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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