Market research is expensive, or can be. Lots of free online
tools can help you learn about a competitor, a geographic market, or search
terms. Google Labs hosts a few that we’ve talked about here, but not long ago
they introduced Google Insights for
Insights for Search is a powerful tool that can help you
spend smarter on your marketing and advertising. I’m going to illustrate with
two examples: One is Bimini Adventures ( a friend of mine who runs a swim with dolphins program in the
Bahamas where we worked as researchers years ago). The second one is Dot Girl First
Period Products that sells a first
period kit for young girls (a recent Sales Rescue Team recipient).
Using the swim with wild dolphin focus, I can find what
areas of the world are searching for that phrase so that Bimini Adventures can
determine potential pay-per-click opportunities by region. Looking at this
screenshot of the results, you can see that New Zealand and Australia top the
list of searches. I’m not going to try and explain how the data is gathered and
normalized (partly because it would take me forever!), but partly because I
trust Google to give me real data that’s useful. I was surprised by the
regional results believing that European countries would dominate the search outcomes.
On the DotGirlProducts research, I was equally surprised by
the results found at Insights for Search. I would have expected that the term
would largely fall under health, but the Insights note shows that less than 25
percent fall into that category. It actually comes under Lifestyle as a
category because Parenting resides in that section. This is useful information
for how they buy keywords, write seo-rich content, as well as giving them ideas
around where a customer potentially resides.
Overall, you can learn an amazing amount about your market
and your customers by using Google Insights for Search. It is a user-friendly
tool, just like Google Search, and one that just about everyone can use and
learn from. Take a look and let me know what you think.
P.S. I’m also working on an Insights post on Small Business
and the growing trends around that term for Anita Campbell’s site.
TJ McCue is founder of the Sales Rescue Team and a
content guy at Q4 Sales.
He writes about online marketing, small business, and entrepreneurship. He
welcomes your comments here or by email or with a Twitter Follow.