In my last post, I talked about the importance of setting clear website goals before you take off and set one up. Equally important in your preparation phase should be the research of your market and the opportunities that lie within it for your chosen activity.
Having thought about your goals, you know now what you want your website to do for your business, and are getting an idea of what you want to do with your website. Who would be interested in that, and where are you going to find them?
Research how your potential customers act online by looking at competitors and comparators, by checking out the forums and sites your target customers might use, read research findings from reputable companies and online sites, and tap into social media sites by searching for conversations on your topic and asking questions to test whether your offering would be of value to your target market.
Get a definite feel from this activity for:
- Who are your customers, where do they visit, how much will they spend, who are they buying from right now?
- What makes you better than your competitors and what can you learn from who they are targeting and how?
- What can you do that is different from current offerings to make your product or service stand out from a crowd?
A critical exercise is to create a customer ‘persona’ which creates an ideal profile of the people you are trying to reach. This should cover sex, age, marital status, occupation, income, lifestyle and use of online technologies; it will allow you to start creating online information specifically, though not exclusively, targeted to them.
Knowledge of your target market and potential customers will allow you to validate and fine-tune your goal, and will put you in a better position when it comes to commnicating this out to the people you will need to help you achieve your goals – be that an agency, a consultant, a designer – or any combination of these.
Subscribe now if you would like to be alerted to the next installment of this three-part blog, where I will look at identifying and choosing the help that you need to build out your ideal website.