Target Audience: Is your website condescending?

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Blog | No Comments
Target Audience: Is your website condescending?

I can’t count how many times I have been to a service-based company’s website only to discover that they completely alienate their target audience through industry jargon and excessively complicated topics.

If your client is as knowledgeable as you are in your industry, there’s a good chance that they won’t need your services and showing off for the sake of your peers really isn’t going to help you gather customers.

In the best-case scenario, a client will be impressed by your use of terminology they don’t know and will leave with the impression that you’re an expert – but not that you’ll help them understand what you’re doing for them.

In the worst-case scenario, a client leaves your website because they have no idea what you’re talking about and associates your brand with pretension.

Who ARE you writing for?

Audience can be a challenging subject because in the web world, you’re not able to know exactly who is viewing your website the way that you can look up from a counter and see who just walked through your shop’s door.

The good news is that you don’t need to!

When designing a website and creating content, you and your web designer should be 100% focused on who your target audience is. Be as specific as possible when describing who your website should be geared towards.

Go ahead and pick out a person you know personally, someone you would consider to be an ideal customer, and then visualize them. Keep this person in mind every time you post something to your website.

(If you don’t know anyone who fits the bill as your target audience, stop what you’re doing and go meet your customers. If you don’t know them, you won’t be able to reach them.)

Make sure your website passes the “Cocktail Party Test”

Imagine that you’re at a casual gathering, like a cocktail party, with your ideal customer. If you were having a conversation with this person and discussed the topics you address on your site with the same language you use, what would their response be?

Would their eyes glaze over?

Would they feel uncomfortable because they don’t understand what you’re saying and feel stupid?

Would they leave with the impression that you’re condescending?

Would they look around, assuming that you’re having a conversation with someone standing behind them because you’re obviously not talking to them?


Would they be making eye contact and nodding along?

Would they be interested and ask for more information?

Would they be able to contribute to the conversation and maybe even express how this topic gives them ideas to solve a problem that they’re having?

When it comes to content, there are no bonus points for looking smart – but there are bonus points for making your business accessible. The next time you post content, visualize yourself at a cocktail party with your target audience and go from there.

Speaking of conversation, are you on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Tumblr? Look us up!

We are a web design company in Toronto. If you’re looking for someone to help you out with your website, get in touch!

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