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Know Your Customer, Build For Conversion

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A big shout out to Kent Yunk for Consumer Intent Modeling, SEO Theory, 12-January-2012. Nothing new but one of those generally overlooked, neglected marketing truths worth repeating:

Essentially understanding consumer intent means having a good idea of the needs and wants of your target audience as it relates to your products.



You can not be all things to all people (not even Google manages that :D) so for best business results you need to get away from mass (homogenous) marketing:

* target the specific market segment(s) that most need/want/desire your product(s)/service(s) or those of your advertisers/affiliated merchants.

Note: this is normally the behaviour when starting out.


* target your product(s)/service(s) or those of your advertisers/affiliated merchants to your specific traffic.

Note: this is normally the behaviour when adding/extending to existing business.


In both instances you need to appropriately identify target audience(s), segmenting as practicable by behavioural, demographical, geographical, and psycho-graphical similarities and differences.


Successful marketers go to great lengths to research and understand the mindset, attitudes, needs and behavior of their target audience. They are great marketers because they speak directly to these needs and desires with compelling messages and calls-to-action.



Of course how one manages potentially diverse marketing can be a difficult mapping process. Much more difficult than one generic page on a subject/product. But... the average web conversion rate, i.e. generic 'mass market' conversion rate is ~2% whereas 'custom' targeted conversion rates are typically multiples of that. More work, more thoughtful work required but with a greater reward as well.


...that he was not as excited about search terms that were highly popular. What he cared about was the more narrowly defined search phrases that fit nicely into his target content. He knows that he can rank well for his rare terms and that his pages both rank for and have the best conversions.



Popularity does not necessarily mean relevant. Relevance, in a business sense, is conversion.

* do you track conversions against query terms?

* do you track click paths against conversions and query terms?

* do you segment your niche query terms by user intent?

* do you encourage backlinking that will promote appropriate terms by appropriate referers?

* do you create content based on leveraging terms indicating user intent?

* do you create content traffic filters to maximise conversion?

* do you have a market segmentation traffic management plan?

* do you have a strategic offers/call to action/sales framework based on your market audience segmentation?

* etc.


Or do you write copy, toss in a stock image, and wait for Google to deliver?


One method is akin to sitting on a stream bank, fishing rod in hand, happily dreaming while a worm baited hook dangles below a drifting bobber. The other is more like a modern trawler, going directly where the desired fish species are congregating, running out long lines with multiple appropriately baited hooks below specific attention grabbing flashers...


Now... which method is most likely to bring home the most fish? requires the most skill, knowledge, and investment?


Note: there is a third method of web fishing that is akin to tossing in a stick of dynamite and then scooping up the stunned inhabitants... but the noise involved - and waste - bothers me.


Note: nice synopsis of Market Segmentation basics.

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Funny stuff. Goes against every tenet of building sites though.


So, we get sites that look amost identical on desktops and mobile. This neatly avoids the concept that there could conceivably be different motivations for a user to access a site via mobile than desktop. (For instance a manager ordering something versus a field technician servicing or installing or demoing or ordering consumables for it. Or a new order a first time customer versus a reorder for a user who is a good customer.)


People are still making their fine art gallery sites accessible to a blind homeless user on dialup, accessing through WebTV -- from inside a dumpster behind Starbucks. How about makiing sites accessible to a person who is likely to buy what you're selling while you're at it?


And on the other end of the spectrum, best practices of the digeratti seem to be build for Chrome, unless something more hipster with less market share comes along.


This topic is suited for "creative tommorow." Unless you're talking purely superficial lip service -- because that's available today.

Edited by DCrx

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I still believe this discussion is the product of a product-driven mentality rather than a customer-centric approach. We have created fine products. Unless they have universal appeal, then we should determine how the market should be segmented so that we can develop the right marketing approach for each segment.


I believe you should start at the other end of the gun barrel. Figure out the market niche that contains the people most likely to use your products and services. You can only handle one niche well and indeed you may have to define that pretty narrowly. However in this Internet age a narrow niche can represent a very large number of potential customers.


Now try to think through the eyes of those similar prospects in your selected market niche. What is their pain that you can help fix? What USP can you write so that when they see it they instantly want to hear more because it speaks to them? You want to be the supplier that stands out from the crowd. When they see a mention in a Google SERP, the title and snippet draws them to you. This should the basis of Internet Marketing strategy. Of course you will appeal to other fringe niches that are close to your target. However you will know the best approach for your best prospects and that should direct your efforts.

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