Gippsland Portal Local News:
Who is looking at your site
Finding and catering to your audience
By Lexi Lewis - 19th October 2000 - Back to News
Tell us your opinion See what others have saidOn the world wide web, it is common knowledge that at any one time, the entire world could be watching. In answer to this comment, there is one question you should be asking. Who is my audience?
With this answer in hand, a webmaster is virtually unstoppable. Why? This information is the key to each and every marketing mystery that is holding you back.
Knowing your audience inside out means several things…
”Belief equals function equals belief.” – Something for Kate
The chef who prepares a meal for an unknown quantity of unknown palette on an unknown budget will not get very far. Having an idea of who you are opening the door to helps you to prepare everything from your processes and vision to your paperwork and budget properly.
You can use the information to plan on how to best promote your website to effectively inspire people to visit. Knowing the demographic means you will know when, where and how to advertise to the right people, resulting in an increase of traffic to your site.
You can make money from your site in otherwise unprofitable areas. Why not set up an affiliation link? This means you will get a commission each time your site leads to a sale of another company’s product. A good tip is to remember not to build a concept and go looking for an audience. Instead, find a concept worthy of your existing audience.
When you can build your visitor numbers you can start to sell advertising to the kind of organisations who would benefit from the attention of your traffic. Banner ads and click throughs are a good idea for this kind of marketing.
Having a good idea of what audience you have will help to gauge their reaction to possible changes, assisting you in making better decisions about the right direction to take to best meet your objectives.
As you learn to cater perfectly to your audience, they will learn to respect your efforts. Interact with your visitors. Write on message boards or in news categories to let them know that they count. Become a presence they come to recognise and admire – build your own culture for your garden to grow in.
You can evaluate your progress in many ways. This analysis is vital as it allows you to learn the right things to do and how to do things right. The inevitable increase in efficiency and effectiveness creates growth and development across your venture.
You can do this by asking the people who visit to register feedback or in a less personal way, by looking at the figures -–how much traffic has come through? What may have affected this number? What did the user do whilst on the page? What may have caused this?
A summary of the above is that you will have a much better idea of where you stand on the road to achieving your goals, clearing the path to get there.
“Okay, I’m sold.” I can almost hear you say. “But how on earth do I find out about my audience?”
There are many ways of sussing out exactly whose eyes are on the screen, but the two best contenders remain to be polls and surveys…
Try having a weekly poll. A poll is when you ask a specific question and your visitors register their response. Polls can be useful when considering a change. You can ask your audience how they would feel about a chat room, for example, and make your final decision based on their feedback.
Multiple-choice “tick-the-box” style surveys are an effective means in collecting responses for a series of pre-set questions. Open-ended style surveys are good for getting suggestions, ideas and opinions about the website.
Surveys can be a permanent feature of the site or can be periodically suggested – through programming, which instructs the survey window to appear as your visitor arrives or departs.
Both are good ways of keeping up to date with what should be on the way out to make room for the new.
On each form ask demographic questions such as age and place of residence to help clear the statistical view of your market.
Offering an incentive to motivate users to take part in these kinds of interactions will often lift your rate of success. Be sure to offer a prize which is appropriate to your audience! A pro – skateboard may not be the best gift for an elderly market.
Seeing that you know how to find out about your audience, and why it is so important, what are you still doing here? What do you mean you don’t have a website?! Click here to get one!
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