Answer: The most important step is to identify the user. Once a visitor is on your site, there is a small window of opportunity to gain as much information as possible. By utilizing the following steps, you can identify users:
Analyze your Web logs. Look to see which search engines users are coming from and the words that brought them to you. Keep track of phrases you see most often. It is important to understand how your users evolve.
Demonstrate search phrase reinforcement. As you begin to see patterns or trends, use them as your guide to map keyword-rich content to specific pages. This will improve relevance and increase the length of their visit. Bombarded the visitor with your brand and product/service offerings while you have them captive.
Demographic research. Build profiles of your users and prioritize them so that you know whom your content is speaking to and avoid ignoring certain audiences. Some neglected users include: partners, media, investors, analysts and prospective employees. It is important to note that existing customers and prospects are the main target, so focus on them first!
Thomas Obrey is co-founder and chief operating officer at PixelMEDIA, Portsmouth, N.H. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.