What is the Search Goal of Your Target Audience?
One of the biggest differences between search traffic and social traffic, in my opinion, is that people don’t turn to Facebook or Twitter with a specific goal in mind. You head to your favorite social networks to be entertained, to check-in with your friends, to stumble across interesting news and stories—very rarely do you start your social interaction with a set ending in mind. Contrarily, when you turn to the search engines you are looking for a specific piece of information—you want to buy movie tickets, read reviews about the latest iPhone, answer a question for your boss, and so forth. Social visitors come to your site because something you posted peaked their interest; search visitors come to your site because they think you can answer their questions. The goal of any SEO campaign should be to make sure your website aligns with the search goals of your target audience so that you’re there when they need you.
It’s important to remember that your target audience includes a mix of influencers and decision makers and both groups might have different search goals in mind. For instance, a contact center manager might be interested in a new speech analytics software to help them improve agent performance. The agents themselves might care more about how the software actually runs—is it easy to learn? Will is slow down the existing system? Meanwhile the IT Director has concerns about bandwidth and storage issues the new software might create. Depending on who internally does the search their search goals will be different, even though the software provider is trying to sell their product to just the one company. Their SEO, including their social media and content marketing efforts, need to address the various search goals of the influencers and decision makers in throughout the buying cycle to ensure they stay top-of-mind.
Also bear in mind that someone’s search goals will change slightly as they move through the sales cycle. That contact center manager might start their search looking for “call center agent performance management,” because their overarching goal is to improve agent performance. As they learn more about what goes into performance management they might change direction slightly and start looking for “call center agent training software,” because they realize that if they train their agents better their agents will perform better on the phones. It’s entirely possible that the speech analytics software does everything they need and more, but they are approaching it from a different angle, as their familiarity with the industry and their understandings of their true needs change.
It may not be possible to meet every search goal your target audience might ever have on your website, unless you are willing to have an enormous website! After all, you can only target so many ideas on a single page of content. But that’s where your business blog comes in handy—each blog post can rank in the search engines, much like a page on your website, and every blog post can target the unique search goals your target audience might have. The individual blog posts give your company the chance to hone in a very specific search goals for every member of your target audience and at every stage of the buying cycle.
Categorized in: SEO
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