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6 ways to target your online audience more effectively

Targeting your online audience effectively is about more than having a website that looks appealing. An effective website is one that drives conversions. Every element on your pages should pull the client towards taking the action that you want them to, whether that’s buying, visiting your showroom, signing up to a newsletter, or finding out more. So how do you make sure that your website is doing just that? Read our guide on how to build a website that targets your online audience properly.

Target your online audience tip #1 – know who they are and give them what they need

It’s all too easy to define your online audience as ‘everybody’. While it may seem counter-intuitive, accurately defining your audience works much better. So it’s better to decide that your audience is middle-aged female embroiderers than all women between 16 and 70. That’s because you can tailor your language, images, offering and support services to interest that particular demographic – making you more appealing to those who are most likely to buy. Do your homework and find out all you can about your audience. What are their challenges and how can you tailor your offering to help them out? Your website should focus on what you have to offer that’s of most value to them.

Target your online audience tip #2 – simplify your navigation

Once you’ve decided who your audience is and what you want them to do, you need build you web pages in such a way that will ‘funnel’ them towards your call to action. So while you might want to include FAQ pages or About us pages, they don’t need to be part of the main menu. Instead focus on the path the customer most needs to take and make getting there easy. Put all these pages in the largest main menu and the rest in a smaller one at the bottom of the page. Another tip is to focus on a single call to action and to make the ‘sign up’, or ‘buy’ button large, easy to see and set apart with a dedicated colour that contrasts with the rest of the site. Minimise anything that will distract the viewer from focusing on the call to action.

Target your online audience tip #3 – sweet talk them

Images, graphics, layout and fonts will only go so far. The copy also has to be right. First, make sure your offering will tempt your audience, and that your copy makes the benefits to them obvious. It should be a ‘no brainer’ for them to buy. Your call to action should be very explicit. So it’s better for your call-to-action button to say ‘buy now’, or even ‘receive your widget in 48 hours!’ rather than ‘submit’. Keep copy simple, with short, jargon free sentences. And don’t forget to talk as if you’re having a one-to-one conversation with a single customer. Reading a web page is a solitary experience, and using a tone which ‘addresses a crowd’ just feels alienating for your reader.

Target your online audience tip #4 – reduce resistance

The customer is always aware of the risks when buying online. They don’t want to be scammed, spammed or have their credit card details stolen. That’s where things like money back guarantees and properly secure online forms (with SSL certificates) can help. But remember that you need to remind the customer that they’re safe buying from you. So do display security icons on your forms, and do make it clear that they can cancel anytime or have their money back if not satisfied.

Target your online audience tip #5 – appeal to women

Men and women respond to web design differently. Female online consumers react better to scripted or handwritten style fonts. These can safely be used in headings, subheadings and text boxes where the font size is larger to give the website more character. You can use more standard serif or sans serif fonts for the main body text to keep it readable. Women also prefer pastel colours, and floral elements or patterns in your design. Bear age in mind, when choosing colours. So a bright and loud pink will probably only be suitable for girls and teens. Lilac is better suited to an older female demographic.

“Funnel reports are a powerful way to find out where your website is losing business.”

Target your online audience tip #6 – refine your site

Funnel reports are a powerful way to find out where your website is losing business and most web analytics programmes will give you the option to run one. Look for pages with high exit rates, and then at the pages that precede them. What is causing your customer to lose confidence in the process, and what can you add to assure them? Do your product pages need to tell a customer if the item is in stock? Or when it will ship? Work out what’s holding customers back and refine your pages accordingly. And don’t be afraid to ask them what they like or come back for, and what they think could be improved.

If you need help making sure your website drives conversions then give Oxygen a call on 0845 2606 255.



Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.