August 20, 2020

Data Driven Decision Making: The Power of Online Data

Using online market data to drive new product decisions is incredibly helpful to ensure you don’t spend valuable development dollars on an idea that doesn’t sell.
Posted in: #FreeAdvice, SEO
VP of Client Strategy. The Office Super-Fan

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool to gain more traffic to your website, but did you know that we also have access to a wealth of data that could help you make better business decisions? It’s true! This powerful data can help your business:

  1. Discover new product or service opportunities based on trending or increasing search volume
  2. Explore your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
  3. Understand your current or new target market’s search behaviors
  4. Maintain a positive brand image through monitoring of branded terms and questions in search

How do we find this information? What tools and resources do we use to develop answers to the topics mentioned above? How can you use this information to propel your business forward? We have developed a four part blog series to answer these questions and arm you with information you need to use real data to make better decisions.

Product Development: How Online Tools Can Generate New Ideas

Using online market data to drive new product decisions is incredibly helpful to ensure you don’t spend valuable development dollars on an idea that doesn’t sell or waste time looking for new ideas in the wrong places. Whether you’re on the contant quest to find a great idea or need a little bit of online data to help define a new concept, we can use our tools, search data and business acumen to get you the information you need. 

For clients that are looking for new and trending products ideas, we typically use a few tools to help us develop our recommendations. The following sections will dive into the tools, data and use cases.

Ahrefs: Exploring Newly Discovered & Questions

Ahrefs is a fantastic tool when looking for new search terms and questions. The platform provides a lot of other information such as site ranks and backlinks but for today’s conversation, we will focus on two discovery features. 

First we want to determine a general term to start the search. This could be related to the product offering or target market, in the following example we will use the term “office furniture” Enter the keyword in the Keyword Explorer tool and then navigate down to the Newly Discovered section. This section allows us to see new terms related to the search term I entered. I personally love this because I can see what new or trending terms are popping up. I can also further verify this data with Google Trends, but we will dive into that a little later.

The second area to look at is the Questions section. Here is where we can discover specific questions about the topic. Remember, Google LOVES questions! Never underestimate the value of identifying questions and answering questions. 

So now that you have a list of Newly Discovered Keywords and Questions related to the general term, what’s next? Start noticing trends and asking questions. If I sold office furniture (as in the example), I would look at this data and ask the following questions:

  1. Rise in Collaborative Furniture: Do we have products that fit into this category? Could we develop a collection of current products that would speak to this market or should this be a development initiative?
  2. Interest in Donating Office Furniture: Could we provide a service to customers to take old office furniture and donate it to communities/businesses in need? There may be a philanthropic opportunity here and get in front of potential customers looking to rid themselves of old furniture to buy new furniture.

These ideas would be added to my list of questions and ideas and I would move on to the next tool for exploration. 

Google Search Results: Using the Autocomplete

The next step in this process would be looking directly at the Google search results page. We could take the general term used in the first exercise and plug is into the search bar (don’t be afraid to use numerous terms for exploration – I’m just keeping it simple here). Type slowly and see what Google serves up. We will be able to see the commonly searched terms related to keywords we are using. You can play with this by adding or negating words to see how that affects the results. 

Here is our “office furniture” example again:

We can use this same strategy to expound on our findings from Ahrefs as well. 

Once you’ve noted down trends and ideas in this exercise, compare it to the questions you asked previously. Do these trends mirror those assumptions? Can we add any new ideas to the board?

My notes from this search would be: collaborative furniture seems to be related to workspaces and school spaces. Can we appeal to both markets with our products? Do we provide school related products now?

Google Trends: Discovering the Rising Trends

I adore Google Trends. It’s such a great tool to get a high level snapshot of what search traffic is doing. Now before I get too excited about Google Trends, I need to make you aware that this is a trend visualization tool. You are not looking at search volume numbers. The numbers shown in a trend report are solely based on that term. The highest peak is always a 100 and the rest of the numbers are defined by that peak, so don’t worry about the numbers meaning nuch other than in relation to the highest point for searches.   

With that caveat out of the way, let’s look at our “office furniture” example again. First step is to type the key phrase into the search bar and you’ll get something like this:

One more note before I go on, you can define a time frame to look at (under the search term) and I typically look at Past 5 Years for long-term trend evaluations. 

We can see that office furniture searches are at their highest point right now, meaning that we are in a good market to push sales and look for new opportunities. I would use this to also verify the notes from the previous portions of the process. Are you seeing similar trends here? If you don’t see the same trend data here, then don’t totally scrap the idea. This process can help with prioritization as well. Maybe you start with the ideas that are standing out across all the tools we looked at in the exploration process. 

Google trends isn’t only used to verify ideas but can also help to discover. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see Related Topics and Related Queries. Use these to keep digging deeper and as always keep asking questions about the trends you’re seeing.

With this example you may add Patio Furniture and Standing Desks to the list of product ideas.

Final Step: Delivery & Hand Off

Once all these tools have been explored and I have a list of a few great ideas, I deliver and present them to the client. The client has the information they need to get R&D, operations, supply chain, sales and/or leadership involved and get the new product online.This is a great time to discuss big ideas, product options and realistic goals. 

At Transistor, we excel at research and idea development. Have questions about how we could help you get new product ideas? Send us a note today and we would be happy to chat.

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  1. Avatar

    You are an great writer! I just bookmarked your site. Felipa Benyamin Atalaya

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again. Annamarie Luke Omora


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