If you’re in business, you know how important it is to understand your customers.
You need to know what they look for in your product or service, how they like to shop for it, and why they should choose you over competitors.
Here, we give you four easy ways to access this information: online and free.
Keyword research is something you usually do for search engine optimisation, or SEO, allowing you to find what search terms your customers are using to look for your offering online.
But keyword research can be a part of your customer research too, because the steps you take to do keyword research reveal a lot about your audience and customers.
For example, by using a keyword research tool such as Moz or SEM Rush, you can see various keywords your audience is using and in what quantities. This reveals what terms or topics they are interested in and which they aren’t.
For example, some of our keywords include “copywriting Sydney” and “editing Sydney”. If “copywriting Sydney” gets more searches, then we know there is more market demand for that service compared with editing.
You can use the same method to look at what’s called long-tail keywords, which include questions and sentences about your product or service.
Long-tail keywords with greater search frequency should be included on your website, blog and other online marketing materials. You can incorporate long-tail keywords as blog post topics, as webinar topics or as frequently asked questions on a webpage.
Sure, doing this helps users who Google search those long-tail keywords discover you. But it also has another benefit.
By sharing helpful, informative or entertaining content around these topics, you inform your customers, getting them ready and confident to make a knowledgeable purchasing decision.
Learn more in our brilliant blog How To Do Keyword Research.
2. Blog comments
We are big proponents of having a blog on your website.
By boosting your SEO, it helps make you discoverable online. And by sharing information to your audience, it helps them along their buyer’s journey to making a purchasing decision.
But aside from that, your blog gives you free and accessible qualitative data about your customers. And all you have to do is turn the comments on.
Read your blog post comments regularly to learn your customers’ needs, wants and any obstacles or hesitations they have as they decide whether to buy your product.
Customers will also share and discuss conflicting views among themselves. They will also ask questions about your business directly. All of this gives you great insights into how you can improve your offering to better meet their needs—which ultimately help increase your sales.
As you can see, blog comments are also a space where you can engage with your audience. If you do it well, you gain another marketing opportunity by boosting their opinions of your business.
But that’s not the only benefit. By giving customers a way of sharing information with each other in the form of blog post links or social posts, you create brand awareness as more people learn that you exist.
Remember that if you do start a blog and if you do allow comments, you will need to moderate it regularly. Because if you set and forget, you never know what comments can appear on your page!
If you’ve ever had a question that can only be answered by someone in the know, then you’ve probably hit up Quora.
Sometimes, when typing a question straight into Google doesn’t result in an answer, you can find a related Quora discussion at the top of the search results.
Quora is where average people can share their expertise or just have conversations about in-depth topics.
By searching keywords related to your product or service on Quora, you can find candid conversations from customers just like yours.
Here’s where they spill the beans on their desires and fears, which translates to valuable information for you such as selling points and pain points.
Quora is a handy tool that gives you insight into what the casual customer is really thinking in a forum where they are themselves.
Gone are the days when you need to pay an expensive telemarketing research firm to collect information on your customers.
Now, creating surveys is free and easy online, using tools like SurveyMonkey and SurveyPlanet. You can even integrate these survey tools with your social platforms, or you can create surveys natively on platforms such as Facebook and TikTok.
With these user-friendly online tools, you can create a survey in just a few clicks.
Creating an online survey is a great way to solve a problem when you’re feeling stuck. If sales have taken an inexplicable dive or if the user experience isn’t working like it used to, an online survey is your friend.
Free and ingenious customer research
Customer research doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.
With these methods, you can understand what makes your customers tick so that you can improve your offering, perfect your marketing, and ramp up those sales.
Make customer research a regular part of your marketing strategy so that your finger stays on the pulse of your market.