Firstly, to attract the best customers you need to who a good customer is for you! Big name brands use all sorts of techniques to work this out, including identifying ‘personas’ i.e. they will think about the attributes of a specific customer and even name them. So, for example if you run a site selling toys you might create a persona like this:

‘Sally is a 35 year old housewife with two under 10 kids and a part-time job in a library. Her biggest concern is the welfare of her kids and finding time to make sure they learn to love reading just like she does.’ and so on.

If you want to appeal to Sally with your marketing and sales ‘blurb’ you need to identify how your product or service helps her with her key concern – i.e. making time to read to her kids. There’s no science to this – you just make it up – based on your knowledge of your current customer base (or wished-for customer base), your friends, family and own concerns as a human being (not a faceless corporate entity!). The key is thinking about your customers – not what you are selling. Often harder said than done but a great way to beat competitors online – as most of them won’t do it. Check it out for yourself – go to a competitors website and see how often they talk about themselves and what they offer and want over speaking to the concerns of their (and your) customers.

Once you have a good feel for the type of customer you want,  you do in-depth research to find out exactly the words they use to search for a product or service such as yours. You can find out not only the words they use, but when they are most likely to search (morning, evening, weekends) as well as find out who is searching for what in specific areas (towns, cities, counties). Armed with this information you can craft a sales proposition, based on what will appeal to them (drawn from the persona) and using the specific phrases used by them (hard evidence from search analysis tools) that will put you at the top of the rankings and bring them to your site first Рthe best way to beat competitors online.

The mistake that many people make is to try and be found for all the most general keywords that relate to your product or service. Whilst this seems intuitively the right thing to do, it really is far more effective to be seem for much more specific phrases. For example ‘driving lessons’ will put you up against the big national driving schools, whereas ‘driving lessons in Hackney’ will mean you are competing for rankings against far fewer competitors. You should use these words in the content on your site as well as for your ad campaigns.

And remember KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER.