Effective SEO Needs Buyer Personas
As my colleagues have been chatting about buyer personas and how they are the key to one’s marketing, from an SEO perspective it is crucial to know the “who’s” and “what’s” of your ideal buyers. From an SEO perspective, we love buyer personas because they allow us to optimize your website more efficiently when we have a full understanding of your consumer’s demographics, lifestyle, buying pattern, and mindset at a given stage of the buying process. This means you’ll get more for your money because we’re spending less time analyzing who we want to drive to the site and how to get them there, and more time putting the work in to actually get you the search visibility and organic traffic you want!
Are you tackling SEO without a buyer persona? You’re probably getting some results, but how do you really know what your buyers are searching for without knowing your buyers’ behavior patterns? You can’t make informed SEO decisions without understanding your buyers’ searcher intent. So how do we achieve the optimal impact when it comes to your SEO?
We use buyer personas to take an in-depth look into our clients’ customers’ personas to help us curate better SEO keyword research, which allows us to optimize for better quality search traffic as well as create relevant, engaging content for your website and social media platforms. What does that mean for our clients? Better results! When our SEO efforts are bringing the right people to our clients’ sites, they see meaningful growth in their results, whether that’s an increase in sales, conversions, leads, or whatever it is a website is designed to drive, great SEO amplifies those results!
So Why Use a Buyer Persona for SEO?
We Start Out With SEO Research Based on Buyer Personas
When your buyer personas are mapped out, you’ll get a better understanding of your customers’ search intent. Your buyer persona will inform your key phrase research. In turn, those key phrases will inform on-page SEO efforts including metadata, internal linking, and content development. At E/Power, we like to break it down into the following:
How knowing your target audience impacts your SEO
Your buyer personas help determine common pain points and issues affecting your target audience, as well as their shopping habits and other marketing considerations. When you’re armed with the knowledge of your customers’ buying habits, you’ll be able to tailor your key phrase research and optimization efforts towards that audience. Knowing why your customers would need your product, what their mentality is throughout the buying process, and other influential factors are important for driving the right traffic to your site. Getting the right traffic to your site (not just more traffic!) makes all the difference when it comes to improving conversions! The right types of visitors will spend more time on your website and will be more likely to make a purchase. Your website could be bringing in thousands of visitors, but if they’re outside of your service area, you won’t be able to sell to them.
Tailoring your SEO content to the buyer’s journey stages
Key phrase research helps make each page relevant to the intended stage of the buyer journey. Each page on your website should have a specific purpose – whether it’s a blog article for those in the awareness stage or product pages for those ready to buy in the decision stage. When you know how your audience is searching at each shopping stage, you can better optimize each page for the right queries, making the path to purchase or conversion quicker and more efficient for your audience!
Next, We Build Content Around Your Buyer Persona
The content on your website needs to be informed by your SEO research and buyer personas. Your buyers won’t find your website if your web content doesn’t address their actual searches. You also need to ensure customers that find your content get the answers they’re looking for immediately. Emily talked about how buyer personas improve our content marketing strategy as a whole, but I’d like to talk a bit more about how your SEO team should be using personas to strengthen your content, too!
Answer a real-world user need
We identify what our client’s customers care about and what they’re actually searching for based on search volumes for specific key phrases. Then, we tailor our SEO content to our keyword research and the real-world problems that buyers want to solve. We’re strong advocates for truly purposeful content, and never recommend writing content just for the sake of adding more content.
Organize headlines & callouts to deliver value propositions according to their importance
If your buyer can’t define and differentiate your product at a quick glance, they’re going to bounce. If they can’t easily navigate your content to address their smaller concerns, they’ll get frustrated and leave, or just assume your product is lacking. Buyer personas help us organize information both from a site hierarchy perspective, as well as on a page by page basis, so we’re sure we’re delivering the right information at the right time.
Ask real people about the content
As part of ongoing buyer persona research, we recommend asking interviewees if they were confused or dissatisfied with your website and why. The results are almost always surprising, and beneficial. Use that feedback to refine your site, SEO strategy, and buyer personas!
From There, We Build Backlinks and Citations For Your Buyer Persona
Having other sites link back to your own website will get you in front of more potential buyers, as well as improve overall SEO value to your site. You can build backlinks by reaching out to webmasters and creating content that will be found organically and shared by others. Keep in mind, however, your content needs to be featured on websites that your buyers will actually visit in order to positively impact your bottom line. Your buyer personas will help ensure you’re getting your content in front of the right people.
Whether you’re getting backlinks from another website or citing another website as a resource, it also needs to be a relevant and high-quality source. Think of the sites you link to and that are linking to you as your online neighborhood. Focus on curating a neighborhood that’s relevant, educational and safe!
Find out where your customers are
Part of knowing your buyers is figuring out what types of websites they rely on to get information. If your buyers get information from major news outlets, you should try to get your website featured in a news article for a major publication. If they get information from another source like an online magazine or forum, your content should be featured there. Within our buyer persona development, we work hard to find examples of online favorites for specific target audiences. Our buyer personas include the framework for this level of SEO strategy.
Consider the type of content buyers would naturally expect to be promoted there
Make sure the content you’re promoting for backlinks makes sense for the website you’re linking from. If users are looking for solutions, it might make sense to get a sales-oriented page linked there. However, if you want a link from a site focused on entertaining or interesting content, you’ll probably want to link a blog post instead of an overly sales-based page. For example, if you own a hospitality website and are submitting a link to your site for a “Top Wedding Venues” article, you’ll want the link to point to a page on your website that showcases your best assets, not your contact page or home page. Think about the next best step for a user, and send them directly there!
Lastly, Keep your Buyer Personas Up to Date
People change! Updating buyer personas is critical to keeping your SEO campaign relevant. As my colleagues have mentioned, we recommend evaluating your buyer personas at least quarterly to keep up with searcher trends as generations age and evolve.
E-Power uses Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or other SEO analysis tools to continuously monitor your website’s traffic and in turn, use this data to keep our client’s buyer personas up to date. Here’s how…
Analytics Data: Landing page visits, conversions, bounce rates, time on page, and many other metrics can tell us how visitors are finding a site and how they act when they land.
Search Queries: Search query data will help us understand what people are looking, as well as questions they may be asking that we can then use to fine-tune our on-page optimization, pain points within our personas, etc.
Demographics: We also get important demographic data from Google Analytics, allowing us to see the state or country website visitors live in, general age range, and gender. Comparing the demographic info of visitors vs. converters helps us understand what’s working and what’s not on a much more detailed level.
This all gives us an opportunity to update our buyer personas, as well as our client’s websites and our optimization strategy. If your visitors are quickly leaving your site, or not converting, you may need to reevaluate who you’re targeting and how you’re optimizing your site for them.
Knowing your buyer persona is the first step to a successful marketing campaign and plays a huge role in the optimization of your site for organic success.
Get in touch with E/Power Marketing to schedule a free Buyer Persona consultation!