If you own a small business, you may not have the time or budget to hire market research professionals. But luckily, there are tons of free tools available online that can help you conduct market research and find out what your customers really want.
And more importantly, how they want it. So whether you’re looking to develop new products and services or simply want to help your existing ones reach more people, check out this list of 20 ways to do fast, simple market research on the web:
|1. Prioritize Quick Wins: Focus on specific research goals that can be accomplished in a short time frame.|
|2. Utilize Online Tools: Leverage online resources and tools to gather insights swiftly.|
|3. Opt for Simplicity: Choose straightforward research methods that yield meaningful data without extensive analysis.|
|4. Define Specific Questions: Have clear, concise research questions to guide your efforts efficiently.|
|5. Analyze Key Metrics: Identify key performance indicators and metrics that provide quick insights.|
Check Out Your Competitors And See What Keywords They Are Ranking For
After you research your audience, it’s important to learn about your competitors. You can look at what keywords they are ranking for and see how they are ranking.
Check out their organic search traffic, paid search traffic, and overall traffic by using a tool like SEMrush (or a similar tool).
Look at their keywords and see how they are ranking for them in both organic results AND paid results (the “Organic Research” tab). This will give you an idea of what topics people are searching for that relate to your business.
o truly understand the ins and outs of marketing research, dive into our detailed guide on What Marketing Research Is & How to Do It: Step-by-Step. This comprehensive resource will walk you through the essential steps for effective research.
Look At Their Top Pages And See What Keywords They’re Ranking For On Those Pages
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to get ideas for more keywords you can use in your SEO campaigns.
Next, use Google’s Keyword Planner to get ideas for more keywords you can use in your SEO campaigns. The tool is free and easy to use, but there are a few things to know about it before you start digging through the results.
For example, the Keyword Planner will only show you keyword suggestions that are relevant specifically to your business.
This means that if you wanted to target “businesses near me” a few months ago when this article was written, the Keyword Planner would have shown no related keywords because businesses weren’t using that phrase as much at the time just yet – but now they are!
And since Google’s algorithm uses real-time data from their search engine, we must keep track of these changes so we can stay ahead of them instead of trying (and failing) to play catchup.
Identify The Keywords Your Competitors Are Using In Their Sites’ Meta Descriptions And Page Titles
You can find a competitor’s site by entering the URL of their site into the Google search bar, which should bring up their homepage on Google. Then, check out their meta description and page title on that page.
This information is usually found in the top section of a web browser window when viewing a website online.
If your competitor has done any SEO (search engine optimization) work on their site, they will often include keywords that they want to rank higher for in these areas of their site:
Curious about discovering a market that’s hungry for your product? Take a look at our firsthand account of How I Found the Market That Had a Demand for My Product. Learn from our experience in identifying and capitalizing on market demand.
A summary of what you can expect to find on this page or article. It should be around 150 characters long; longer than that and you risk missing out on potential clicks!
The first thing visitors see when they land on this web page; it needs to entice them enough so they stay long enough to read through all its content!
Look At Which Keywords Your Competitors Target In Their PPC Ads
Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool is a great way to understand what people are looking for when they search for products like yours. You can use it to see how many people are searching for each keyword, and how much they’re willing to spend on ads that include those terms.
This will give you some insight into what your audience might be looking for, but there’s another way to learn more about the words people associate with your product: look at the keywords your competitors are using in their PPC ads!
If they’re bidding on “online marketing” or “search engine optimization” then chances are good that these terms have something to do with their industry and maybe yours as well.
Research What Kind Of Content Marketing Efforts Your Competitors Are Taking On, And Emulate That Content
You should also research what kind of content marketing your competitors are doing. If they’re producing blogs and videos, that’s what you should focus on as well. If they’re running social media ads and contests, that’s great too you can do the same!
Just make sure to emulate their style and tone as much as possible. For example, if you decide to copy ABC Corporation’s blog format while creating content for your own company.
Make sure it looks identical: same font choice (if any), same color scheme (if any), same spacing between paragraphs… You get the idea.
Pro tip: When emulating someone else’s work, don’t just copy everything exactly that could get you into legal trouble or damage your reputation if anyone notices! Instead, try changing one or two things so that your imitation doesn’t look exactly like theirs.
Enhance your marketing research process with the right tools. Explore our list of 10 Top Tools for Data Collection and Analysis that can streamline your data gathering and analysis tasks.
Figure Out What Kind Of Offsite SEO Your Competitors Are Doing
To start, you’ll want to figure out what kind of offsite SEO your competitors are doing. There are a bunch of different ways to do this:
Check their backlinks. What sites have linked back to them? Are they all high quality? Do you have any opportunities on these linking pages?
Go through their social media profiles. Are they active or inactive on Twitter and Facebook?
How many followers do they have on Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Pinterest so that you can get an idea of how big their audience is? What types of content do they post regularly (blogs, articles, videos)?
Read through reviews left by customers (and not just those who bought your product). Is there anything important being said about the company that could be used in future marketing materials such as case studies or testimonials?
On Glassdoor and Indeed it’s easy enough to search for businesses by name; if that doesn’t work then try searching for “XYZ Company” + “reviews”.
Check online mentions – look at how often people mention a company name online versus competitors’ names while searching Google News (or whichever news platform applies most closely).
Bing News or Yahoo News if applicable; see which terms are best suited for search engine optimization purposes; see if there are any trending topics worth exploring further down the line… This step might take some time but it will pay off when done well!
Find Out Who Is Linking To Your Competitor’s Site, And Reach Out To Them With A Link Of Your Own
You want to know who is linking to your competitor’s site. This can be a goldmine of information for you, especially if those links are not just coming from other sites but blogs and news outlets as well.
Now that you have this list, what do you do with it? Reach out! Ask these people if they would be willing to link back to your site as well. If they write an article about one of the topics mentioned in their links, ask them if they will mention you too (this is called cross-promotion).
If someone has written an entire blog post about one of the topics mentioned in their links and has included several images, ask them if they will share that post on social media;
Maybe even ask them what kind of content they would like more of on those various platforms because this might help guide or inform how exactly how much time and effort goes into creating it (and whether or not it’s worth doing at all).
Monitor How Many Followers Your Competitors Have On Social Media Sites, And How Often They’re Publishing Content
A great way to start your social media research is by identifying and monitoring your competitors’ accounts.
Find the profiles of your competitors’ social media accounts. You can search on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using keywords like “competitor name” or “brand name + competitor name”.
New to marketing research? Get a solid grasp on the fundamentals by reading our guide on Marketing Research: What It Is, Why It’s Important, How to Do It. This resource covers the essentials you need to know.
Once You’ve Found Their Profiles, Monitor How Often They’re Posting Content And How Many Followers They Have
Check out what kind of content they are posting (images? Videos? Links?) and see if there’s any kind of pattern in the types of posts that perform well. You can try doing this yourself with a few different companies so you get an idea of what works best for each one!
Take A Look At The Questions That Are Being Asked About Products Like Yours, And Create Content Around Those Questions
As you can see, there are several ways you can find questions that people are asking. You can also use tools like Google’s autocompleting function to find relevant questions that people have asked on the internet.
If you have a product or service that’s similar to another well-known brand, take a look at the questions they answer on their website and create content around those topics as well.
Create Blog Posts That Answer Questions As If You Were Talking On The Phone With Someone From One Of Your Customer Service Departments
The best way to do this is to write blog posts that answer questions as if you were talking on the phone with someone from one of your customer service departments.
The questions can be based on what people are asking about, or even just what people are talking about. You can also look for what people are searching for, or interested in learning about.
Anytime you have a question you need to be answered, try answering it yourself first and see if anyone searches for those answers. If they don’t exist yet (or they exist but aren’t found by Google), then it sounds like a blog post worth writing!
Check Out Epinions, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Google Places, Angie’s List, And Other Local Review Sites To Get An Idea Of Which Aspects Of Your Product Or Service Stand Out To Customers
The next step is to check out Epinions, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Google Places, and other local review sites to get an idea of which aspects of your product or service stand out to customers.
It’s also important to look at the reviews you get from the competitor’s website so you can see what they do better than you do.
Once you’ve done that, it might be time for some hands-on research by asking customers about their experiences with your business. Make sure you ask them why they like or dislike something specific about it (the more specific and detailed the answer is, the better).
You should also ask what they would change if they could change one thing about how your business operates or whether they would recommend others try it themselves in the future.
Find Influencers Who Can Help You Spread The Word About Your Product Or Service
Influencers are people who have a lot of followers on social media. They’re often bloggers, podcasters, and other content creators. Influencers can help you reach your target audience (the people who might buy your product).
Because they already have a built-in audience that’s interested in what they have to say. Influencers are also good at building brand awareness for your business they’ll mention you by name as someone who makes great products or services and gives them value for their money.
You can find influencers by using an app like BuzzSumo or Social Blade to search for them based on their follower counts.
Then look through their profiles and see if any of them could be aligned with your brand values a long-time customer might be able to give more personalized feedback than just anyone off the street!
Short on time but need reliable marketing research? Check out our tips for How to Find Cheap and Easy Marketing Research in Five Minutes. Learn quick strategies to gather insights without compromising quality.
Talk To Real People Who Use The Kinds Of Products Or Services You Offer, Rather Than Just Looking At Data
Talking to real people is the only way to find out where your customers are and what they’re thinking. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Research has shown that the more personal a conversation feels, the more helpful it is for businesses because it leads companies to make better decisions about how best to serve their customers.
Don’t let your competition get ahead of you! If you want to stay ahead of the game and make sure your business is always poised to succeed, then you need to do market research.
By following these steps, you can learn everything about your target audience and more importantly, how best to reach them.
Here are some additional resources to expand your knowledge on market research:
How to Do Market Research for Free: Discover cost-effective methods and tools to conduct thorough market research without breaking the bank.
Market Research in the Buyer’s Journey: A Comprehensive Guide: Learn how to integrate market research into the different stages of the buyer’s journey to drive effective marketing strategies.
Market Research Definition: Gain a clear understanding of the concept of market research, its significance, and how it contributes to informed business decisions.
What is market research and why is it important?
Market research involves gathering and analyzing information about a target market to understand consumer preferences, behaviors, and trends. It is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions, develop effective marketing strategies, and identify opportunities for growth.
How can I conduct market research without spending a lot of money?
There are several ways to conduct cost-effective market research. Utilize online surveys, social media analytics, and free market research tools to gather valuable insights from your target audience without a significant financial investment.
How does market research impact the buyer’s journey?
Market research guides businesses in creating tailored marketing campaigns that resonate with each stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision. By understanding customer needs and preferences, businesses can provide relevant content and experiences that lead to higher conversion rates.
What are the key steps in conducting effective market research?
The key steps in effective market research include defining your objectives, identifying your target audience, choosing the right research methods, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing actionable insights. This process ensures that your research efforts yield valuable results.
How can market research help me stay ahead of competitors?
Market research provides insights into your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. By analyzing market trends and consumer preferences, you can identify gaps in the market and make strategic decisions to differentiate your offerings and gain a competitive edge.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.