How to Be More Relevant to Your Customer Online 2019
As the internet grows, people are changing how they search for products. And businesses that recognize this can be more relevant to their customers.
For example, searches today have more nuance. People aren’t just typing in 1 or 2 words to find products. They’re using phrases and questions written in a way that mirrors how they speak naturally, as though they’re requesting specific advice.
So rather than entering “mountain running shoes” in their searches, customers might write something like, “What shoes are best for running in the mountains?”
In my experiences, most people are looking for advice related to almost every purchase, from major expenses like phones and cars to small items like toothbrushes. That means, no matter what you sell, it pays to figure out how potential customers search for your products.
Another way search has changed is that people expect the results they get to apply directly to them. They want that personal touch.
Searches with “I,” such as, “What shoes do I need for mountain running?” or “What should I wear to run off-road?“ are rising. In fact, those starting with “can I,” like, “Can I use X shoes to run in the mountains?” have grown over 85% recently.
People also want the “best,” using that specific word more and more in searches. This applies to product searches (like “the best mountain running shoes”) and lifestyle searches (like “the best ways to prepare for a run in the mountains”).
If you understand your customers’ searches, you can think about how to help people find your brand. Consider checking out one of the online tools that help businesses study search patterns, like Google Trends.
Beyond your specific business, it can be useful to understand searches related to your broader industry. Say you just sell clothes and shoes for running in the mountains – you might gain some insights from seeing how people shop for apparel used for running in the city.
Customers don’t just want to rely on their own opinions when they’re looking for the right thing to buy, though. Reviews play an important role in their searches, too.
The world’s economy continues to grow, giving customers more choices than ever for where to shop. So they seek out other people’s opinions, ratings, photos, and blog posts to find the truth about different brands.
Recently, mobile searches for “product reviews” have increased by over 35%. And videos on YouTube with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone.
That means you need to tap into the power of other people’s experiences. Encourage people to review your products and services on your website, your Google My Business profile, your Yelp Business Page, or elsewhere.
You can also ask for reviews from influencers or media outlets that evaluate businesses like yours. As your customers' research businesses, they’ll likely seek these sources out, so it’s important that you’re part of the conversation.
Though it’s great to get positive reviews, make sure that you’re encouraging anyone who gives an opinion about your business to be open and honest. Potential customers are much more likely to trust a review that covers the positive and negative aspects of a business.
Once you’ve studied how your potential customers search for your products online, it’s time to put that knowledge to use for your business.
Start by adjusting your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Use keywords, phrases, and content that respond to what people are looking for and how they look for it.
Adjust the text across your website, from the “About” and “Home” pages to specific product pages. Then edit any other text associated with your brand. If you have an app, for instance, update your app store listing, too.
Don’t just focus on updating your product copy to improve SEO, though. Creating content like blog posts or videos can help people learn about your brand in a new way and help your business show up on sites like YouTube.
Mr. X studied what his customers were looking up online and updated his product pages for his mountain running gear to match their searches.
But Mr. X also wrote a blog post for his website called, “How to choose the best mountain running shoe.” It lets his customers discover how to pick the best gear for themselves, showing off his know-how and his inventory.