Recently, from a few different sources I have heard the advice that one of the key pointers for a successful business is to target the right customer and here is a great article by Christina Giliberti that explains how to identify and target your ideal customer. Christina’s article got me thinking, how can businesses target their ideal customer using their website? Here are some practical tips that you can use on your own website; 1. Target your ideal customer using search results If you really know your ideal customer you will know what they search for on Google, not just when they are looking for your type of product or service but what other things they search for. If you know that your target customer visits certain other websites a lot then consider targeting these in your website optimisation and Google AdWords campaigns. For example you might know that your ideal customer would browse the local authority website a lot as it has the information they need on a certain area. Is there any way that you can have your website show in search results for a search query for that website or the topis discussed on that website? That website may still show number 1 for that search query but if you have done an optimised blog post or category in your blog about that site or topic then your website could show in search results further down the page and make a connection with your ideal customer. 2. Mention your ideal customer on your website This might seem really obvious but many websites don’t mention their ideal customer. By mentioning I mean give them a label or a title and repeat that title in your website text, have it as a page heading and a link in your website navigation and include it as a category in your business blog. Not only will this help you in SEO terms but it will allow your ideal customer to see that your business is really about them as they are mentioned on your website. That way when they arrive at your website they will say ‘yes I’m in the right place’. It is important that you choose the correct wording for the title you give your target customer – is this title one that they would apply to themselves? For example, if you sell wedding dresses then you should have a page called ‘Brides To Be’ as they are your target customer. This page could explain what you offer Brides To Be and why they should choose you over others which provide the same service. 3. Make Your website an online resource for your ideal customer If you want your target customer to keep coming back to your website then you should make your website an online resource that they can use again and again. That way, although they may not use your business the first time they visit your site, but if they keep returning to your site then it is much more likely that they will eventually convert into a customer. Get in the head of your ideal customer and figure out what type of online resource they might want. This could be a blog that has articles that would be of interest to your target customer, even if those articles are not directly associated with the product or service you offer, that is fine as long as it keeps the right customer coming back to your website. Remember your website is not for you, it is for your customers. 4. Include case studies of other similar customers that used your product or service to great success. If you have been successful in getting your ideal customer in the past and have done a good job for them then you should display this on your website. Once customers see what a good job you did for othersthey will want you to do the same for them. Case studies and testimonials from previous or current customers are a great way to demonstrate your success with that customer type. Even if you can’t include text case studies try to include photographs that show previous customers using and benefiting from your product or service. This concept also works in online stores which show reviews of products from other customers. 5. Branding, Branding, Branding Your website should be visually branded to appeal to your target customer. For example, if you are a hotel that is targeting the upper end of the market and is trying to appeal to customers that want luxury then your website could use very rich colours like golds and deep reds and the font in your logo and page headings will should probably be very elegant, whereas if you own a budget Bed and Breakfast then your website would use brighter colours and simple fonts that imply a clean but no frills experience. Multiple customer types If your business is targetting multiple customer types for different products or services that you offer, then you may need a different section of your website or separate microsites for each customer type. A one size fits all approach won’t work when it somes to your website. In the same way that when applying for a job the candidate writes his CV specifically for the company he is applying to, your website also needs to be specifically written and targetted at your customer type. Do you have any examples of how you target your ideal customer on your website? Share them here.