David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Marketing By Age

Do you know the age of your audience?  Of course, if your website sells iPhone accessories, you have a pretty good idea.  Or if you sell lawn bowling supplies, you also have a pretty good idea.

But most website owners, when asked the age of their audience, respond with “all ages”.  This might be true, and it might not be all that true.  Either way, it is worthwhile fining out, because how you market to people at various stages of their lives differs greatly.  I was reminded of this by an article in Scientific American on how we change our attitudes as we age.

“Openness typically increases during a person’s 20s and goes into a gradual decline after that.  This pattern of personality development seems to hold true across cultures. Although some see that as evidence that genes determine our personality, many researchers theorize that personality traits change during young adulthood because this is a time of life when people assume new roles: finding a partner, starting a family and beginning a career. Personality can continue to change somewhat in middle and old age, but openness to new experiences tends to decline gradually until about age 60.”

So knowing the stage of life your audience is in can make a big difference to whether you want to pitch your product as a “new experience” or an improvement on a familiar experience for example.

You might also find that attitudes impact what search terms to target.  For instance, if you are pitching travel packages to a younger audience, the word “adventure” might be a key component of the search terms you focus on.  If you are pitching to an older audience, you might prefer to use words like “nature” in your keyword development.  Chances are your page will include both words, but where you place the emphasis is important.

It might be that the main difference in keyword focus is in your inbound links.  Some links might use “Nature vacations in Peru”, whereas others might read “Adventure vacations in Peru”.  If your link is on some lost “links” page buried deep in somebody’s website, it might not matter which anchor text you use.  But if the link is prominent on somebody’s website, with the potential to bring real visitors with real money in their pockets, it pays to ask the linking website owner what his demographics are.

All marketing starts with knowing your audience.  There is no marketing that is tougher than pitching to “everyone”.

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9 Responses to “Marketing By Age”

  1. Chris (10 comments) Says:

    That's a great idea! Knowing the age-bracket of your audience will sure give you the hint on what areas and styles to focus on your site or blog.

  2. Guna (1 comments) Says:

    Hi David,

    You are very right in saying that we should know the age group of our visitors. Agreed 100% but how do we do this? I don't want to put up a form or whatsoever and ask the users their age. I am also very surprised when sites like quantcast say that the average age of visitors is 109 (just joking). Any help is appreciated.

  3. David Leonhardt (135 comments) Says:

    This will vary by the type of website you have, but ideally you want to know the age you are targeting before you put up the website. That is a basic aspect of business planning, whether a website is even part of your business or not. This is not always possible, nor is it always foolproof, but that should be your goal. If your niche requires different strategies for different age groups, and you are targeting broadly, you might want to do some triage on your home page, funneling those interested in new things in one direction, and those interested in security in another direction.

  4. Farmacia (2 comments) Says:

    It is truth you know more or less the age of our audience. We also don't ask the age to our clients because I do not personally like other pages ask me my birthday. Anyway, in my case I know it by estimation of the orders they do. I think you are right we should think more about our audience age.

  5. Alex | Fast VPN (1 comments) Says:

    Ah, David, when I have read this post I started feeling my self older than I am:)) I am 24, but already agree with you. I was much more "open" when I was 14.

  6. apartments blog (1 comments) Says:

    easily one of the best tools any internet marketeer could posses – age along with other demographics. Nice information.

  7. sarah summer (1 comments) Says:

    I agree totally with the language needed to connect with your audience, but from my experience it's also the amount and type of information they see when they land on your page. You could target specific terms and nail it, but each demographic has different expectations as to the type of information they want to see when they get to your website.

    The younger generation has a high expectation for social interaction. They want feedback. Then they want to see other people's feedback. Whereas an older generation that doesn't spend all day posting on forums just needs they're specific questions answered to close the deal.

  8. Hair Milk (1 comments) Says:

    I agree, it's very important to understand the demographic of your site. I know that my blog is frequented my a huge majority of women between the ages of 18-32. After learning that information, it was easier for me to decide what to focus on and write about.

  9. lumra (1 comments) Says:

    That's a great idea! ,
    good info marketing, This will vary by the type of website you have, but ideally you want to know the age you are targeting before you put up the website.

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