Who Your Potential Customers Are and What They Want From Your SEO Tool

Who Your Potential Customers Are and What They Want From Your SEO Tool

SEO software customer types

You can’t win all types of customers at once. You need to know for whom you are designing a solution. It is useful not only for marketing your software to the right audience but also for developing a feasible and competitive product.

Of course, SEO remains SEO, no matter how many people are involved in the optimization process. However, the focus and specific goals vary, as well as the scope of tasks and responsibilities. And so do their budgets and workflow. The main customer types are:

SEO and Digital Marketing Agencies

SEO Consultants

In-House SEO teams

Local Businesses

Brand, Franchise, Enterprise

To create a simple breakdown for you, we have analyzed publicly available data on SEO software companies of different scales and on their customers represented by the types above. Research materials included customer stories, interviews, reviews, and service offers.

cover-wp-2This article is a part of our new White Paper on the SEO software market analysis. If you want to get a free personal tour across the complete industry landscape and explore the latest market trends, follow the link below.
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SEO and Digital Marketing Agencies

Who they are

While SEO agencies focus more on website optimization for businesses (for example: comprehensive, local, or e-commerce SEO), digital marketing agencies offer a more extensive range of services: from web development and graphic design to digital advertising and SEO.

Agencies are more likely to go with a long-established SEO software brand to provide clients with highly credible reports. In terms of new tools adoption, agencies are the late majority group. Some may embrace new software sooner, but this becomes the case only after it gets authoritative positive feedback, so the early majority within this customer type is a rare find.

What they do

The majority of agencies operate with limited resources onboard. SEO specialists at agencies typically collaborate within a team and perform the following tasks:

  • Communicate with business representatives
  • Analyze website performance
  • Develop and execute an SEO strategy
  • Report the results to clients, typically monthly

What they want

Every business wants to be the best in the industry, and the agencies are no exception. They want to succeed and grow, and it surely depends on the quality of the provided services.

  • Deliver top results
  • Save costs
  • Retain existing customers
  • Generate leads
  • Acquire new clients
  • Increase revenue
  • Grow the agency

What they hate

With the average number of employees in the range of 2-10, managing all the clients’ data efficiently and simultaneously executing several tasks becomes ever more difficult. Moreover, marketing budget cuts in some industries and decreasing budgets of the agencies amidst the recession create substantial constraints for growing the client base and scaling the business.

  • Internal resource constraints
  • Pressed for time
  • Too many channels to maintain
  • Limited budgets within the agency
  • Decreased customer budgets
  • Tough competition

What they need

Agencies need more accurate and efficient SEO, SEM, and customer management software to deliver higher value to their clients, but they also need it under-budget.

  • Accurate data
  • Automated reporting
  • Scheduling
  • Fast operation
  • Cost-efficiency
  • White-label reporting options
  • Workflow management options
  • Integration with other platforms
  • Scalability

SEO Consultants

Who they are

Independent SEO specialist is like an SEO agency, but with a team of one. They are typically hired by small companies to perform a holistic website optimization or fix particular issues.

SEO consultants will commonly stick to the conservative approach of using the most popular tools with a long-standing reputation to prove the credibility of the reports to clients. Regarding the adoption of new SEO software, this group qualifies as the late majority or even laggards.

What they do

Often, freelance SEOs have quite versatile additional duties beyond SEO, such as content writing and optimization, social media management, or web design. Volumes and scopes depend on the project given by the contracting company. Other times, SEO consultants provide services within a specific area. For example, they may specialize in a local, niche, or technical SEO. Either way, their workflow has somewhat the same points as that of an agency:

  • Communicate with the customer
  • Review current performance
  • Develop a strategy for fixing issues
  • Prepare strategic reports

What they want

Some of those who start as individual SEO consultants are looking to open their own agency in the future. But what indeed remains the goal for everyone is growing authority and becoming a well-known expert to get paid more. This can be achieved by gaining more experience and providing excellent outcomes.

  • Deliver top results
  • Gain excellent feedback
  • Increase authority
  • Raise the compensation rate
  • Found an agency

What they hate

Independent SEOs face even more dramatic challenges than agency workers do. The economic consequences of the recession, and companies being more hesitant to pay higher prices for the job is one thing. But they also have to do all the marketing, networking and negotiating on their own. In contrast, agencies have dedicated people or those tasks.

  • Pressing deadlines
  • Overwhelming amount of tasks
  • Increased reluctance to pay more
  • Highly competitive environment

What they need

SEO consultants have to keep their reputation and quality of services high while spendings – low. As they are even shorter on time and their workflow and tasks are in most cases constantly changing, independent SEOs usually rely on tools that address one issue at a time and prefer free or quite cheap but time-saving and handy options.

  • Accurate data
  • Automated reporting
  • Scheduling
  • Fast operation
  • Low-priced

In-House SEO teams

Who they are

An in-house SEO team is a department dedicated to SEO in a single company or an umbrella of several companies. Sometimes, however, this department may also be an in-house SEO team of one. Either way, in-house SEOs have greater ownership over the project, greater access to company resources, and a full understanding of the business goals and needs.

SEOs from in-house teams would usually work with widely known SEO software. Small to midsize businesses, as a rule, do not have the resources for a risky investment in a new solution that does not have proof or guarantee of delivering sound results yet, which makes them fall to the late majority category.

What they do

The optimization process done in-house is centered on a particular niche industry. Accordingly, the critical SEO points and objectives are determined by it. The workflow depends on the size of the team, and the way responsibilities are distributed within it.

  • Develop and implement SEO strategies
  • Monitor performance metrics
  • Set SEO goals for the team
  • Collaborate with other departments
  • Provide reports to the management
  • Distribute resources and SEO budget

What they want

The first objective in-house SEO teams pursue is delivering the results that boost conversions, sales, and the company’s profit. To attain it, internal SEOs need to align their goals with the marketing and sales departments. Another thing they are after is getting more budgets and resources devoted to SEO to achieve better results faster and more efficiently.

  • Improve website performance
  • Prove the monetary value of SEO
  • Get better optimization budgets
  • Enlarge the team
  • Increase the company’s revenue
  • Grow the company

What they hate

As we’ve already mentioned, one of the issues in-house teams face is limited SEO budgets. Many businesses put their SEO and marketing activities on hold or cut spending on it due to the recession. In addition to that, some companies have minimal teams engaged in SEO, and these people may not always have specialized training or experience.

  • Insufficient SEO funds
  • Lack of internal resources
  • Insufficient training or skills
  • Technical limitations

What they need

In-house teams would benefit greatly from having affordable and intuitive SEO software that provides guidelines on optimization. Also, as in-house teams work within a specific industry, they often need tools (e.g., for keyword research) that focus on optimization for a particular market niche.

  • Cost-efficient software
  • Niche SEO tools
  • Collaboration features
  • Recommendations on optimization

Local Businesses

Who they are

Doing SEO on their own is a common thing for small establishments or individual entrepreneurs offering local services. Generally speaking, a local business in this context is the same as an in-house SEO team of one, but with much more workload and responsibilities.

Local businesses would commonly look for the most affordable and the least risky SEO software options, as the late majority. On the other hand, some jump at the opportunities offered in new tools quickly, being the early majority group. However, this is rather about jumping at the savings opportunities, meaning the low software cost is their decisive factor.

What they do

A person doing SEO within a local business is quite a jack of all trades because their workflow might consist of serving the clients, cleaning the workplace, and doing SEO somewhere in-between. In terms of the latter, they mostly carry out the following:

  • Optimize local search listings
  • Handle customer reviews
  • Manage social media
  • Create content

What they want

The coronavirus-caused recession hit local businesses the hardest, considering the lockdowns and social distancing. Now they first off want more customers, as enlarging the clientele means bringing home more bacon. In addition, the ultimate goal surely stays – growing the business.

  • Improve online visibility
  • Get excellent reviews and rating
  • Drive more leads
  • Attract more customers
  • Increase revenue
  • Grow the business

What they hate

Small businesses without enough budgets to hire a dedicated person or agency are left to do everything relying only on their own efforts. That’s why they are particularly stressed and tight on time. But lockdowns and decreased purchasing power that resulted in limited budgets aggravate the situation even more.

  • Not enough time for SEO
  • No budget for SEO
  • Insufficient knowledge of SEO
  • Declined consumer spending
  • Declined earnings

What they need

Having everything within one easy-to-use software would be the most suitable option for local businesses. Their best fit is an efficient and time-saving platform that allows managing several channels from one place. However, with budgets remaining very limited, small local companies are looking for free or low-price-tag options in most cases.

  • Free or cheap tools
  • Local and niche SEO tools
  • Social media management
  • Google My Business integration
  • Intuitive interface
  • Recommendations on optimization
  • Easy-to-understand reports

Brand, Franchise, Enterprise

Who they are

Large international businesses, as a rule, are managing SEO in-house. But compared to the in-house teams or departments of SMB companies, SEOs at big corporations are dealing with huge volumes, as they are managing huge websites with tens of thousands or even millions of pages and keywords. Think ‘Fortune 500’-grade companies, like Amazon, IBM, Oracle, Ford Motor, or Nike.

The enterprise segment is most likely to embrace new solutions sooner. Sure enough, not every large business would be an early adopter. But with the resources and scopes of tasks they have, enterprise SEOs can afford trying new software looking to resolve particular issues faster.

What they do

Enterprise SEO workflow includes all that a general comprehensive website optimization process does, but, at the same time, the immense scale of everything makes it completely different. The workflow and goals at enterprise usually need to be lined up across several SEO teams and many other departments that may be located in different countries. Besides that, the teams at large international corporations need to do global SEO and local SEO for multiple regions and places. They may have to focus on not one, but several market niches and fix complex technical issues across a website.

  • Create SEO strategies and roadmaps
  • Implement the strategy
  • Ensure effective website optimization
  • Collaborate with other departments
  • Report at regular business meetings
  • Allocate resources and SEO funds

What they want

The biggest businesses still want more. Success may go away just as quickly as it may come, so brands and franchisees know they can never slow the pace down. On the contrary, they have to invest more effort and more significant portions of the budget to reach their ever-climbing benchmarks of sales and revenue.

  • Improve search visibility
  • Maintain an online reputation
  • Drive more leads and sales
  • Increase net income
  • Expand business to new locations

What they hate

SEOs in the largest companies are particularly stretched, considering the optimization scale. The current socio-economic situation puts even more pressure on them. When the recession hits, it inevitably hits everyone. The enterprise segment didn’t suffer as much as the SMBs. Still, some industries nonetheless had substantial losses, and they need to catch up on that.

  • Complicated optimization process
  • Overwhelming data volumes
  • Time-consuming SEO
  • Declined customer spending
  • Decreased revenue

What they need

Just like SEOs from other segments, enterprise SEO staff is tight on time. But more significant data volumes and bigger SEO budgets make a big difference. However, the complexity of the optimization process brings more sophisticated SEO software requirements from enterprise experts.

  • All-in-one software
  • Accurate data
  • Automated reporting, scheduling
  • Fast operation
  • Omnichannel management
  • Workflow management options
  • Support for multiple locations
  • Large-scale local and niche SEO
  • Integration with other platforms
  • Scalability
  • Predictive analytics, ROI forecasting
  • Reasonable cost

Summary

Customers are the driving force for the success and growth of any business. Knowing the needs and pain points of the core customer groups we analyzed in this part, you can design a solution to the issues representatives of a particular segment face daily. Tailoring your SEO tool to a broader set of requirements, you can justify the price-benefit aspect of the product. However, remember that you will need in-depth ongoing customer data analytics to efficiently acquire, retain, and satisfy customers.

To learn more about the SEO software market characteristics, as well as current and emerging product development trends, download our FREE White Paper.

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Irene T.

The three passions of my life are writing, learning languages, and traveling. I followed the calling throughout the four years of BA in English and French, and carried my dreams in a backpack across 13 countries. Being a Content Writer at DataForSEO, I see every article as a journey to new destinations of the tech and SEO world. Embark on.

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