Principles of Audience Analysis - HTML

One of the basic tenets of any writing is to know your audience. Without knowing your audience, the odds of actually communicating with your Web site visitors are nothing more than a roll of the dice. They may come away with information they want and/or need, and they may not.Performing an audience analysis is a useful way of accomplishing a number of Web content goals, from deciding how to chunk information to determining how to manage hyperlinks. You should strive to understand your audience well so that you can communicate with them effectively.

Unfortunately, much of this analysis will be done after your site has gone live for the first time. Many Web tools exist to help generate Web site analysis, but your site must be running for it to work. Web site analysis software can give you reports on the demographics of your visitors, and provide information on how they came to your site. You can also create surveys and registration pages with forms asking users to provide information about themselves.

But how do you analyze your audience before your site is up and running? One way is to acquire industry reports that provide user demographics for the industry you are in. Researching general trends within your industry is valuable no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s building a Web site or building cars, because it helps you project trends and plan for them instead of reacting to them.Audience analysis is an ongoing effort, as your Web site is live for a month, six months, a year, and even ten years down the road. You’ll need to respond to changing demographics and emerging trends as you develop your Web site content.

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