Knowing who you are selling to is one of the challenges of any business. It’s a huge part of how you pick offers to make to potential customers and clients. You can guess about it, but if you don’t know who’s coming to your site you may be missing out on a lot of sales.

It’s hard to figure out the exact demographics coming to a website. It’s not like you can look at your visitors and take a guess about what you like by how they appear. You have to use the information that’s available to you.

Search Queries

Seeing how people arrive at your website through the search engines is one way to learn about them. The kinds of queries they put in can tell you a lot about what they’re looking for.

If you’re selling a product or service for example, you want to see that people are searching on terms that are more likely to lead to a sale. “Laptop computer” isn’t going to make nearly as many as “Sony VAIO VF111FX/B”.

The People You’re Trying to Target

You shouldn’t just be relying on search queries. Even before you make friends with the search engines and start getting traffic you need to have some idea who you want to sell to.

And the answer is never “everyone.”

You could be selling chocolate and the answer still wouldn’t be “everyone.” Not everyone likes the same kind of chocolates. Some like milk chocolate, some prefer dark. Some will buy whatever’s on sale at the grocery store, some love their gourmet chocolates from far away.

Who is your customer? Age, gender, occupation, hobbies… how can you define your customers?

Now match that to what you’re offering. This will effect the tone you take on your site. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post or a sales page. Your tone should be appropriate to whoever you want to be reading it. You want them to stick around, to buy what you have to offer.

What If the Rest of the World Comes Knocking?

You’re going to encounter people who want something related to what you’re offering but aren’t quite there. Are they worth your time?

You can sell to anyone, but some customers and clients will want more time than they’re worth. That’s what you have to think about. If what they want isn’t what you can provide, you aren’t doing them or yourself a favor by changing what you offer to suit them.

Sometimes you’re better off referring a sale elsewhere because someone else’s site is exactly what they want.

Other times it’s all near enough that you can help them. Be sensible. If it’s going to take an excess of effort to help someone because you don’t really carry what they’re after or don’t really understand their needs, you’re better off referring them elsewhere or just saying you can’t do what they want.

Saying no is tough but it’s a great skill.

Keep your focus on the people you mean to be helping. If you get too distracted by others, you will struggle to keep up with the things you really know how to do. That’s not a great way to run a home business.