How To Know What Your Target Audience Is Searching For (+ All the Free Tools You’ll Need!)

January 10, 2024
What Your Target Audience Is Searching For


Explore the significance of understanding your audience, learn key research elements, and discover valuable free tools to maximize your content strategy.

Navigating the expansive and fiercely competitive digital landscape demands more than just a general sense of your target audience's needs. In a world inundated with information, businesses and content creators are increasingly turning to data-driven insights to decipher the complex web of user intent.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore not only the significance of understanding what your target audience is searching for but also how to seamlessly integrate free tools into your strategy for unparalleled success.

Why Knowing Your Audience Matters

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, understanding your target audience is paramount to achieving success. One crucial aspect of this understanding is knowing what your audience is searching for. This not only enhances your marketing strategies but also ensures that you are providing valuable and relevant content. Let’s take a look at three reasons why knowing your audience matters.

Informed Content Marketing Strategy

Crafting a content marketing strategy without a deep understanding of your audience's interests and needs is akin to shooting in the dark. By deciphering what your target audience is actively searching for, you gain the ability to align your content with their expectations, ensuring it resonates and delivers value.

Article Performance Prediction

Will your carefully crafted article perform well in the digital realm? The answer lies in the real-time data reflecting trending topics and search queries within your niche. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your content strategy on the fly, adjusting your approach based on the dynamic nature of user interests.

Audience Understanding

A profound comprehension of who constitutes your audience is essential for content creators and businesses alike. Knowing the demographic details, preferences, and expectations of your readership allows you to tailor your content to meet their unique needs, fostering increased engagement and relevance.

Key Elements to Consider When Getting to Know Your Audience

Now we understand why it’s so important to understand your audience, let’s get into some key areas you will need to focus on to do this well.

Buyer Personas

  • Develop detailed buyer personas to create a comprehensive understanding of your target audience.
  • Identify their demographics, pain points, motivations, and preferred communication channels.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create buyer personas to elevate your marketing, check out this Steel Croissant blog

Marketing Funnel

  • A marketing funnel allows you to map out and understand your customer's journey so you can serve them better with custom content. 
  • The aim is to align your content with different stages of the marketing funnel – from awareness to consideration and decision-making.
  • Craft content that educates, informs, and guides your audience through each stage.

In this Steel Croissant guide, we lead you through the marketing funnel and share actionable steps for you to take at each stage.

Buyer’s Journey

  • A B2B customer journey map is a visual collection of the typical road your target audience takes on their way to becoming a customer.
  • Mapping out the buyer’s journey includes recognizing touchpoints where your audience seeks information.
  • Tailor content to address specific needs at each stage, ensuring a seamless progression through the journey.

In this guide, we have outlined the six steps needed to take to create your own B2B customer journey map.

SEO Strategies

  • In a nutshell, SEO helps businesses get to know their audience by analyzing search queries, keywords, and user behavior. This provides insights into what people are actively searching for and their preferences.
  • Conduct keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your audience uses when searching.
  • Optimize your content for these keywords to enhance its visibility on search engines.

For more tips and tricks on harnessing SEO to get to know your audience and ultimately, grow your business, check out our beginner's guide.

Free Tools for Audience Research


In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, Semrush is a standout SEO toolkit that transcends basic keyword research. Its multifaceted features, including robust Keyword Analytics and Competitor Research, make it an indispensable asset for businesses seeking online success.

Semrush's Keyword Analytics provides a deep dive into search volume and trends for specific keywords, offering nuanced insights into their popularity and relevance. This depth is crucial for shaping content strategies aligned with evolving search engine preferences.

The Competitor Research feature sets Semrush apart by allowing users to strategically analyze the tactics of their competitors. This insight not only identifies gaps in one's own approach but also fine-tunes digital strategies for a competitive edge. Semrush serves as a strategic compass, guiding businesses to adapt and innovate in a constantly changing digital landscape.

Answer The Public

Answer The Public revolutionizes the landscape of keyword research by turning it into a visually engaging experience, eliminating the often overwhelming nature of data exploration. This tool presents a user-friendly interface that distills complex information into visually appealing charts and graphs. By doing so, it not only simplifies the process but also makes it accessible and easy for marketers and content creators to interpret.

At the heart of Answer The Public's effectiveness lies its key features. The tool excels in visualizing data, converting intricate details into comprehensible graphics that aid in swift decision-making. This visual representation not only streamlines the research process but also allows users to quickly identify patterns and trends within the data. Furthermore, Answer The Public offers a unique advantage with its Long-Tail Keyword Suggestions, providing users with a treasure trove of valuable keywords and user queries. This functionality enriches content creation by uncovering specific phrases and topics that resonate with the audience, fostering a more targeted and impactful approach to digital content.


UberSuggest, crafted by renowned SEO expert Neil Patel, stands out as a comprehensive SEO tool that offers content creators a holistic perspective on keyword dynamics, competition, and content ideation. 

At the core of UberSuggest's capabilities is its remarkable Keyword Suggestions feature. Users gain access to heaps of keyword ideas based on their input, enriching the content creation process with diverse and relevant terms. This functionality transcends basic keyword research, providing content creators with the tools to discover nuanced phrases that resonate with their target audience. UberSuggest ensures that users can stay ahead of the curve, creating material that not only aligns with current search trends but also captures the attention of their audience.

UberSuggest also helps facilitate Competitor Analysis, offering users a unique window into the keyword strategies employed by their rivals. By peeking into the keyword tactics of competitors, content creators can adapt and optimize their approach, ensuring a more effective and targeted content strategy that resonates with their audience.

Google Trends

Google Trends, a staple in the realm of digital analytics, is a dependable tool for gauging the popularity of search queries over time, providing users with invaluable insights into emerging trends.

At the forefront of Google Trends' capabilities is its Real-Time Data feature, allowing users to stay abreast of the latest search trends. This real-time insight is invaluable in the fast-paced digital landscape, enabling content creators to adapt their strategies swiftly and cater to the current interests of their audience. By harnessing the power of real-time data, users can fine-tune their content strategy to ensure relevance and resonance.

Google Trends also offers Regional Insights, providing users with a nuanced understanding of geographical variations in search behavior. This feature enables businesses and content creators to tailor their approach to diverse audiences, recognizing that preferences and trends may vary across different regions. By acknowledging and accommodating these regional nuances, users can create targeted and localized content that resonates more effectively with specific audience segments, ultimately enhancing the overall impact of their digital strategies.

Google - "People Also Ask" Section

The "People Also Ask" section, discreetly nestled within Google's search results, stands as a goldmine for those seeking profound insights into user intent and related queries. This unassuming, yet powerful feature provides a direct window into the questions users have on specific topics, offering content creators and marketers an invaluable resource to tailor their content.

By delving into the user questions related to specific topics, content creators gain a deeper understanding of what their audience is actively seeking. This insightful information serves as a guide for content creation efforts, enabling creators to craft material that not only answers these user queries but also aligns seamlessly with the audience's expectations and interests.

Moreover, the "People Also Ask" section serves as a catalyst for Content Expansion. Content creators can leverage this tool to broaden the scope of their material, addressing a wider range of user queries and potential concerns. This approach not only enhances the comprehensiveness of the content but also positions creators as authoritative sources, catering to the diverse needs of their audience and enriching the overall user experience. In essence, this unobtrusive feature within Google's search results offers a dynamic avenue for content creators to stay attuned to user intent and continually refine and expand their content strategies.

Social Media/Listening Tools - Hootsuite & BuzzSumo

Hootsuite and BuzzSumo, revered as prominent social media tools, offer content creators and marketers a dynamic lens through which to observe and engage with social conversations, trending topics, and content performance. 

A standout feature of these tools is Social Listening, which enables users to track mentions, hashtags, and trends across various social media platforms. This functionality serves as a real-time pulse check, allowing businesses and content creators to uncover what their audience is discussing, sharing, and engaging with. Social Listening goes beyond monitoring brand mentions; it offers a comprehensive understanding of the broader social conversations within a niche or industry. By tapping into these insights, users can adapt their strategies to align with current discussions, ensuring that their content remains relevant and resonates with their target audience.

Furthermore, Hootsuite and BuzzSumo facilitate detailed Content Performance analysis on social media platforms. This feature allows users to delve into the engagement metrics and popularity of their content in real time. 

Armed with this data, content creators can refine their content strategy based on the immediate feedback from their audience. Whether it's adjusting the tone, optimizing posting schedules, or pivoting content themes, the ability to analyze and adapt on the fly is a crucial aspect of maintaining a vibrant and effective social media presence.

Measuring Success

We’ve spoken about the importance of knowing what your audience is searching for and some of the best, free and paid tools to help you get there. But how do you know you’re on the right track? 

To gauge the success of your audience research efforts, you’ll need to rely on metrics such as Click-Through Rate (CTR), time on page, engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments), and bounce rate. These metrics offer a tangible way to assess the effectiveness of your content in capturing and retaining audience attention.

As a parting note, consider exploring Audience Building/Research services offered by industry experts like our team members at Steel Croissant. Our specialized services can elevate your understanding of the target demographic, providing nuanced insights that go beyond the capabilities of free tools.

In an era where data reigns supreme, arming yourself with the right tools to unravel the mysteries of your audience's search behavior is the key to sustained growth and success in the digital landscape. Invest in audience research, forge meaningful connections, and pave the way for long-term loyalty and prosperity. Reach out to us today to learn more about how you can get started.


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