While SEO is often about keyword research, backlinks, website loading speed, and other similar factors, it all boils down to how well you understand your readers.
Unless you understand who your audience is and what they want, you cannot provide them with the right content. After all, that content has to be engaging, interesting, and useful. Without knowing the problems and the people who are facing them, you cannot provide the right answers.
To help you better understand your audience and research about them when creating an SEO strategy, here are a few tips.
1. Learn who your audience is with Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides a wide variety of data to website owners. However, the Audience report is one segment that many SEO professionals and content marketing experts sometimes ignore. If you explore the Google Analytics Audience reports, you will be able to learn who your audience is, what age group they belong to, their geographical location, what interests they have, the behaviour they exhibit on your website, the devices they use, and much more.
By using this information, you can analyse your current SEO strategy and see if you need any make any tweaks. Moreover, by understanding who your readers really are, how they think, and what they want, you will also be able to get a better conversion rate and higher on-page time.
2. Use Google Trends to gather demographics data
Google Trends is one of the most useful tools for content marketers and SEO professionals. But did you know that you can also tie trending topics with location to see how a particular keyword has trended over time in a certain area? This is especially helpful if you have a local business or if you are trying to create a new SEO strategy for a specific region or country. Moreover, by inputting different keywords, you may also unearth new opportunities in geographic areas.
3. Analyse your competitors
Sometimes, the best source of data is your direct competitors. If you already have a few established competitors in your niche (and, really, who doesn’t!), you can gather information about your target audience from them. Quantcast is an excellent tool that analyses other brands and competitors and unearths valuable information about their website visitors — from general interests to demographics to engagement.
Alexa is another tool that you can use for this purpose.
4. Leverage social websites for more information and interests
Audience research would have been so much easier if only we had a website where people willingly entered their information about their interests and activities and continue to update it.
Actually, we do. It’s called Facebook. Facebook has a ton of valuable information about almost all types of target audiences. You only need to tap into it to learn more about your readers and potential customers. If you have your company’s active Facebook page, go to Insights > People and learn about your Facebook fans — from gender segmentation to location and age groups. Then use this information to make sure your content speaks to that group of audience.
5. Talk to your customer support and sales team
Sometimes, you do not need any software or tool to find the most relevant information about your existing and potential customers. If you want to know firsthand about the people you are targeting, talk to your customer support and sales team staff. These two teams interact with existing and potential customers on a regular basis. They are well aware of the problems they are facing and the answers/solutions that work best in each scenario.
Learn about the big problems and convert them into content that you can later optimise for higher rankings in the SERPs. By talking to your sales and customer support team, you can learn insider valuable information and craft truly valuable, informative, and engaging content for your target audience.
As mentioned earlier, understanding your audience is often the first step towards SEO success. The search engine ranking factors that most SEO professionals are always so concerned about are important, but none of them will work if you don’t understand who your audience is and what they want.