Market research is a crucial part of a good business strategy. Competition in any industry has never been greater, which is why it is important to achieve even the smallest advantage. When it comes to SEO, you need to determine what your customers want so you can meet those needs. As a top digital agency, we wanted to share how we do market research for an SEO campaign.
For the most part, we will discuss researching content, as that is a primary method of search engine optimization. By taking the time to do research, you will gain a better understanding of what the target customers want or need. A company can then target the right reviews and generate relevant content that meets those requirements and helps customers.
Conduct market research for an SEO campaign
There are quite a few methods of obtaining data. In some cases, the information obtained will be current and taken directly from customers. In other cases, information is collected based on published reports and information collected. The best approach is to combine current and historical data to better understand the market and customer mindset.
The main market research methods to use for an SEO campaign are a combination of:
Interviews – Interviewing customers from experts in an area can take many forms, such as phone calls from emails, and is a valuable source of new, unique data.
Online Surveys – Online surveys are one of the most popular research methods because there are many tools available to help a company obtain timely information quickly.
Focus Groups – As with surveys, focus groups can provide plenty of timely information with the ability to give and take and delve deeper into areas for which you may not develop survey questions.
Customer Observation – Observing customer behavior is a long-standing research method and can be done online by using web analytics to better understand customer actions and movements. Heatmaps are extremely important to understand where customers click and what they look at most.
Customer Data – Customer data is often considered a secondary source, as a company will collect information to find historical trends such as primary shopping times.
Industry Data – Industry reports are useful to understand the industry as a whole with broad reports and information. Research reports from Forrester or Gartner are popular sources of information.
Competitive Data – As with customer data, this can provide insight into your specific niche sector. Top competitor websites should be reviewed to better understand what the companies above are doing.
A common mistake is to either use only one data source when conducting market research, or to rely too much on data that resembles predetermined ideas. Data has no opinion; it’s just like that. The more data, the better because the conclusions drawn after analyzing multiple sources are more complete.
What do you do after gathering information during market research? The next step is to analyze the information and then use it.
Create Buyer’s Personas – Buyer’s personas are a very useful marketing tool. They should be created based on current customer research and segmented by age, gender, location and buying habits. These personas each have different goals, needs and motivations. A key to creating great content that resonates is to first determine who the content is for.Research Keywords – There are quite a few tools to find that customers use for searches. Options such as the Search Tool, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest from SERP’s search database are all helpful in finding popular searches that can better regulate buyers’ interests.
It’s important to use research to answer core questions to shape the SEO campaign, such as:
- What findings are your competitors targeting?
- Which found do customers use?
- Are private events related to specific events or times of the year?
Select Keywords – An isolated keyword list should be created and then categorized based on user intent, such as providing information, navigating to a particular site / location of a transaction.
Consider pain points – When collecting data through customer surveys and other direct customer interaction methods, always consider the pain points. These are crucial pieces of information that can then be turned into content in the form of solutions to those problems. Make sure you use the same language as the customers, becausethat’s how they are often searched.
Create Content – Using the buyer’s personas and keywords, create highly specific content to meet customer needs. For example, if you own a bike shop and people are looking for good driving routes, you would create content that highlights several unique rides in your area.
Think outside the box – During the content creation process, always strive to distinguish your content. Think, “How can I best present this to a customer?” In our example above, you could include maps of the distance marker rides, bathroom locations and favorite places to stop for a bite. Or take a short video that highlights the natural beauty of the cycling areas. Always try to add as much value as possible based on the user person being targeted with the content.
The bottom line is that any good digital agency will tell you about the importance of market research when it comes to launching successful campaigns. But we are also happy to tell you how to do market research for an SEO campaign. While some companies prefer to hire outside help, others like to do it for themselves and we respect both choices.