SEO Basics [Lesson 3]: Your Ideal Client

Discovery Your Ideal Client

In order for you to optimize your website and drive quality traffic,  you must first understand your ideal customer or client.  Identifying keywords and writing content that is going to create and sustain your business, requires you to spend some time researching and learning the identity of your ideal client.

In a blog post about knowing your ideal customer, I identify several factors that are essential to building a profile.

Building a Marketing Engine

Search Engine Optimization for your business website is about clearly identifying your target audience based upon several key demographic areas.  If you are able to get a clear picture, you can identify the valuable keywords that will really drive your online marketing efforts.  If you miss this step, you risk wasting a lot of time and money.

Building a marketing engine for your website business is the combination of following the basics of SEO centered around a clear understanding of who you want to market to.

Know the graphics

Take some time a look back over your client list.  Go through your email list or mailing list.  Look through your books and identify all of your customers that you have LOVED to work with and who have been profitable for you.  Good clients that have made you money is the place to start!

We all have clients that are grinders or end up costing us money and time.  The client that just sucks the joy and passion out of your work.  We want to exclude them from our data.  This is NOT our ideal customer.

Start with the Best

Once you have identified the clients that are good to work with and have made you a profit, you need to begin diving into the various characteristics.  You want to be able to walk away from this exercise with an avatar of your ideal client.  You should have a picture of him or her in you mind.

Understanding your ideal client involves Demographic, Geographic, Psychographic and Problems/Frustrations they face.

Demographic

As you look through you list, identify the following characteristics about each.

For Business Clients:

  • Industry
  • Number of Employees
  • Types of Business
  • Coverage Area of Business
  • Revenue

For Individual or Consumer Clients:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Occupation
  • Employment Status

Once you have combed through your data, you should have a clear picture of the general characteristics of you ideal customer.

Geographics

Get a map or launch Google Maps and begin identifying the physical locations of your clients.  Where do they live?  Where are their businesses?  Do they tend to accumulate in specific geographic areas?

Begin to sift through the information looking for patterns.  Look for inconsistencies.

This kind of data will help you identify the kind of keyword that will be used when searching for your business.  If your clients occupy or work in affluent areas, they are more likely to use different terms than clients that have a business in more middle class portions of your city.  This information will help you focus in on ideal terms to build your content around.

Psychographics

Each person or business has a philosophy, a value system, that guides the way they conduct themselves and their business.  This system of thought permeates every aspect of their live.  Even how they search for content in Google.

What does you client value?  Where do they spend their money?  Are they savers or spenders?  What factors seem to influence their buying decisions?

Do they make decisions based on emotions or logic?

What were their objections you had to overcome?  What is money?  Time?

Looking into the deeper psychology of your audience will help you better understand how to market and how to optimize your site.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, identifies the following psycographic lifestyle types:

  • Survivor – mostly older, poor, removed from the pop culture
  • Sustainer – mostly young, struggling, angry, distrustful
  • Belongers – traditional, home is domain, rather fit in than stand out
  • Emulators – ambitions, competitive, upwardly mobile, material pursuit
  • Experientials – want direct experience, inner growth, art and home
  • I-Am-Mes – young, exhibitionists, impulsive, narcissistic, inventive
  • Achievers – leaders, professionals, status-force, materialistic, trusting
  • Socially Conscious – responsible, conservation, desire to heal

Problems and Frustrations

Once you have developed a good idea of who your ideal client is, identify the problems and frustrations that your services or products will help address.

Go back over the initial conversations you had with your ideal client list.  What were their initial problems they were facing when they approached you?  These fears, problems or frustrations become the cornerstone content that you begin to develop solutions.

One good SEO strategy is to take each and every problem and write a series of blog post for your website.  Key on specific issues and discuss how you and your company would be able to help.  Really provide quality content that your audience will appreciate.  This helps build you Village which leads to better business.

Putting it all together

Once you have finished this exercise you should have a very clear picture in your mind of who your ideal client or customer will be.  Knowing this information is a critical step in being able to laser focus keywords and optimization.

For Example: Small Business Owner, in four surrounding zip codes with an average revenue of $350,000 per year.  Owners are married and own a home for more than 5 years.  Tend to have owned a business for more than 3 years and know where they want to take their business over the next 3 and 5 years.  Spend between $7,000.00 and $20,000.00 per year on marketing related materials for their business.  Intend to grow their web presence through site design, social media and online marketing over the next 12 months.

Characterized as a leader or Type-A personality.  Makes decisions that are logical and based on reason.  They rarely make spontaneous purchases.  But when they do make a purchase decision, they are focused on value, benefit, quality and ROI.

Next Step

Here is a worksheet to help you work through developing your Ideal Customer Profile (pdf)

P.S.

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This lesson is one in an e-course on the Basics of SEO.  It covers the cornerstones of basic SEO.

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