Marketing is all about communicating – effectively- the importance of a product, of a service or a brand to the audience. What is necessary in order to achieve this goal, is to “know your audience” and to have a holistic perspective of what this particular audience needs and wants. Nowadays, Digital Marketing, is starting to adopt a more user/customer centric philosophy by focusing on user values and trying to meet them.
This post aims to present a user-centric approach for SEO through the use of User Personas and to give some useful information about their correlation and use.
What is a User Persona?
User Personas, are hypothetical characters whose personal profiles have been developed in order to represent different audience segments of a website. Digital experts, consider User Personas, a valuable asset regarding the user experience, as they are created based on the characteristics, needs, interests, and habits of real users (real potential visitors) of a website.
The number of User personas needed for a project is not exact, however 3 to 5 User Personas are enough to get started. It is also important to identify a primary User Persona in case there is a particular user group that is of primary importance for your website. User Personas should be built through interviews as well as surveys and should not be constructed based only on hypothetical assumptions.
Tip: You may benefit by re-using and augmenting user personas developed by your Design Team during the development of the website.
(Image Credits: volusion.com)
A quick guide for the creation of a User Persona?
There is no specific formula to follow for the development of a User Persona, but its profile might include:
• A picture
• Name/nickname and title
• Gender, age, family status
• Likes, dislikes
• Job description
• Goals regarding your site
• Motivations regarding your site
• Technology usage level
• 1 to 2 Quotes in order to give them a more realistic approach.
Benefits for SEO actions
But why is the creation and development of a User Persona important in SEO practices?
The main goals of a website are:
• to have a high position on SERPs and
• to guide its visitors so as to perform conversions.
SEO actions and User Experience are two important elements that can help you achieve the aforementioned goals for a website.
• SEO actions among other practices, include the Keyword Research practice. Keyword Research Tools tell you which search terms have been typed the most, but User Persona Driven Keyword Research tells you why and who typed those keywords. In the user-centric approach, the main objective is to get into the mind of the user in order to serve him/her with what he/she needs. Therefore, when brainstorming for new keyword ideas, a good and helpful way to start, is by assuming what kind of search terms the User Personas you have created might use in order to reach your website based on their profile characteristics.
• A good User Experience depends among other factors, on User Personas as you want to know why and how someone uses your site, what kind of information he needs the most. “Content is King” and User Personas will definitely be useful to your SEO actions as they will help you create the most meaningful content.
• It is important to know who you are writing for in your website, therefore to know what type of personas are visiting your site. Link Building strategies are related to the content of a website, therefore when the material is worthy, it attracts the attention of the visitor and increases the chances of likes and shares. User Personas will help you choose the most appropriate blogs and communities that you can build relationships with.
To put it in a nutshell
A User-centric approach in digital marketing is of high value. User Personas are important and digital marketing should take advantage of this practice in daily SEO practices.
The User Personas development process seems to be long and arduous, BUT as you will find out if you follow it, the end results such as: providing targeted content to the most relevant audience, offering a good user experience, improving the website’s metrics such as the website’s bounce rate and increased conversion rates outweighs by far the time allocated to develop the User Personas.
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