We’re beginning work on a new site. We have the design planned, and it’s time to plan the content. We know what the company does, but there’s something else we need to know: who are the customers?
In any marketing plan, your population will affect your decisions. 24 year old women aren’t drawn to the same kinds of pictures, slogans, or offers that 54 year old men find appealing. People buying for work don’t respond to same messages that catch the attention of people shopping for fun.
Who is your online customer?
When it comes to your website, are you sure you know who your customers are? It’s possible that your online customer is not the same as the people who come into your shop.
For example, your younger customers may choose to shop online while your older customers like to come into the shop. On the other hand, if you have an outdated website, your older customers may be okay with it while the younger ones who are used to modern sites choose to come to your store instead of visiting your website.
If you have a service business, the people who are your clients in the physical world may be people you meet locally, at Chamber of Commerce meetings or in the local coffee house. Online, you may have a completely different audience available to you.
How can you know?
Google Analytics again
We talked before about how to check what browsers your web visitors are using (“Which Browsers Do You Still Need to Support?”) That information can help you with more than just tech decisions, though. Above, you can see the browser data for Oyova. We can see that almost half of our visitors use Firefox. A much smaller group visit with Internet Explorer. Almost as many use Chrome. A few people visit with their phones.
If most of our visitors were at work in corporate offices, most of them would be using IE. If most were other web designers or artists, we’d probably see more Safari than Chrome. We’re looking at a more tech-oriented group, or people who are not at work. This suggests that our visitors are more likely to be entrepreneurs and people in creative or tech jobs. They may also be younger than average. We don’t know that for sure, but we should consider the possibility when we work on our website.
In our second example, we’re seeing the more common pattern in which Internet Explorer brings just over half the visits.
Firefox brings a quarter of our visits, then Safari and Chrome. This is pretty typical. We see one person on a phone during the week we’re looking at here, one on PlayStation, and quite a few using less common browsers. This company may be seeing people at work, but we should check back for a longer period of time to see whether we have many phone and game console users. If so, they probably have customers in their 20s, even if that’s not the group they’re seeing walking into their store.
Google Analytics won’t tell us whether our customers are male or female. It won’t tell us for sure how old they are or how much they earn. But we can use the data we find there to develop hypotheses about our online visitors. Do they come during the week and never on weekends? Then they’re probably looking at us as part of their job duties. Do they have low screen resolutions? They are likely to be older or to have limited financial resources.
We can see the sites that refer them to us, and discover whether those sites are designed to appeal to one group or another. We can see when visitors are having our site translated into another language, and know that we should look for bilingual workers. We can see the kinds of questions people have, and where on our site they look for answers.
This kind of information can be combined with our direct data about our customers: the people we talk with or see at our office. We can get a sense of whether we have the same population, and whether we might be able to expand our horizons. Then we can use that data to make decisions about our websites.
Oyova can help you install Analytics, understand the data, and apply it to your web design questions. Call us at 904-322-8820 to discuss how we can help you.