It never ceases to amaze me the different audience you see at different websites. Case Study:
For instance, this blog. I just recently launched this site as a means to release my WordPress themes and write tutorials and tips on web design, WordPress themes and blogging. Obviously, this blog appeals to a wide, but interestingly narrow audience. We’re talking about bloggers and designers, not amateurs.
Contrasting that, I did a WordPress theme for my church this past week to handle the new series called “GameTime“. It’s mostly using WordPress as a simple CMS to handle the various pages of content, but we also included a blog feature so we could publish updates to the members of the church. We’re not talking about a bunch of idiot visitors either. The people of NewSpring come from all kinds of backgrounds, including business professionals.
Both sites are have had good initial traffic. NathanRice.net has had 1,293 unique visitors in the from September 6-8. NewSpringGameTime.com has had 379 unique visitors from September 6-9. Even though NR has had significantly more more visitors in the last few days, we can still learn something about the visitors that come to each blog respectively.
Take a look at the two images below. It gives a breakdown of the browser types for each blog used. The first image is for the browser stats on the church website, and the second one is of NathanRice.net (click the thumbnail for full size image):
Look at that!!! They are almost completely opposite to eachother!
And it all goes back to my premise. When developing your blog, you have to know your audience well. If you are developing a site for the latest Harry Potter book, then your target audience will be much different than if you are writing about web development.
Generally speaking, Internet Explorer dominates the web … so design accordingly. Don’t develop your site in IE … that’s a big no-no … but you need to be testing extensively in IE. You don’t really have a choice, especially if your target audience is somewhat typical.
A Bonus Tip for Audience Assessment
When doing a stats evaluation, check out the other information in your analytics program. Here are a few examples…
- Browser window sizes
- Connection Speed
- Flash installation?
- Operating System
Take a look at all these statistics and develop your site’s design and features around what you find. For example, before you install a flash image rotator, make sure your typical visitor has flash installed. Or, when choosing your website width, take a look at the default display properties for your average user. Knowing your audience will go a long way toward helping you determining and appealing to your ideal audience.