Yahoo Publisher has a very good article about designing websites – for users. They’re not talking about usability, more about knowing what your market wants and giving it to them.
They use the example:
“Before deciding upon a design direction, we met with marketing analysts who provided us with data indicating that our target audience was primarily males between the ages of 18 and 35. We found out that this group of primarily young males loved going to car shows to show off their cars, see examples of other peopleâ€™s cars, and find parts to customize their own cars. So we brought that experience to online, bringing it to life by letting users post pics of the latest cars and custom trends. We kept the background dark to make the thumbnails jump out. And we made sure to organize the site so that it was easy for these young auto enthusiasts to find what they needed for their next customization“
Also valuable for SEO, and a fundamental truth that often goes unmentioned. It’s not enough just to select a keyword term and optimize, the site must deliver what that user wants, or there was little point doing the SEO in the first place.