The algorithms and infrastructure behind Google’s functionality can be ever so useful for users, ultimately enhancing the search process by sorting and organising content to help meet search queries instantaneously. For marketers, however, it can be quite the contrary.To boost a site's SEO and keep up with Google’s standards, it is essential to understand and decipher these infrastructures. However, this can arguably be quite a challenge. While many factors contribute to SEO, reaching and engaging with target audiences can be considered one of the most valuable. You can spend hours perfecting the user experience and undertaking keyword research, but if you don’t truly understand your target audience, you won’t be able to convert reach into sales. More specifically, if you don’t know exactly who your audience is, your SEO efforts won’t be driven by a purpose. Audience engagement is what drives success, so even if your site ranks high in SEO, it actually has to garner engagement for you to achieve tangible results. Audiences are considerably more loyal than keywords. Understandably so, as audiences are human beings. Much like the way you nurture human relationships in general offline scenarios, you will be rewarded in return if you dedicate time and quality marketing efforts towards your audiences. In fact, loyal customers are five times more likely to repurchase, seven times more likely to try a new offer, and four times more likely to refer your business to a friend than undefined audiences. Identifying target audiences is essential for you to tailor your message and optimise SEO efforts to truly boost metrics and sales. The more specific your site and campaign's tactics are, the more likely Google’s algorithm will recommend it to audiences that actually care.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, but what exactly does this entail? Simply put, it is the process of improving your site to increase visibility when users search for products, services or consent related to your business on Google. The better SEO ranking your site has, the better visibility your pages will have in search results. The better visibility, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers. It works by:
- Search engine uses bots to sort the pages into an index,
- Algorithms sort these pages by ranking factors, and
- SEO success is continuously determined by aspects of user experience, content and keyword use. Success relies on SEO experts optimising the site to gain higher organic search rankings.
Why is SEO Important for Marketing?
Optimising your site for search is a fundamental aspect of any successful marketing strategy for a multitude of reasons. While success ultimately depends on your business goals, it cannot be achieved without working with the digital tools and infrastructure from which the searches stem from.In this digital age where information is so readily available, people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent. This means that search is often the primary source of digital traffic for most brands, and acts to complement other marketing channels as a more conclusive touchpoint. The greater visibility that comes with a high SEO ranking means you have the high ground over your competition, ultimately materialising the impact of your site. In fact, 75% of people never even scroll past the first page of search engines, making it even more important you do all you can to boost your site’s ranking. Ranking so highly through organic efforts is inconceivably more beneficial than paid tactics, making an SEO strategy essentially. In an age where media literacy is rapidly improving, 70-80% of people ignore paid search results and prefer to visit sites that appear in their search organically.
Defining Your Target Audience for SEO
So, while SEO is important for any digital marketing efforts, it is only truly effective when done correctly and efficiently, with great consideration for your target audience. If your site is ranking number one on Google, you have certainly been successful in boosting your SEO. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have reached your target audience.While an SEO strategy is an organic marketing approach, it needs to be done thoughtfully to guarantee success. This is why before you even begin your business venture, let alone your SEO efforts, it is vital you clearly define and understand your target audience.
Purpose of defining your target audience
Your audience’s values, wants, and demands should essentially be the driving force behind your marketing efforts. Understandably, this makes defining your target audience an essential process. It ultimately helps you to:
- Carry out keyword research and find a niche and hyper-relevant topics specific to your audience,
- Drive traffic from relevant audiences that are actually potential customers,
- Generate relevant content that appeals to your audience and improves user experience, and
- Generate a higher conversion rate (organic reach to sales).
How to define your target audience
While defining your target audience is essential, it isn’t as simple as it may seem. To define your target audience and actually direct them to your site, you will need to know the type of consumers searching for your business and the types of searches they are using. This includes the specific demographics, traits, and digital behaviour of the users you intend to engage. A lot of this behaviour can be understood through research efforts, brainstorming, and producing audience profiles. However, analysing your previous metrics and utilising analytic tools can be of great advantage for more specific audience information. Ultimately, the most vital SEO strategies are rooted in a specific and deep understanding of the target audience. Not only does this give you a better insight into your own strategy, but it can be an extremely useful tool to guide every marketing effort and ensure you are creating quality content for people, not just search engines.
1. Understand your current customersYou have to start somewhere, so what better place than by identifying your current potential. Look into who is currently buying your products and engaging with your site using analytic tools, and understand more about their digital behaviour. If your current interactions prove effective, understand why this is the case and expand on these strengths.
2. Analyse the SERPsTaking a look at the search engine results page (SERP) can help you identify and determine potential audiences that you aren’t yet reaching but should be targeting. You can run searches around your primary keywords and analyse what other successful sites are doing that you aren’t, and use this to propose improvements.
3. Keyword researchIdentifying what keywords are trending can help you identify what people are searching for. Understanding this can help you better understand the consumer and subsequently customise your content to appeal to exactly what they are searching for.
4. Know your competitorsKnowing your audience is also about knowing your competition. Understanding your competitors’ customers can help you acknowledge what new audience avenues you should be venturing to or perhaps which ones you should avoid. Ultimately, while it comes down to your individual business goals, identifying where you lie in comparison to other sites is a great place to start. Then, you can take advantage of online tools to help you narrow down exactly what competitors are doing differently to you.
5. Communicate with your current customersWhile analytics tools can be beneficial, you should never underestimate the old school method of communicating directly with your audience. To gain an optimal grasp on audience and customer sentiment, sending out a survey, calling them, or engaging them via social media are great options to directly begin understanding them better.
6. Utilise analytic toolsWhile it is extremely important to think, sit and consider exactly who your target audience is in line with your business objectives, using online tools can give you that extra edge. Analytic tools can be an effective and easy way to identify who your audiences are. Some of these include:
- Google Analytics can help you discover user behaviour, demographics, device, and geographics.
- SEMrush allows you to analyse your market and which audiences you should be targeting to stay ahead of your competitors.
SEO for your target audience
Once you have identified your target audience, it is time to return to SEO tactics. While the two together are a combo for success, it is essential to note that audience segmentation and research are never-ending and should be practised consistently.
Content should always be your number one priority. This doesn’t only mean creating quality and engaging content to meet Google’s algorithmic requirements but delivering quality, engaging content that is valuable to your audience. This includes answering any questions your audience may have and utilising keywords naturally and not in a spammy manner. Ultimately, it comes back to considering your audience in every decision you make during content creation.
Knowing and smartly using your keywords is an understated yet straightforward task. Stuffing keywords can set off red flags with the platform’s algorithms, and using keywords irrelevant to your audience won’t help your SEO efforts at all. Instead, do proper research and identify what keywords your audience is searching for and use them well.
Despite the title being the shortest part of your content, it should never be overlooked. As a first impression, an effective title is an excellent opportunity to grab the audience’s attention using a line that you know will intrigue them and match the quality content you have produced.
Using data and analytics tools, you can identify your audience's digital behaviour, the types of platforms they use, and the device they typically search on (mobile, desktop, etc.). Using this data, you can ensure your page is optimised to meet these audience requirements.Quality sites that provide a great user experience, no matter the device, rank higher on Google and effectively improve SEO naturally.
If SEO sounds like something your business could benefit from, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Anchor Digital. If you would like support on your marketing journey, contact our team of experts today, we can’t wait to see your business continue to thrive.