For SEO purposes, demographics refers to your audience – who they are, their age, gender, religion, ethnicity, class, occupation, location, education, sexual orientation etc.
Almost every single marketing strategy in existence is built upon defining the target audience, ie your target demographic, or ideal buying persona or customer profile.
Why you should focus on your audience demographics
In order to run any successful marketing campaign you need to know what it is your audience want from you. Don’t adopt the approach of ‘if I build it, they will come’, trust us, they won’t.
Audiences are fickle beings and if you want to attract one to your website, you need to give them not just what they want, but more, if you can.
And in order to give them what they want, you’ll have to do some digging.
How to find your audience demographic
In order to find your audience demographic, start by asking a few pertinent questions:
- What problem does your product or service solve for end users
- Who your existing customers are
- Who is your competition?
- What USP do you offer your audience that your competitors don’t?
By asking these questions, you’ll be in a better position to understand why your business exists, who is currently using what you offer, how your competition are attracting their audience and what sets you apart from the rest of the competition.
This isn’t intended to be a deep dive, more to give you a starting point.
One of the early mistakes that marketers can make is to talk about their company and the products rather than the stuff your audience actually wants to hear about, such as how your product or service can help them solve their problems.
And just because your product can solve their problem, doesn’t mean users are going to come to you. By sharing content and information with your audience about things they actually want to hear about, will better enable you to target your audience more effectively.
Basic demographics for your ideal customer persona
- Relationship status
Think of the last thing you purchased then look at this list and see which of these factors influenced your purchase decision.
Now, to identify your demographic, take 2-3 of these basic demographic markers as your core markers to help you define your target audience.
Remember, a mother of four is going to have different needs to a recent university graduate who is going to have different needs to a C-suite exec. Yes, all three need to eat, drink and shop for clothes (for example), but they all approach solving these problems from completely different angles.
Meaning if you want to capture all three markets, you need to know how to target each of them, to appeal to each of them.
Don’t think of your demographic as exclusive, rather use these core markers as a starting point and trust that others will follow once you’ve started making an impression on your target audience.
How to target audience demographic
- Create personas for all of your target audience (as shown above), then develop them as you find out more about each cohort.
- Conduct surveys of existing customers. Programmes such as Survey Monkey or Surveyjs.io allow you to carry out surveys of your existing users. Remember though, the survey results are only as good as the survey.
- Make sure you know exactly what information you need to know and build questions around it.
- Keep the questions short and simple.
- Consider encouraging participation with a giveaway or a competition.
- Use Google Analytics to help you. Google analytics has so much data about your audience demographic, you just have to know what you’re looking for. Simply click on the ‘audience’ tab for a full breakdown of your current audience information.
- Harness your social media channels. Use Facebook insights to give you information on your Facebook audience. Facebook provide every page owner with analytics about their audience so they can target them better, don’t waste this valuable information. Click on the insights tab at the top of your page, then click on the people tab near the bottom of the list on the next page. Here you’ll find everything you could possibly want to know about your Facebook demographic.
- Do the same for Twitter via your followers dashboard.
- Alternatively you could just talk to your social media audience. If you want to find out about your audience, ask them questions. The point of social media is to be social, so start the conversation.
- Draw on your email marketing list to find out insights on your audience demographic.
- Make sure you’re analysing all of your customer data via your CRM software. The people who consume your content online may not necessarily be the same people who are purchasing your products. If necessary, distinguish these two groups. It could be that you’re creating content to attract the wrong audience in which case they are never going to convert, so get to know your existing buyers first. An open door is an easier and cheaper one to push on.
- Use keyword research to gather demographic information. Demographics.io is one such tool you can use to garner this information. Google Trends is always worth a browse.
What is the Google Display Network?
Google’s main aim in life is to please the end user by giving them exactly what they want. And so the Google webmasters have gone to great lengths to enable website owners to find out who their audience is, so that they can better serve them, in particular through the Google Display Network.
The Google Display Network has been designed by Google to enable you to find your target audience. It has options that allow you to strategically target your exact customers, at the right place and at the exact time they are searching for whatever it is you’re offering.
However, sometimes the search engines don’t or can’t provide you with in depth, specific details, in which case you will need to adopt more sleuth like tactics to find out your audience demographic.