What does my audience want, and what are they looking for? It’s the question that keeps business owners awake at night, and it’s the question that many digital marketers and strategists have set out to uncover. While finding out what your audience wants is not quite straightforward, finding out what they are looking for is indeed measurable. If you’re not willing to spend another dollar on a campaign that might land or design a promotion that could attract your ideal customer type – here we have captured the leading strategies in finding out what your customer is looking for online.
The number of exasperated businesses that finally stumble upon data scraping, and then proceed to revolutionize their approach and capture, is not insignificant. Data scraping, as the name suggests is the act of ethically extracting information from competitor websites, as well as e-commerce based websites. If you were looking for new product lines for your e-commerce store, data scraping would facilitate a scrape of eBay, Amazon and Etsy to find out what the top-ranked products are, allowing you to source and stock those very items.
Keyword research is usually only utilised by those operating in the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) sector. Although that is not to say that you cannot uncover a treasure trove of search intel on your own. You may have designed an SEO and content strategy that supports ‘Skateboards Australia’, only to find that ‘Skateboard Store’ yields an enormous search volume in Australia. This will allow you to pivot your approach, and start ranking for keywords that are being actively searched. There is quite a bit of discrepancy in the quality of these keyword research tools, so try a few before you change your entire strategy based on one recommendation. You may find that the best sources, like Moz and SEM Rush, will not be free.
Heat mapping will not be able to uncover what your audience is searching for outside of your website, but it will be able to indicate how your audience interacts with your website and what they are looking for. Many web design decisions are based on heat mapping, and it’s incredible how a website owner cannot always separate themselves from their website and experience it as a customer would. For an unbiased and illuminating look at how your website is being searched, consider a heat mapping audit. Perhaps your new range of scarves has barely had a click-through, despite the requests and interest. Heat mapping could uncover that customers head to your product range through a different route than anticipated, thereby prohibiting the new range. Find out how your customers search your website and be more visible.
Why not ask them?
If you have built a great base of engaged customers, you have access to the answers to many questions that you’re afraid to ask. Thoughts about postage, product lines, warranties – you name it. Conduct a well-designed survey for your email distribution list, and probe around about what they expect from your brand, what they expect from other brands they love, and even ask what their last purchase was. This can be as simple or comprehensive as you wish, and by making it an optional survey you will not ruffle any feathers. In today’s age, customers love to see brands working hard at creating an experience that they can enjoy. Take the plunge and ask those questions.
If you are not thinking about how you can improve your searchability and enhance your user experience, then you may have already lost your audience. Refining and polishing your marketing strategy will be the greatest investment you ever make, not to mention a great saving of money spent on campaigns and products that your audience is not looking for.