Free Online Market Research: Are you Making the Most of it?

curious dog

When I start working with a new client, to find out more about their market I always do some online research and review websites relevant to their market niche. The beauty of Google means that everyone can do this type of online research for free, from the comfort of home.

Start by Doing Some Googling

Search on your main target keywords and also longer keywords.

  • For example when I was doing research for my Grand Slam Tennis related blog, my searches included the keywords “tennis news”, “tennis updates”, “grand slam tennis”, “tennis blog”, “tennis tournaments”, “tennis players”, “tennis associations”, “tennis forums”, “tennis directories” plus keywords related to each main tournament and the names of the top players.

Once you’ve found websites that are relevant to your industry and market, have a good look at them. Find out what they are about, what websites they link to and what their niche is.

7 ways to make the most of online market research

1. Sign up for e-newsletters and subscribe to blogs

Reading what others in your niche are writing will help you to:

  • keep up with what’s going on in your industry
  • get ideas for your own content
  • identify content you can link to in your articles.

2. Say “yes please” to free offers

Download and read free eBooks and attend free webinars. This information can either expand your knowledge or reinforce what you already know.

3. “Like” Facebook pages and Follow on Twitter

Identify who the key players are in your market and get connected.  Build relationships with the people involved with the top ranking websites by reading their updates from Facebook and Twitter, responding to them and sharing their updates with your own network.

4. Get involved in relevant forums

Online forums targeted to your market can be a great way to meet like minded people and share links to your website (if the forum rules allow).

5. Build inbound links

  • Once you’ve gotten to know the other bloggers in your market via Facebook, Twitter and Commenting on their articles, suggest that you add each other’s blog to your Blogroll. (A Blogroll is a list of links to other blogs that appears in the side column of your blog.)
  • Offer to write guest articles for blogs that have a large audience of people who are similar to own target audience.
  • Write an article featuring other websites and blog articles that your readers will be interested in.  This helps the websites that you feature build links and can help you engage with the website owners (especially if they see referral traffic from your website when they check their Google Analytics data).

6. Have a look at what keywords are used in Page Titles

The Page Title aka TITLE tag is the line of text at the very top of the browser. It is also the first line of text that you see in the Google search results for a specific website.

Looking at what keywords other websites in your niche are using in their Page Titles can give you ideas for keywords that you might be able to use too.  Find out more about Page Titles.

7. List your details in industry focussed directories

During your Googling, do a search on “your main keywords + directory” to see if industry focussed online directories exist. If they do, check them out and decide if you should add a free or paid listing to promote your website.

What other ways can online market research be used to market your website?

Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time

Search-Mel