Well before we run any kind of marketing campaign, it’s crucial that we know our target audience. In other words, we need to know who exactly our potential client or customers are. Pretty much the same concept applies to modern day SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategies. This is Marketing 101 and one of the most basic idea before you dive into the realm of SEO.
Defining Target Audience
Defining target audience for your product or services is much easier said than defined. We have well passed that time when we could simply jump into the idea based on geographical location or age. It has expanded from a larger context to individual level. Person’s taste, preferences, sex, location, income level, behavioral pattern everything counts specially when “Big Data” is a buzz word now a days.
So, the question that remains is how exactly we can approach this issue?
There is a reason why we always said “content is the king”. Build strategic content. The concept of strategic content is much deeper than simply writing few articles and made them available through your site. It’s an approach that you should focus from ground up. Starting from designing your website to usage of graphics, site’s layout, accessibility everything should be taken in consideration.
Let’s say, you or your company develops computer games of action genre. Your target audience most probably be younger individuals, lets assume we are talking about individuals of 15-28 years of age range. So, if we are to build a website to allow this age group to get to know about your games, we have to design our site certain way that the target audience might find them to be interesting or appealing. May be colorful images, videos, industry news, new features that your company added on your games etc should be taken in consideration. Take a look at the official homepage of Santa Monica Studio who are behind the “God of War” video games.
Contrary to that, lets say you are developing chess game that anyone can play on their computer or smart phones. May be your target audience is mostly the middle aged individuals whom you think might find your game to be interesting to. How should you design a site focusing the middle age group individuals? May be you should not use too many colorful images with videos and others. Because the idea of chess game is fairly simpler than an action game and should not require lots of videos to attract your potential customers. Check out Sparkchess as a reference link. Did you get the idea?
What I am trying to say is this, build the site based on who exactly you audiences are, their taste and preferences, age group etc. Understand the market and specific demands that your product or services going to meet. Your site should not only reflect your product and services that you are offering but it should also reflect your enthusiasm, message and market at larger context.
Strategic Content Creation & Optimization
Strategic content concept does not end with building an website only. Do not forget about the actual content part though. Providing latest news related to your market or product, how to guides, cheat-sheet etc. will definitely bring more traffic and you can implement them with your blog, forum section on your site. Create content, promote them, measure it and optimize whenever or wherever its necessary. Be flexible on these issues and see where you should put more effort on. It is a continuous process as long as you are in the market to get your next client.
Social media is still important and plays a very important role to any business as far as user engagement is concern. Almost all the large companies now a days has their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram account. Some companies are even stepping ahead by hiring or paying social media stars to introduce/promote their products.
As far as the search engine is concern, keywords will remain an important issue to talk about. Algorithm changes but the fundamental requirement of performing search operation requiring keywords is there and it will always be relevant. What’s important to remember though is not to get distracted by this hype and ended up doing irrelevant thing or “Keyword Stuffing“. There is a thin line between what to do and what not to do. This is where the “targeted keywords” comes into the scene.
Finding the target keywords that’s most relevant to your product or services is not as easy as we all may think. In fact there is a whole industry out there that tirelessly working to figure that out on daily basis. Human being and their taste or preferences changes all the time, so does the keywords that your potential customers are using everyday to find what they need. Here is an example, if you search with the keyword “apple” from Google you will be greeted with 3.3 billion search results. However, if you type “apple macbook air”, you will get well over 34 million result. It is still a big number but remember the difference between 3.3 billion and 34 million also huge.
Now, if you are in the market to buy the latest Macbook Air and you search with “buy macbook air”, you will get little over 21 million results from Google. One word “buy” plays a significant role here which slashes out almost 13 million search results. If your company is an online retailer that happens to sell Apple’s Macbook Computer, your chances of showing up on this search result will automatically increase just because of a single keyword. This is exactly why the target keywords are important.
Question is how to find the right keyword for you or your company? The answer is a complicated one and it will cost you both the time and money. One simple idea would be keyword researching, invest time and money on this and trust me it will pay off depending on the methodologies that you are following. Find the keywords that your competitors are using, use tools (see below) that can help you finding them, perform a survey from your site or social media pages, buy reports to better understand the market.
Some of the tools that you should use to get good at finding targeted keywords.
- Google Analytics: Using good old Google Analytics on your site could be a great way to get started. When used properly, you will find wealth of information on your site visitors or potential customers and will learn a lot more on how your visitors are coming to your site. Keywords that they are using, contents that they are spending most of their times on, their geographical locations and lot more.
- Google Keyword Tool: Highly focused for potential Google customers who are interested in advertising. However, you can use this tool for free and find some important keywords specific to your target market.
- Google Trends: A great tool to learn what people all over the world or from a specific country are searching for. It will definitely help you to better understand the trend and key words.
- Bing Webmaster Tool: Even though Google still rules the search engine market, Bing still packs a punch. Implement Bing analytical code on your site and gather information from their report.
- U.S.Census Bureau: They provide lots of free survey results which you may find very important for both creating content and defining keywords, specially if your target market is U.S. you should not take it lightly.
- SurveyMonkey: Their service will cost you few bucks but will learn a lot as well. Perform surveys on your site and promote them on your social media pages, you will not only get traffic but will find information that will help you to define targeted keywords.
- eMarketer: They provide lots of market data and statistics, also provides lots of reports. Read them frequently to better understand the market and buy their reports if you find them to be important enough. You might feel a bit overwhelmed initially but it all worth it.
- MarketResearch: You will find valuable market research report and analysis focusing number of industry. You can get customized, industry specific analysis but it will cost you.
- KWFinder: Great tool to find targeted keywords for your market based on specific geographical location or language. You can perform 2 free search daily but for performing research on this you need to pay.
There are number of other online and offline tools available to figure out your targeted keywords but it’s almost impossible to mention all of them over here. I would rather leave it up to you to do your home work. Please understand that success or getting best ROI (return of investment) is not easy and it’s a lengthy, time consuming process. So, get ready and start working on it today. Always remember, there are not shortcut to any long term and sustainable success.