User personas are fictional characters that represent an ideal customer. They’re used in Marketing to research the goals, needs and behaviour patterns of a target audience. Over the last years, the implement of user personas in SEO has seen a healthy spread. This technique has proven to be quite useful to find the right keywords for an audience and thus, create better content. It’s also very good to identify targets to build links.
This trend has impacted web design in particular. Instead of building a website with hundreds of pages to target specific keywords, persona-driven SEO allows marketers to build sites with just enough pages to satisfy a target market. And at the same time, it follows the healthiest SEO practices. Although it doesn’t necessarily improve your visibility, this type of SEO allows your actual visibility to be more cost-effective in less time, consuming less resources.
Step 1: Creating User Personas
User’s information is the foundation of creating a user persona. You can do this by brainstorming with your team and using analytics data. Running interviews or surveys with your clients is also recommendable. All this information should be enough to create around 2-4 user personas that will allow you to understand:
- Age, gender, location, education and market segment of your organic audience; especially those converting or successfully interacting with your site.
- What are they doing in your site?
- Which content is more popular?
- How is their overall user experience when navigating your website
By discussing with your sales team, web development and any other members of your company that have direct contact with your clients, you can also learn:
- The terminologies the clients use and the question your prospects ask to your team
- What type of content they take as a reference from a website
- If the audience described by your sales team matches the user personas you created with your analytics.
Step 2: Implementing your User Personas in SEO
All the data that you gathered should be overturned into your best SEO practices. Once you identified the pages with the most popular content (this is, the one that generated more conversions and leads), use the Search Analytics section on your Google Search Console to identify the keywords that lead traffic to your site. Now, you can use those keywords into certain pages, review their headers to add SEO juice or lead your prospects to them. All this generates extra value to your actual pages, avoiding you the need to have countless pages on your site to simply chase keywords.
You can also improve your site’s navigation by using your data to know what your top performing pages are, which pages would fulfill your persona’s expectations the best and if users are returning to your home page when navigating your site. It’s also important to link internal content within your site. Successfully doing this can lead users to those pages you want them to visit, and helps Google crawlers to travel through your site.