The secret is to sell what people are already searching for

Most purchases start with a search:

  • "gift ideas for my wife"
  • "best podcast hosting"
  • "top indie games for teens"

So the secret to a successful business is to build/sell products that people are already searching for.

I was reminded of this while I was at the barbershop. The topic of gifts came up. "Where do you guys shop for your girlfriends/wives?" someone asked. Multiple people mentioned  Wildflower General Store  here in Vernon. If I was the owner of that store, I'd be optimizing search results for "gift ideas for women vernon bc".

While some purchases are impulse-driven (like seeing something cool on Instagram and buying right away), most sales come from intent-based searches.

People already know they want to buy something, and they go out looking for it.

 Arvid Kahl asked me:

How do you keep tabs on the movement of search terms? Or find new ones to “build for?”

For existing products (like  Transistor ), I send an automated email asking customers how they found us. If they respond, I ask for specifics: "Do you remember what you typed into google when you were looking?"

For new product ideas, I observe what people ask for recommendations for on Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, and Discord, as well as in real-world locations (like coffee shops, conferences, and barbershops).

I also keep track of the terms people use to find Transistor (and our competitors) in Ahrefs. You can also use  Search Console, but only for domains you own.

Justin Jackson

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Published on November 30th, 2022
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