How to Use Personas To Reach Your Market

There is a lot of information being written about personas and keyword optimization when writing for the web. Almost every project today will have some conversation about this topic. If you are a service professional, consider that there may be a more effective strategy that includes understanding why people buy what you sell.

Personas are profiles of fictional characters which are used to represent different user types in the user-centered design process of a website. Much of the information on defining personas has to do with titles, roles, and responsibilities of the potential reader. Personas go on to detail the personal lives and attributes of the characters including marital status, number of kids, breed of the family dog, personal interests, sports and entertainment preferences, and even their favorite coffee. I have also seen personas based on personality traits or personal situations. There are a lot of variables involved with personality based personas and it may be difficult to set up marketing guidelines that will attract anyone from the market segment. Personality based personas may be better left to sales conversations. This idea of personas is often used for B2C and B2B customers to indicate a definable market segment.

The purpose of a marketing persona is to have a tool that defines and guides marketing programs developed to engage a specific market segment. The idea is to get close enough to the humans involved in the business process and their business interests in order to create marketing programs suited to them. These personas can be used for online marketing campaigns as well as SEO.

Personas can help you find keywords for your target audience and create the “right” content for optimum lead generation. Keyword research is the practice of finding terms that users search for, along with other information like search demand and competitiveness of the keyword. Then, you can select the most relevant and potentially rewarding terms to target on a site or blog post. The idea is to give you a comprehensive set of terms, or strings of words, which accurately describe the needs and intentions of your users.

Once I had finished all this technical work, I still had no idea what to write. I also wasn’t sure that anybody from the target market I was trying to reach would find me. In the NY Times best-selling book called Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port made thinking about the idea of using personas in my web strategy much clearer in my mind.

It is more effective to write something that would be attractive to a demographic, yes, but even better would be to write something relevant to the people you are trying to reach. Your target market is the specific group of people or businesses that you serve. Therefore, the persona should relate to the urgent needs and compelling desires of your target market. The persona definition also should include the number one result clients get from working with you. Finally, the persona should capture the benefits from a financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual perspective.

People are looking for solutions to their urgent needs and compelling desires. The keywords that you choose to write around, should also relate directly to those needs and desires for maximum effect and results with the search engines.

I hope this gives you some ideas about how quickly understanding why people buy what you sell can be more effective with using personas in your SEO efforts to reach your target market.

About the Author: Andrei Jablokow is a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach and is based out of Philadelphia, PA.