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The Clear Guide to Online Business Step 4 in Developing a Web Site

By Virginia Lawrence

As a marketing vehicle, a well-done Web site must focus on a well-defined target market.

Step 4: Determine Your Target Market

As a marketing vehicle, a well-done Web site must focus on a well-defined target market.

You must determine the type of people you want to attract and what they expect to find at the site. No, targeting everyone with an income is not enough. You want to choose the most important target market for your Web site so that you can aim your entire site at that market. Are you targeting consumers? If so, which consumers? Are you talking to mommies, to 16-year-old boys, to teachers, to potential adoptive parents, to couples looking for a mortgage, to mountain climbers, to campers, to young professional city dwellers, or to…? Perhaps you’re targeting business executives. Are they executives who need help organizing their lives, or are they executives who might be interested in receiving a little venture capital? Those groups differ in what they expect to see at your site.

The Look for Your Target Market

These are all different markets. Those groups have different ways of looking at the world, and they have different needs. A comfortable Web environment for one group will not necessarily be comfortable for another.

Design the look of the site so that the visitor can settle in and roam around. For example, a site targeting mommies with new babies might be designed in pastel colors with baby pictures and helpful hints. In contrast, a site targeting mountain climbers might discuss the best mountains and show pictures of tough, strong climbers.

The best sites reflect their target markets and welcome visitors to an environment they trust. Let your target market guide the look of your site!

Next month: step five in developing a business Web site.

–© 2004 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is a professional Web Developer and Online Marketing Consultant. She routinely places client sites on the first page of a Google search. Contact her at or visit her Web site at



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