Case. Market launch of a new IT product based on a study of search demand
To begin with, you will not find here a happy end or another enchanting success story. But read an instructive story about how to properly prepare for the launch of a new product on the market. How to do niche analysis to get the right data, and how to interpret it correctly to make the right decision.
In 2019, a client from the IT sector came to us with a request to promote a new online security product. The solution that the company created was first intended for internal corporate purposes, and then the marketing department decided to bring it to the market as an independent product. A good idea, given that the product has already passed a test drive in the company itself.
To bring a new product to the market, a site was created and several landing pages on it. The main users and decision-makers for the purchase were security consultants and directors of IT companies. The main triggers of the purchase are various incidents related to the security of the server, site, internal portal. A portrait of 4 typical users was created and various situations were described in which the product might be needed.
Written in Alconost
The client needed site optimization for search engines. Moreover, already at the stage of determining the primary goals of website optimization, the client identified the main goal of promotion as a necessity “Create a reputation of a reliable and experienced cybersecurity vendor using content on the site and on third-party resources”.
What does this mean for us SEO professionals? The fact that the optimizer’s task in this case is not just to “link” several keywords to each page and somehow make them appear in the search. The task of creating expert status is much more complex and complex. It can mean, for example, the presence in different search engines for all the main information requests, a clear description of the structure of the offer for the consumer on the site, a large number of auxiliary thematic content that answers users’ questions (and at the same time attracts information traffic), etc.
Therefore, first of all, we were faced with the question of strategy – by what requests and to which countries to promote the solution? To answer it, it was necessary to do a niche analysis, study the approaches of competitors and assemble a semantic core. We gladly took up this work. But in the end they didn’t get exactly what they themselves expected and not at all what the client expected.
Work performed for niche analysis and market research
The questions we tried to answer first of all sounded something like this:
- How strong are already created customer pages and how can they be strengthened?
- What queries will be optimally used and how?
- What can you take from competitors’ strategies to promote your site?
- How can I bypass the studied competitors in a Google search for basic thematic queries?
- How strong is the external activity of competitors (links, references)?
- Are the competitors named by the client really the main competitors in different regions?
To answer these questions, we have done the following:
- We analyzed the text relevance of the current pages on the client’s site.
- We compared 7 main groups of requests defined by the client.
- Found and rated 15 additional query groups.
- We examined the user’s portrait and compared it with the real intentions of users based on the collected pool of requests.
- We created a visual search demand tree for all queries.
- Compare selected queries in English for 6 countries (USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany).
- We analyzed the intersection of requests from 3 competitor sites.
- Defined “fake” requests of competitors.
- Found competitors with intersecting semantic kernels.
- We made a comprehensive analysis of the promotion strategy in the search for 3 distinguished competitors.
Search Demand Check
A study of search demand showed that the client’s assumptions about targeted queries do not coincide with reality by 80%. And that was just the beginning.
To be precise, out of the proposed 7 thematic groups, 1 did not exist at all (users don’t search this way), poorly developed or did not exist in some regions – 3. Accordingly, we have three main queries left with the following set of indicators for the selected regions:
|Total number of tails||~ 14000|
|The frequency of all tails||~ 60,000 for USA + 70% for all other regions|
|Estimated website traffic when three main (categorical) queries get in the top 10 Google||400 – 3500|
|Estimated Website Traffic When Hit the Top 10 Google All Tails||5800 – 46000|
It seems to look good for a start, although with some nuances. For example, requests evolve differently in different countries. At the same time for USA for all queries were characterized by long tails with one-time “zero” queries (which complicates optimization). Quite a large part of the groups was relevant to the subject of the site.
The unambiguous conclusion was also this: despite the “similarity”, promotion of one or even several pages of a site in all relevant groups is impossible. Although this is exactly how the content was created on the current pages of the client – “here, now and about everything.”
Also, in order to cover the demand in all regions, it is necessary to combine semantic kernels for several regions (i.e. save all requests for the desired regions, combine them into one file, clear them from duplicates and then create a tree), or create a site tree immediately based on the total search demand in English (this will take into account the requests of users from other countries, including non-English speakers). At the same time, it should be taken into account that search demand in English in other countries (not English-speaking) exists, but it is limited to only two of the most popular areas. Therefore, it turns out that the main customer request, with the help of which he thought to position his product and describe it on the main page, is not the most successful.
After such not very positive conclusions, we decided to check the synonyms, their tails and user intentions associated with them. As it turned out, found synonyms are not just a lot, but a lot, and most of them really suit the client for promotion!
In total, we managed to form several dozen new common query groups with a common frequency several times larger than indicated in the table.
Thus, it turned out that there is a search demand for synonyms, there are a lot of synonyms and they have a lot of query groups. What’s next? Of course, understand what competitors are doing. Maybe they just do not use what we found, and this is a great chance for a client to enter the market with a new solution?
What did competitor analysis show?
Here is how the traffic of the main competitors allocated by the client was distributed:
|Attendance, months||1 million||315 thousand||1.1 million|
|Collected from them the main domain||thirty%||12%||37%|
|Search traffic (6 months)||53% (in different periods – from 50 to 60%)||17% (in different periods – from 11 to 19%)||58% (in different periods 57-62%)|
|Google in search traffic||99%||98%||98% (1.16% DuckDuckGo)|
|Mobile traffic share||60%||fifteen%||thirteen%|
As you can see, these sites had traffic from 15 to 30 thousand people a day, and two of them had half the traffic from search. What did they do to achieve such impressive results in a seemingly narrow corporate niche?
The most interesting thing was that the generated traffic analyzed sites intersect very weakly! We suggested that this could happen for several reasons, for example:
- Various technical solutions when working with subdomains and client projects;
- Different approaches to the localization of sentences;
- Different categories on which projects are positioned and, as a result, different semantic kernels.
It was decided to check all these assumptions. A very detailed analysis of each site was carried out: its overlapping requests, fake, lost, with strong and weak competition, requests for individual types of pages, etc .; text corps; dynamics of positions.
The findings were unexpected and very different for each site.
Findings about competitors after researching their requests
So, the strategy of promoting Site1 was to create as many pages as possible with the help of users, even if these pages are low-relevant to queries. At the same time, a really large part of the traffic-generating pages collected the smallest possible amount of traffic. The main page was not optimized at all, and the “hub” category pages were also missing.
But the site had a huge number of indexed pages, and even if 80% of them do not work to drive traffic, but are present in the index, they still exert link pressure on a number of main pages.
In fact, the site “winds up” traffic through user-generated content and technical information on pages about different user domains and their security checks. At the same time – and this was the most unexpected for our client – most of these pages are porn!
Site2, which collected half as much traffic in the table and had worse quality indicators, used a different strategy. He collected traffic from the search due to a wide variety of weakly relevant pages on many subdomains, but the pages on the site were clearly not optimized enough. At the same time, a third of the traffic was attracted to the site on the uk!
On the whole, the number of indexed pages on subdomains was large, although it could be called “technical content” rather than informational, expert, selling, or some other. This promotion strategy seemed extremely doubtful to us.
The main page of Site3 collected traffic exclusively for brand requests. That is, it was actually not optimized either. However, as further study showed, the site possessed a large semantic core of low-frequency thematic queries and, accordingly, a set of relevant pages for these queries. At the same time, 53% of the traffic yielded only 39 pages of the site, and the remaining half brought another 1663 thematic pages. At first glance it seems a lot, but if you compare it with the millions of pages of Site1, which give the same numbers, but with absolutely fake intentions, then the strategy of Site3 is actually the best of those considered.
That’s just the nature of the requests was also not quite “ours” – the largest amount of traffic to Site3 turned out to be connected with … hacker themes! And this is not at all what the client imagined, drawing portraits of target users.
We examined the sites and requests of competitors. What to do next?
Since two of the three competitors identified by the client turned out to be actually weak competitors in terms of SEO, we decided to find stronger ones and see what they do.
From a list of 10 new competitors, it became apparent that overlapping requests on their sites were largely informational – The transactional intention in them is only a small part of the search demand. It is due to this that they create their expert status. And it will be impossible to avoid the use of information queries in your promotion strategy!
Our promotion strategy will have to take into account the presence of strong competitors and the need to build up about-thematic content. In fact, selling products in this niche is multi-step, not direct.
An analysis of new competitors showed that there is a volume search demand with many niches, while each niche is not very developed. There are many variations and synonyms of the same concepts (for example, users use different verbs – prevent, detect, protect, etc. to find solutions to different problems; moreover, even for one topic, concepts can develop in different ways, for example, detect malicious traffic – yes, prevent malicious traffic – no, etc.). At the same time, the problem is complicated by the presence of a large number of requests, conditionally related to the topic, but not targeted in our case, namely, requests from people trying to find a solution not for protection, but for hacking.
At the same time, the competitors studied use not just text optimization of landing pages for selected queries, but a broad approach to increasing the internal link mass with the help of several solutions:
- Mass generation of “technical” pages by templates, for example, profile pages of sites with parameters.
- Stimulating the generation of content by users on individual content projects, most often in the Q&A format.
- Publication of a large number of informational articles on the thematic semantic core in the format of a blog within the site, on a subdomain, or on a formally unrelated thematic domain, but with the obligatory linking to the main site.
Thus, the current site of our client with 20 indexed pages competes in basic queries with competitor sites that have thousands, tens and hundreds of thousands of pages indexed on similar topics! Recall that, first of all, the client set himself and before us the task of becoming an expert and fixing this status in the eyes of users.
At the same time, in our strategy we cannot go into regionality and create regional sets of pages – there are no queries with localization, the difference in search results by region is not much different.
Also, focusing on getting queries in the top 10 and having a semantic core of several thousand queries, you need a tool to track the positions of all these queries to understand the presence or absence of dynamics in page optimization. Accordingly, part of the resources must be planned for a similar tool and for a monthly analysis of the situation with the positions as a whole.
What did the client decide?
And what decision would you make in such a situation?
Our client, having calculated the budget for the “arms race”, decided that it would be easier to change the positioning of the product and enter the market with a completely different solution!
An example of a successful launch of a new product on the market did not work. Of course, one could start small and take a number of simple steps to create expert content, to create automatically generated content, and to stimulate the creation of user-generated content. And if we were a company offering exclusively page optimization or localization of content in other languages, we would probably try to persuade the client to get involved in the battle and pay for the search promotion for a long time.
However, we are focused on marketing solutions and real expertise in evaluating search demand. If your task is to explore new niches and bring new products to the market, contact! We will not pretend to be true, but we will do a real marketing audit for you based on user search demand.
about the author
Article written in Alconost.
Alconost is engaged localization of games, applications and sites in 70+ languages.
Alconost is also an agency. internet marketing. We will develop a global promotion strategy, perform search engine optimization and set up multilingual advertising campaigns for your website.