It’s tricky to get your marketing mind around your ideal client. How they think, where they go online, where they are in the marketing funnel… all of these details matter a great deal to your SEO strategy.
Knowing and then leveraging this kind of psychographic data is a missing part of many client acquisition strategies we inherit. What I can tell you is that it can turn your marketing strategy around completely when you do it correctly.
So is psychographic data?
According to CB Insights:
Psychographics is the study of consumers based on their activities, interests, and opinions (AIOs).
It goes beyond classifying people based on general demographic data, such as age, gender, or race. Psychographics seeks to understand the cognitive factors that drive consumer behaviors. This includes emotional responses and motivations; moral, ethical, and political values; and inherent attitudes, biases, and prejudices.https://www.cbinsights.com/research/what-is-psychographics/
Most small businesses don’t have the budget to hire companies to investigate at a great depth how your customers behave prior to seeking you out online. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get closer to your target audience by leveraging some wisdom found in psychographic modeling.
Below are 6 ways to think about your ideal client differently so your SEO strategy is more effective.
1. Psychographic & Demographic Information Are Different
Think about these two concepts as cousins of each other. They are definitely related, but deserve unique attention so you don’t miss out on opportunities to reach your ideal client.
Demographic data is often easier to understand because people are more familiar with it. It includes everything that’s native to your client: location, marital status, gender, income, ethnicity, identity, race, age, profession and parental status are a few common examples.
Psychographic data is concerned more with what makes your clients uniquely themselves. When researching psychographic information, you will often see the acronym “AIO” which stands for activities, interests, and opinions. These characteristics are the facets of a person’s personality and behavior that make them unique.
Sure, your age and gender make you unique, but adding in your favorite TV show, where you like to read your news, or something as specific as where you choose to by your books (tiny, local bookstore vs Amazon) tells a more defined story about who you are.
When it comes to marketing, it’s these finer details that help you develop psychographic profiles of your buyer. This is the set of details that separates clients who are truly interested and aligned with your product vs someone who thinks it’s interesting, but would never buy it.
2. Developing Your Niche(s) Will Get You Closer To Your Ideal Client
As you grow to understand your ideal client at a deeper level, concepts like values become important to help target your messages in the best way. Values are the benchmarks we use to further decision making.
The answer for most people is to dig deeper into the product. The goal being to discover what actually sets it apart from its competitors.
This is where values come in.
Consider this example: Driving home, hungry, you pass two fast food spots. Do you stop? Which one do you pick, assuming you would be willing to eat fast food at all.
- Perhaps, you pick the one that’s on the same side of the road you’re driving on so it’s “faster.”
- Perhaps, you pick the one that you know sources their food from better resources?
- Perhaps, you pick the one that most connects you to something (or someone) you love?
- Perhaps, you pick the one that is the “healthiest” or the one you’re the “least likely to get to again.”
Values are laden through all of these decisions. As your belly rumbles, one value will win out over the others. This is the place you will stop for dinner.
Once your “deal breakers” are settled, most decisions are made this way. If all things are equal, decisions seem to be made based on values.
Your job is to align your marketing with people who naturally/inherently value what you offer.
#3 Equally, Being Too Broad In Your Focus Will Take Longer
When your brand is too broad, it’s almost impossible to cover every important area or facet of your client’s needs. Even newspapers and magazines struggle with covering everything that’s inside their vertical.
For Google to see you as an expert in a particular area, you have to write a concentrated amount on that topic. That means, covering topics in-depth and also at a “related” level.
When it comes to your SEO strategy, this means writing at a deeper level for every topic you want to be an expert on. This is the challenge for most brands.
If you try to be all things to all people, it will take significantly longer to rank. Why? Two simple factors: time and limited resources. This approach nets a “little” on ” a lot of topics” making you a commentator at best.
It’s harder to pick you out of the crowd as the “best option” when you haven’t earned the position.
This is especially true when other brands do a better job covering the same areas as you do, but with greater precision and depth than you have.
Bottom line: focusing on a broad set of psychographic data will make you a “jack/jill” of many things, but a master of none.
If you’re in a market where you have to be super-broad in your marketing, consider writing a more niche landing page or a values page on your website.
For example, if you’re a therapist in a small town, it’s harder to say you specialize in one type of counseling when you have clients with every diagnosis in the book. But, you can add a page to your website with your special areas of interest or training.
Niche opportunities for your brand can be found in many places if you get creative.
#4 Don’t Be Fooled By Early Success Or Easy Wins
As your blog develops in depth and expertise, you will see pages rise in the SERPs. That’s wonderful, but it doesn’t indicate that you’ve nailed the topic fully OR that you’ll stay there for long. It’s not uncommon for popular search queries to be refreshed often. That means you can be on page one for a day or a week, and then drop quickly.
Part of your SEO strategy should include studying how a particular SERP functions so you can get a sense of how stable the content on page one really is.
- Does it change out often?
- Does it have time-tested “best content” stabilized throughout most of the first page?
- Does your business make sense with the other page one winners? (If not, that’s a red flag to pay attention to for sure)
Exploring questions like this will give you a sense about your “easy success” so you can judge it fairly. And remember that the goal is to acquire organic traffic that is aligned with your brand, services and message. Easy wins that are off target won’t help you.
As you evaluate the SERPs, if you see the traffic doesn’t match with your brand, keep an eye on how that shifts Google’s perception of your website and adjust accordingly.
#5 You Know More About Your Ideal Client Than You May Realize
One of the greatest ways to discover authentic psychographic information about your ideal client is by reviewing your actual client notes.
- What did they say was their main pain point or reason for seeking help?
- Why were they ready for help now?
- What made them pick you out of a sea of options?
Make notes about what your clients have in common to help flesh out a deeper connection between you and their needs.
Then, look for patterns when you make this list.
It may surprise you to discover that all of your clients share certain things in common. These details are part of your psychographic picture and should help you with creating an ideal client profile that’s more authentic to what your real clients want and need.
You can then use this information to direct your SEO strategy and marketing in the future.
#6 Test & Test Again
Never rely on a sample set of one. SEO and brand building are a long-term solution, so you have room to develop client theories and test them out.
Let’s say in #5 you discovered that all of your clients hired you as their “second choice.” Dig deeper into that pattern by exploring some other questions:
- Who was their first?
- What did your competitor offer or say in their marketing that led your client to believe they were a perfect fit?
- Why didn’t it work out?
- What can you take from the patterns your clients have in common and add to your marketing?
Then test your theories. Did it net you more leads, clients, calls? Or was it the same?
If your ideal client is a “reader,” do you have enough blogs to help them with their research? Test writing a few more blogs that are more niche and link them all together. Does that make a difference?
Marketing is a lot of trial and error
Don’t fret if your “great idea” works for a bit and then stops. That’s the nature of acquiring customers. By exploring your clients at this deeper level, you will learn things that were previously left out or ignored in your SEO strategy. It gives direction for your future blog posts and direction to your marketing plan.
I’ll leave you with this. As I work on SEO projects with clients, I spend a great amount of time thinking about their needs. I want to insure that my clients write articles, advertise, and operate on social media in ways that their ideal client will appreciate.
My experience is that you’ll never regret diving in deeply to your ideal client profile. Overtime, your clarity about what your client needs will act as a thru line for all of your digital marketing. This simplification makes marketing easier and brings greater results to your bottom line.