Audience Research

Audience Research Helps Businesses Reach the Right Consumer

Meet your audience’s research needs with your own in-depth consumer preferences discovery. You can meet shoppers’ needs by knowing how they research products before buying.

Effective search engine marketing strategies always begin with comprehensive market analysis. The is more to discover about your target audience than just determining who your ideal website visitor is.

It involves learning who they are, their shopping preferences, search habits, and what inspires them to trigger a purchase decision. Keyword research, competitor research, and audience research go hand in hand.

Table of Contents

“Truth is – We are not just optimizing for Google….we are optimizing for our audience. It’s called “User Discovery”.

Today your audience can easily find products in immediate Google Shopping Results. As fast as SEO and how people search evolves, you must evolve your digital marketing strategies as well. Without knowing how your target audience is searching, why your competitors target certain search phrases, and when trends peak, you’ll be challenged to win in competitive organic search.

This knowledge is foundational to your SEO work. Once your overall marketing focus is customer-centric, you can gain the traffic, conversions, and also prove ROI. It is important to be agile in response to your audience research so you can see your efforts paying off.


Audience research should be approached analytically. How well you know your audience depends on how good your research is.

  1. Learn Which Audience Type Visits Your Site.
  2. Extract Expanded Entity Phrases.
  3. Use Predictive Models.
  4. Know your Audience’s Questions.
  5. Analyze SERPs.
  6. Discover & Build Topic Clusters.
  7. Research Supplemental Data.
  8. Maintain an Audience-First Focus.

Your conclusions should be substantiated by data. This crucial information is useful to create user-friendly experiences, to target advertisements, to segment audiences, and more. Let’s look closely at each one.

1. Learn Which Audience Type Visits Your Site

This method helps uncover your target market. We all have solid ideas and opinions; however, research takes this into a concrete realm. Audience-type discovery typically adds to our knowledge base and makes business marketing more spot-on.

It is important to understand who these target customers are that come to your website. Your target demographics may be narrower or broader than you think. The research will help determine not only the correct audience but also what your target marketing objectives should be.

Google Analytics (GA) and your Google Search Console reports are rich with information – if you know how to mine them. In your GA account, under the Audience section, access detailed audience information. You can learn about their age, gender, location, interests, and what devices they use to reach you.

Social listening helps identify people who are talking about you and your product type on social media. Research that includes your target market with social ads can discover lookalike audiences. Additional people groups share characteristics with your best customers.

2. Extract Expanded Entity Phrases to Gain Demographic Data

Keyword research in now actually “search phrase” discovery and remains a core tasks of SEO. Identify what words or phrasing you should use that is most relevant to your products or services.

Once you have a solid list of keywords used by your audience when searching, start with your top three. They should algin closest to your audeince’s needs, your business goals, and which one represent your brand best. Data demographics related to these words and phrases will show you trends over time.

Preliminary results from your extraction of expanded entity phrases should be updated on an on-going bases. It is also useful to extract links between topic entities for the purpose of refining your entity types and providing semantic information for your internal linking structures.

3. Use Predictive Models and Digital Data Insights

Combine siloed customer data to expedite a project by developing a federated layer.

We need to get better at delivering reusable trusted data. Structured data offers digital data transactional insights. The use of data mining (DM) for extracting audience purchasing patterns from large databases to gather new information can be derived from structured data labels that individual entities have on a page.

Your target marketing should be based on research versus opinions and gut feelings. Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines say much about looking for entities that provide better value to searchers. That means that your future strategies need to hit the mark. Create more helpful content than your competitors. Then, market to the people who really want to buy from you. Be open to adjustments that better align you with your business goals and customers. Often, they’re different customers than one originally sets out to reach.

Wait to implement schema markup until you’ve got the right insights and can do so strategically. This may include directives, products, customer, returns, orders, shipments, and payments – business understandable datasets that can be used in analytical projects.

With strategic research capability, brands are empowered to be more data-driven in how they reach consumers. This makes marketing ROI less of a probability and more of a guarantee.

4. Know What Your Audience is Asking

Gain an awareness of how questions are topically related to inspire content writers, inform SEO teams and ensure you’re creating a quality user experience. This will help maximize your SEO campaigns. Google increasingly is showing answers in its immediate SERP real estate. This further explains why identifying common user questions has become super important. It also helps us anticipate the long-tail queries of our potential audience, in order to get in front of them at the right moment.

Question answering content can gain visual People Also Ask results, Answer Boxes, Related Questions featured snippets, and more.

Research search terms commonly used by your audience to discover question answering opportunities to win more presence in SERPs. By mapping how your audience gets answers and makes purchase decisions, your can topically group your content and structured your UX. Strong page structure and schema markup assists with passage optimization. It works in tandium with the presence of text that has a high readability score and is easy for NLP to evaluate.

Your additional investment to conduct user experience research will be noted by both your audience and search engines.

5. Analyze SERP for each Audience Location

Use marketing intelligence tools to learn how users interact with your business or businesses like yours. Strategic SERP analysis can be conducted by city, state, or nation. It is the strategic exploration of people’s needs may differ by climate, politics, economy, ethnic groups, or other factors. Learn what content is ranking and, more importantly, why it is meeting people’s needs.

See who has a knowledge graph and what information it may be providing your audience that you are missing. You will need to embrace entity SEO and semantic search to take a lead so that consumers find you.

When it comes to current audience insights, your need a consistent (and constant) view of your audiences, across markets, sectors and regions. You need to continually feed your knowledge graph and build relevant digital entities.

6. Discover & Build Topic Clusters

Your audience is looking for information online. Whether they conduct a voice activated search or type a query, be there.

Analyze what your research has revealed up to this point to create more helpful content. Results are better if you engage all team members. We start by encouraging everyone to avoid preconceived notions or ideas about your audience. Rather, focus on the actual research performed instead. It is advantageous to gain a new viewpoint.

Conduct a new case study, customer survey, or interviews to obtain information that is new. Provide fresh insights and versus largely repeating what has already been found by other researchers. You may want to use qualitative or quantitative research methods to know about what people also search for.

You can meet real needs by creating deep topic clusters that provide all information they need. Let your own work and findings demonstrate your niche expertise.

7. Research Supplemental Data

Once you have established the basics of your audience’s characteristics, you can always learn more through further research. Rich insights from trusted and factual sources are best. Discover published research that expounds on your audience group. This will help you produce well-researched, compelling, and innovative audience-focused content.

The following table of supplemental audience research sources includes a few favorites.

Sources for Secondary Audience Data
Supplemental Audience Research Source Access
Public datasets to glean consumer activity from
Censuses and government publications: education, jobs, housing, social security, electoral statistics, tax records
Journals and Scholarly Articles
Google Trends
Google Scholar
GPS and remote sensing

Audience analysis that provides a deep understanding is necessary for proper search engine optimization. Going the extra miles to learn more about your audience will inform you of what consumers what to hear, which sources they learn from, and how you can become better recognizes as the subject authority they need.

Whenever a consumer searches content online, it generates user signals which can be gleaned and interpreted while respecting the consumer’s anonymity. These daily interactions across the web, which include searching, browsing content, watching videos, interacting with social networks/forums/podcasts/webinars, etc., help us to understand and categorize audiences.

8. Maintain an Audience-First Focus

It is always more about sustaining the right search marketing tactics. Your audience and current consumers are constantly giving you clues, comments, and helpful suggestions. This may be done via, text, email, online comments, reviews, surveys, on social platforms, or any way they choose to communicate.

This input should be part of your ongoing audience research. You can quickly learn:

  • How you can tweak and improve your products.
  • How you can describe the problems you solve for them.
  • How to to improve communications to your audience.
  • What future needs they will have.
  • How to prepare for offering more value in the future.

Also, research other companies that target your audience. After all, we must be revenue driven to secure a business future. Rather than pushing sales, tell the story behind your products and why you are passionate to assist. Prioritize creating helpful content. People can quickly spot if there is always some kind of commercial benefit to you in what you write. Promote interesting stories elements or items that your target audience is likely to be compelled to consume.

One of the best ways to create linkable assets is to focus on your audience. But it is a side benefit. If you focus on your target audience obtaining links comes more naturally. Its easy to focus on marketing our self and our products. That’s what you’re trying to sell. The role of linkable assets isn’t for selling but has a supportive relationship.

Key Takeaways for Conducting Better Research

  • If you don’t have a presence where your audience ask questions – someone else will answer.
  • If you aren’t showing up in local searchers where your audience is searching – they will find another business.
  • If your communications aren’t relatable – You’ll miss chances to build a relationship.
  • Should you miss solving their problem – someone else will provide solutions.

Audience research involves good listening skills. Every phone call. Every in person conversation or meeting. Every note from a current or potential customer. Utilize the information you naturally acquire to understand consumer trends and averages. This knowledge will improve your social media outreach, organic web traffic, PR, brand development, and Google Ads’ conversions.

Remember, the real value isn’t in the research data – it’s in how you look at it. It depends on having someone who understands that data and knows how to implement important insights. It requires research strategist expert to accomplish this. Discovery advertisers know how to leverage the insights page to see which audience segments may deliver the biggest impact.

“You can add audience segment targeting to ad groups and reach people based on who they are, their interests and habits, what they’re actively researching, or how they’ve interacted with your business. Audience segment targeting can boost your campaign’s performance by reaching people browsing websites, using apps, or watching videos.

Once you’ve identified the interests, needs, behaviors, and goals of your audience, you can define who your audience will be for a particular campaign or ad group. You can select segments that are preconfigured by Google Ads.” – About audience targeting using Google Ads

Why Audience Research Is Necessary for SEO/SEM

Shoppers often aren’t thinking of a specific product when they search the category they’re interested in. They may scoure through reviews or articles to help inform their decision.

Allan Thygesen states in Google’s March 3, 2022 Retail Marketing Guide: Build your Brand and Acquire New Customers article that “61% of consumers in surveyed countries around the world say they visit multiple websites before settling on what to buy and who to buy it from.”

The added research investment to dive into your audience before getting into more content writing and SEO tasks will pay off. Knowledge is key applying effective ways to drive better traffic to your website and improve your ROI. You can meet shoppers’ needs by knowing how they explore products options before they buy.

Ongoing research that encompasses all aspects of your audience’s need and behaviors will also extend your ontology building, enable discovery of linking between entity phrases, address event types, and keep your most challenging efforts on track.

Moving Forward with Your Audience Data

Insights from your audience data is critical information about your potential and existing customers. Many niches are so volatile, like healthcare marketing, that a stronger investment in ongoing audience research if vital to remain competitive.

Partner with Hill Web Creations for your Market Research to Improve Conversions and Sales.