At your fingertips is a wealth of information that could catapult your business to a new level, marketing-wise. The internet has been a real game-changer in many ways, not that least of which is the accessibility of information to many.
Currently, small businesses have much of the same resources available to larger companies. They can conduct low-cost, or even free, market research through web searches, online questionnaires, customer feedback forms, as well as other readily available tools to capitalize on market trends.
With keyword searches, businesses can derive the necessary information to expand their customer base. By searching “keywords” that people are using to find products or services, you can better aim your marketing dollars. A keyword search can show you what types of searches have been generating the most interest, as well as how many competitors are in your market.
Services such as WordTracker, Trellian’s Keyword Discovery and Google’s keyword tool allow business owners to gauge what keywords to use. A positive side-effect is that keyword searches can also bring into focus product niches that you may not have thought of.
Another weapon in your arsenal is to search your competitor’s website and their links. This will allow you to check out their prices, their products and find out what other links they have acquired, giving you a glimpse into their PR campaigns and their link development.
Because blogs have more real-time updates, they can be used to find what is generating “buzz” within your industry. By reading blogs, you can see what people are talking about and capitalize on market trends.
Conducting online surveys can help business owners start to pinpoint what their customer’s priorities are and find ways to cater to those priorities. Some online survey companies helping businesses conduct online research are EZquestionnaire, KeySurvey, and WebSurveryor.
Michelle Mayer is blogger at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.
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