You have a website, but how do you cater to your audience? What do they want to see, and how do you give it to them? It may seem complicated, but allow me to show you a few things that can make your research a breeze.
Let the Audience Have a Say
Forums, Discussion Boards, and Comments
When creating your site, add a place for your audience to leave comments. A discussion board can be just as useful, but it would be a good idea to spark up some conversations from time to time so that you can learn exactly what you want to know. Ask specific questions and see where the users take it. Most of the time you learn what you wanted to know, and you may learn a new idea for making it better. Comments from visitors also allow you to see where improvements need to be made, and tell you what they like. This can represent another form of advertising for you site too.
Ask Them What They Think
Another way of finding out about your audience is through surveys. When giving a survey try to diversify your audience. You can do this by asking them to include several small pieces of information about age, gender, occupation, marital status, geographic location, and education. Most surveys are administered with an incentive for completing them so keep this in mind when considering this option. Incentives could be discounts, gift certificates, or some small goody.
They Are Already Telling You What They Want
Communicate with Tech Support
No website can successfully run without technical support. They have a wealth of information from your user base that you cannot do without. Every contact made displays where improvement is needed. They also provide invaluable feedback. I hope that your technical support team is built up of people willing to serve because they can make the difference between returning users and prospective future users.
Did They Like It or Tweet It?
The Advantage of Social Networks
Facebook, Zinzz chat rooms and Twitter are resources that can prove their worth during this phase of investigation. Make sure to include those ‘like’ and ‘tweet’ buttons. You can scroll down the comments and see how many likes or tweets certain customer feedback has, and you will know that it’s something you need to look into. Since social networks burst onto the scene many people have used it to share what they do and don’t like with family, friends, co-workers, and people they barely know.
You can get free advertising that will draw more visitors to you website, which in turn will provide more user feedback.
Use What You Have
It doesn’t have to be expensive to find out what your audience wants. It may take a little leg work, but most of the foundation will be set before you. If you use these tips you can utilize all the tools that have already been made available to you. Your audience wants to tell you what they think it makes them feel involved. You can allow them to help you in finding out what they want and need from your website. You can do a little research and just pay attention because all of your questions have already been answered.