Search marketing is and has always been a hassle. Every company aims to have compact websites with the right kind and quality of content that will not only lead to the improved organic visibility of the website but which will also satiate users’ needs but aptly address to them.
However, it hasn’t been as easy to accomplish the ideal picture in the past. Back in the day, websites were bloated with numerous pages just for the sake of targeting specific keywords to ensure they appeared higher in search rankings. This poor practice compromised on the user experience, and instead of achieving increased customer churning and retention, an increased bounce rate was achieved.
In order to architect strategies aimed at improving your website’s SEO performance, it’s pivotal to first understand what basically attracts users to a website. Generally, non-bloated websites with non-spammy content that is specific and relevant to the user’s query are the kind of websites that not only attract users but also retain them.
This concept has given rise to the persona-driven SEO technique which improves organic visibility instead of overall visibility while making optimal use of time and other resources. Instead of building websites big enough to accommodate certain keywords, you build websites big enough to satiate your target audience by promoting your top-grade content.
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As interesting as the idea sounds, the journey to implement it is just as stimulating. So without further ado, here’s the roadmap to obtaining and finally integrate user personas to improve your website’s SEO performance:
Creating user personas is a two-step process.
Use data analytics to digitise persona creation:
Data analytics of your websites help in synthesising key characteristics of your current and potential audiences such as their age, gender, geo-specific and demographics alongside identifying users who are positively engaging with your website, how much time they’re spending, how and where are they interacting with the website the most, their navigation to and within your website and so on. Deriving this knowledge in the creation of user persona is important in determining your site content that is the most popular amongst your ideal target audience.
Hold internal team discussions to develop persona creation:
Using data analytics, you were able to break down your users by market segment and demographics. You now need to stimulate discussions with certain departments of your company, each of which will be able to uniquely contribute to your knowledge base of user personas:
The discussion should be led by this department as your company’s marketing team will not only ensure that it progresses smoothly, but it will also help keep the conversation centred about the subject of your supposed persona.
This is a crucial department which will help others understand the most profitable customers of the company since recruits of this particular department are the ones to interact the most with customers as well as potential customers because they know who they are selling to and what ‘content’ users are willing to buy.
Their contribution is needed for long-term goals and higher level decisions to help advocate any performance strategies being discussed.
4. Web development:
Often when people get excited about something, over the top ideas that are too innovative to be real are generated, so it’s always good having your tech team present to help with that as they provide realistic measures, time frames and other constraints within which your company will have to operate and integrate their persona-driven SEO approach. This helps with neither underestimating nor overestimating ideas. Although this discussion will be time-consuming, slow and exhausting, it will yield insight into the following:
(i). The preferred medium of communication of potential customers, like email, phone, live chat etc.
(ii). The kind of questions they ask the sales time, and if they use any specific keywords in doing so.
(iii). Any specific content from your website that they refer to while questioning the sales representatives.
(iv). How closely correlated are your ideal audience (as explained by your sales team) and positive interactors of your website (as derived by the digital persona creation). If the two are lowly correlated, then your website was possibly created for crawlers instead of actual users and may need some significant rebuilding.
This information is sufficient to get started with on your persona-driven SEO strategy. However, as a bonus tip, you could also make your past customers a part of your user persona by surveying them.
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Surveying past customers:
Here are some of the questions that you may include in this survey:
(i). What is your preferred medium of communication with us?
(ii). How would you rate us with respect to content quality, navigability, site responsiveness and user experience?
(iii). Which of our specific services helped cater your need?
(iv). Would a web resource (like videos and resource guides) be helpful for future assistance?
And other demographic questions to help streamline with your persona findings.
After having created sound user personas, you now have ample knowledge regarding your ideal audience that you need to target. This will serve as the foundation for some pertinent SEO strategies that you will now embed in the following areas:
After having identified web pages with content that is most popular with your target audience, you need to fire up Analytics in Google’s Search Console to identify the keywords driving the most site traffic. Further recall any new terminologies put forth by your sales team in the discussion and assess if you must include more of these keywords and terminologies without bloating your website or making it seem more spammy. Also, review anchor text that provides a link to these web pages in order to better SEO performance.
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Tracking users’ navigation to your website and within it is important in evaluating the overall user experience of your website as it is good for determining your site’s bounce rate. So set up breadcrumb navigation and support for internal site section navigation to help with the aforesaid.
Within your website, link to the interior content as much as you can because you want your users to probe further and deeper into the more important pages. Also, ensure that the preferred medium of contact is available on web pages to facilitate on-page UX for the users.
All-embracing, user personas are an efficient way of improving your site’s SEO performance. Although the process is tedious and time-consuming, the results are long-lasting and successful with higher chances of customer churning and retention. So do give it a try and see how your website’s organic visibility improves alongside site ranking, traffic as well as usage!
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