Blog: 5 Ways Audience Research Helps You Optimize Your Landing Pages

5 Ways Audience Research Helps You Customize Your Landing Pages

Before you can accomplish your goals, you’ve gotta help your audience accomplish theirs. Makes sense, right? But too many times, marketers fall into the trap of creating landing pages with only their own goals in mind.

It’s no wonder visitors aren’t clicking on that CTA.

Building a landing page that converts like crazy shouldn’t be left up to chance—it’s the result of using detailed information about your audience to create a persuasive combination of copy and imagery.

The key to converting visits on your landing page?

Audience research.

“How Can I Make Sure I Appeal to Every Customer Demographic?”

Marketers are often taught that if you’re talking to everyone, then you’re talking to no one.

It’s true! A one-size-fits-all approach to your campaigns will never be as effective as one that’s both specific and highly relevant to your prospective customers and their needs.

For example, your company might be selling a SaaS product and dump your customers into buckets marked “marketers,” “founders,” and “business owners.” But so much opportunity is lost from this approach!

Demographic segmentation can be a stronger starting point that can make your landing page strategy more specific.

Think about how their location, age, and place of employment might help you personalize your messaging and tighten your advertising efforts.

On the page below, for instance, the location might not be as targeted, but other demographics like age, family status, and gender were clearly used to appeal to a specific persona (type of person).

Image courtesy of Hallam

When you consider these types of details, your landing page takes the form of 1:1 communication, instead of an impersonal 1:many blast that speaks to nobody in particular. Your customers will feel the difference, even if they don’t know the experience has been tailored just for them. 

Sometimes, though, you don’t start out with the audience insights you need to create a landing page with the exact effect you intended.

That’s when you need to do a little diggin’.

Getting to know more about the customers you already have (and what makes them unique) can be advantageous to your strategy. You just need to do is put in the work to discover more about them…

5 Methods Of Audience Research

1. Conduct Customer Interviews/Surveys

Customer interviews are usually viewed as a preliminary activity. You reach out to ideal customers to get feedback on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and that’s it. 

*See ya next year!*

The problem here is that it leaves behind a great deal of opportunity. Customer insights can provide a ton of value between your launch and development stages. 

To improve the product for your customers, you need to make sure that they’ve got some skin in the game. By using continuous research, you can co-develop a product that your community loves, especially because they helped inform it. 

You need to be talking to your customers all the time.

Here are a few tips to help your next interview be short and deliberate as opposed to long and aimless. 

Start with the big picture.

It’s tempting to create surveys and interview questions centered on a product feature you think will be helpful. But this sets you up for confirmation bias. Instead, focus your questions on the user experience. 

If your product is meant to make content distribution more simple and scalable, resist asking about tools your customers might already be using. Ask questions that help you understand their barriers and needs to execute at a high level.

Decide how the feedback will be used. 

You want to respect your customers’ time by asking questions focused on them. A common mistake in customer interviews and surveys is asking questions about making your company’s messaging better. Yes, that will always be the end goal. 

However, language is important. Your customers want to know how you can help them, not the other way around. So, before you script your questions, decide which area of the business you want responses for. This will help you be more strategic and help you script questions that give you actionable feedback.

Image courtesy of Sprig

Write your questions, then write ‘em again. 

First drafts are rarely perfect—although they’re incredibly helpful in getting your ideas down on paper. The next step is to organize those ideas and refine them into smooth, targeted, and impactful sentences. 

At first, your technical knowledge of your product might naturally find its way into your document, but you’ll want to avoid jargon and keep it simple for your customers. Write like you’re talking to a colleague or having a conversation in a coffee shop. Consumers are much savvier at picking out sales pitches and inauthentic copy in the digital age than they were 10 years ago. 

Write with empathy, tell your customers exactly how this data will be used, and try not to leave anything up to interpretation.

Curated Tip: It also helps if you can offer an incentive in return for their feedback. Something like a gift card, small cash reward, or donation has been known to increase response rates by up to 50%.

When you’re ready to start framing your questions, use our customer feedback tips to help you optimize your campaign for a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs.

2. Monitor Social Media Platforms

One of the best ways to engage in audience research is to go where your audience hangs out online. 

There’s a tendency to rely only on Google to find answers that provide more insight into your customers’ interests, online behaviors, and patterns. You might also look at competitors to see what they’re doing or review studies from industry-leading companies to see what’s worked in the past. 

But there’s a TON of insights circulating on social media platforms that you can also learn from.


You might not have access to Facebook’s old beloved audience insight tool anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about how your customers use the platform.

You can still:

  • Search for groups discussing topics relevant to your brand: More than 1.4 BILLION people are using Facebook groups every month. These groups usually focus on a hobby or activity which can give you more insight into the daily lives of your target demographic.
  • Use Lookalike Audiences in your ad campaigns: This pixel helps you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business due to similar characteristics of your existing customers.

Other Social Channels

Jump on Quora, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn, and YouTube to find out what your audience is curious about and how they engage with those topics online.

Many of these channels have analytic reports built into the platform but you can also use social listening tools like Keyhole to track mentions of your brand, monitor conversions about competitors, and spot opportunities for relationship building.

Building a community online means showing up, participating, and adding value.

To understand how you can add value, you can use social listening to be a fly on the wall who observes the typical interactions in your industry. With these insights, you can craft strategic messages knowing what works and what doesn’t.

3. Competitive Analysis

You might want to focus solely on your brand and avoid looking at competitors to prevent being influenced by their tactics or—in all honesty—getting a little intimidated by their presence.

But the reality is that understanding your competitors’ positioning helps you better refine your own. Your main goal with competitor research should be to understand the sentiment consumers have towards competing brands and products.

During your research, you should be seeking answers to questions like:

  • Why do people like their product? Examine the social activities that get the most engagement and study the reviews for content ideas that position your differentiators as a strength.
  • When do people use their product? If you can pinpoint when a consumer shifts from a learning mindset to a buying mindset, your landing page copy can be used to speak specifically to the trigger event that encourages a purchase decision.
  • What do people like/dislike about their product? This is where the full user experience of a competitor product can help you optimize your offering. Capitalizing on what’s different is great but you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. If there’s a feature of a competitor product that users appreciate having the ability to use, you have an opportunity to repurpose how that can be used uniquely to your own product.
  • How much would a customer spend on their product and why? Competition-based pricing works for businesses competing in a highly saturated market, but your strategy ultimately comes down to the elasticity of consumer demand. Be mindful of how competitors use geography, psychology, and premium offerings to determine their pricing.
  • Are they a go-to resource when it comes to buying a solution?Make a list of the reasons a prospective buyer might purchase your competitor’s product above other solutions in the market. Think about this in relation to the points mentioned above: social presence, problem-focused storytelling, pricing, product features, and customer service. Try to source customer testimonials that speak to your product in each of those areas. If you can’t find any, you know exactly where you need to double down.

But the most important question your messaging must reflect on is, what sets us apart from the competition?

4. Google Analytics or Site Performance Reporting Alternatives

When you’re seeking to connect with your audience online, you need Google Analytics.

This is one of the first tools many marketers integrate into their tech stack to get a solid understanding of the traffic they drive to their landing pages.

Google Analytics helps you capture demographic data from the composition of your audience, but it goes a step further by segmenting high- and low-value users so you can modify your spending to target a larger group of interested consumers.  

The power of a paper trail can also never be underestimated. Google Analytics brings you into the user journey of each demographic to see how they’ve landed on your page, which pages they’re spending the most time on, and the Customer Lifetime Value of users acquired through specific advertising efforts.

These types of metrics give you the knowledge to create more intentionally and spend more efficiently.  

5. Use Audience Research Tools

There are many tools available today that can help you streamline your research efforts to create continuous feedback from your desired audience.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Spark Toro: Helping people do better marketing by making the audience segments of publications, people, and media sources more transparent.
  • Buzzsumo: Uses one of the world’s largest index of social engagement data to help you discover content types and formats that your audience shares to create better content.
  • Audiense: Audience intelligence software that helps marketers and consumer researchers create audience-centric strategies through social consumer segmentation.
  • Smart Traffic: AI-powered tool that eliminates guesswork by creating page variants for segmented users most likely to convert. You can learn about your audience as you build!

Analyze Your Findings

Now that you’ve traveled far and wide to collect data on your target audience, it’s time to deconstruct what it all means.

Not all users in your audience will be the same. Splitting them into subcategories based on similar patterns will help you deliver campaigns in a way that feels personal to each segment.

Aside from demographic data, you can also group users together based on:

Lifestyle/Psychographics: Through your social listening tool, you can pinpoint particular traits and cultural trends that users in your audience relate to online. Though this isn’t as clear-cut as age and location data, these aspects of your audience are key to scripting messages in the context of their problems. This helps you build relationships with an audience that feels you know exactly what they’re going through.

Keywords: In tandem with understanding the language your audience uses, you can also segment based on keywords. However, you need to be careful with the words you use. A simple mistake is using market keywords to define your customers. Nuh-uh.

By doing that, you’re still casting a wide net. As we learned above, if you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one. Instead, use long-tail keywords to get specific on your audience segments. Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) can help you segment main commercial keywords with either transactional or informational content which serves as a helpful guide to determining your audiences’ search intent.

For example, if you’re selling coffee, rather than just using “coffee” try:

Coffee near me
Coffee [location]
Decaf Coffee
Locally Sourced Coffee
Fair Trade Coffe

You want to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and target search entries from a first-person perspective. 

Cross-reference the data you’ve gathered with what your brand offers to capitalize on industry gaps and opportunities. Research can truly be your best friend.

Optimizing Your Landing Pages Based On Research

Alright, you’ve done the research. You’ve analyzed your findings. You’ve segmented your audience groups. 

Now it’s time to put those insights to work and make some magic happen by optimizing your landing pages based on what you’ve discovered.

Want to build a perfect landing page without support from a developer? Start your free trial of Unbounce’s Smart Builder today.

Tailoring Copy

With a firm understanding of your audiences’ search intent and the phrases they use, make sure your landing copy reflects that same communication.

It helps to have a checklist to ensure you’re focusing as much as possible on the customer perspective, rather than your own. 

✅ Is there a common experience you can use that illustrates the pain point that you solve?

✅ Are you naming your customer demographic in the copy? (e.g., dog owners, millennials)

✅ Do you have a strong value proposition?

✅ Are you avoiding complex jargon?

✅ Are you encouraging action?

It also helps to add statistics that complement your value prop throughout your copy and use social proof to show the benefits of your product. People are more likely to believe what they can see.

Use this full list of tips to make your landing page copy more persuasive.

Wondering how your landing page copy performs compared to the competition? Try the Unbounce Copy Analyzer.

Tailoring CTAs

Your research will give you a better understanding of where your audience is in the buyer’s journey when they come in contact with your brand.

With this insight, you can tailor your CTAs to move that prospective buyer to the next stage.

Leave the “learn more” CTA for the top of funnel folks. As consumers move further along their journey, try CTAs like:

“Put me on the list!”
“Send me the report!”
“Talk with an agent”

Remember that using first-person phrasing can help you boost your click-through rate, just like ContentVerve saw a 90% increase in their CTR by using “Start my free 30-day trial” instead of “Start your free 30-day trial.”

Just sayin’. 👀

Refining Imagery

The images you use also have a major impact on your audience. Consumers are more likely to spend more time analyzing the imagery on your landing page before moving on to reading your copy.

So, make sure your images reflect who your audience segment believes themselves to be.

If it’s a coffee-loving millennial, reflect that in the imagery.

If it’s a digital nomad, reflect that in the imagery.

If it’s a creative SaaS entrepreneur—well, you get it.

Image courtesy of Business Insider

Setting Up Before You Go Heads-Down In Research

Your first thought might be to dive straight into research. As a marketer, your mind is already wired to:

  • Understand what’s happening in the market
  • Generate content ideas
  • Influence perceptions 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The foundation of any productive research is having a solid understanding of the specific purpose of your landing page.

A 2018 Google survey showed that less than 40% of marketers were using consumer research to drive their decisions.

Starting with the right value proposition can save you hours building a landing page you think your audience will care about.

You may have overarching value props for your product as a whole—and that’s great. But every single landing page you publish also needs to have a value prop tailored to that particular product, service, offer, and/or audience.

Your value prop is a clear message that communicates the primary value you provide to your customers.

It’s not about being quirky or using heavy jargon to sound professional. Think of it like you’re offering assistance to a friend with a solution you know can solve their problem. Knowing how your value prop can benefit your business is one thing, but to really show how it can impact your customer. You’ll need to be specific, problem-focused, and exclusive.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  1. Use voice of customer copy: This is where you use intent data and social listening research to leverage the exact words your customers use when talking about their problem. Your value prop then carries more context, and you won’t need to rely on sounding sales-y.
  2. Embrace clarity: Before finding creative phrases to use or animations to add, make sure you provide clear responses to what your product is, who it’s for, and how the product will improve your customer’s life.
  3. Focus on benefits: Talk about what makes you different from competitors. Your differentiators and added benefits can be the decision-maker between a sale and a bounced visitor. Remember, people can see through the hype. Instead of claiming to be the best in the world, give the visitor an in-depth look at your specialty.

Right Time, Right Place

With the help of your audience research methods and tools, the next step is to analyze the customer journey you’ve mapped out to predict where consumers are going to interact with your landing page, and how.

You might think that a similar model—the marketing funnel—is enough to understand the user journey, but the following two frameworks have one major difference to keep them separate…

The driver.

Funnels are driven by assets created by your marketing and sales team. Journeys are driven by the learning experiences and specific needs of the consumer.

Much of the buyer’s journey is now completed online and, in the B2B world, buyers expect to receive unique content aligned with where they are in their journey.

This is where your audience research comes in.

Consider designing variants of your landing page with custom headlines, visuals, resources, and CTAs that target a specific demographic of your audience.

This allows you to match content with critical touchpoints throughout your funnel.

Put It All Together and… Voila!

Don’t let your extensive research dive go to waste. Your audience insights will definitely help you optimize your landing page, but they can also help you optimize other parts of your marketing strategy.

Start experimenting in social channels, niche communities, and with your advertising campaigns to further understand how consumer behaviors change along their buying journey. The goal with research is to consistently learn about the factors that influence your audience.

Even though you have a solid understanding of them now, nothing stays the same forever as new solutions, competitors, and market trends are introduced.

Show up where your community is online. Observe what they’re drawn to, talk to them, and grow with them.

It’s these activities that make research feel more like an exciting process rather than a required chore.

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About Josh Gallant
Josh is the SEO Lead at Foundation Marketing where he oversees the creation and execution of search-driven content strategies for B2B brands. He's a self-proclaimed spreadsheet nerd who loves all things SEO, content marketing, and fantasy football (with multiple data-driven titles to his name).
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