One of the most important factors in marketing is doing your customer research before launching a marketing campaign. This includes an SEO campaign.
For my SEO services, I rarely come out with SEO proposals until I know that my prospect is serious undertaking the project. I know that really good SEO proposals consist of 6 months, highly planned out campaign detailing customer research, content strategy, short tailed, long tail keywords and reports on strength of their competition.
How to do Customer Research: Frontloading Your Work
One of the most powerful concepts in business (and life) you can do is to front load your work.
Damn, I wished I knew this when I was 12, I might actually have a chance to get into a top University. I was actually really lazy and apathetic from 12-17 years old.
This concept is known as ‘front-loading’ your work. You want to do the heavy lifting before you dive into the actual work itself.
- You want to you exactly who your target customer is
- You have to have a game plan on how to reach them
- You want to uncover their hopes, fears and dreams.
- You want to spent time talking to them through emails, surveys, on the phone and in person.
If you do this heavy lifting in the beginning, you’ll know exactly how to reach them later.
Now, if you’ve already got a website, assuming you’re not educated in SEO, you’re not really seeing the results that you want. That’s fine, that’s actually normal. I made a similar mistake once.
The majority of people do this because it’s easier to focus on the design of a website, instead of crafting out high quality content that your audience desires. It’s even harder to go out and ask people: what do you want?
Tools You Can Use to Validate Your Product or Service:
- Google Search
Google search can point you to well established sites that people already trust. It can point you to websites and content that people are already publishing. It’s a no brainer that Google keyword research tool is a powerful tool in your SEO research process.
However, do NOT copy. Just because everyone else is doing in someway, it doesn’t not make them right.
The reviews on Amazon are a goldmine of data for learning what your customers really want. Readers and buyers of the book related to your niche will tell you what they hate or love a bout a book. You can use these as guidelines to craft your sales copy and products.
- Q&A Sites
Forums, question and answer sites like Reddit and Quora are good places to get insights in your market. There’s real discussion, back and forth, and people write their honest opinions on the topics they care about.
- Other People
I don’t really like his strategy, because you may be asking someone who isn’t actually in need of your product. I don’t really ask my friends what they think about digital marketing or entrepreneurship, well, that’s because the majority of them do NOT care about these two topics.
However, if you can laser focus this demographic down, it can be really powerful. If I were to ask a small medium enterprise owner in Singapore about SEO, I can get really accurate feedback on what the thinks about SEO/ digital marketing in general.
The key here is asking open ended questions:
“Have you thought about this”?
“Have this ever crossed your mind?”
“What do you think about it?”
‘What’s so hard about it, which parts, and why?”
“When do you think about it the most? Do you think about it often?”
“What else have you tried? What worked and for how long?”
Who are They?
This is having a detailed picture of your target market. What are you market’s demographics, occupations, opinions and personalities? In the relationship advice niche, there’s a difference in demographics between going out picking up tons and tons of girls and finding that one dream girl.
When I started out a business in the relationship advice niche, my initial content and positioning appealed to young childish and immature pick up artists with no willingness to pay. I was targeting the wrong people. I needed to target the working professionals, executives, who perhaps had problems such wanting to date outside of their immediate social circles. These people had both a willingness and ability to pay.
Their Pains & Fears
One of the most powerful tool in marketing, and writing, is to use the language that your audience users. What do these people verbalize, say and actually complain about in their day to day life?
No one wakes up and say: ‘Damn, I need to learn social skills’. Well, actually I did, however, I am a weirdo like that. However, a lot of people and wake up and say: ‘Damn, I wish I can meet that girl who sits across my lecture hall.’
Their Hopes & Dreams
What do your audience want for themselves? A six pack abs? The ability to work off a laptop? A classy girlfriend? What do they say in their day to day life?
‘I don’t want my work to be undervalued’
‘I want to be EXCITED about my work’
‘I want my work to make a difference in the world’
‘I want others to value my opinion.’
What are The Obstacles in Their Path?
Question, frustrations and uncertainties that they have.
To give you some examples as an SEO consultant:
‘SEO is scam’
‘Some other company is charging me X price, how can you be charging me so much?’
‘Can learn SEO? Am I too old?’
‘Is SEO about programming? Is it something too technical?’
Other Interesting Stories, Insights & Metaphors and Quotes
What are some other quirks and phrases that your audience uses time and time over again.
‘SEO just takes too long’.
That’s something I hear pop up time from time again. How can you record these stories, insights and address them in both your content, product, service sales copy and your pitch?
Whilst the majority of SEO companies focus on selling page 1 rankings, I am going to sell you on both good rankings, that drive revenue to your business. This can only be accomplished by frontloading your work, and doing customer research.
I also cover all of these in my SEO course. Yes, you’re going pay for it. I’m not some random cheap SEO Indian firm.