In our last blog post, we looked at how to create a website audience profile to define and target your website visitors, and discussed the importance of understanding your user demographics, psychographics, geographics and behaviours.
Today we will dive a little deeper into the realms of website demographics and consider how you can use your analytics data to achieve greater online success.
What are demographics?
Wikipedia defines demographics as:
The quantifiable statistics of a given population. Demographics are also used to identify the study of quantifiable subsets within a given population which characterize that population at a specific point in time.
It goes on to say that demographics can be viewed as the essential information about the population of a region and the culture of the people there.
Little wonder then, that online marketers, salespeople and website owners are keen to obtain as much information as they can about the demographic make-up of their site target audiences.
Although there are some differences of opinion about exactly which subsets should be classed as demographics, some of the most commonly identified and widely used groups include:
- Age group
- Family size
- Education level
Let’s take a look at each in turn.
At first glance, analysis of your website visitors via gender seems self-explanatory and to be honest, slightly dull! After all, either you’re getting more men or more women to your site, right? Well actually, by using Google Analytics and Advanced Segments, you can drill down a little further than this to find out some really interesting and perhaps surprising data.
One thing you might do is to look at the online behaviour of men versus women on your site. Do women view more pages, for example? Do men spend longer in one particular area of your site? When you are planning your content, this information could prove really useful.
Another interesting point is to note any gender imbalances across different countries or regions. This might enable you to target certain areas or address discrepancies. Combining data from different subsets like this can be enlightening.
A common and easily accessible method of analysing website data is according to age. Google Analytics groups website visitors as follows: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and 65+ and offers the ability to use Advanced Segments to compare online marketing channels, site usage and conversion data. This means that you can really gain an excellent snapshot of how each age group behave when they are on your website.
One way in which you can draw from what you’re learning here is in terms of using social media to target your users. Find out which age groups are being acquired from the various social media platforms and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
Whilst you won’t be able to get information about ethnicity from Google Analytics, you may still have access to this information through your own audience research (e.g. any questionnaires you may have carried out). Knowing the ethnicity of your website users can help you in many ways, from ensuring that your site is fully inclusive to developing more relevant products and services, tailored to your visitors.
The deeper the understanding you have, the more emotional connection you can make, which in turn will lead to a community of users who enjoy visiting your site and will recommend it to others.
Family size can affect your visitors in a variety of ways, from the financial and social to time-related and interest-based. All families are different of course, but looking at family size can serve to give you a snapshot of what life is like for your average visitor, particularly if your suspicions are backed up by other data.
For example, if you find that the majority of your visitors are 30-something females with 3 small children and a Pinterest account, and they are spending disproportionately short amounts of time on your site during the daytime but more in the evening, you might choose a picture-based Facebook marketing campaign targeted to them in the evening with an appropriate marketing copy for women at the end of a tiring day!
It may not be immediately obvious how having knowledge of your users’ education level will help, but actually, this can make quite a difference to how you can best target your audience. The main element here comes with content, in particular copywriting.
If your website users are mostly school-leavers with GCSE-level qualifications, your copy’s tone of voice and style of writing will be significantly different to if your visitors are university educated. In fact, you should go so far as to consider sentence length, vocabulary choice and amount of content per page, as well as the ratio of text to images to videos and so on.
Occupation and income
Finally, a user’s occupation and income can be important when it comes to selling your products or services online. Knowing how much disposable income your average visitors have is a huge part of converting their visit into a sale. It’s no good trying to sell them a Ferrari if they can only afford a Fiesta.
Do your website research and you can ensure that you’re selling the right products and services online to the right people.
The analysis and subsequent action you can take based on your audience demographics can really make a huge difference to your website conversion rate. Not only will you be attracting the right people to your site, but those people will be more and more likely to purchase your products and sign up for your services. Just remember not to get too bogged down in the analysis – the site changes that you make as a result are the thing that will make all the difference.