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Establishing User Personas for your SEO and Keyword Targeting

Posted by drew on June 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

Keyword research is a necessary for SEO. That’s just a simple fact. However, some SEOs and webmasters fall into the habit of creating a single keyword list filled with similar keywords. Here’s the problem with doing this: different users may want to come to your site for different reasons, so treating them all the same means you will miss out.
 
For complicated sites, it is necessary to first sketch out an idea of the different kinds of people who might be visiting your site. For example, you could attract some visitors who only want to read informational blog posts, while others are ready to purchase something from you.
 
Previously, I’ve discussed this in terms of users at different points in the sales cycle, but if you offer a variety of disparate products or services, you may be dealing with users in different sales cycles altogether!
 
I like to write user personas before I do any keyword research with the Adwords Keyword Planner or any other tools. In a user persona, I include the main motivation they might have for using a search engine at that moment, what goals they want to accomplish with their experience, what keywords they might be using, and what desired action I want them to complete when they reach my website.
 
Thinking about user motivations and goals helps me establish keyword ideas, which I then build upon with other keyword research techniques. The result of this is a series of keyword lists, rather than a single list for an entire site.
 
Once I’ve established keyword targets associated with user personas, I begin to assign those keywords to pages on the website for optimization. It is important not to target one keyword with too many pages on your site, or you will end up doing what is called keyword cannibalization, where your site competes against itself and ultimately loses overall.
 
If you have any questions about keyword research, or you’d like some help establishing a marketing strategy with user personas and SEO, then contact Fusionbox, a Denver SEO agency.