When it comes to search engine optimization (also known as SEO), one of the key pieces of information you need in order to be successful is knowing your target audience. You may be asking yourself “what is a target audience?”. A target is a particular group or demographic to which you will be directing your marketing efforts. Target audience examples may be “men ages 50+ purchasing golf clubs in Jacksonville, Florida”, “Prospective college students in Northern Utah” or “Homeowners looking to install a sprinkler system in Oklahoma”. In order to answer this question for your particular business, it is important that you have a deep understanding of your company, product or service and those who would be searching for such resources. Once you have this foundation, you can then answer the next question: to whom will you market your products?

When establishing your target audience demographics, one tactic is to look to your competitors and determine who their targeting audience is. From here, you have the opportunity to dig deeper and find a niche that may be currently untapped, as encouraged in “How to Define Your Target Audience”. As an example, let’s say you are an online clothing boutique. Perhaps your competitors are heavily engaged with women in their 30s within your state. You may discover there is a lack of promotion for children’s boutique clothing, which you also carry. Since you already have the attention of women who may be mothers of young children, this gives you a more specific target demo on which to focus your marketing attentions.

Determining your target public may also include target audience research to learn more about your current customer base. Who is currently purchasing your goods or services? Why do they need your company to provide this for them? Are there certain times of the year or around specific events that prompt a conversion? Target audience analysis allows for better understanding your target market, as well as potentially finding several different audiences. According to “The Importance of Really Knowing Your Target Audience,” it is likely you will discover various potential audiences, allowing you to become increasingly specific in your marketing efforts. This will help better define your strategy and improve your customer audience targeting. For example, if you are an auto dealer, you may discover you can market to soon-to-be parents who are willing to pay extra for safety features and backseat entertainment options while with a different advertisement appealing to parents of teenagers who are looking for a dependable, but a cheap first car for their son or daughter. Merely stating, “our target audience is parents” would not give you the degree of specificity that would allow you to showcase two different categories of product. Catering to a specific target audience will, therefore, help you determine the strategy and messaging to reach the correct customer base.

SEO is a powerful tool that can help your desired customers to find your company. By determining demographics accurately, you can help take steps to point your marketing efforts in the right direction and make sure your target audience will always find you at the top of their search.

Alyssa Craig