By Richard Howe
geralt / Pixabay
Defining and targeting your audience is absolutely critical when it comes to the success of your website. If your site is tailored to the wrong type of visitor, they will leave feeling disappointed and not convert into a paying customer or brand advocate.
Yet companies frequently create their websites without giving due consideration to the type of visitor they are trying to attract and without applying this knowledge. This blog post explains how to define and create a profile of your ideal visitor in order to drive them to your website, keep them engaged and encourage them to return regularly.
What is audience profiling?
Audience profiling is the process of creating detailed character portraits of your target audience. The more detailed the portrait, the more closely aligned you can make your message and the more you can really understand what your audience values, needs and wants. Rather than simply saying, “Our target audience are working fathers, aged 35-45”, building a profile of “Bob Barnes, accountant and father of three”, allows you to build up layers of information and gain deeper insight into your visitors. Audience profiling lets you put a face to the numbers and really engage with your visitors at an individual and emotional level.
When you’re creating audience profiles (and yes, you may need more than one to cater for different visitor groups), you’ll need to start with some hard facts, usually gained from your existing client base. So who are your current visitors?
Let’s take a look.
Who are your visitors?
Typically, market segmentation falls into distinct categories, the main three of which are demographics, psychographics and geographics. Each of these areas looks in detail at exactly who your visitors are, where they’re from and the choices that they make. The key points you should look at when creating a visitor profile include:
- Age group
- Family size
- Education level
- Spending habits
- Hobbies and interests
- Attitudes and values
- Lifestyle indicators (e.g. car ownership, purchases)
- Political views
- Media usage
- Geographic location (e.g. postal codes, cities, countries, rural, urban)
Whilst it’s possible to spend money on expensive software that will provide in-depth analysis on the above, it’s worth noting that Google Analytics will provide much of this information for free and shouldn’t be overlooked. Other sources of information are customer feedback, historical data and current market research.
Having got the basics, you’ll need to assign these traits to your character (assuming they’re ones that also apply to your ideal visitor), and give him or her a name and also a picture. Although this might seem unnecessary at first, giving a real name and face to your audience profile will give him or her life and make the whole process easier and more cohesive in the long-run. Trust us on this one.
What do your visitors do?
Behavioural analysis is also a key piece of the jigsaw when looking at your audience. Consider the following questions: