So, you’ve read our quick overview of the “top three” search engines, who is using them in 2010, and why. Hopefully, you’re using that to inform your effort to optimize your site’s performance for your most important keywords — for the search engine that most likely suits your target audience. Also, don’t forget to consider Facebook in the same league with the big three search engines. In January, Facebook outperformed Yahoo, becoming the second most popular site on the Internet — right behind Google.

However, do you really know enough about your audience to make sure you’re even targeting the right search engine or social media platform? Are you doing more than simply viewing “traffic” to your site?

“Audience insights eclipse audience measurement, providing new views into “who” and “what impact,” versus simply counting “how many.” Stephen DiMarco of

service-providers-report-from-google-analyticsIf you’ve got Google Analytics installed and are regularly digging deep into that data, you may have some broad audience insights. You know their geographic location, perhaps even which Corporate network they were using at the time (see figure to the right). Now it’s time to combine the insights you’re getting from your Analytics data with information from some additional sources. Essentially, you’re going to triangulate audience data to create a more credible profile. Mr. DiMarco recommends four different online sites/tools/service providers to assist in this process, mentioning that “some are free“. I did some digging and took some screen caps to save you some time.

Quantcast: a tool to understand your own site’s visitor demographics in great detail.

Another free tool: Quantcast Audience Segments


Google Ad Planner: helps you identify websites your audience is likely to visit.

Google's free tool for discovering where your audience "hangs out" online.

Google’s free tool for discovering where your audience “hangs out” online.

Just as I use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool more often for researching keywords to target in my on-site optimization work, I recommend you use the Google Ad Planner for more than ad planning:

  • Define audiences by demographics and interests.
  • Search for websites relevant to your audience.
  • Access aggregated statistics on the number of unique visitors, page views, and other data for millions of websites from over 40 countries.
  • Generate aggregated website statistics.

Check these out — and if you need some help using these tools or making sense of all the data, please get in touch!


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