The target audience in web design is something that we often don’t consider enough of. This plays a lot into our web design and development. The questions that often intrigue us are:
- What is a target audience?
- Who is our target audience?
- What are the best practices to be born in mind whilst designing a website for your target audience?
What is a target audience?
Target audience is one of the most important factors to consider before starting work on a new project.
Often, we dupe ourselves into thinking that we don’t need a target audience. It is easy to believe that we can sell to anyone. Why should I narrow my options? I want to make the most sales I possibly can.
Let us take the example of photography and videography.
It is tempting to say that everybody needs photos taken. Everyone has important milestones happening in their lives, and everyone wants to document these moments. So my target audience is everyone!
Unfortunately, this is not a very good proposition, and here’s why:
It is not very practical to target everyone. You’re effectively targeting nobody. When you target a market, it does not mean that you are turning away clients and customers outside of that market.
It simply means that you will work to get the attention of a specific niche of an audience with a high likelihood of purchasing your product or service.
Targeting everyone is not practical for multiple reasons.
- If your marketing or business shows up over and over again in a specific small niche group, people will start noticing your business and remembering you. That community of people has connections. Your business can thrive with those connections. Your marketing can work, but only if you show up once in a million different areas.
- Nobody has the budget to target everyone. You need to niche down to a target market to allow you to market affordably. Your marketing needs to work and get you business.
- You also have competition, and that competition is taking up valuable market space. Targeting your market can help ensure that you find people that your competition may not see, or choose you over your competition.
How To Understand Your Target Market
Understanding your target audience and precisely matching your message to what they want to hear is essential. It makes any ads that you are running much more effective and transforms the performance of your website.
If you had a physical shop that people walked in, you get to meet and talk to your customers every day. However, if you are doing your business through a website, it is easy to become misaligned with your target customer. But the danger is that without having a tight match between your message and your customer, you risk your marketing not being as effective as it should be. So profoundly understanding your target audience is critical.
To find your target audience, you need to do some brainstorming in the first place. You can do this in many ways.
You can go and find your customers on Facebook to learn about what their lives are like. So have a look at their family situation.
- What sort of house do they live in?
- What do they spend their time doing?
- What are their interests?
You want to profile your target customers to get a good understanding of them.
Another method that you can use to research your target customer is to go on to Reddit. Look at the sort of people asking questions about your product or service. Reddit is a goldmine for people that feel completely at ease asking questions in their language.
The best way to do audience research is to pick up the phone and talk to your past customers to find out what they are like. Understand what their lives are like. Don’t just ask questions about the business such as How did you find us? Or what made you choose us? Ask general questions about their lives such as:
- What do they mostly look forward to?
- What are their favorite things to do?
- What are they worried about in the future?
- What do they do when they are not buying your product or service?
Such questions will help build a mental image of your target customers. Now that you’ve spoken to your past customers and done a bit of research, you want to make some generalizations about your target customer to view them as a single person or a few single people. You don’t want to think of your audience as a group of people because this allows you to apply blanket assumptions to the group as a whole regarding their details.
It is essential to be very specific about the characteristics of your perfect customer, so you have to ask several questions. For example:
How old is your target customer?
This question can be crucial as it can define how you can reach those people. For example, if you are targeting an older demographic, you are not going on Tik Tok. People have different needs at different stages of their lives. This has much importance for the sort of messages you use in your marketing. For example, suppose you are targeting professionals in their 20’s. In that case, most of your messages might be about proving yourself and showing those around you that you are valuable and that you can do something.
On the other hand, if you target professional people later in their careers, you might have a very different message about making things easier.
Where does your customer live?
This is an important question to consider for ad targeting and improving the performance of the adverts that you are running. For example, you might be able to focus your ads on one particular city or area, where you know that your target audience is right there. By not targeting your ads in other areas, you can save the budget to put into this productive area.
What Is your customer’s most common gender?
It is common for a business to say that it does not have a gender bias. They don’t think that there is any reason to believe that either men or women would buy from them. But if you analyze the data behind the purchases, often this can tell a very different story. It is imperative to understand who is making the buying decision. The content and imagery on the site might need to be adjusted according to who is making the purchases.
We do not want to eliminate anyone or target one type of person only, but we need to be careful to look at the reality behind the purchases.
How do you promote to your target audience?
If you target people with a very long decision process, they need to see a lot before they decide to buy. That might mean that things such as remarketing and retargeting adverts could work well for you. This will mean that they will constantly see your ad throughout their decision-making process.
Whereas if you are selling products that are very impulse -purchase led, that would mean that you want to pay a higher cost per click because they are the kind of customers that are more likely to buy as soon as they are on your site.
Where do your customers spend their time online?
We should know which social network site your target audience spends their time on. So, you can look for groups if you are on Facebook, which are about your topic, or for people that are of your need. If you are looking on Instagram, you can look for these pages. You should also think about the different publications that your target audience spends their time reading. For example, do they read online magazines, do they follow bloggers, or read newspapers? So it is a good idea to survey your customers and just ask them who they follow online.
What sort of content clicks with your audience?
The danger is that we think that whatever type of content that we like to put out will be the best for our audience. Well, it is pointless writing in-depth detailed blogs if your target audience is 26-year-olds. So does your target audience respond well to texts, either long-form posts, or do they respond well to video?
Creating Your Target Audience Definition
Now that you have garnered a sound understanding of your audience, you need to define it to create content around their likes and dislikes. This definition helps the content to resonate with your audience. It would help if you had the following in your description:
- Your product or service
- The demographic of your audience
- The mission of your content.
Once you are done with your audience analysis, define your audience in the following way”:
“[ INSERT YOUR BRAND NAME] devises content to assist and inform [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC] so they can [INSERT ACTION] efficiently.”
Tactics To Find Your Target Audience
A reader persona is an avatar that is your ideal reader. So, when you think about the content that you are creating, who is the person that you hope it reaches most is the avatar. An excellent place to start with building this avatar is with demographics. Here are some of the basic areas you would want to explore:
- Marital status
- Education level
- Job title
- Pain points
This persona will help you visualize your audience when you write content for them. When your audience feels that you are connecting with them and their problems, you are more likely to convert them into buyers.
Your personas are fictional, but the more real you can make them, the more effective they will be for your team.
Adding the first name and a photo also helps to bring personas to life.
Conduct interviews with your customer prospects, members of your customer sales, and customer service team to extract as much knowledge as you can about your ideal customer.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool that allows you to track and analyze all of your website traffic. It is a must-have tool for anyone interested in growing their website with digital marketing. Google Analytics offers plenty of helpful information such as:
- How many visitors you are getting your website/
- Where are they coming from? They can be from Google, Facebook, Youtube, and the like.
- How long are they halting on your website?
- Which pages are they clicking on?
- What is their age?
- What is their gender?
- What is their city, state, or country?
So, having a website without Google Analytics is like driving a cruise ship with a blindfold.
Twitter has incredible targeting capabilities. You need to sign up for a Twitter ads account to have access to the followers’ dashboard. This dashboard reveals plenty of information about your followers. You can identify your audience by their interest, whom they follow, or even what they like to tweet about.
Use the Facebook Insights tool.
Facebook Insights tool is one of the most significant advancements in marketing repertoire. This is a free tool offered by Facebook. It is inside their ads platform, and it helps you understand how the people following your Facebook page are engaging with your content. It also helps to understand which type of content is working, if at all.
More than 50% of customers who purchase products online share information about their purchases via social media sites.
Social media monitoring helps to see what is being said about your brand. It is a way of finding out what people are saying about your product or company and where they are saying. You can access these comments through insta male browser dashboard, a mobile application for iOS or Android.
Ask for Audience feedback via automated mail.
Automated emails can be used inside a sales process to send people follow-up emails and ask them how their experience is going. Are they satisfied with your products and services and any grievances? If they stopped responding to you for a while, an email can come out and say'” Are you interested in other services.”
You can set up automated emails using the following platforms:
Social listening is a means of collecting data from various social media platforms on a specific topic. The data thus collected can then be analyzed and used to gain insight into the customer, understand customer sentiment towards the products or services, and accordingly, plan marketing activities.
What defines the best practices to create a website?
As laid down by Orbit Media, you can group web design best practices into three basic categories of standards:
- Brand standards
- Coding standards
- Accessibility standards.
1. Branding standards for web designing are:
Websites that lack consistent branding can cause confusion and be stressful to interact with.
According to statistics, 38 % of visitors have said that they will stop interacting with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. Hence, some basic design principles to be borne in mind are:
Balance- The principle of design that prescribes how to distribute visual elements effectively. A balanced design looks clean, natural, and has good symmetry. Web pages are generally designed on a grid system which helps in creating balance. The CSS float property can also be employed to position elements and balance them across the page.
Composition- This aspect refers to the placement and organization of design elements. The rule of thirds is generally used with photos to create a balanced composition.
Spacing- Elements should be evenly spaced so that users can differentiate sections or blocks. You should also introduce negative space or space around and between the subject of an image. Visual noise can be significantly reduced by employing Negative space, enhancing readability and balance.
Focal point- creates an area of focus where you want to draw attention, and therefore should be an integral part of your page.
Color- is an important design element when it comes to branding. It helps to set up a mood board for your brand.
Ensure that you are envisioning all audiences when you design your website, including those with accessibility issues.
Typography is another branding consideration. It would be best if you first considered the options that will be displayed consistently regardless of what fonts the end-users have installed on their computer. Make sure you use fonts in your moodboard to see if they match your color aesthetic.
What are the best practices concerning branding standards of web designing?
In this blog, we are going to list some web design best practices. These practices will focus on the intersection between creating a beautiful website, and that serves the goals of your business.
Adding ALT text for images
ALT text is a must for processing images.
ALT text also helps SEO, but some people use ALT text to supplement their keyword strategy. It serves a valuable purpose of describing the image.
Using images incorporating human faces tends to be more effective than other animations and graphics. Images of human faces are more likely to draw human attention as people connect with what they can perceive.
Use responsive images that grow or shrink according to the browser size. This helps with both SEO and website speed.
Users expect to be able to find the content they are seeking on a site quickly. Thus website navigation must be kept simple. Website navigation is a general term, referring to the internal link structure of a website. Don’t forget that the primary purpose of navigation is to help the users easily and quickly locate relevant content on your site.
The internal link architecture of your website forms the basis of your site map, which helps search engines access your content more easily. It has been found that having a well-designed site where content is easy to find affects the website traffic positively. You also have a more chance of gaining Google site links.
- Your main menu should be the primary focus of your site. It will be one of the first points of interaction when they visit your website. Ideally, this forms the front and center of a website. If there are several categories, then the main menu may involve a drop-down menu also.
- However, technical SEO does not favor drop-down menus because they cannot be crawled with ease.
- Additionally, people often dislike using drop-down as people find it annoying when they have already decided what they want to click on.
- Add a search bar to help users quickly find content. This is especially useful for a website with much content, such as a news blog.
- The three-click rule should be followed, enabling users to find the desired information with no more than three mouse clicks. This is because users prefer navigating through a site rather than looking through the search results when possible.
- Make your menu titles descriptive with the keywords in mind. This helps users find items quickly and positively contributes to SEO.
- The position of menu items also matter. Put the most critical pages towards the front of the menu so that they are easily accessible.
- Keep menu items at a maximum of seven, not only to keep site design clean. Having too many menu items and categories can potentially affect your ability to rank and search.
2. What are the best practices concerning coding standards of web designing?
With so many websites created and explored globally, there is a need for a standardized set of coding principles. Some aspects of these website standards include
Responsive design is all about creating a great user experience regardless of what device or browser is used to access your website. Designing responsive websites is of more relevance today than ever. Statistics reveal that over 60% of internet users access the internet via mobile phones, and half of the E-commerce transactions are executed over mobile platforms. In addition, Google’s new search algorithm also prioritizes mobile-friendly sites.
Having a responsive site helps users navigate your site easily and contributes to increasing conversions and user engagement. Users endorse brands with whom they have a positive mobile responsive site experience.
Another critical coding practice is creating secure programs and websites that users can trust with their sensitive personal information.
Some of the best website security practices while designing a website are:
- Get an SSL certificate
- Keep your login credentials secure.
- Keep the WordPress core, themes and plugins updated.
- Use a secure web host.
About half of the users expect a site to load in two seconds or less. If it takes longer than 40% of the people don’t hesitate to bounce from that page, they are likely never to return. Besides website visits, page speed is essential as it also impacts revenue and conversion. Every second of delay causes sales to go down by 27%.
Improving website speed can prevent the loss of 7% conversions.
The best practices make your pages load faster are:
- Use a content delivery network or CDN.
- Consider how you use images. Try minimizing the number of large images used in your design, and make sure to optimize them.
- Use plugins that include gzip compression, caching or image optimization such as WP Rocket and Imagify.
- Consider the number of files and plugins you keep on your WordPress database.
- Keep your PHP core and plugins updated to their latest versions.
3. What are the best practices concerning Accessibility standards of web designing?
Site Accessibility Is an ADA requirement (The Americans with Disabilities Act that was passed in 1990).
The act aims at fostering inclusivity. People who are disabled have three times less likelihood that they will go online than their counterparts without disabilities. This is shameful because statistics show that about 30% of professionals have disabilities. By being more inclusive, you bring in a network of people with disabilities, which helps you win more business.
Search engines reward websites that are accessibility compliant to encourage more websites to be accessible.
- Install WP accessibility plugin, which ads accessibility features, including a toolbar where users can resize fonts. This also allows you to view your site in higher grayscale and contrast.
- By comparing color contrast to check if it fits the standard of the ADA
- Removing the title attributes from images inserted into the content.
- Add subtitles or a transcript.
- Create keyboard accessible links and menus.
- Test your site for website accessibility.
Importance of accessibility
- Everyone can use a site that is accessible. Accessibility also benefits those using devices with smaller screens or using different input modes.
- Older adults with temporary disabilities, including a broken limb, lost glasses, or medical condition, benefit from accessibility practices.
- Accessibility is crucial for users with ‘situational limitations,” such as those accessing the internet on devices with bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio, such as public transportation.
Armed with these best practices, you have everything you need to create something that looks and functions well.
Karma Technologies through years of catering the design requirements of clients, has an edge over its counterparts. Call us for assistance and we will be happy to help.