If you know how to do market research online it could seriously impact your offline profits. Impact in a good way. A great way, actually.
Most small businesses, if they’re doing any online market research at all, simply use the results to write keyword-rich blog posts, or add a few twists and turns to their social media maze. Not that it’s a bad thing, but you really need to think a little more out of the box.
Get Into Your Customer’s Mind
The first thing you need to do is brainstorm a list of potential keywords in your target market. When your prospects or existing clients are searching for information online, what words are they using? Don’t think like a professional when you do this. Think like a regular person. Someone who doesn’t know the jargon.
If you’re not sure about what vocabulary to use, go wide at first and just use a more general phrase to start off with.
Look for Surprises
Next, use a service such as the free keyword tools at www.wordtracker.com or www.market samurai.com to help you see what your target market is searching for. (By the way, those are affiliate links but you can get a free trial at each site so you don’t actually need to spend any money.)
The example below shows the first 20 results for Pedicure using the Wordtracker tool.
Take Your Market Research and Use It!
When you take a look at the list of keywords you’ve generated, much of it will look familiar. No big surprise that people are looking for pedicures, manicures or French pedicures in our example. But you may be surprised, as a beauty shop owner, that people are searching for pedicure socks or something called a fish pedicure. (What on earth is that? If you don’t know, go look it up. I was amazed.)
If there are any surprises, go investigate. I had no idea that pedicure socks even existed! Now you know that your potential customers may be interested in knowing more about them. Perhaps you can order in some stock and sell them. Perhaps you can give each customer a free pair after their first visit.
And what about that fish pedicure? Investing in a tank of miniature carp might be the smartest business move you make this year. Who knew?
Whatever business you’re in, make sure you know 1) how to do market research online, and 2) how to use the information you find to improve your offline business. It’s another great way to keep your customers satisfied.
How have you been using online market research to help your business in the real world. Do comment below and let me and others know.