Base Your Target Audience on Your Existing Online Customers
To improve your chances of ranking well with search engines, you need to know your target audience. And the best way to begin researching your target audience is to look at your existing customers. (Depending on your business model, you could also call them subscribers, members, clients, or another term.) What do you know about the people already on your customer list? Here are a few types of demographics that are helpful in profiling your target audience:
Gender. Are most of your customers male, female, or are they evenly split?
Age. Maybe your customers fall into a single age group, for example, tweens, teenagers, college students, young adults, 30-somethings, and so on.
Location. Do you know where your customers live? They may be concentrated within a given geographic area, in which case being included in local search engines and utilizing local ads might be part of your strategy.
Marital status. Do you know whether your customers tend to be single, married, or divorced? You can cater differently to married couples and singles with your site design and style.
Education. What level of education do your customers have? This ties into the age category, too, but if your audience is made up of adults, knowing whether they never attended college or hold master’s degrees definitely impacts how you can communicate with them.
Occupation. Do you know what field your customers are in specifically? If your Web site offers an industry-specific product, it’s obviously an important factor for your target audience. But even if you offer products to the general public, knowing customer occupations can help you with target marketing. If you know, for instance, that a lot of nurses like your product, one place you might want to develop links to your site (or run ads, and so on) could be on sites that are popular with nurses.
Beliefs. What do you know about their religious, political, or philosophical beliefs? For instance, if your site collects signatures for various petitions, knowing how your typical petition signer leans politically helps you target the right audience for your site.
Lifestyle/situational. What do you know about their lifestyles? You may find a trend among your customers to be single parents or married couples with children; apartment renters or homeowners; city dwellers, suburbanites, or farmers; boat owners or horse owners or other. Whatever extra information like this you can gather gives you useful clues about your target audience.
Much more. Customize this list with other types of pertinent information for your Web site marketing. You probably won’t be able to get all the information you want, but having a wish list is a good start. Income level, ethnicity, and hobbies are all excellent things to know about your customers. Much of this information is easily obtained just by asking for it. The registration process on many sites often asks for these facts. If your registration process includes the ability to do so, turn it on and see what you learn.