How buyer personas can help your SEO

Written by Rachel McCallion

Listen up, for an old-but-new performance hack. When carrying out your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), combine it with buyer personas. You’ll define your audience and their motivations, then apply these findings to your content. Gold dust for your search optimisation. 

What is a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles that you create and flesh out using information about the users of your page. Basically, they represent the different types of people that make up your target audience. Best practice is to have between two and four.

Once you’ve created your personas, you can start developing a messaging matrix (our brand workshops help with this) around what your audience cares about.

Creating buyer personas

You should create your personas by gathering information about the people who visit your site. You could run a survey on your landing page to collect this data, or use existing records like purchase history and personal details. You’ll answer questions like, ‘who is your site valuable to?’ and ‘What tasks are users trying to complete?’ Go for the survey option and you’ll also be able to gather personality traits and contact information.

The information in your buyer personas can include:

  • The person (name, age range, gender)
  • Their environment (job, interests, personality traits)
  • The task they’re looking to complete and their motivation to complete this task

All of this information should help you formulate a fuller picture of the people you’re building your messaging matrix for. Would they be interested in your content? If not, how can you rectify that?

You should also think about which problems your company helps users to solve, and whether your personas have any specific language traits.

Figuring out the ways your product helps the user will allow you to come up with high-intent keywords you might never have otherwise considered. Language is important too. If you’re marketing what some would call ‘fizzy juice’ to a North American audience, you aren’t going to get far. But if you call the product ‘soda’, your keywords will match audience search terms and increase traffic to your site.

How do personas fit into the SEO process?

Your goal is to match content to intent. First step: brainstorming. Here, you’re generating broad ideas of things your users might be searching for within your remit. You can use keyword planning tools to generate more relevant search terms and determine the volume and competitiveness of those terms.

Next, sort through your target keywords and pick relevant phrases for the different pages on your site. Consider your buyer personas to make sure your keywords provide a solution to the user problem.

Then it’s time to write. At this stage your goal is to incorporate your chosen keywords into the most important elements of your site. Headlines, sub-headings, page descriptions and tagging should all be informed by keywords to enhance your page’s performance. Considering buyer personas at this point is crucial. If you want your target audience to visit a certain page on your site, the copy on that page needs to project a tone and style they can relate to, as well as matching their intent.

Want to learn more?

Our Guide to Optimising for Search has even more information on keyword research and user intent.

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