Do you find that the outputs of your SEO efforts are too complex and fluid to measure and report on correctly? Do you struggle to use Google Analytics to your advantage? Your recipe for search engine optimisation success might be missing a key ingredient! Let us introduce you to a term that will help you understand your audiences, implement lessons learned and spruce up your SEO strategy for the better: Audience segmentation.It’s a widely known fact that the most effective marketing strategies are those targeting specific audiences. But what is commonplace in social media and paid search advertising seems to have been lost in worries around on-page optimisation, link building and blog post writing. The question we as SEOs need to ask ourselves: Who am I doing all this for? No, we’re not referring to the company you’re hoping to score a stellar ranking on search engine results pages (SERP) for, but the humans that these pages were intended for in the first place. The people who come to Google seek relevant, detailed information on whatever search query they have. In other words, who are you trying to attract to your website? If you never stop to consider who you’re targeting with your SEO efforts, you’re not going to see the results you’re looking for, and you’ll struggle to implement a strategy that drives conversions.
What is targeting in marketing? Targeting is a marketing strategy that takes a larger audience and breaks it into smaller segments within that audience, then tailoring marketing activities and communications specific to each.And what about audience segmentation?Suppose targeting is the process of concentrating on a particular segment of the market to offer your products and services to. In that case, audience segmentation is the process of classifying the market into groups with similar characteristics. Audience segmentation must be a part of your targeting efforts for them to succeed. Segmentation comes first, targeting second.Audience Segmentation Audience Targeting
Segmentation is the process of dividing your relevant market into groups.Targeting is the process of focussing your marketing efforts on a particular segment.
The market is divided by grouping customers with similar needs (e.g. age, gender, interests, behaviours, job title, marital status, etc.). Choosing the right segment for your intended purpose, considering different factors.
Why Understanding Your Audience Matters for SEO Success
While Google Analytics is a great tool, it can sometimes feel like insights into the different types of audiences visiting your website are limited. This is, of course, in Google’s best interest, considering they also offer a paid search advertising platform with in-depth reports on the relevant demographics.As we’ve mentioned, understanding your audience is key to earning traffic from the right people at the right time. Here’s an example: Knowing how many visitors you’ve had this month is useful. But how many visitors did you have on mobile phones, who came through social media, are based in Australia, checked out a blog post but left without visiting the rest of your website? That’s where the power of audience segmentation lies.When you know exactly who you are looking to target, you can utilise an effective SEO strategy that gets you in front of these people when they’re actively looking for what you have to offer. You can also address your current efforts' weaknesses - see the example above. Understanding your audience ultimately helps you to:
- Conduct more targeted keyword research to identify search terms you should optimise for.
- Find relevant topics specific to your audience and create perfectly aligned content.
- Drive traffic from relevant audiences likely to convert into paying customers.
- Convert a higher percentage of your organic traffic into leads or sales.
How to Segment Your Target Audience
Now that you understand how significant the effects of audience segmentation are to reaching your SEO goals, let’s take a closer look at how to get started. To pin down a target audience and create more relevant communications that drive conversions, you will need a clear idea of the users' specific demographics, traits, and digital behaviours within the audience you intend to engage with. If that sounds complex, don’t worry. Segments can be very simple and straightforward. They don’t have to include multiple criteria, either. You can follow the KISS principle (Keep It Stupid Simple) and segment audiences by either one of the following characteristics:
- Demographics - the outward-facing attributes of a person. For example, their age, gender, education level and relationship status, even whether they have children or not.
- Location, giving you an understanding of where your target market is located. This can be as wide or narrow as you like, from continent to country down to a specific neighbourhood.
- Traffic source or medium, or better, how did visitors find your website? Where did they come from? E.g. from email or social channels, paid or organic search, through referral or by directly popping your URL in the search bar etc.
- User type - which refers to their engagement with your brand and company. For example, are first-time or returning visitors using a mobile phone or desktop computer to browse your site, are their sessions long or short, and do they visit multiple pages or just one page?
- Behaviour, once they’re on your website, it can be of interest to look at
- Content Viewed, what product pages did they visit, and did they make it to the checkout page and thank you page?
- By Engagement, did they visit one page and drop off, or did they check out more than two, three, or four pages? How long were they browsing specific pages?
This will help you identify how well your content and presentation appeal to your audience.
- Revenue. Last but not least, did they just view your products or services or make a purchase or booking? You may also look as “Adds to the cart” for valuable insights.
If this summary has taught you anything, let it be the importance of data to get the most out of your audience segmentation and targeting efforts. It may feel overwhelming initially, but once you can back your decisions with this information, you’ll never look back. We promise it’s time well spent. Are you still struggling with using big data to make informed marketing and advertising choices? Let the Anchor team help you break it down! Together, we’ll create new opportunities for growth and put together an SEO strategy that really does convert. Schedule your obligation-free consultation with our team today, and let’s get started!