Crafting a Website Strategy: Understanding Your Demographics

As utility communicators, the need for a robust, efficient, and responsive website cannot be overstated. To establish a powerful online presence that serves your community, you must adopt a website content strategy that accounts for the unique characteristics and needs of the communities you serve.

Know Your Community

The first step towards creating a truly community-centric website is understanding your demographics. Analyzing data from census reports can provide valuable insights into the community’s needs.

For instance, consider the poverty rate. Communities with higher poverty rates might have a larger population living paycheck to paycheck, implying a higher rate of service disconnects and a greater need for payment assistance. Knowing this, placing resources about payment assistance or tips for managing bills front and center on your homepage can immensely help your community members.

Accessibility Is Key

It’s also essential to consider your audience’s average age. Rural communities often skew older, and with age comes potential visual impairments or physical disabilities. Alternative navigation methods, such as navigation tiles, can be tremendously helpful for those struggling with a mouse. The ability to zoom in on text, or print the website content in a format that conserves ink, ensures that the website remains accessible.

Cater to Your Demographics

Consider the number of young families in your community. Parents of children under five often need quick, efficient solutions due to the demands of their watchful parenting. Streamlined communication with clear, concise information helps these busy parents find what they need swiftly.

The same applies to the demographic that has moved within the last year. Making it simple to start, stop, or transfer services from your homepage caters to the needs of the community members who are new to your service or moving within your service area.

Communication Matters

Understanding the educational background of your community also matters. For those who did not graduate high school or receive a GED, avoid verbose language and complex forms. Utilize a direct approach with simple, plain language to ensure your content is easily comprehensible to all.

Equally crucial is acknowledging your foreign-born community members. Cultural differences and language barriers can cause misunderstandings and apprehension. Consider the accessibility of your content for non-English speakers. If a fourth grader can’t translate the copy on your website, the message might get lost or miscommunicated.

Final Thoughts

Crafting a website strategy that serves your community involves considering these unique factors and designing your website to meet these specific needs. Your website should not only offer a service but also echo the voice of the community it serves.

By keeping your content strategy flexible, accessible, and tailored to the needs of your community, you can ensure that your website truly serves as a reliable resource and a guiding beacon for your community members.

Remember, you’re not just building a website; you’re building a digital community hub. Let’s make it a great one together.