Photo by Isaac Wendland on Unsplash

Use this search hack to get more insight into target audiences…

I’m going to share a secret hack with you, which will help you to get way more insight into your target audiences.

It’s simple. You can do this in Google, or save yourself loads of time by using AnswerThePublic. I’ll show you both.

This hack centres around the word ‘for’.

To show you how it works, I’m going to imagine I’m working for a running shoe brand.

All you need to do is go to Google, and type “running shoes for” into the search box.

Google’s suggestions (known as Google autocomplete) – the results that automatically appear when you type a word or phrase into the Google search box – immediately reveal results about niche audiences.

They work based on popularity or similarity. So if something is trending in Google’s suggestions – it means lots of people are searching for the same topic at the same time.

If you sell running shoes, I’ll wager they’ll be some interesting nuggets in here for you. A unique PR hook, a new way to categorise your products on your e-commerce store. Or just a good old fashioned bit of content.

We can make this hack work even harder, by moving to alphabeticals. So this time, type “running shoes for a”…

…then “running shoes for b”…

…then “running shoes for c”…

…and so on until you’ve gone all the way through the alphabet.

You’ll have an absolute ton of insights about the people that are looking for running shoes, and their needs.

To save yourself loads of time, use AnswerThePublic.

Just type “Running shoes for” into the main search bar on the landing page, and scroll down to the alphabetical options at the bottom of the results page, like this:


You’ll get hundreds of ideas of niche audiences for my ‘running shoes for’ search:

All of the insights are from Google, but without having to do multiple searches around your topic.

This method works for all kinds of brands, products and services…

Sell skin cream? Then try “skin cream for” – and discover all the weird and wonderful reasons people are looking for your products…

Saucepans? Yes. Lot’s of very specific reasons here too…. turns out going deep into the “for” branch of ATP unlocks all kinds of insights.

If I was marketing for a project management tool. Then this kind of insight would be interesting. Look at all those niche audiences…

And my search listening alert just landed 22 new ideas for “running shoes for” to go and explore.

Who knew monitoring changes in search autocomplete data could give so many fresh ideas?!