July 27, 2021, 0 Comments

Self-analysis Is Not Demographic Research

One of the problems with working from home over the internet is that you get really disconnected from the rest of the world which actually has to get dressed and leave the house to go to work. So, I’ve made it my goal to avoid spending my social time with people in the online marketing industry (which isn’t really difficult considering how many of them spend their leisure time in online chatrooms).

While hanging out with “regular folks”, I inevitably always hear this question:

So, what exactly is your job?

In my efforts to describe the complexities of search engine optimization, website ads, traffic generation and so forth, I am reminded just how little regular folks know about the web. Many of them still think of it as a giant nonprofit organization there purely to serve them. The reason that I am writing this is to point out a common mistake amongst online marketers: Assuming that their target audience is like them. If you want to succeed in online marketing, you’ve got to do some serious, in-depth demographic research and analyze your visitors’ actions.

Take this example: My blogs about online marketing all have much higher display ad click rates than my other blogs. My theory is that, since online marketers understand the concept of ad revenue, they are more likely to click some ads to support a blogger they like (I do this). By contrast, to get ad clicks on my weight loss blog, I’ve had to get really creative with the ad placement so they are always next to juicy images (helps beat banner blindness). In another blog about finance, this strategy didn’t work at all (accountants like symbols more than juicy images). Instead, I rely on affiliate marketing for monetization there. I recommend actually hanging out with some people that suit your target demographic. You will find out all sorts of useful information, like when they would visit your website (bored at work vs. in a hurry via mobile), what their motivations are for visiting, and what would get them to convert.

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