Understanding Your Customers: 8 Uses and Applications of a Linguistic Profile

Aug. 12, 2009 | by Doug Platts

A Linguistic Profile (LP) is one of our research pieces we do here at iCrossing that looks into the language used by a customer whilst searching online for specific products or categories within a given sector.

This type of research is useful in a number of ways to ensure both online and offline marketing campaigns are communicating to a potential customer with the right language, to ensure that they find the right information at the right points during the research and purchase cycles.

We are often asked about the various uses of an LP, so here they are…

1. Guiding on and off-line messaging:
This piece of work informs the most appropriate language to use for brand messaging.   The Linguistic Profile helps you to speak and reflect your customer’s language online and in all other channels; choosing the right language can amplify your messaging and increase consumer affinity and engagement with a clients.

These understandings can be used to guide all messaging and communications, from Paid Search ads, website copy and display creative.

2. Behaviour analysis and persona development:
The Linguistic Profile provides a unique window on the behaviour of a clients’ online consumers.  Mapping search language back to distinct demographic and socio-graphic and economic groups forms the basis of detailed persona development where user identities can be constructed, explored analysed and targeted.

When customer personas have been mapped to search language this allows for effective planning and communication to each of the different groups.

3. Informing product development and purchasing decisions:
Understanding search volume by different categories helps understand consumer demand within a clients’ sector(s) by search term. A map of demand in the client sector can be an invaluable tool for product development

4. Understanding seasonality trends:
This research incorporates key seasonality trends.  By mapping keyword seasonality onto your products range and current traffic levels we are able to understand and highlight where opportunities for development exist.  This approach allows us to prioritise both our Paid and Natural search efforts throughout the year and to make sure a client has optimal search visibility during the time at which each product is most commonly researched.

5. Information Architecture:
A Linguistic Profile gives insight into the Information Architecture, the structuring and labelling of site content. The findings of a Linguistic Profile can be used to inform URL and folder structure by identifying key relevant search to be included. In addition the findings can be used to inform the anchor text of the internal linking structure to ensure internal link equity is as optimised as possible.

6. Content Optimisation:
Provides insights into which terms to target for onsite optimisation recommendations, and priority order of niche to generic terms.

7. Content Gap Analysis:
A Linguistic Profile will also identify where there are search terms which currently do not have a place within the site’s content but which do require a targeted landing page.

8. Categorising Search Terms:
Through the understanding search volumes it is possible to drive greater efficiencies in onsite & offsite activity by allowing us to categorise terms into low, med, high levels of competitiveness. From this analysis we can identify short and long term goals to ensure the campaign is growing from the outset.

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    Comments (3)

    • Understanding the Language of Customer Insight | Great Finds

      [...] Linguistic profiles — or the language that people use when they search for information about you and your category — are essential to understanding the real-world language that people use each day on search engines to learn about you. [...]Mar 15, 2013 02:49 pm

    • Connectedness Means Mastering Audiences, Not Channels | Great Finds

      [...] technologies enrich the audience insight tools we have been applying for years, such as linguistic profiling — a technique through which we help our clients understand their audiences based on the kind [...]Jul 25, 2012 02:57 pm

    • Douglas Platts - Digital Fingerprint » Fresh From Twitter today

      [...] can consumer language influence your marketing campaign, online and offline: http://bit.ly/mvOYm #seo #ppc #displayRT @jonaths: Irrelevant SERP? http://twitpic.com/dm2mqRT @alexasigno: A bald [...]Aug 12, 2009 04:39 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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