When planning your website keep your target audience in mind

It’s important to keep the purpose of your website in mind. For most people it is to attract new customers or provide some service to current costumers. If this is the case then it’s great to have a site that you think looks good. But you must keep in mind that it’s much more important what you target audience thinks.

I make a lot of websites. I can tell you there are certain things I do and don’t like. I have colors I prefer over others. I have particular layouts I really love and some I hate. However I’m not making these website for myself. I must keep in mind what my target audience prefers. You may not realize this but there are several browsers that people may use to view a website and the look of a website can vary quite a bit based on what browser a person is using to view a website. The common browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer. I prefer Firefox however when I make a website I have to keep my target audience in mind and not my preference. A lot of younger users use Firefox so if they are my target audience then I make sure the website looks best in Firefox. Safari is an Apple product, Mac’s can run Firefox and a lot of Mac users do. But ipads and iphones use Safari. If I was making a website directed at these users then I would place more emphasize on how the site looks on Safari. I (along with a lot of other users) hate Internet Explorer. However because it is the default browser on a Windows computer (the most common operating system) and also because it is the oldest of the browsers. This is the one that a lot of older users will prefer. If I know that most of the visitors to my website will likely be 40+ years old and a little more limited on their computer knowledge then I figure they are probably using Internet Explorer since that’s what the default is on their Windows computers. Thus I build my sites so they display best on their computers and not mine.

If you are getting a site for your business then you must think the same way. Sure you may prefer a certain color scheme or layout. And yes if you’re paying for it then you have the right to have it look how you want. But if this look isn’t what your target audience prefers then wouldn’t it be a sound business decision to go with what they prefer?

You don’t have to know what this is. But you should be using a web design company that researches this and does know. Then it’s your job to trust the pros when they tell you why they did things a certain way.

I recommend that before you sign a contract for a website that you tell them what your target audience is. If nothing else at least the age, geographically location they are from and purpose that they will come to your website for. Ask the web design company how they will design your site with this target audience in mind? What browser will your site display best in? Will it be the most common on in your target audience?

Then when you are reviewing your site feel free to make suggestions and ask if you can have certain things done differently. But if they tell you no then politely ask if they can explain why. If they give you sound reasons then you should consider them. Especially if they recommend that the way they have it will impress your target audience better than your idea. Remember you aren’t building a website to sell your company to yourself. You are trying to impress other people and their opinion may not be the same as yours. There is solid research on things like site design and your web design company should be reading this and staying on top of it. Trust their opinion, if you can’t then you probably went with the wrong design company.