How well do you know your audience? Every business must understand its audience to a certain extent in order to create products, services, and offerings that are relevant, useful, and attractive to its ideal clients.
Understanding your audience takes time and some elements to consider are age, location, gender, income level, and values. These elements help you craft a customer avatar which is a detailed overview of a hypothetical customer. But, creating an avatar is just the beginning.
Next, you must stand in the shoes of each customer avatar and uncover their search intent.
Search intent is the reason why a person is searching. And search intent can vary greatly from person to person. Two people may search for marketing services and one person may be a college student looking for career knowledge and the other person may be part of an accounting firm that is looking for a local SEO specialist.
Understanding search intent is key for attracting high-quality traffic to your site. The four main reasons a person may be searching are to find more information (The Researcher), to navigate to another site (The Traveler), to purchase something (The Buyer), or to research something they want to purchase in the near future (The Buyer-To-Be).
Let’s stand in the shoes of 4 different types of searchers to better understand their search intent.
When a person is trying to find out more information, they’re in research mode. These are people on a mission to learn something or gather knowledge and they do this by referencing different reputable sources.
This type of searcher can be at any stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
|Awareness Stage||Consideration Stage||Decision Stage|
|This person has a problem or opportunity and is looking for more information.||This person has a clearly defined problem and they want to solve it or an opportunity and they want to seize it.||This person knows what they want and they’re ready to buy it.|
Researchers in the awareness stage have a problem or opportunity and are looking for more information to better understand their situation. They may perform searches like this:
Researchers in the consideration stage have a clearly defined problem or opportunity and are seeking information on how to solve that problem or best seize the opportunity. They may perform searches like this:
Researchers in the decision stage know what they want. They have decided on what strategies or solutions they need and are now seeking offerings or services that can help them achieve their goals. They may have searches like this:
You can capture the attention of a researcher by creating informative blogs, having a detailed about page, using multiple platforms to share knowledge, and through guest posting. Let’s explore each of these options a bit more.
It’s best practice to target specific keyword phrases in your blog posts and to build an internal linking strategy. For more information on internal linking, check out our simple guide to internal linking.
The company below goes a step further to share how their company has a positive impact on the world. This aspect of the business model makes customers feel like they’re part of the positive impact when they purchase.
There’s a lot of digital platform options to choose from, so focus on the platforms that align best with your brand and audience. Don’t spread yourself or your team thin by trying to create content on several different platforms at once. Choose wisely and build with intention and clarity.
Blogging, thought leadership, having a presence on multiple platforms and guest posting are just some ways you can tap into the researchers who are on search engines. By offering clear and valuable information, you will likely hook the searcher and maybe even convert them from visitor to customer.
Those using search engines to navigate to another site are travellers. They do not stay on search engines for long. A traveller may search for anything like ‘Facebook’ or ‘google analytics’ or ‘how-to optimise digital marketing videos.’
The searcher who searches for ‘Facebook’ will likely select the Facebook website link and then spend the rest of their time on the social media platform. They have no reason to go back to the search engine.
The searcher who performs a search for ‘google analytics’ could be looking for the official Google site, a google analytics plug-in or an unbiased overview of google analytics and how it compares to other analytics tools.
The searcher who aims to find how-to videos for digital marketing could select a video on a big platform like YouTube or a video on a small business website.
The google analytics search and the how-to video search are queries that can be made with many different intentions. While the person that searches Facebook is most likely just trying to access Facebook and that’s all.
Travellers are searchers that are navigating to another site quickly and are harder to capture than researchers because they know what they want and just want the search engine to take them there.
Instead of trying to capture this kind of searcher, be aware of how these types of searchers will impact keyword phrase rankings. If your business has a Facebook ads certification course and you see that your business ranks high for the search term ‘Facebook ads,’ but you don’t get much traffic from those searches, they could be travellers.
You may find that those searching for the phrase ‘Facebook ads’ just want to get to their Facebook Ads Manager page. In this instance, it’s beneficial to review your targeted keyword phrases to ensure you’re choosing keyword phrases that will drive quality traffic to your website.
Online shopping is incredibly popular and ‘The Buyer’ is a searcher who is ready to purchase something online. This type of searcher usually already knows what they’re looking for and are ready to buy, but they’re still searching for a reliable supplier, a good deal or something else that they need to see before putting in their credit card information.
Going back to the buyer’s journey we discussed earlier, a person searching with transactional intent is in the decision phase. You can attract a person in the decision phase that’s ready to purchase by creating attractive offers, ranking high for quality keywords, having a clear call to action on sales pages, and creating a sense of security and trust.
And not all calls to action have to be purchase oriented. On our Wholesale SEO Services page, we offer the option to book a strategy call for those who are not sure which package would be a good fit for their project.
Creating an attractive offer that buyers can’t resist will help you stand out among many competitors on SERPs. You can create an eye-catching offer with discounts, a one time use coupon code or low prices. Just get a good read on your audience and the competition first.
If it seems like your audience prefers higher prices that signify quality and high status, coupons and discounts won’t get their attention. They’ll look for words like rare, handcrafted, impeccable detail, small-batch, limited supply, – you get it.
Ranking high for quality keywords is SEO 101. Before you can rank high for a keyword or keyword phrase, you must do some research and reflection. If you haven’t chosen target keywords, you can start by reviewing your existing product or service and list keywords and phrases that are related to your offering. Then see how other businesses are ranking for those keywords and analyse their strategies to see what works and what aligns with your business.
You may find that the keywords you’re currently using aren’t appropriate for your business. If that’s the case you can start brainstorming by looking at the big picture first.
Having a clear call-to-action (CTA) makes it easier for buyers who are motivated and ready to purchase. If a sales page has too much content and it’s hard to find a way to purchase, the buyer will move on. Some best practices for CTAs are:
Not all searchers who intend to shop are ready to purchase, though. Don’t forget to consider those thinking about purchasing.
Just like researchers, the buyer-to-be is on the hunt for information. These searchers are in the awareness or consideration phase of the buyer’s journey. This means that they’re aware they have a problem or an opportunity but aren’t sure about the best solution or best way forward.
Let’s expand on the search examples I listed earlier, in The Researcher section, for researchers in the awareness and consideration stage. We’ll go over how you can appeal to potential searches from people that are Buyers-To-Be in the awareness or consideration stage.
Buyers-to-be in the awareness stage may perform searches like this:
Buyers-To-Be in the consideration stage may perform searches like this:
Search intent is the whole reason a person opens a search engine. It’s the why behind what they’re searching for. Part of understanding your ideal client is getting to know who they are and why they need your product, service, or offer.
So, the next time you review your customer avatars or create new ones, stand in their shoes and ask, is this customer avatar The Researcher, The Traveller, The Buyer, or The Buyer-To-Be?
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