Ever wondered how you can use customer personas better in your SEO strategy? Our SEO Executive, Alex Brown, explains how understanding customer personas is about tapping into what makes your customers want a product or service and making their thought processes the centre of your strategy.
What are customer personas?
Customer personas are a technique used by marketers to help empathise who their customer base is, as well as identify their customers’ needs and wants. This means that building out customer personas can help your business be the solution to your customers’ problems, making them more likely to use your services or purchase your products.
Why are customer personas important?
It’s essential to know your market as you need to understand what makes your product or service unique and how your business speaks to a customer. Customer personas can be a valuable tool for SEO in two ways:
Firstly, it can help you make content for the community of blog owners, writers, journalists, and sites that could link to you. These people are called Linkreators, and they will link back to your content and give your content strong backlinks. Knowing the kind of people that would link to your content can tailor your approach to content creation.
Secondly, having defined customer personas means you can create content tailored to your customers and what they want to see on your website. You may be asking, surely content for my customer comes first? This however is not true because your Linkreators will be linking back to your content resulting in more exposure for your content. Therefore, experts suggest that for every one article you create for your customer, you should have nine articles for your Linkreators.
How to find Linkreators
Now its all well and good creating content for Linkreators but if you do not know how to find Linkreators then what’s the point in creating your tailored content. There are a couple of ways you can find Linkreators:
1. Your most straight forward approach would be to use google search, by looking at broad keywords that a customer would use in a topic you’re trying to rank high for.
For example, let’s say you run a vineyard. You would search for terms like ‘Vineyard near London’ or ‘wine tasting,’ but this will bring up your direct competition instead of Linkreators. Instead try using informational keywords instead, such as:
- ‘The Best wine from the UK’
- ‘Best tips for a wine tasting.’
- ‘Best vineyard hotels near London’
By being more specific, google won’t show you direct competition but instead the people that could help promote your business. If your business is very niche, you can still use this technique but in a slightly different way known as ‘Shoulder Niches’ (Topics that are closely related to your topic, e.g. a pest control business could use gardening bloggers to help promote their business)
2. Your second approach is the ‘Best of…’ blog posts:
Sometimes the work is already done for you! People post about the best blog to follow on a particular topic, and this is an excellent list of Linkreators that could link back to you.
- [Keyword] blogs to follow
- best [keyword] blog
- best [keyword] posts [year]
- top [keyword] blogs to follow + [year]
This should come up with a whole host of Linkreators that you want to tailor your content towards. They all run active blogs at the top of their game, so making content for them is essential.
How to make a customer persona for Linkreators
So now that you know who these people are, how do you make a customer persona for your Linkreators?
The best thing to do is to research and make notes on the people who run these blogs and actively link to the content. It would help if you thought about the demographics, job, hobbies, interests and most importantly, their needs and wants. Once you know those things, it’s easier to tailor content to Linkreators.
Here is an example of a Linkreators persona for a Beauty Blogger. We’ll break it down so you know what’s been included and why:
This is Lucy’s Linkreators Persona and a breakdown of why you need to include this information to relate better to Lucy when creating content.
- Demographics: on the left-hand side is a strip of information that tells you everything you need to know about Lucy. Lucy, of course, is a made-up person with a made-up name, age, and job. For the demographics of your Linkreators persona, all the demographics should be an average of your real ones. There is also a quote there to summarise the persona, something that Lucy might say to sum up the issue we are trying to solve.
- Description: this should be an in-depth paragraph about your Linkreators, try and think about what they do and why they do it.
- Favourite Brands: this should play into your competitor analysis slightly. Think about what companies/brands your Linkreators are referring to the most, are you in line with these brands, and what techniques have they used to be worthy of note to your Linkreators.
- Current Articles: these should be topics that are frequently coming up for your Linkreators; you will be able to identify what content is appealing to them and how you can fit within that.
- Personal Characteristics: this will help you identify the tone of voice and what content should appeal to their personalities. For example, do your Linkreators like posts with intelligent scathing political commentary or are they happy-go-lucky people who write light pieces for their audience.
- Goals: this is the most crucial part. Once you know what they want to achieve, your goals can align with theirs making your content more appealing to them.
- Needs: generally the needs for all Linkreators are the same. They want credible content which supports their points and makes them look good. Feel free to add anything specific to your topic, though.
- Hobbies and interests: this is to help you find ‘Shoulder Niches’ for your chosen topic.
- Challenges: is there anything you can do to become the answer to your Linkreators problems? What challenges might they face daily which makes your content essential to Linkreators?
- Channels: think about what devices people would use the most when looking at content related to your topic. Does this change how you would optimise or present your topic?
The best tools to help you
This doesn’t have to take you a long time at all. You could follow the template above and write it down or type it out. There are a couple of other things you can use to bring your template to life:
- Canva - many cool templates you can customise if you want to present your findings.
- HubSpot - you can make a buyer persona here in no time, but it won’t be specifically for SEO, more just a general consumer persona template.
- Ahrefs - this is a researching tool
- Semrush - this is a researching tool
To summarise, a customer persona can be a valuable tool to help you visualise your Linkreators and keep you on track when making impactful content that will get linked to again and again. Make sure you spend time researching who the Linkreators are because once you have done that, you have a handy Linkreators persona you can refer to, which in turn ensures you have the answer to your Linkreators needs and wants.