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Personas: How Make Believe Can Improve Your SEO

How Do Personas Influence SEO?

Starting a marketing campaign from scratch is incredibly labour intensive. While thorough research goes a long a way in determining how you're going to market your product or service online (from design to pricing to promoting), creating personas are an effective way of cataloguing your research.

What Are Personas?

A persona is a made up person with certain characteristics that have been assembled from survey results and collected data. They reflect an overall trend that can represent a consumer archetype. For instance, if you sell raw, organic dog food, one of your personas will be someone who loves dogs as much as they love the raw food movement. Another persona will be a dog owner who is fed up with every other brand giving their dog allergies. Having a cast of characters, with different backgrounds, genders, ages, desires, and limitations, allows you to narrow down your website design elements that will attract and keep customers. They can also be extremely useful in your SEO strategy. [caption id="attachment_1152" align="aligncenter" width="450"]giphy-36 Give your personas character traits[/caption]

What is the Point of Creating Personas?

Imagine stepping through a crowd of 1000 people minding their own business, and announcing at the top of your lungs that you possess the most effective, most affordable weight loss pill with the least amount of side effects. You may turn a few heads and interest a few folk. You might even make a sale. But you probably won't sell all of them, and it might take you days of going back to that crowd and trying again. Now imagine, you take the same weight loss pill and walk into a gym and stand in front of the elliptical runners. The chances of you selling your product are significantly increased simply because your target audience is right in front of you. As Moz describes it, "One of the main reasons for using personas is that when you target everyone you actually target no one." Essentially, personas allow you to segment your target audience in order to focus on the consumers that are most likely going to buy (and not just visit). The point of building personas is not to drive traffic to your website, but to generate actual sales. [caption id="attachment_1153" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Personas increase conversion rates This is what you're looking for[/caption]

How to Start Building Personas

Start collecting data about your customers and would-be customers (visitors and shopping cart abandoners alike). In order to narrow down customer archetypes find out as much as you can, such as:
  • Age, gender, religion, location
  • Interests, hobbies
  • Level of education and occupation
  • Shopping cart behaviour
A lot of this data can be interpreted from Google Analytics, but you can also conduct customer surveys and interviews.

Emails & Newsletters:

Email marketing can be a reliable source of customer data. Email marketing tools, like Mail Chimp allow you to create segments of subscribers based on their behaviour. You can learn a lot about your customers based on what they do with your email when it's in their inbox. giphy-38

Where Does SEO Come In?

Persona profiles have been used for decades for different reasons, but when it comes to SEO, here are some ways personas can help boost your conversion rates:


Implementing the right keywords is important no matter what. While keyword stuffing has been an SEO faux pas for a while now, finding a focus keyword is still essential. By narrowing down personas, you can zoom in on search terms that are most likely to be used by your future customers. For instance, if one of your personas is someone with considerable disposable income who likes to shop, your keyword will focus less on the savings and more on the quality. This step in marketing is crucial. Take your time with it and do some A/B testing. Find out through your analytics which keywords are giving you the best conversions. To learn more about the process of implementing keywords based on personas, click here.


This goes hand-in-hand with keyword implementation. What sort of information do your personas want to know? If you are selling raw, organic dog food, what do you think matters to the people buying your food? What are their values and interests? By building personas, you can better understand what content will generate the most clicks and shares. Don't waste your time writing content that won't appeal to the right people. giphy-39

Do You Want to Start Building Personas?

Building personas is an intelligent marketing strategy for both web design and SEO. In fact, they usually go together. It may seem like an unnecessary waste of time at first, but after you've nailed down your personas, you will quickly discover how focused your marketing strategies will be. If you want to start building your own cast of characters, by all means, go for it! Click here for more information. But if your need for personas represents a bigger issue within your content marketing or SEO strategy, you may want to hire a web design and SEO firm that can help you find the target audience you're looking for. We happen to know just the right team of SEO champions that can help you. Contact Awkward Media to find out what real search engine optimization can do for your business.      

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