Market research can help you get inside customers’ heads

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 – Many companies will conduct market research in order to understand the thought processes, needs and wants of their existing and prospective customers, and that knowledge can help inform marketing and advertising strategies.

Search engine optimization is one tactic that aims to use the search terms and keywords consumers would most likely type in when looking for information on a particular product, service or topic. Being able to predict what kinds of words an audience will think of, and then working those phrases into the content of a website can drive a company to the top of news search pages. From there, businesses may see their leads and sales increase, the Globe and Mail points out.

According to the source, there are several challenges that can come with launching an SEO initiative as part of an internet marketing campaign. Using keywords legitimately – not just inserting the terms anywhere, but writing them in where they’re relevant in order to provide valuable content that’s useful to your audience – is paramount, as search engine companies’ algorithms are now able to determine whether a website is trying to beat the system.

Since there are countless numbers of web pages out there, and that number is growing every day, getting SEO software that can measure your SEO efforts (and those of the competition) will help you strategize and stay ahead, the news outlet notes.

It’s also important to remember that video content tagged with keywords can send you up the ranks of search results. YouTube can be a good arena for racing ahead of competitors, and even a short video or video blog can make a difference, the newspaper says.

Knowing the market is another key factor in SEO success, according to the Globe and Mail. Search engine ranking rules in the United States may vary from those in Canada or elsewhere, so be sure to tailor your efforts to the region in which consumers will be searching.

Building up a presence locally will require different tactics, including creating a listing in directory websites such as Google Places and Google Maps.

However, not everyone is convinced Google Places will deliver the click traffic it promises, so marketers should carefully consider the benefits and costs before setting aside financial and labor resources for the medium, according to Marketing Pilgrim.

Before investing in Google Places, small and mid-sized businesses would be wise to put more effort into SEO and monitoring review websites such as Yelp, the source says.