Needs Analysis


Overview of Needs Analysis


The needs analysis is the meat and potatoes of developing a marketing strategy. A needs analysis consists of breaking down goals, defining aspects of your brand or business and quantifying many small components of your website or business. It provides your development and marketing team with an image of your website, business or personal brand (or all three) that allows for a targeted marketing campaign.

Without a needs analysis, you won’t have a defined plan and may be wasting time, money and effort on something that doesn’t benefit your business or your end goals. This is quite possibly the most detailed aspect of any strategy management service, but it is also the most beneficial. When you take a close look at the details needed to fill in the “big picture,” you’re unlocking your success.

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Defining Goals

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Crunching Numbers

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Marketing for the Right Market

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SEO Maintenance and Overhaul

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Personality and Time Assessment

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The Takeaway


Looking at all the aspects of a comprehensive needs analysis is overwhelimg, we know. But here’s your takeaway: you need to know what purpose you or your product serve, where you want to go with it, what value you assign to yourself or your business, what methods have worked (or will work) for you and what you need to do to the forward momentum going.

There are many equations and algorithms needed to arrive at the final results, but the process is undeniably effective. By quantifying each detail of your business, SEO Expert can provide the most efficient and effective path to success. Without a needs analysis, there is essentially no road map, and you can merely hope that each highway you enter will get you where you need to go. If you want to launch your online business, website, or personal brand, it helps to have a plan. Make your online presence the most effective it can be by using the right marketing campaign. The right marketing campaign starts with a comprehensive needs analysis by a qualified and experienced SEO manager.

Defining Goals

When you start or revamp a business, launch a website or attempt to revise your personal brand/message (or any combination of the three), you can't just start it up with no plan of action or end goal in mind. If you've made it past the initial startup stage and find yourself having a hard time finding direction, it's time to take a close look at your needs so you can get on the right path. There are some goals, plans and intentions that you need to define before starting a successful campaign.

  • What value do you bring to your niche or market? This could be a specific product, message or service that you're providing customers.
    • Is it monetary value, or something else?
  • Who are you providing your product to?
    • Specific audience
    • Motivation behind the product
  • Does another person, brand, website or business bring the same value to the same niche or market?
    • What makes your message different?
  • What is your intention behind your marketing campaign?
    • Revenue generation, spreading the message, etc.
  • What is your end goal with this service or content?
    • Is it financial, or other?
    • How long will it take you to get there?
    • What methods do you plan to utilize to get there?

Crunching Numbers

While defining your goals may seem slightly overwhelming and rather deep for a simple website evaluation, exploring these questions is necessary to understanding the best approach to your marketing needs. Of course, getting sentimental or talking about the future are not the only things that a needs analysis requires. You also need to get down to the nitty-gritty. To truly analyze your needs, you must take into account some things, such as your profit margins, your budget requirements for services, complete data acquisition on your customers, clicks, SEO and SERP standings and so much more. Using this hard data will help you target the specific areas that are working well for you, what is not working at all and what is worth working harder on. It tells you where you're starting from so you know where you need to make changes. You and your business will have to take a close look at your current metrics to answer some of these pivotal questions.

  • What is your profit margin?
    • Overhead costs (office, staff, etc.)
    • Budget for marketing campaign
    • Data on where your income survives
  • Where do you want your profit margin to be?
    • End of year or quarterly needs
    • Financial concerns (bankruptcy, lacking revenue, etc.)
    • Data on income revenue channels: what works and what doesn't
  • What is your SEO/SERP ranking?
    • Re-evaluate keywords
    • Re-launch site or social media efforts
    • Frequent updates of SEO keywords and sitemaps
  • What is your click-through rate?
    • Clicks on ads or social media links
    • Visits from search engines
    • Clicks that turn into an actual sale or conversion
  • What other offline advertising do you use?
    • Revenue generated from these methods
    • Costs associated with them

The main purpose of your income and revenue generation analysis is to provide a detailed picture of exactly what you need to spend your money on, what you need to produce as a person or business and what expenditures in advertising have worked out well for you. You must be able to evaluate these in highly complex analytical processes, and develop a plan based on exactly what the numbers say. Of course, there may be more points to analyze depending on your niche, product, the market or your goals.

Marketing for the Right Market

There is another important influence on your marketing strategy, and that is the market. One of the biggest indicators of your marketability is your competition. Then of course there is your audience, which will provide you all the insight you need if you consider them in your campaign. Other important market indicators are how much money you're spending in your sector, how much revenue you've generated already, or how much interest there is in your product, brand, service, content, etc.

It is also important that you have something that people genuinely want; a great marketing strategy can only do so much if the advertisements are for something that nobody needs, wants or can use. There are a number of things to consider, all of which help you to produce an accurate market snapshot.

  • Evaluate the competition
    • Who has most success/clients/income
    • What they do differently/worse/better
    • Consider how your service measures up
    • Explain what makes you better
  • Define your audience
    • Define the type of customer/viewer/consumer you want
    • Analyze the audience you currently have
    • Review revenue generated by current audience
  • Audience participation
    • Ask what they want to see/buy/read/consume
    • Ask what you can improve/stop/continue
  • Expenditures in your market
    • Data on consumer spending in your niche
    • Data on consumer interest, trends
    • Review of income and revenue generated
  • Consider price changes
    • Decrease or increase price based on demand
    • Model price after revenue needs
    • Evaluate benefits of unique price structures (pay what you can, free for one week, etc.)
  • Creating a worthy product
    • Consider value generated by content/services/products/message

A quality SEO manager uses these points in the needs analysis to truly understand what value you or your products bring to the market, how much demand can be found for it and where the most income for you can be found. Understanding all of these dynamics is like putting together the pieces of a very intricate puzzle. Half of the battle is won when a person or business provides a unique, necessary and thought-out product, no matter what it is or in what medium it is delivered. However, the other half of the battle is keeping people interested once you launch.

SEO Maintenance and Overhaul

There are a huge number of things that can be done in your marketing campaign to boost your product's chances of sales, conversions, followers, "likes," virality and general spread through cyberspace. Because of this, you should perform an audit of everything you or your previous management team were doing to make you and your product more visible. This is the section where your SEO manager takes the reins, as the process becomes much more technical and intensive.

  • Evaluate SEO ranking
    • Organic clicks
    • Keyword analysis
    • New content
    • Create more platforms (social media, ads, etc.)
  • Location on SERP
    • Page number
    • Organic clicks
    • Site map evaluation
  • Data analysis of click-through via SEO
    • Revenue generated by SEO campaign
    • Cost of SEO maintenance
    • Arenas that provide the most revenue for minimal SEO cost
  • Frequency of maintenance
    • Evaluate change in SEO rankings over time
    • Revenue lost due to lack of updates
  • Search engine algorithms
    • How much a search engine changes your SEO/SERP based on algorithms
    • Daily/weekly changes in placement and ranking
  • Backlink usage
    • Where your links are, how visibility is affected
    • Clicks resulting in conversion/sale
  • Clicks-Per-Acquisition
    • First, last, regression or time decay models
    • Analyze where the clicks come from, how soon they result in sales, etc.

This analysis extends far beyond anything that Google Analytics can provide you, and a quality SEO manager should combine the basics as well as the advanced data in one report. This cohesive presentation of your website's data will make it nearly perfectly clear as to what is working and what is not, whether you're generating enough income or whether you're pending more than you should.

A comprehensive report will also tell you where your "best" traffic lies (in terms of conversion, sales, etc.), where you can stop your marketing attempts and where you really need to ramp it up. This is, by far, the most important part of your needs analysis, and one that an SEO manager should provide for most basic SEO services. The needs analysis in its entirety is incredibly important though, just as each portion of our personalities is important to the overall picture of who we are as people.

Personality and Time Assessment

One of the most underestimated and undervalued aspects of personal or business success is the motivation, planning and time facets that come into play. To provide a plan of action, it is crucial that an SEO manager understands the level of commitment (financial or timewise) you can provide, your specific goals for expansion and your motivation and scheduling needs when it comes to maintenance.

Unfortunately, a marketing campaign is not a "one-and-done" deal; it needs constant upkeep, occasional revamping and relaunching, and a thorough understanding of how to update the entire strategy if something changes. Because of this, a need analysis should focus on what you can provide to your marketing strategy.

  • How much time do you have to commit to marketing?
    • Weekly/hourly/monthly
    • What is worth your time (analytics, keyword analysis, print marketing, etc.)
  • What do you most enjoy doing with your marketing strategy?
    • Writing content, providing new products, etc.
    • What services do you want your SEO team to perform in the future?
  • What are your goals for this marketing campaign in exact terms?
    • X amount of subscriptions, X amount of revenue
  • How much are you budgeting for continued maintenance
    • Evaluate increase in revenue associated with maintenance/management
  • How often do you want your marketing efforts maintained/changed/adapted by SEO Expert?
    • Specific timeline and cost analysis

Understanding where your website or online business is right now is critical to providing it the right steps for where you want it to go in the future. Your company's comprehensive needs analysis paints a detailed picture and provides you, the business owner, the tools to become even more successful. By evaluating your specific personal needs and limitations, you can work within reasonable bounds, rather than expecting too much or too little.

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