How To Find Your Target Audience

Reach your audience when they search online


Every SEO consultant will talk with you about site audits, website architecture, and how search engines work. However, regardless of all the technical steps (and they are important), most SEOs fail at the very beginning: understanding the target audience.

The audience is the most important part of any SEO project, because while we are optimizing in technical terms for a search engines robots and crawlers, we should always be thinking about what your audience is looking for and how they are looking for it.

Hence, the first step in every SEO project is to understand your audience, and outline all your goals. By doing this, we can then use all the technical steps to ensure a website is optimized in the best way possible.

Step 1: Discuss Your Business

We start every SEO project by listening to you. We want to understand your business. What products and services do you offer? What are your plans for the future? How has your mission changed? And who are your competitors?

Step 2: Examine Your Audience

We want to review your existing audience, as well as who it is you want to target going forward. This means we will want to see your website analytics, sales data, and customer profiles.

Step 3: Create A Search Profile

Building off the customer data we collect, we will build out a search profile. What is your audience searching for online, and how are they looking for it. This will allow us to know more precisely how to optimize your website.

Step 4: Audit Your Website

We use various software tools, as well as research, and competitor insights to determine where the technical errors exist, as well as where the opportunities are for improvement. We will need access to your Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Website CMS, and other accounts to complete a total audit.

Step 5: Create Our Plan

We develop a complete strategy to optimize your website for the right audience. This typically includes keyword, phrase and topic research, global and local optimization opportunities, site architecture changes, and a content marketing plan.

Step 6: Optimize For Your Audience

Lastly, we get into your website and optimize it for your target audience. Normally this means we need to edit content on the page - from page titles to section headings, as well as content in the body of the page. We also may need to create new content assets, such as images, videos, guides, or additional pages.

Knowing your target audience is a critical first step in search engine optimization

We look at lots of different factors when analyzing an audience for search engine optimization.

For example, we are interested in:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Marital or family status
  • Occupation
  • Ethnic background
  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Previous buying behavior
  • Search history

Who Is Your Target Audience?

How do you define your target audience?

A target audience is the intended audience. It is "who" you want to read your content.

Many businesses, government agencies, and organizations have a wide "market" that they want to reach. Within the broader marketplace, they target specific segments or audiences.

When it comes to optimizing your website for search engines, you want to make sure you cover the needs of each audience you want to communicate with.

For example, it is one thing to say you want to reach "defense contractors" or "women small-owned businesses." What kinds of defense contractors? Drone manufacturers? Plastic component suppliers? Construction companies? What kinds of women small-owned businesses? Technology consultants? Retail stores?

Knowing which audience segments you want to reach helps marketers to identify and hone the best messages to reach them.

Think About What You Do

An effective to identify your audience is to think about what you do. What are your capabilities? What problems do you solve?

One of the first things to do before getting started with any search optimization is to outline all the things your company, agency, or organization does. What are your capabilities? What problems do you solve?

By doing this on a frequent basis, you can see how your offerings have evolved or if they have changed, and then map to audiences that need those products or solutions.

Another step is to think about how your initial target audience has changed over the years, and how they may change in the future. You may find out that your customer base has changed, or that you need to adapt and offer a new set of products and/or services to meet their needs.

For example, maybe you offer a very relevant service, but your audience no longer wants to use your website - and prefers a mobile app? Or you have been selling primarily to engineers, but now there is a purchasing manager that needs to approve all acquisitions. Such a change could mean that you need to develop content message around one product for two completely different audiences, each with its own questions and needs.

Conduct Customer Surveys

Asking the question, "What do you want?" is often not used by business owners. Sometimes we don't ask, because we are afraid of the answer. Nevertheless, asking through surveys is a great way to stay on top of who your target audience is, what they want, and how they are going to look for it.

Though not a frequent aspect of our SEO work, we do believe strongly in conducting customer surveys to help identify audiences and better target product and service offerings, as well as better optimize website content.

With so much these days hinging upon the success of your online marketing efforts and your website, expert SEO and analytics are critical to measuring what is working well and what needs to be changed or stopped.