Users are an essential ingredient to any online venture. Without users web sites have no means of survival. Concentrating on just any user won’t suffice. Web site users need to be qualified. What makes a qualified user? Qualified users are those who fit into the profile of your Internet User Demographic and have an affinity for what you have to offer. Each web site will have different demographics. Knowing your user demographics is an important part of facilitating web site success. If you know what a majority of users want it is easier to provide for them. It also helps you keep your marketing more focused. More focused marketing can help reduce wasted advertising budget. The Internet is brutally simple with respect to demographics. Web Sites that don’t provide for their users won’t survive. Do you know your user?
User Demographics and Psychographics
Start looking at traditional demographic factors such as age, gender, education, etc. Who are the people using your web site or purchasing your product or service? Fill in the blank for each variable. When considering user demographics you should also take into account psychographics. User psychographics refer to the values, attitudes, and various interests of the user. The combination of demographics and psychographics should allow for a decent understanding of a web site’s target audience. All efforts on the web site need to focus on the target user. From a marketing standpoint there is little value in targeting a market that lacks an affinity for what is being offered.
Use "In the Can" Demographics
In many industries the user demographic has already been identified. A quick glance at an industry guide or trade publication should provide you with the necessary information. Look at the advertisements and articles. Take a visit to the library and see if they might have some information. If the product or service is new there might not be a predefined demographic. If so, is there a closely related field that can provide a demographic starting point? If you can’t find any information you have to do your own research.
Who's Our Demographic?
You can determine a demographic by using your existing web site. Log files and online surveys are great resources to better understand a web site’s demographics. They contain potential data for building a sketch of your web site demographic.
Analyze Log Files
Web site log files can be a gold mine of demographic details. Data such as referrals and keywords used in search can help paint a better picture of your user. Look where users to your site are being referred from. Send off a simple email to the referring site owner asking for demographic information. Make sure you are cordial in the request and explain why you are seeking the information. You might be able to form a strategic partnership with other web sites. Do the keywords in your log files give you any additional hint? Certain phrases might point to one gender or another. E.g. “hot pink ipod.”
Conduct an Online Survey
If there are only a few people visiting a web site that might be enough to conduct an online survey. Ask simple questions in the survey based around standard demographics (age, gender, education, income, etc.) Include some psychographic questions (general interest, values, and attitudes.) Surveys should be short and sweet.
Build Your Web Site For the Target Audience
Any web site should be built and presented for the benefit of the user. Too many companies try to put their interest in front of that of the user. Don’t make the same mistake. If you have good target data on your users and adhere to their needs you're a step ahead of most people. Always concentrate on the user.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- What is Web Usability? And Why You Should Care . . .
- Web Usability: The Importance of Balancing Content and Graphic Design
- Hitting a HOME RUN with Your Web Site
- Don’t Pollute Your Web Site
- Do You Make These Usability Mistakes?
- Objectivity Paves the Way to Online Success
- LCU (Least Competent User) Usability Testing
- Web Usability - ALERT! Dominant Users and Focus Groups
- The Event Promotion System
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