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An accurate definition of your target audience is the foundation for any business aspiring to be successful. Every more or less experienced entrepreneur knows that the more time and effort they dedicate to studying their target, the better will be their business’ conversion results. The needs and the requirements of our customers shift over time, in addition to other factors, which are out of our control.
Being always up to date with our customers’ needs and demands is equally important, to always be one step ahead of the competition, and to get better conversion results.
It’s true that when we already have a physical store this job becomes much easier, because we already know who our audience is quite well, thanks to the customers visiting us in person. We can always ask them, or our family friends. On the other hand, if we set our business in motion through the creation of an online shop, things get a little more difficult, because we’ll probably be starting from scratch. Let’s see which steps we’re going to have to take for our e-shop to be a success:
The basics to identify our market niche
First of all, we need to identify the profile or profiles of our prospective customers. I.e. who our business is targeting: where they are, what their age group is, or what language they speak. Based on this information, we also want to know more specific details, such as whether they are experienced Internet users, their education level, their interests, etc. Depending on the business type, we may have to ask more questions to get an overall definition of the people who could be interested in what we are offering.
Conducting a keyword research to know how our target audience is going to look for us is key to being able to empathise with our prospects, and to adapt the content of our e-commerce to match their needs. Moreover, when you open up to getting to know your target audience in depth, there’s the possibility of even discovering new products and services, which at first you didn’t even consider providing on your website, but you totally could.
What are keywords?
Keywords are words or combination of words, used by the algorithms to classify our web page as a relevant result for certain search categories. When there is a high correlation between words we use on our website’s content and the words used by users and prospective customers to search for something, our website or online shop attracts a good level of high-quality traffic.
What should we keep in mind to define a keyword list?
Once we’ve made an outline of our potential customers, the next step is to find out which keywords and terms they could use in order to satisfy their need for a particular product or service. In order to create an initial list, we’re going to need to step into our prospects’ shoes, and take into consideration the innumerable aspects, as well as the many differences there may be between the various groups making up our target audience. This is how we are going to be able to define keywords, which will bring them to our shop:
- Knowledge about the product or service. Not all of our prospects are going to have the same knowledge or expertise about the products or services we provide.
- Purchase motivation. The reasons for which users would like to acquire a particular product or service.
- Language they use. We must keep in mind the jargon and regional differences, based on their geographic location and age, amongst other factors.
- The degree of precision in search. There will be users who will have a very specific definition of what they want, while others will look for the brand, or use more generic terms and accept suggestions.
- Ambiguity in search terms. Be careful with polysemy, which is the name given to words using the same spelling, while having different meanings. If a user wants to buy a “mouse”, there is a considerable difference between wanting a pet mouse and a computer mouse.
- Seasonal trends. There are products, which depending on the time of the year will have more or less search potential. For example, “black friday” won’t have the same search potential in May than in October or November.
Use of tools for the definition of the list of keywords for our e-commerce site
Now, with our initial list we can move forward to the next step. It consists in checking the search potential of keywords we’ve selected initially, as well as looking for possible new ideas we have not yet considered.
This task can be carried out using numerous tools on the Internet, such as Google Keyword Planner. This useful tool allows us to enter a large number of keywords, and provide an average monthly search volume, in addition to competition level there is at the present. Moreover, it can suggest ideas based on entered terms, which can either be entirely new, or synonym to the ones we were considering, which will help us to refine the correlation between our target audience and the product or service offered on our website.
Other tools we can use for the purpose of keyword suggestion are:
Analysis of the competition
Dedicating a little bit of time to researching terms for which keywords our competitors are ranking can also help us gain some interesting insight. To do this, we can go to tools like SEMrush or Sistrix, where we will simply have to enter the domains of our competitors to see the results and analyse them.
Only after this more comprehensive study we can proceed to the selection and definition of the list of keywords we want to rank for, which will represent the content of our online shop.
When our online shop is up and running, a rather direct and to-the-point way of continuing to study your target is using surveys, particularly in their online form, due to their low cost and easy access. Thanks to them, we can cover a much larger audience, and analyse large amounts of data in no time, getting results much faster than if we had to do this via telephone or in-person conversations. Once it’s clear which aspect of our product or service we should improve, we can proceed to choosing the type of survey that best suits us.
There are various free survey online platforms we can use, providing different length and customisation levels. Some of them are:
- The all powerful Google. It has a special app for conducting surveys through Google Drive, and it doesn’t require us to have any special skills to do it. Moreover, once the survey is finished, we can put together all the results into a spreadsheet, to analyse them more comfortably. The customisation options include different formats for answers and questions, images and videos.
- SurveyMonkey. It provides a free survey service, with up to 10 questions and 100 answers. The main advantages of this platform is the possibility of embedding your surveys in other websites, blogs or Facebook. You can also see the data in real time.
Social networking platforms are a powerful tool we can use to both promote our e-shop and to study our target audience, once our business project is launched and it begins to get noticed. Social media can drive us towards improving specific aspects of our service, in which we can be better, thanks to user reviews and participation.
Finally, it’s important to point out that our target audience’s needs are going to continuously change and evolve, and we must know how to evolve with them if we don’t want to lose them.