You are running a company and pushing your products through your website. Creating awareness is crucial, but also it’s so important to stay above the trends and managing a site that is as optimized as possible. How can you make sure your are appropriately delivering to your viewers in an inexpensive manner? Online marketing research. Here are some key ways to use the internet, practically for free, to research on the best ways to keep your website ahead of your competitors and best suited for you customers.
It’s important to learn how consumers are finding their way to your website or even to your competitor’s site. By narrowing down the “keywords” that actually lead viewers to the kind of business or product you have, you will be able to better optimize your content.
It is recommended to use tools such as Bottlenose or Google AdWords simultaneously for detailed research. Google AdWords has a Keyword Planner that is completely a free tool to identify keywords relevant to your site or product. You can then use the keywords you identify with the Keyword Planner in Bottlenose to pull together hot articles and trending social media commentary in an organized fashion, making your research practically effortless.
Discussions – Open Communication!
An entirely free research tool is to just read. Find forums, blogs, or hangouts referring to industry and take notes. Consumers very willingly give feedback and this is something to take advantage of, whether it is regarding your specific product or even your competitor’s.
Google Hangouts are great for just that. It’s so easy to create direct communication through a live forum like a Google Hangout. Another tool that is also free is LinkedIn Discussions. The benefit of an open conversation offered through LinkedIn is that it’s completely B2B based, meaning that this will connect you to other professionals in your industry reporting on trends, news, and events. The guarantee with a LinkedIn Discussion is that the website requires credibility, so you will have accredited people and information cycling your way.
Want to know what your consumers are thinking? Ask them! Surveys are so important and can be very well received if executed correctly. It’s important to encourage feedback and to proactively show your interest in not only your customer, but also in improving your business or site to better fit their needs.
Survey tools are incredible cheap or even free like SurveyMonkey. Personally, AYTMBiz S (Ask Your Target Market) is a favorite. It is very inexpensive, but very worth it. It allows you to create your survey, and then either send it out to your own personal list or to the AYTM panel consisting of millions of people. You choose your targeting criteria and get results in real time within 24 hours. Another Cloud Sites favorite is Qualaroo. This is a great tool to use that can tell you exactly what people are doing on your website and why they are doing it.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Statics regarding your industry are more available than you might think. In your market research, you will need to find the financial information about other companies in your field or even to find the revenue potential for your future startup. Use these numbers to see how much you can afford to be spending toward proactive aspects of your site or business, such as, an advertising campaign. Or simply compare your inventory turnover to that of your competitors.
Two free and very information stat tools that you might consider implementing in your marketing research are BizStats and the Securities and Exchange Commission Filings. Both provide a wealth of financial information necessary to your research. The benefit, however, of BizStats is that it provides a filter system to assist you in finding more specific information.
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