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| SEO |

What is Audience Analysis and How to Conduct Audience Research

SEO can be described as a mixture of technology, marketing, and psychology. All three of these aspects are vital to any successful SEO strategy.

Regarding the marketing aspect, it is important to fully understand your product and the problem it solves so you know how to best communicate with your target audience and create engaging, informative content that will keep people interested in your product.

On a technical level, you must optimize your website properly to enhance your search performance and function to increase your audience’s interest level. A single blip in the technology of your website can cause your visibility to decrease.

Finally, let’s discuss the psychological aspects of SEO, which may be the most important one of fall. Figuring out your ideal website visitor and how to reach them is vital to a solid SEO strategy. Understanding your audience’s motivations is key to reaching that same audience.

While many business owners may think that SEO only involves numbers and technology, there’s much more at play than just ranking keywords and gathering backlinks. Again, understanding your audience is vital to building a functioning SEO strategy. You can begin to understand your audience better by conducting a target audience analysis.

How can you best research and analyze your target audience? There are helpful methods— as well as a host of audience analysis tools and audience research tools— that can help you meet that goal. Let’s take a look at each step of your audience analysis in detail so you can learn how to conduct an audience analysis properly.

1. Keyword Research

You may already know that keyword research is one of the most vital aspects of any SEO strategy. They are also vital to your audience analysis. Any keywords you use should be relevant to your products or services and targeted to your audience. If you are having trouble finding suitable keywords, Market MindShift’s Keyword Research Tips should help.

You will likely gather quite a few keywords as a result of your research. Select only the top five that are best for your brand. From there, find out what demographics are most closely associated with those keywords.

One great place to research the locations tied to a keyword is Google Trends. This helpful tool can also show you the trend history of a particular keyword, which is an important aspect that your analysis should include. There may be a current trend related to your business and audience that you can incorporate into your SEO and marketing.

While Google Trends is a great tool when you want to figure out trends and locations that are tied to a phrase, demographics.io is a more powerful audience research tool when you need to complete a deeper demographic audience analysis, which includes factors such as age, marital status, and gender.

Knowing these enhanced details of your chosen keywords can make it easier for you to find opportunities to use them in targeted geographic areas where they are most popular and with groups of people who are most interested in them.

For example, once you know the age of the people searching for a keyword the most, you can better reach them by writing about subject matter that aligns with those audience members’ interests, attitudes, and beliefs based on their shared stage of life.

2. Figure Out Who Visits Your Website

Once you’ve figured out the audience for your target keywords, you need to find out who is actually visiting your website to see if the audiences match. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that offers you one of the easiest and quickest ways to get the information you need for this part of your audience analysis.

The Audience section of Google Analytics displays a range of audience-based information such as age, location, and interests.

These types of details can help inform you about the audience visiting your site. From there, you will be better informed about what topics and target geographic areas you should focus on to gain and maintain your visitors’ interest.

If, while collecting information from Google Analytics, you realize that your website visitors don’t align with your target audience, you will need to check your keywords and website content to check for misalignment between the two groups. You may need to do further research to determine new keywords and topics that align with your target demographics.

3. Complete a Competitor Analysis

One of the more helpful types of audience analysis involves the demographic and psychographic analysis of audiences for your competitors and brands that are similar to yours. Here are some helpful tools that can assist you in collecting as many competitor insights as possible to make an informed decision:

Quantcast

Quantcast is used to pull insights on occupations, device use, demographics, purchasing behaviors, domain affinity, and more.

Audiense

Audiense says that it uses eight different criteria to build an audience, “…which can be combined together allowing the creation of highly targeted audiences: Demography, Relationships, Behavior (activity), Conversations, IBM Watson Personality Insights, Location, Interests, and Twitter profile.”

From there, Audiense completes an audience segmentation by “…clustering individuals based on ‘who knows who’ i.e., how these individuals are interconnected. We take into account who follows who and cluster them together – for instance, if person A follows person B then they’ll be clustered together.”

All the audience data you gather from competitors can be used like you would your own data to determine your target geographic regions and content topics and potentially create link-building campaigns.

4. Use Social Insights to Learn About Your Audience

Did you know that social media platforms are among the quickest and easiest tools for learning about an audience? If you have a company Facebook page, you can even learn about your follower information right on the page, including geographic location and gender.

If you want to include social media information in your competitor analysis, you can learn about other brands’ social audiences and their behavior with Followerwonk. This tool displays a word cloud that shows you what social media users are talking about.

This word cloud can be used to help you identify new keywords and create content marketing ideas that wouldn’t have been obvious with other tools.

5. Send Surveys

Here’s a traditional audience research method that is the most straightforward of all. Create a survey that is short and simple enough to elicit an acceptable number of responses, and remember to ask about basic demographics as well as interest levels in various topics, needs, and pain points.

This resource can help you create a survey that will work for your analysis needs. Once you have your results, you can come up with new opportunities for your company’s content, such as image, video, and keyword ideas.

6. Identify Common User Questions

Since Google is putting more and more emphasis on showing answers to user questions in SERPs, it is becoming more important to understand what questions users are asking online. Looking at the questions your audience members are asking online also helps you to anticipate their long-tail queries so you can address their most pressing concerns at the right place and at the right time. Some tools you can use to research questions include the following:

Since all these tools pool data from various resources, using them helps you gather different questions.

Once you have discovered common questions among your target audience, you can create content surrounding those queries. This can attract long-tail searches and increase your chances of appearing in Google SERPs as direct answers.

7. Complete Research for Secondary Data

Once you have the basic demographic information for your target audience, you can use more thorough research to figure out secondary data. Studies regarding key aspects of your audience can be very helpful in learning about them on a deeper level.

As an example, let’s say your audience consists of members of the Baby Boomer generation. You can use Google Scholar to discover published research on this group. This deeper research can help you sketch personas and get a more realistic look at your target audience from an SEO perspective.

Conclusion

While an audience analysis may seem daunting and time-consuming, it is well worth the extra work it takes to complete the process. Understanding the details of your audience members before starting your SEO plan will allow you to drive higher-quality traffic to your site, improving your ROI where SEO is concerned. Since many business owners don’t take the time to do deep audience analyses, you will be ahead of the game by investing your time in this type of research.

If you still need help with SEO and audience research, Market MindShift can help. We can assist you with your marketing needs during any step of the process, whether you are just starting out with marketing or need a refresh. Give us a call at (480) 750-2252, or use our online contact form to get started. We look forward to hearing about your business’s needs.

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