Using Stats to Identify a Target Market

Review your website statistics and use the results to identify potential target audiences for new products and revenue.

Expand your market
Expand your markets

When you are creating your business plan and strategy you start by identifying your target audiences and what they need and how you provide something that meets that need.

After you have had your website up for a while – you might find that there are other people who are finding your website that may be outside of your original idea of a target audience.  Reviewing your website statistics may give some clues and ideas of other potential markets that you could tap into.

Example:

As a nonprofit of small business you may directly serve people in a specific geographic location.  Perhaps you provide training or consulting as part of your services.

Website Statistics - Map of Recent Visitors
Website Statistics - Map of Recent Visitors - view from Statcounter.com

You notice in your website statistics that you have visitors coming to your website from other parts of the country – or even internationally.  Although you don’t know WHO these people are – look at the path they follow and what pages of the website they look at.  This will give you some idea of their interest.  Also you may be able to tell where they came from (link from another website) or what key words they used in a search.

What could you offer these people?  Would you be able to charge for it?  Would it be appropriate for your mission? Would it potentially add value to your organization profile – and also of use to your own clients and affiliates?

You may want to consider creating “Information Products” that would meet the needs of this potential target audience.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Webinars on specific topics.  These could be available free or for a fee.  With many webinar softwares it is possible to record the session, and make them available on your website of via a link.  You could also be building a library of these over time and offer on DVD.
  • eBooks. An eBook is readily accessible to download for free or by purchase.  Review the current publications that you have now – or think of topics that lend themselves to a book, whitepaper, or short tutorial that would be useful to this potential market.
  • Printed Books.  Investigate publishing a printed book using a self publishing firm.
  • Video. Videos are increasingly popular as a means for delivering training and tutorials and providing information to your target audiences.  If you are charging a fee for video views the videos could be in a subscription / members area.

As with any new product or service you will need to do your research, decide on the content, method and resources needed in order to carry this out.

Here are a few links to get you started. These are sources that I have used after researching and found they offer good value

  • Webinars GVO Conference enables you to put on a webinar, record it and store the link to use.  It is a good way to start as there are good tutorials on how to begin and help getting setup.
  • eBooks  and Printed BooksLULU.Com gives you the means to publish eBooks and printed publications.
  • Videos Screenr.Com has a free version that you can use to create tutorial. YouTube has a basic editor for video.

Denise Davies is an Internet and media consultant.  She works with nonprofit organizations and small businesses to maximize their effective use of the Internet to build their organization and achieve their objectives.  If you have questions or would like to learn more contact through the contact form

Tracking your Website Activity – Statistics

Viewing and interpreting your website tracking statistics

Do you follow the traffic statistics on your website? Why should you care and how can it help you?

Web stats are a piece of the puzzle
Web stats are a piece of the puzzle

There are many different website tracking programs and the 2 that I like to use are Statcounter and Google Anaytics.  On each of these they are free to setup your account and configure.  You get a piece of coding that you or your web programmer will add to each page of the website.  Once you have this added you can login to the stat site to view the action.

Viewing the traffic

You can get different views of periods of times.

  • Visitors – look at numbers of first time and returning visitors.  If you have a lot of first time visitor but a low number of return visitors – look at your site and see if you are giving people good reasons to book mark you, add your RSS feed, sign up for something that will bring them back to the site on a regular basis. Does your email newsletter and blog lead people back to your website for more information?
  • Pages – what are the most popular pages on the website?  Look at the number of hits sorted by frequency. What pages are not visited?  Are people getting to your action pages – your sign up forms, contact pages?
  • Conversions – on Google Analytics you are able to setup specific GOALS. For example you could set as a goal the reply page from your contact for, or a download of a free report.  What is the conversion rate on your website – i.e. how many people that come to the site get to your goal.
  • Geographic – Where are your website visitors coming from?  You can see the information in a map or as a list of countries, states and cities.  This information can be valuable in looking for new business opportunities.  You may have a very local service – but if you have an international reach are there some information products or other things that you can consider that would be appropriate for the broader geographic interest?
  • Path – How many pages do your visitors look at and what path do they take through the site?  You can view specific visitor paths, and statistics on average number of pages per visit.  Reviewing this information gives you an idea of how “sticky” your site is and if people stay for a long time and browse or participate in some way.
  • Search Engines – What keywords are people using that get them to your site? Which search engines are sending you traffic?  Do these give you ideas for additional meta tags or search engine optimization?  Are there some major search engines that are not sending you traffic? Check that your site is registered with them to get indexed.  Check that your site includes good keywords and descriptions in the meta tags and particularly on the home page of your website that you use text in the body area the describes your key concepts.
  • Other sites – What other websites are sending you traffic.  This might be from your own blogs or from your related websites or alliance partners.  Look at the sites that are sending you traffic – can you help them in some way or are there other sites similar to them that you can build a relationship with?

These are just a few ideas on how to use your website traffic statistics to help you plan and continue to improve and build your website to be an effecitve part of your business or nonprofit.

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