The next consideration when creating your new website is your audience and target customers. This can be broken down into two key areas:
- Who your target market is,
- How your customers behave.
This information will inform almost every decision you make while creating your website.
The first thing you need to understand is the demographics of your target audience. This includes their:
- Level of education,
- Accessibility needs.
This will inform everything from the user experience of your site, to its visual design, and how you communicate your brand identity. For example, a younger target audience might respond to different language and media, or have a higher level of digital literacy when compared to their older counterparts. As such, it is critical to align your site to the needs and wants of your target audience.
Additionally, how your customers behave on your website should also inform the decisions you take when you create a new website. If you already have a site for your business which you can analyse, this process is much easier.
One of the most important elements of your customers’ behaviour is which devices they use to access your site. For example, if your users overwhelmingly access your site on a desktop, this will lead to very different design decisions than if your users typically use a mobile device.
These days, the most common solution here is to use what’s known as responsive design, where the site will appear differently depending on what kind of device it is being viewed on, without the need to create separate mobile pages.
It’s also important to consider your typical customer’s purchasing journey. Often, this will vary from business to business. A key element of this is how much information your users typically need to consume before making a purchase. Typically, this involves having a clear picture of:
- What proportion of users make a purchase or booking on their first visit to your site,
- How many pages a user visits in a session, before making a purchase,
- How many users make repeat purchases,
- Which specific pages drive the most users towards making a purchase,
- Which traffic sources drive the most revenue.
For example, if a small number of pages drive the bulk of your conversions, it makes sense to provide more opportunities to access these pages easily through internal linking, previews and menus. If users generally do not make a booking on their first visit to the site, the site will need the functionality to gather data for audience retargeting, through other marketing channels.