Mockup of bradysbakery.com, a Shopify website, on a computer.

Many visitors to a website are looking for useful information, either in answering a question they have or providing insight on a topic in which they have interest. If a website fails to prove its usefulness, visitors are likely to depart quickly. As a result, website owners should pay close attention to how effectively their website is catering to its target audience. Here are some tips to ensure your website is helpful.

Define Your Audience

To make your website useful to your target audience, you need to know who your visitors are. A rookie mistake is to try to appeal to each viewer that lands on your site. The issue with toeing the middle line is that you won’t strongly appeal to anyone that way. You want a passionate audience that will be excited to visit your site multiple times.

Start by reflecting on what you offer. If you have a history website, do you offer in-depth analytical articles or quick history soundbites? If you manage a food website, do you focus on recipes, or street eats in cities across the world? Two sites within the same niche can have different goals that will give them different audiences.

Next, complete a list of the type of reader who would gain value from what you offer. For example, if you feature cocktail recipes, your target audience is people over the age of 21. Do you use generic spirits or craft ingredients? Expensive ingredients will make your target audience affluent drinkers over 21. Perhaps the cocktails have an emphasis on healthy ingredients. Then, you can describe your viewers further as affluent, health-conscious drinkers over 21. Get as specific as possible with your target audience. You can have multiple crossover audiences. The more concise you make your profiles, the more likely you are to appeal to these target audiences.

Use Keywords

It’s essential for all content marketers to understand the fundamentals of SEO. The best product in the world will never reach anyone if your page takes an hour to load and doesn’t show up in a Google search. The market is speeding away from brick-and-mortar stores, so adapting to online marketing strategies is critical for survival.

Understanding your target audiences means you can anticipate what keywords your audience is typing into Google. Your articles about sofas can feature beautiful content, but if your target audience refers to sofas as couches, you won’t capture them through a keyword search.

Understand Your Competitors

Most niches have fierce competition. Instead of begrudging your competitors, seek to understand what makes them capture their market share. Is their site easier to navigate? Maybe they offer a greater selection of products or services. Pinpoint what they do differently that appeals to a wider audience.

Clean Up Your Content

Make it easy for viewers to find the content that appeals to them. If you have varying target audiences, make the divide in content clear. If you’re a sports website with a travel section, an avid Yankees fan may lose interest while searching through dozens of posts on your Florida vacation. Direct viewers seamlessly to what they want.

Provide Free Utility

Most viewers like to be lulled into a purchase and not hit over the head with marketing the second they click your link. Even e-commerce sites can offer free utility. For example, a clothing retailer can host an “outfit of the day” blog. Perhaps it shows their pieces styled with a short write-up on why the outfit works. Viewers not ready to make a purchase gain fashion advice, and buyers ready to convert can visualize the purchase — a feat for online retailers.

Cohesion

While you may have a different campaign strategy for Twitter as opposed to Instagram, it should all fit cohesively under the umbrella of your brand. Your tone can differ, but your central message should not.

Conclusion

Usefulness is essential for a website to stand out to visitors, enough that they bookmark the site and want to return. These examples show highly relevant content and design targeted to an audience of specific users.

About the Author of This Post

Lexie Lu is a graphic designer and blogger with a passion for the digital world. She spends most of her time working on logo mockups and creating websites for her clients. She also manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.