to only follow people that may fit your target audience. Most think its best to simply follow as many people as possible on social media. But you would be surprised at how much information you can gather by watching what your target audience posts. If you just follow everybody, there’s just that much more information to weed through.
Tracking Your Target Audience
Google Analytics and other online SEO tools provide a wealth of data regarding your website visitors. It is possible to see how effective your website marketing campaign is performing within your target audience by creating custom analytic reports. You will be amazed at the amount of user information that can be obtained through these reports!
Determining your target audience is a very important step before you even start to have a website built. Everything from design, keywords, content, and images will revolve a round who you want your website to reach and will ultimately help your website be more marketable and successful.