The content of a Website must be determined by the target audience – and nothing is more important than quality content in attracting the right customers.
Everyone will agree with this truism, however too many websites have content that is not directed solely at the target audience. There are also a large number of Websites that fail to meet expectations because their market has not been correctly identified.
Without knowledge of the intended audience, the marketing effort of a company can only be misdirected. And unless this is correctly identified at inception, the website will soon have to be rebuilt when visitor numbers are subsequently found to be unsatisfactory.
When the Target Audience has been identified, the Website may have to become narrower in focus, in order to be more selective in attracting quality visitors. The content of the Website should be directed only at the needs of the desired audience. To do this, there must be an understanding of the needs of the desired audience. This may mean creating separate websites for different customer segment groups with different requirements.
Marketing a website is no different from any other advertising marketing campaign. A well thought out plan and resourcefulness is needed to attract visitors and turn them into customers. The Target Audience should be more specific than the “general public” or “anyone and everyone”. It can be people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, country, etc.
The marketing campaign must ensure that the Website is found by the people most likely to purchase a product or service – i.e. the Target Audience. It is essential to have content that uses the language, style and phraseology of the people in the niche market. To be found on the Internet, the content must include information and Keyword Phrases that the Target Audience will use to find what is on offer.
With well directed targeting, the return on the marketing dollar will be maximized.
It is necessary to assess the potential market and who is being targeted:
- Brainstorm to identify potential customers and their needs.
- Make a list of people who are the Target Audience.
- Make a list of people who will be viewing the Website.
- Search the Internet to see what the competition is doing.
- Compile a list of Keyword Phrases that will be used when doing a search.
- Research possible trends and the demographics involved.
All this should be done before Website development commences. Knowing the target audience and their requirements is essential in building a Website. The more the content is persuasive, appealing and tailored to the desired visitor, the more likely that the visitor will be converted to a customer.
A Target Audience is determined by several demographic characteristics. These may be age, gender, education, family status, education level, economic level, lifestyle, career, country, urban or suburban, etc. What problem is there that needs to be solved? What appeals to the Target Audience? What are their requirements?
There is a huge difference in the language and idioms used to appeal to teenagers compared to that used by executives of a company or by technocrats.
With all this information, a clear picture should emerge of the Target Audience. And unless there is clear definition of the Target Audience, a Website cannot be created to appeal to that audience.
Building the Website
After determining the Audience, the Website designer will have enough information to create the Website. The Website can then be designed appropriately for the intended group of people, taking into account the appropriate:
- Age group
- Educational Level
- Technical Knowledge
- Degree of Sophistication
This an iterative process
An analysis of the number of visitors, the Keywords used, and the effectiveness of the Website needs to be carried out every few months.
And like as not, changes will need to be made to improve the Website, based on the results of each analysis.