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SEO Persona: How to Build a Formidable Strategy Using Your Targets?

le Tuesday 19 June 2018 - Mise à jour Saturday 02 March 2024
persona seo
Inside this article
Temps de lecture : 8 minutes

The old SEO technique of "all keywords for everyone" is a fatal mistake! Before starting your editorial strategy (or any other digital strategy), defining the SEO persona is the essential step to succeed in your campaign. Discover without further delay why this concept is essential to generate qualified leads and how to build your SEO personas. As a gift, you will find at the end of this article a template of a persona sheet to download for free.

🚀 Express Reading: What You Will Learn in This Article

  • Definition of an SEO persona: an imaginary character who represents the ideal customer.
  • Importance of a target persona in SEO: perfect response to the search intent of Internet users.
  • 2 steps to build a relevant SEO persona: the right questions to ask and how to fill out an empathy map.
  • A free template to fill out for each of your personas.
To know all the details about these topics, all you have to do is continue reading!

❓ What is an SEO Persona?

The persona (or buyer persona) is a fictitious character representing the ideal customer. Its purpose is to help you better understand the customer (or prospect) and adapt content creation to their specific needs, behaviors, and concerns.

The most complete personas are based on market research as well as the information you have collected from your current clientele (through interviews, surveys...). Depending on your profession (or that of your client), you might also have more than one persona for the same product/service.

You must therefore put yourself in the shoes of the typical buyer. What are their needs, worries, expectations, and means? You must connect all these elements to best support them in the steps that will lead them to purchase.

💥 Why is it important in organic SEO?

Persona SEO

Today, as I often like to say, the "old school SEO" is over. It is no longer conceivable for a high-performing SEO consultant to rely solely on SEO technique or link building. The consultant must take a step back, organic SEO is just one component of a global digital approach**. I am convinced of the marriage of marketing (and especially content marketing) and SEO.

In organic SEO, personas allow you to personalize or target SEO content** for different segments of your audience. For example, instead of offering the same content to all visitors of a key expression, you can segment by persona type and personalize your message based on what you know about these different buyer profiles.

This requires an additional gymnastics, but it will allow you to offer content that truly meets the needs of your persona. Thus, you increase the time spent on your site and lower the bounce rate. And that's what Google wants to move your site up in the SERP!

When the persona is combined with the different stages of the Internet user's life cycle (i.e., at what stage of purchase a persona is in the product/service sales cycle) it also allows you to map and create highly targeted content.

Targeted content (delivered at the right time to the right person) helps you contextualize the conversation and add a personalized touch to your message. This helps your brand (or your client's brand) to establish trust and credibility with your target.

🎁 How to Build the Persona?

Be as specific as possible in defining your persona. Give them a first name, an age, a face, etc. Be careful, this is not about describing your target market. The persona is a specific individual for whom you will create highly targeted content.

So, it will not simply be a matter of writing a blog post on a specific query. You will need to adapt the information, tone, and form to the typical profile of the targeted reader. Are you writing for Julien who is researching your product or for Juliette who already has her credit card in hand?

First Step: Collect Information About Your Persona

There are several ways to find concrete information about your customers' profiles. Collect all the information at your disposal to then create a buyer persona by purchasing behavior, personality, and need.

From Your Customers

Interview your current customers preferably by phone or in person. You can also approach the company's sales department. Ask them questions like:

  • Why do you do business with us?
  • What is it about our products/services that you like?
  • What painful problems does our company correct?
  • How did you find us?

Thanks to the Competition

Learning from others is a powerful skill. Benchmarking your competition and who they attract is ideal for learning more about your persona. Think about not only scrutinizing your direct competitors, but also analyzing your SEO competition.

Indeed, they are not always the same actors, and the digital techniques that work are the ones you need to define your SEO persona accurately. Scrutinize their editorial line and read all the customer comments available on the Internet. You will thus have a good idea of how to adapt your content strategy to the different needs of Internet users.

Ask Yourself

Also take the time to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, after analyzing your competition, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why would an Internet user choose the competitor rather than my product/service?
  • Are there similarities between their customers and my target?
  • What do they do better than me?

Second Step: Make an Empathy Map

Empathy maps can be used whenever you need to immerse yourself in a persona's environment.

They can be useful, for example, when you are trying to understand the emotional reasons when a persona interacts with your website via a key expression.

New version empathy map

What does he see?

  • What does it look like?
  • Who surrounds him?
  • What types of offers is he exposed to daily?
  • What problems does he encounter?

What does he think?

  • What is really important to him?
  • What are the things he won't express out loud?
  • What keeps him awake at night?
  • What is the most common theme of his thoughts?
  • What are his dreams?

What does he hear?

  • What do his friends, partners, parents, or spouse say?
  • Who really influences him?
  • How is he influenced?
  • What media does he consume?

What does he feel?

  • What motivates him?
  • What annoys or frustrates him?
  • What pushes him to act?
  • What scares him?

What does he say?

  • What does he say to others?
  • What does he talk about? Why?
  • Who does he talk to?
  • What is his tone?

What does he do?

  • What is his attitude?
  • Where does he spend his free time?
  • What relaxes him?

For more details, you can also watch this video by Thomas Cubel on the approach of the empathy map in SEO: Why use the empathy map to study your SEO targets?

🎬 Take Control of Lead Generating Strategies Now

It is important to create personas not only to be able to segment your market, but also to adapt your SEO strategy to each persona according to their position in the sales cycle and their purchasing behavior. With a finer approach to reaching potential prospects/clients, you are sure to have an advantage over the competition.

Remember that generally, SEOs use keyword suggestion tools like SEMRush or Google Adwords to grab a few key expressions that seem relevant in their field. They will then expand this list and create a content strategy centered around these keywords.

Unfortunately, this organic SEO strategy is too generic. It aims to try to reach as many people as possible who type a keyword into the Google bar. This "all keywords for all" strategy is a common marketing mistake: the biggest market is always the best. This is simply not true!

Increase targeted visits that generate real leads instead: prefer to create an SEO strategy that appeals to one of your personas. By working on the semantic field of your texts and perfectly adapting your content to your target, you put all the chances on your side to explode your conversion rate!

Take action now by downloading my persona sheet template for free. (complete one template per persona):

Download the Persona Sheet Template

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