Past present & future of personas in search


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Michael King's (iPullRank) SMX presentation on using personas for search to improve conversion.

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  • You might have heard of it.FB:admin allows you to get the data of any logged in user that comes to your site providing you can convince them to opt-inMat Clayton - MixcloudPandora does this when you sign up before you give them any info and uses your data to inform the music genome
  • The same way otherwise won’t know anything definitive about your users unless there is some sort of information gathering transaction you didn’t know anything about me.But with Facebook you know a ton about me, and if you implement FB:admins you have access to just as much data dynamically for any user that opts-in
  • searchRef is the function that grabs the keyword from the referrer and keeps track of it. Requires the sessvars.js getFBdemos grabs the data from FB
  • This is the code for pushing the data to custom segments in GAYou only get 5 custom segments in GA, so choose the data most important to you. I keep track of the referrer, A/S/L, and FB 3rd party ID but you can go for any of the data that the user makes available.
  • Here it is running live on one of my personal websites.My clients are in the process of adopting this as I speak.
  • You can figure out what persona truly owns the given keyword or if there is a demographic outside of the 4 you’ve determined.
  • Once you’ve determined the demographics and the ownership you can prepare messaging (using JavaScript so it’s not cloaking) that directly targets those demographics and improve conversion.This is all stuff you can do right now for free. Sure you could use ComScore and Quantcast data and accomplish the same thing but that data is broad, this data is specific and granular.MixCloud reported a 55% drop in bounce rate and 80% increase in signup rate
  • Wait how’d that get in there?
  • Past present & future of personas in search

    1. 1. The Past Present & Future of Personas in Search<br />Michael King<br />SEO Manager / Publicis Modem<br />@ipullrank<br />
    2. 2. Search Marketers are Shortsighted<br />Typically in Search we only categorize keywords into informational, navigational and transactional queries. <br />
    3. 3. Search Marketers Need to Grow Up<br />We are not just Search Marketers anymore we are full-fledged Digital Strategists.<br />
    4. 4. People Search to Fulfill a Need<br />Keywords must be categorized by the need states of personas and messaging must reflect those need states to improve conversion.<br />
    5. 5. You’re Too Late To Be Cutting Edge<br />If you don’t already use personas in your Search efforts you are trying to strike an invisible moving target while your competitors are effortlessly hitting the bullseye.<br />
    6. 6. Luckily You Just Met Me…<br />In the next 13 minutes (and counting) I will get you up to speed on lowering cost of acquisitionand take you into the future of increasing the life cycle and subsequent conversions.<br />
    8. 8. Using Social Media to Define Personas<br />Use the existing conversation in social media to identify need states and inform keyword research to ultimately define personas.<br />
    9. 9. Social Listening Tools<br />Scout Labs<br />Alterian SM2<br />For my shoestring budget hustlers<br />Social Mention<br />Scout Labs & Alterian SM2 are extensive and expensive social listening tools but you can grab a decent data set for free using Social Mention.<br />
    10. 10. Identify Need States<br />Weight Loss<br />Weight Management<br />The TWTU Supporter<br />This diet is perfect for anyone who needs that “umph” to lose those few pounds, quickly<br />The Calorie Tracker<br />I’m so glad [Yogurt Brand] is compatible with my points system .<br />The Dieter<br />[Yogurt Brand] helps curb my cravings so I can continue on my path toward losing weight<br />The Maintainer<br />I’ve lost a lot of weight, I can’t afford to cave to temptation when I’ve come this far<br />.<br />The Event Planner<br />I need to lose 5-10 pounds in time for this event. I need a plan that gets noticeable results <br />TWTU Skeptics<br />This diet is unrealistic and not healthy – too extreme<br />New Mom<br />I want a low-calorie way to get my calcium so I can get the nutrients we need while losing the rest of this baby weight<br />Steady Achiever<br />I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight except for these pesky few pounds. I need to reach my goal by Thanksgiving.<br />Distill the conversation in social media down to the need states of the people talking.<br />
    11. 11. Define Personas<br />The Connoisseur<br />Super Tasters<br />Newer to the product category but partial to authentic Greek yogurt because of the taste and texture; loyal to brands like Fage , Oikos and Chiobani; appreciates the authenticity of ingredients; uses Greek yogurt for cooking and baking; likes to enhance Greek yogurt with fruit and other toppings<br />Integrity Protectors<br />Consumed Greek yogurt before it became popular – feels entitled to defend ‘real’ Greek yogurt against newer ‘inferior’ brands entering the product category; savvy about ingredients and passionate about the unique straining process; tends to be set in her ways in terms of maintaining a healthy diet; loyal to original brands like Fage and Oikos<br />The Steadfast Seeker<br />Optimists<br />Looks for ways of improving Greek yogurt but wishes she had a more accessible way to enjoy it; experiments with different brands like Yoplait and Dannon to find the best tasting option; sensitive to the higher price point of the original Greek Yogurt brands <br />Brand Loyalists<br />Wants a more familiar way to enjoy Greek yogurt; overall, hates the taste of Greek yogurt; loyal to the [Yogurt brand ]and appreciates the variety of flavors that Yoplait offers in their Greek yogurt line; appreciates not having to enhance the flavor of Greek yogurt to make it more enjoyable<br />Use Social Listening to isolate key types within the conversation. Segment them into up to four groups or personas.<br />
    12. 12. Identify Keyword Opportunities<br />The Amateur<br />The Reluctant Partaker<br />The Connoisseur<br />The Steadfast Seeker<br />high protein<br />choke down<br />smoothies<br />toppings<br />too tangy<br />weight training<br />body building<br />low fat<br />physical fitness<br />recipes<br />no brand loyalty<br />gross taste<br />high price<br />too thick<br />Yoplait<br />Dannon<br />better tasting options<br />health benefits<br />need more variety <br />toppings<br />loves Greek <br />straining process<br />minimal ingredients<br />no preservatives<br />Fage<br />Oikos<br />rich texture<br />Greek-style<br />never/hardly tried <br />likes blended yogurt<br />wants Greek benefits<br />tart taste<br />attracted to variety<br />no brand loyalty<br />Use the conversation to understand what words personas naturally associate with elements of your product or service and apply those to keyword research and messaging<br />
    13. 13. Create Targeted Messaging <br />Present optimized messaging that will resonate with your personas with the goal of maximizing conversion.<br />This is the magic behind Facebook Ads<br />
    14. 14. Test Everything<br />Test your messaging in Pay-Per-Click to get a sense of how well they will perform in Organic Search.<br />
    15. 15. Case In Point: Air Travel<br />1. 2. 3. 4 5. 6. 7.<br /> Research<br /> Decision-<br />making<br /> Booking<br /> Pre-flight<br />Travel<br /> Post-travel<br />Motivation <br />to travel<br />How do I crystallize my travels so that they are easy to share, and provide inspiration to me and others evermore?<br />What do I need to do to activate my trip so that it’s as easy as possible?<br />Who can I rely on to help me make the most of my trip?<br />Who’s going to help me fine tune and make the plan possible?<br />I want to collect new experience, add to my personal story, and create special memories<br />What is out there that would be fun and interesting to do alone and/or with the people I care about?<br />Of the options available, what is feasible given time & budget constraints?<br />Need States<br />Organize:<br />-Memories/events <br />-Evidence you’ve been there/ Memorabilia<br />-New ideas<br />Package:<br />Trip takeouts so as to extend the benefits gained from the trip<br />Share:<br />To build on and showcase who you are<br />Occasion:<br /><ul><li>Season/Holiday
    16. 16. NY’ eve
    17. 17. Valentine’s D
    18. 18. Honeymoon
    19. 19. Birthday gift
    20. 20. Anniversary
    21. 21. Stag do
    22. 22. Reunion
    23. 23. Accomplishment
    24. 24. Time off</li></ul>Experience:<br />-Broaden horizon<br />-Hobby/skill<br />-Well-being/R&R<br />-Adventure<br />-Landscape (sea, mountain, plant)<br />-Weather (sun, snow, wind)<br />Locate:<br />Key trip info: <br />-Luggage rules<br />-Check in time<br />-Terminal to go to<br />-Currency exchange <br />-Ways to and from airport<br />-Travel tips<br />Book: <br />-Car hire<br />-Accommodation<br />-Airport bus<br />Manage:<br />Info updates, efficient and easy task completion<br />Connect:<br />-With local info <br />-With resources (guides, gurus)<br />-Activity ideas<br />Record:<br />-Experiences<br />-Memories<br />-New ideas, contacts, knowledge<br />Get Ideas:<br />From friends, family,colleagues, extended social media network, bloggers, TV personalities, movies, activity groups & forums<br />Search for:<br />Occasion or experience sought on google, publications, forums, social media groups,etc<br />Search for:<br />Activity and experience options at different destinations<br />Compare:<br />Destination options based on timings, costs, and ease of getting there<br />Search for:<br />-Cheapest flight options based on timings <br />- Cheapest flight options based on destination (look for promos and time suggestions)<br />Compare:<br />Time options vs. budget across key providers <br />Commit:<br />To a scenario<br />Examples of What’s happening<br />Experience<br />Commitment<br />Inspiration<br />Research<br />We listened to the questions people ask when searching for air travel and why.<br />
    25. 25. Semantic Grouping<br />1. 2. 3. 4 5. 6. 7.<br /> Research<br /> Decision-<br />making<br /> Booking<br /> Pre-flight<br />Travel<br /> Post-travel<br />Motivation <br />to travel<br />Remember<br />Simplify<br />Connect<br />Offering<br />Occasion<br />Activity<br />Destination<br />Core Semantic Groups<br />We identified the need state matched the client’s business goals and mapped them to semantic groups.<br />Flights<br />Country/Region<br />Logistics<br />Timing<br />City/Airport<br />Cheap Flights<br />
    26. 26. Keyword Mapping<br />We mapped core semantic groups to keywords informed by social listening and then optimized accordingly.<br />
    27. 27. Performance<br />Organic Traffic<br />Bookings<br />Conversions improved in every need state in concert with improvement of traffic from Organic Search. It worked.<br />
    28. 28. Case In Point: Consumer Electronics<br />INFLUENCERS<br />TARGET<br />We used personas inform messaging for the target audience and determine who to reach out to for link building campaigns<br />
    30. 30. What if I told you….<br />…there is a free way to find out exactly who every person is that comes to your site for per keyword<br />
    31. 31.
    32. 32. By the way I’m Michael King<br />SEO Manager at Publicis Modem recently left Razorfish<br />Studied Computer Science at Howard University<br />Lives in Brooklyn<br />From Philadelphia<br />Born August 29th, 1981<br />Speaks American English & Pig Latin<br />Wouldn’t you want to have this info for every person that comes to your site?<br />
    33. 33. The Flux Capacitor<br />Keyword-Level<br />Demographics<br />Search <br />Referrers<br />FB:Admin<br />
    34. 34. FB:Admin Code<br />ProTip:Sessionize the original referrer when they first get to the site in case the user opts-in via Facebook later during their visit. Clear the session variable if they come from Search again.<br />JavaScript does not natively support Session Variables so check out SessVars.js by Thomas Frank -<br />@matclayton’s presentation:<br />
    35. 35. More Code<br />Function to grab Facebook Data<br />Function to grab the Search Referrer<br />function searchRef()<br />{<br /> if (typeofsessvars.ref == 'undefined') <br /> {<br /> // grab document referrer<br />varurl = String(document.referrer);<br /> window.console.log("Doc Ref: " + url);<br /> // confirm they came from search<br /> if ((url.indexOf ("") !=-1) || (url.indexOf ("") !=-1) || (url.indexOf("") !=-1))<br /> {<br />varurlVars = {};<br />var parts = url.replace(/[?&]+([^=&]+)=([^&]*)/gi, function(m,key,value) <br /> { <br />urlVars[key] = value;<br /> });<br />urlVars["q"] = unescape(urlVars["q"]); <br />urlVars["q"] = urlVars["q"].replace(/%20/g," ");<br />sessvars.ref = urlVars["q"].replace(/+/g, " ");<br /> }<br /> else<br /> {<br />sessvars.ref = "not search";<br /> window.console.log("Referrer = " + ref);<br /> }<br /> return sessvars.ref;<br /> }<br /> else{<br /> window.console.log("Referrer = " + ref);<br /> return sessvars.ref;<br /> }<br />}<br />All code can be found at:<br />
    36. 36. GA Custom Variables Code<br />_gaq.push(['_setCustomVar',      1,                   // This custom var is set to slot #1.  Required // parameter. You can do 1 - 5      ‘Referrer',     // Category for the user activity.  Required parameter.      ‘Keyword',     // Value of the custom variable.  Required parameter.      1                   // Sets the scope to page-level.  Optional parameter. <br /> // 1 – Visitor-Level, 2- Session-Level, 3- Page-Level   ]);<br />Google Analytics function for pushing to Custom Variables<br />Function for passing data to Custom Variables<br />
    37. 37. Tada!<br />It takes up to 72 hours for Custom Variables to Appear in Google Analytics so I don’t have a screenshot but this is the data from the JavaScript Console<br />Birthday<br />Gender<br />Search Keyword<br />Facebook ID<br />Location<br />Here is the data being pushed to Google Analytics<br />
    38. 38. Keyword Ownership<br />Once a statistically significant dataset is compiled it can be determined which demographic and/or persona is more likely to convert for a given keyword and develop messaging that focuses on that group.<br />OWNER<br />Tech Geek<br />Gamer<br />Film Purist<br />Curious George<br /><ul><li>18-32
    39. 39. Male
    40. 40. Loves indie rock
    41. 41. Wishes he had a beard
    42. 42. 22-40
    43. 43. Male
    44. 44. Loves film soundtracks
    45. 45. Wishes he could live in the movie Avatar
    46. 46. 18-32
    47. 47. Male
    48. 48. Loves all music
    49. 49. Wishes he could move out his mom’s basement
    50. 50. 22-40
    51. 51. Male
    52. 52. Loves Techno
    53. 53. Wishes you would stopinvading his online privacy
    54. 54. 5000 Searches Monthly
    55. 55. Conversion Rate 5%
    56. 56. 1000 Searches Monthly
    57. 57. Conversion Rate 0.5%
    58. 58. 100 Searches Monthly
    59. 59. Conversion Rate 0.2%
    60. 60. 600 Searches Monthly
    61. 61. Conversion Rate 2%</li></li></ul><li>Dynamic Targeting<br />Using the Facebook data user experiences can be tailored dynamically to reflect properties of the persona when they visit. <br />What Normal Users See<br />What Curious George Sees<br />Curious George<br /><ul><li>18-32
    62. 62. Male
    63. 63. Loves indie rock
    64. 64. Wishes he had a beard</li></ul>Conversion will Improve Dramatically<br />
    65. 65.
    67. 67. Keyword Arbitrage<br />Tracking keyword demographics also allows the attribution of future purchases to the original keyword and will give way to keyword matrices. <br />
    68. 68. Subsequent Conversion Prediction<br />Curious George<br />60% of these users that buy sneakers from the keyword “sneakers” come back and purchase windbreakers<br />These keyword matrices will allow the prediction of what the persona is likely to buy next so you know which people to aggressively pursue through retargeting and other channels such as email.<br />
    69. 69. Annual Keyword Value<br />Based on how often an initial keyword leads to future conversions of subsequent keywords businesses will be able to measure the annual value of a keyword and react accordingly.<br />Keyword <br />Earnings <br />Ratio<br />Price per Keyword<br />Annual Earnings <br />per initial click<br />Annual Earnings <br />per initial click<br />Keyword <br />Earnings <br />Yield<br />Price per Keyword<br />
    70. 70. Search ROI <br />Connecting Search to Conversion with Keyword-Level Demographics gives upticks in Search a directly quantifiable and forecast-able ROI. <br />The future is now. Search has finally grown up.<br />
    71. 71. The Credits<br />Thank you to all the brilliant people who let me reference their awesome work and/or helped me make sense of my crazy ideas.<br />Jason Pearson - @jasonpear<br />Tony Effik - @aeffik<br />Dupe Arolow - @dupe116<br />Micah Schipior - @micahschipior<br />Mat Clayton - @matclayton<br />Dennis Goedegebuure - @TheNextCorner<br />Tom Critchlow - @TomCritchlow<br />Joshua Giardino - @Techarity<br />Pete Sena - @petesena<br />
    72. 72. Thank You.<br />Michael King<br />SEO Manager<br /><br /><br />@iPullRank<br />
    73. 73. Appendix<br />Mat Clayton’s Social Design Presentation:<br /><br />John Doherty’s Notes on Mat Clayton’s Presentation:<br /><br />Facebook Open Graph Protocol Reference:<br /><br />Google Analytics Custom Variables:<br /><br />My Keyword-Level Demographics Post on SEOmoz (Up 9/14/11):<br /><br />My Code Repository:<br /><br />Justin Briggs’ post on using Personas in Link Building<br /><br />