July 20, 2016
Although the success of most websites may seem like a stroke of luck, it is anything but, because a lot of hard work and careful planning goes into creating and running it. The most important thing you should focus on, despite what you may have read elsewhere, is your audience. It’s so simple. Apart from your hard work, they are the key factor that contributes to your website’s success.
That is why it’s so essential to analyze your audience before you can start creating your content. The analysis of your target audience should include the following categories:
- Demographics – Knowing their age and gender is essential because, for instance, teenagers have different interests than people in their late 30s.
- Their preferences – Knowing what they like can help you narrow down the scope of your content creation.
- Location – Knowing their location lets you know about their language and their culture, which means even more information you can use.
- Their browsing habits – What sort of device do they use to access your website, which browser, how much time they spend on which page, and so on.
Seems awfully complicated, which is why we have broken everything down into 10 simple steps that will enable you to analyze your audience and maximize the results of your efforts.
1. Use Analytics Tools
Apps and resources such as Google Analytics tool, Sitemeter, Nielsen, and Quantcast, can help you truly analyze your visitors, because they are able to quantify just about everything about your website, including traffic, the most popular posts and posting times. That way, you don’t have to guess what will work or not. You get factual data, which you can then use as a basis for your research and your marketing campaigns. Of course, all of the key categories we have mentioned in the introduction can be analyzed with these helpful tools.
2. Know Where They Come From
This time, we are not talking about their location, but about pages, links, search queries, or ads through which your audience was able to find your website. We suggest that you rely on the analytics tools suggested here to do all the digital heavy lifting for you, but you can also figure out some of this stuff yourself, by simply asking your visitors about the manner in which they were able to discover your website.
3. Make Use of Questionnaires, Polls, Surveys and Interviews
These methods are not only useful for keeping your audience engaged and hanging around your website for longer, but they can also be irreplaceable when it comes to gathering demographics data about your site’s visitors. Make sure to include questions that are not intimidating for the visitors — because it’s not a test — but which will also help you collect crucial data about your audience, including their age, sex, education, location, income, profession, preferences and hobbies.
4. Take Part in Network and Industry Groups
There are so many reasons why you should join an industry network, or better yet, create one of your own. Such places are a fertile ground for future collaborations and business partnerships. In addition to that, you can also learn plenty of useful tricks and techniques from other contributors, as well as referrals. But, remember that all those other people are there for the same reason you are: to learn and to benefit from being a part of the network. This means you need to give as much as to the group as you take.
5. Create a Forum
People love to share their opinions and for their voice to be heard. The best solution would be to create a forum section on your website where your visitors can hang out, take part in lively discussion, share ideas and, inadvertently, provide you with a key insight into their preferences, habits, as well as needs, which you can then address through future posts and articles, or perhaps by creating another website or blog. You can also test the waters by introducing some topics of your own and see how they fare among the visitors.
6. Enable Your Visitors to Create a Profile on Your Site
It takes some time and effort to create a profile database for your audience members, but there are several benefits you can count on with this approach. First of all, you allow your visitors to leave comments on your latest posts and provide valuable feedback. Also, if some of your visitors are consistently active on your website and they provide feedback that is genuinely useful, you can ask them to write a guest post.
7. Analyze Your Social Media Audience
Sometimes, you don’t have to work hard or use analytics tools to gather information and feedback from your audience. You can simply check out what the people are saying about your website and your company on social media. In fact, social media is where they feel at their most comfortable, and as a result, they are more willing to share their opinion. It is also a relaxed environment in which you can get in touch with them and find out more about their problems and issues.
8. Reward Your Audience
From time to time, try and create contests for your visitors, and provide rewards for winners and participants in the shape of discounts, free gifts, special offers, coupons, or free delivery. In addition to developing a sense of loyalty to your brand, this approach also works on another level, because it makes it easier for you to track your audience’s behavior and monitor traffic. That way, you can easily figure out what they prefer.
9. Allow Visitors to Leave Reviews
One of the reasons why you would want to create a review section on your website is because of all the genuine feedback that will enable you to improve your product or service. A good rule of thumb would be to include both good and poor reviews, because it will seem more genuine, which in turn will inspire potential customers to trust your brand more than the others which focus solely on good (and most of the time, fake) reviews.
10. Take a Cue from Your Competition
It goes way beyond simply checking out what they are currently posting. Try some of these SEO competitor tools that will allow you to take a peek into your competitors’ backyard, and improve upon their existing work with ideas that you will implement on your own website.
As you can see, there is lots of that goes into creating a website that is able to attract a loyal audience and keep it loyal on regular basis. With a healthy mix of common sense, efficient tools, and a glimpse into what your competition is doing, you will be able to analyze your audience and streamline your efforts, while maximizing your traffic and income. Good luck.
Rachel Bartee is a content writer and a marketing consultant at Edugeeksclub. She is content-oriented and knows how to put words into action. She feels passionate about travelling and inspired by her morning yoga. Reach her at Twitter.