When it comes to planning the strategy for SEO campaigns, customer and target audience insights is the place I usually start. If you want conversions, which is usually the objective of driving organic visits to a website, then you need to get an understanding of your customers, what makes them tick and how you can use this to shape your organic search campaigns.
Here’s a look at three ways to get insights from your target audience and how to use them when putting an SEO strategy together.
Customer Service and Sales Teams – the front line for customer queries
Customer service teams hear it all! They can tell you the most frequently asked questions, the things your existing customers complain about the most, they’re often on the receiving end of feedback about your website’s usability, how easy it is, or isn’t, to find the information they’re looking for.
Your sales team are also a great resource for tapping into prospective customers.
How you collate all this qualitative customer feedback will depend on the size of your organisation, and some companies will have systems in place to record all of this information and put it into a format usable by marketing teams.
In the absence of a formal system for aggregating customer feedback, the next best thing you can do is go and talk to your customer service and sales teams! In fact, even if you do have a system which records all the feedback, I’d recommend you speak to the customer service and sales team anyway to get the full story, warts and all!
Use this customer feedback when planning your SEO content ideas, expand on the keyword research around the most frequently asked questions, the chances are, if people are ringing up your company to ask these questions, there could be lots more people who are asking Google instead.
I’m a huge fan of Google Auto Suggest (also known as Google Autocomplete) for conducting keyword research and the sometimes surprising suggestions can offer a different point of view. It’s also a good way to bridge a gap in audience insights from areas that are missed by your customer service and sales teams.
There are a number of search keyword tools that will give you the Google Autocomplete data, without you having to manually search. Here at Tecmark we currently use KW Finder by Mangools.
So you have all your autocomplete/autosuggest data, where do you start deciding how to incorporate these into your SEO campaigns?
The most obvious way to act on this data is to create some content on your site which addresses these search queries. Here’s how I usually approach such a task – first, prioritise the list of autocomplete keywords by relevance so you can get working on the most important first. Then check which keywords can easily fit into existing sections/areas of your website. Create these first as if you have existing top level pages which are ranking it will help your new content get picked up quicker compared to creating completely new page sections from scratch.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Competitor analysis should be a part of your marketing activities regardless of your specialism. When it comes to conducting competitor research around customer insights for SEO, you’ll have to dig a little deeper into the site, look through their resources sections, and their blog posts to find out who they’re targeting and what keywords their content is optimised for.
It also worth looking beyond the content on their website – browse their social media channels and independent review websites to see what their customers are saying, what they’re asking and how your competitors are responding.
If you find any new content areas you want to target with your own SEO campaigns, you could very easily write your own version of the same, but to really get a win from your competitor analysis, find out how you can make your version better, more customer friendly, and more search engine friendly.
These are just three ways to get audience insight information and use it to shape your SEO strategies. Depending on the sector you operate in and whether your target is a B2C audience or a B2B audience, there are lots of other areas you can explore for ideas.
Check out our recent article on creating a full foolproof content marketing strategy.
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About the Author
Nazma rejoined Tecmark in 2016 as a senior search strategist and develops various search strategies and campaigns for each and every one of our clients.Visit Nazma's Page
And while moving and dealing with all the usual ‘stress’ we wrote a survival guide to moving offices – you are welcome! So we left our lovely 15th floor haven behind … and moved up to the 3rd floor of 127 Portland Street in central Manchester.
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