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SEO Personas: Persona-driven search engine optimization (SEO), Part 1

The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed.
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SEO Personas: Persona-driven search engine optimization (SEO),
Part 1 by Jaad Mohammed. Read Part 2.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is defined as the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by raising the visibility of a website or a web page to the users of a search engine.

Although often not well integrated into the SEO process, personas can be useful for SEO. Personas are fictional characters that portray customers of a particular market segment. Personas are typically presented in a profile that presents characteristics of the persona such as a photo, name, and other attributes. The persona profile also includes other features, such as current behavioral characteristics as well as goals and expectations.

Both SEO and personas, especially data-driven personas such as those created by APG, go hand in hand in that we can use the list of personas of a web page to plan an SEO strategy that is designed to effectively target more relevant customers. Specifically, using personas we can segment based on:

(a) what they do and
(b) why they do it.

This segmentation by personas helps us focus our SEO tactics on defining solutions, pain points, and relevant keywords, as shown in Figure 1. Personas are useful for understanding customer segments’ search motivations and keywords they use.

SEO personas and the 3 focus areas of solutions, pain points, and relevant keywords
Figure 1: This segmentation by personas helps us focus our SEO tactics on solutions, pain points, and relevant keywords

Some benefits of and how-to for integrating personas into the SEO process are shown in Table 1.Table1: Benefits of and how-to for integrating personas into the SEO process.Similarly, flipping the process, we can also make use of SEO data to create accurate buyers’ personas, as explained in Create Precise Buyer Personas With SEO Data: A 10-Step Guide.

Jansen, B. J., Salminen, J., and Jung, S.G. (2020) Data-Driven Personas for Enhanced User Understanding: Combining Empathy with Rationality for Better Insights to AnalyticsData and Information Management. 4(1), 1-17.
https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/dim/4/1/article-p1.xml

By Jim Jansen

Dr. Jansen is a Principal Scientist in the social computing group of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, and a professor with the College of Science and Engineering, Hamad bin Khalifa University, and an adjunct professor with the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of West Point and has a Ph.D. in computer science from Texas A&M University, along with master degrees from Texas A&M (computer science) and Troy State (international relations). Dr. Jim Jansen served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry enlisted soldier and communication commissioned officer.

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