These days just about every business has a website of some sort as a way to spread the message about what that business offers to the public. A business website can be the first contact an individual has with a business and thus the first impression of what the business is all about. But you cannot possibly craft your business website to appeal to every individual under the sun. Literally you cannot please all of the people all of the time, and so you must design your website to appeal to a certain audience or group of people.
You should most definitely not pick a group of people at random. What your business does will appeal to only some members of society, and your business must figure out what kinds of people that are a part of its target market. One way to help pinpoint a business’ target market is through virtual hosting for its webpages, which you can learn more about on VirtualHosting.com.
Before you can gather concrete data about who is in your target market, you must make some assumptions. Of course you also need to be aware that you likely need to changes these assumptions over time as you run across information that proves them to be wrong. You need to identify the type of people who will be interested in your product or service, coming up with details such as age, education level, income level, geographical location, etc.
If your business is already selling to customers, one quick way to learn more about your target market is to ask customers to fill out anonymous surveys. You can quickly gather information about the people who are already buying your products and services, giving you a better idea of who likes what you do. One key question is to ask is what websites, blogs and social media platforms your customers frequent, giving you a good idea of where you can focus your marketing efforts.
There are quite a few groups out there, such as Pew Research and Gallup that regularly conduct surveys of different groups of people. Leverage the research already done by these and other groups to help you understand information about your target market. You can also consult census data to learn even more about different geographical areas and their social dynamics. You will have to do some work to adapt these bodies of information for your purposes, but your efforts will be well worth it. Understanding the taste preferences of your target market helps you craft the right kind of website. Some groups like clean design and no ads, while others love websites crammed with all kinds of interesting things.
Once you have gathered significant information from customers and others’ research, you can begin to develop a target customer profile. Of course this customer does not really exist, but she will be representative of your average customer. Everything you do with your website should relate back to your target customer and her preferences, otherwise your website will lose its appeal.
Gavin Carter is a web marketing expert. He loves to share his ideas for marketing online on small business blogs.