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Past Present & Future of Personas in Search (extended version)

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The Past Present & Future of Personas in Search
                   (extended version)




                                ...

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WE‟RE
DOING IT
WRONG
THERE‟S TOO MUCH
DATA OUT THERE FOR
SEO TO SUCK

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Search Marketers Need to Grow Up
We are not just Search Marketers
anymore we are full-fledge Digital
Strategists.

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Past Present & Future of Personas in Search (extended version)

  1. The Past Present & Future of Personas in Search (extended version) Michael King SEO Manager Publicis Modem @ipullrank
  2. WE‟RE DOING IT WRONG THERE‟S TOO MUCH DATA OUT THERE FOR SEO TO SUCK
  3. Search Marketers Need to Grow Up We are not just Search Marketers anymore we are full-fledge Digital Strategists.
  4. Search Marketers are Short Sighted Informational, Navigational, Transactional classification of keywords is not enough to truly understand the intent of a user. Need States Navigational Business Goals Informational Navigational Transactional Informational Transactional
  5. People Search to Fulfill a Need Keywords must be categorized by the need states of personas and messaging must reflect those need states to improve conversion.
  6. Give People What they are Looking For Does your content fulfill the need associated with the search intent? Does it give the person the compelling experience they are searching for?
  7. You‟re Too Late To Be Cutting Edge 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.
  8. Luckily You Just Met Me… In the next 30-45 minutes and counting I will get you up to speed and take you into the future.
  9. THE PAST PERSONA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT USING SOCIAL MEDIA
  10. Recipe for Success Social Listening/ Need State Push Live / Determination/ Keyword Mapping Creative / Copy / Conversion Rate Persona / Information Tech Development Optimization / Development/ Architecture Measurement Keyword Research SEO Defines SEO Validates SEO Drives Info Architecture User Experience Measurement
  11. Who is Your Target Audience? Before you do anything you need to identify who you are trying to talk to.
  12. Use Social Media to Your Advantage Hundreds of Millions of people are telling you their every mundane thought everyday; use it!
  13. Using Social Media to Define Personas Use the existing conversation in social media to identify need states and inform keyword research to ultimately define personas.
  14. Social Listening Tools Scout Labs Alterian SM2 For my shoestring budget hustlers Social Mention Scout Labs, Alterian SM2, Radian6 are extensive and expensive social listening tools but you can grab a decent data set for free using Social Mention, Amplicate, Topsy
  15. Invest in Quantitative Analysis Tools Invest in sites like ComScore, Compete or Quantcast to identify a demographic by industry and to get a preview of their search behavior.
  16. Develop Personas Develop Personas to understand your users and to inform Search and UX. See Vanessa Fox‟s presentation on Personas for an in-depth how-to: http://www.slideshare.net/optify/using-personas-to-boost-online-marketing-and-seo
  17. Start with the Audience‟s Questions Identify the questions the audience is asking that apply to your busines goals. Quora is a great place to start.
  18. Identify Need States Weight Loss Weight Management The TWTU Supporter The Calorie Tracker This diet is perfect for anyone who I’m so glad [Yogurt The Dieter needs that “umph” to lose those few Brand] is compatible [Yogurt Brand] helps curb my pounds, quickly with my points system . cravings so I can continue on my path toward losing weight The Maintainer The Event Planner I’ve lost a lot of weight, I can’t I need to lose 5-10 pounds in time TWTU Skeptics afford to cave to temptation for this event. I need a plan that This diet is unrealistic when I’ve come this far gets noticeable results and not healthy – too . extreme New Mom Steady Achiever I want a low-calorie way to get I’ve lost a considerable amount my calcium so I can get the of weight except for these pesky nutrients we need while losing few pounds. I need to reach my the rest of this baby weight goal by Thanksgiving. Distill the conversation in social media down to the need states of the people talking with regard to business goals.
  19. Define Personas The Connoisseur Integrity Protectors Super Tasters Consumed Greek yogurt before it Newer to the product category but became popular – feels entitled to partial to authentic Greek yogurt defend „real‟ Greek yogurt against newer because of the taste and texture; „inferior‟ brands entering the product loyal to brands like Fage , Oikos category; savvy about ingredients and and Chiobani; appreciates the passionate about the unique straining authenticity of ingredients; uses process; tends to be set in her ways in Greek yogurt for cooking and terms of maintaining a healthy diet; loyal baking; likes to enhance Greek to original brands like Fage and Oikos yogurt with fruit and other toppings The Steadfast Seeker Brand Loyalists Optimists Wants a more familiar way to enjoy Looks for ways of improving Greek Greek yogurt; overall, hates the taste yogurt but wishes she had a more of Greek yogurt; loyal to the [Yogurt accessible way to enjoy it; brand ]and appreciates the variety of experiments with different brands flavors that Yoplait offers in their like Yoplait and Dannon to find the Greek yogurt line; appreciates not best tasting option; sensitive to the having to enhance the flavor of Greek higher price point of the original yogurt to make it more enjoyable Greek Yogurt brands Give your 4 core audience segments a story and personality
  20. Identify Keyword Opportunities The The Steadfast The The Reluctant Connoisseur Seeker Amateur Partaker gross taste high protein loves Greek never/hardly tried high price choke down straining process likes blended too thick smoothies minimal yogurt Yoplait toppings ingredients wants Greek Dannon too tangy no preservatives benefits better tasting weight training Fage tart taste options body building Oikos attracted to variety health benefits low fat rich texture no brand loyalty need more variety physical fitness Greek-style toppings recipes no brand loyalty 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
  21. Create Targeted Messaging Present optimized messaging that will resonate with your personas with of the goal of maximizing conversion. This is the magic behind Facebook Ads
  22. Test Everything Test your messaging in Pay-Per-Click to get a sense of how well they will perform in Organic Search.
  23. Insights from Tests Inform Messaging Insight 1 Focus on taste is the key opportunity Insight 2 Everyday nutrition done the Yoplait way will resonate with consumers across the board Insight 3 Nurturing of family takes precedence over the target‟s own well-being Use insights from testing to understand what resonates with the personas and then create messaging and user experiences that reflect these insights
  24. Case In Point: Air Travel 1. 2. 3. 4 5. 6. 7. Motivation Decision- Research Booking Pre-flight Travel Post-travel to travel making How do I crystallize Need States I want to collect new What is out there that Of the options Who’s going to help What do I need to do my travels so that experience, add to would be fun and Who can I rely on to available, what is me fine tune and to activate my trip so they are easy to my personal story, interesting to do help me make the feasible given time & make the plan that it’s as easy as share, and provide and create special alone and/or with the most of my trip? budget constraints? possible? possible? inspiration to me and memories people I care about? others evermore? Occasion: Get Ideas: Search for: Search for: Locate: Connect: Organize: -Season/Holiday From Activity and -Cheapest flight Key trip info: -With local info -Memories/events -NY‟ eve friends, family,colleag experience options at options based on -Luggage rules -With resources -Evidence you‟ve -Valentine‟s D ues, extended social different destinations timings -Check in time (guides, gurus) been there/ Memorabilia Examples of What’s happening -Honeymoon media - Cheapest flight -Terminal to go to -Activity ideas -Birthday gift network, bloggers, TV options based on -Currency exchange -New ideas -Anniversary personalities, movies, Compare: destination (look for -Ways to and from -Stag do activity groups & Destination options promos and time airport Record: -Reunion forums based on timings, suggestions) -Travel tips -Experiences Package: -Accomplishment costs, and ease of -Memories Trip takeouts so as to -Time off getting there -New extend the benefits Search for: Compare: Book: ideas, contacts, knowl gained from the trip Occasion or Time options vs. -Car hire edge Experience: experience sought on budget across key -Accommodation -Broaden horizon google, publications, f providers -Airport bus Share: -Hobby/skill orums, social media To build on and -Well-being/R&R groups,etc showcase who you -Adventure Commit: Manage: are -Landscape To a scenario Info updates, efficient (sea, mountain, plant) and easy task -Weather completion (sun, snow, wind) Research Commitment Experience Inspiration We dove deep into need states to see what questions people wanted answered.
  25. Semantic Grouping 1. 2. 3. 4 5. 6. 7. Motivation Decision- Research Booking Pre-flight Travel Post-travel to travel making Occasion Activity Destination Offering Simplify Connect Remember Core Semantic Groups We identified the need Flights states that matched the client’s business goals and mapped them to semantic groups. Country/Region Logistics City/Airport Timing Cheap Flights
  26. Keyword Mapping We mapped core semantic groups to keywords informed by social listening.
  27. UX that Reflects Needs Navigation and sub- navigation reflect need states UX and content developed with the concerns of our personas We built a user experience indicative of these considerations
  28. Performance Bookings Organic Traffic Conversions improved in every need state in concert with improvement of traffic from Organic Search. It worked.
  29. TALK TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE INTRODUCE YOUR CONTENT TO THE PEOPLE WHO CARE
  30. THROW AWAY YOUR FORM LETTERS! The guy sent a form letter to Avinash Kaushik for a link. Do Not be a Jordan Hogenson; tailor your outreach link building to your audience
  31. Social and Search Will Continue to Integrate There is evidence that Google will use rel-me and rel-author as ways to connect people to content and apply a sliding scale of value to links based on algorithmically determined authority of the writer to help solve search quality issues. BUILD YOUR NETWORKS NOW. Read: Google‟s Heading for Life after Link Trust – Here‟s How to Prepare by @simonpenson - http://seogadget.co.uk/life-after-link-trust/
  32. Link Building Golden Rule
  33. Personas are the Key to Scalability TARGET INFLUENCERS Curious George Gamer Film Purist Tech Geek This group represents people Gamers talk about their 3D This conversation revolves This group talks about the considering buying a 3D TV gaming experience and the around use of 3D in film. They technical details of their AV components and games they talk about 3D in a broad way, setup. They treat their TV‟s like use. and occasionally touch on a racecar driver treats their car. 3DTV specifically. Personas help you identify how to find your link prospects and how to start a conversation with them once you do. Watch: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/scalable-link-building-using-social-media-whiteboard-friday
  34. Twitter Before Email Twitter is made for inane and unsolicited conversation. Start your outreach link building there.
  35. Use the SEER Method for Link Prospeting I absolutely love the SEER Interactive method of using Twitter and Open Site Explorer together to identify link prospects! Read: http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/using-twitter-and-backlinks-to-build-links/2011/07/28/
  36. BUT! [I LOVE ADULT SWIM]
  37. Issues with the SEER Method The Simply Measured tool gives you URLs with shorteners and Open Site Explorer exports only give you up to 10k links.
  38. So I made a tool… Upload your Simply Measured Export and get an SEOmoz Site Intelligence API and it will exhaustively prepare a link prospect report as an Excel workbook. I don‟t have a name or UI for this tool.
  39. How Does it Work? All shortened URLs All Root Domains Data is exported to are expanded are pulled from an Excel Workbook. Open Site Explorer One sheet of prospects, one sheet of people already linking to you.
  40. Output
  41. Have a Persona for Link Building People will most likely check out your timeline so fill it with cool relevant content and conversation. Build an authentic separate persona and use it for your link building.
  42. Do Your Research Create mental models of your link prospects by spending 5 minutes to view their Social Media profiles ProTip: A lot of people use the same username for many different social networks. Put it in Knowem and find out what they are about.
  43. Use Followerwonk with Scraper FollowerWonk doesn’t have an export feature so install Scraper for Chrome and get your data straight into Google Docs Read: http://justinbriggs.org/quick-link-prospecting-with-scraper-extension (@justinrbriggs)
  44. Link Prospecting by Persona Keep track of your twitter prospects by persona to measure hit rates and effectiveness in the context of conversion which further justifies the link building effort.
  45. Talk to People Like People Outreach Link Building should be fun. If you approach it with a genuine interest in people you will increase your hit rate and not think of it as such an fruitless task by having actual conversations.
  46. Make Your Message Stand Out Use Short Subjects Converse with Context Use Natural Subjects Do NOT Just Tweet a Link at a Prospect Do NOT Use “Link Request” Escalate Quickly (“Follow So I can DM”) Send Emails as an Actual Person not a Participate in the Company or Team Subject‟s Conversation Include a Natural Salutation Ride a Relevant Hashtag
  47. Offer Value Value does not mean always mean incentives. Show the person that it interacting with you is valuable by being entertaining or a resource by sharing other relevant content or information.
  48. [PRO TIP] KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY
  49. Dangle the Carrot If you have nothing more to offer or can‟t spend the time use incentives. Couple incentives with campaigns to draw links in a one-to-many fashion.
  50. Maintain the Rapport After you close a link continue to engage with your link prospects over time on Twitter or G+. Add them to private Twitter lists and Google Plus Circles.
  51. Real Life Examples @ipullrank Follow me on Twitter. I will soon share examples of my outreach conversations on my blog (http://ipullrank.com)
  52. Measurement of Link Efforts Curious George Gamer Film Purist Tech Geek This group represents people Gamers talk about their 3D This conversation revolves This group talks about the considering buying a 3D TV gaming experience and the around use of 3D in film. They technical details of their AV components and games they talk about 3D in a broad way, setup. They treat their TV‟s like use. and occasionally touch on a racecar driver treats their car. 3DTV specifically. Curious George Gamers Film Purists Tech Geek The ability to track the effectiveness of link building efforts by persona is a powerful means of understanding which segment of your audience is driving the most traffic and conversions.
  53. THE FUTURE THE PRESENT KEYWORD ARBITRAGE: CAPITALIZING UPON OFFSET IN KEYWORD-LEVEL DEMOGRAPHICS LONG TERM KEYWORD VALUE
  54. What if I told you…. …there is a free way to find out exactly who every person is that comes to your site for per keyword
  55. By the way I‟m Michael King SEO Manager at Publicis Modem recently left Razorfish Studied Computer Science at Howard University Lives in Brooklyn From Philadelphia Born August 29th, 1981 Speaks American English & Pig Latin Wouldn‟t you want to have this info for every person that comes to your site?
  56. The Flux Capacitor Search Keyword-Level FB:Admin Demographics Referrers
  57. FB:Admin Code 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. JavaScript does not natively support Session Variables so check out SessVars.js by Thomas Frank - http://www.thomasfrank.se/session vars.html @matclayton’s presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/matclayton/mozcon-seattle-2011-social-design
  58. More Code Function to grab the Search Referrer Function to grab Facebook Data All code can be found at: http://www.ipullrank.com/code/keyword-demographics
  59. GA Custom Variables Code _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. // 1 – Visitor-Level, 2- Session-Level, 3- Page-Level ]); Google Analytics function for pushing to Custom Variables Function for passing data to Custom Variables
  60. Magic Data! Here we are storing 4 pieces of data from Facebook as well as the referrer. Ideally you would model the persona in the code just push the persona name to Google Analytics.
  61. Data In Context of Keyword BIRTHDATE KEYWORD You can view the demographics data in context of any dimension. Here we are looking at birthdates in context with the referring keyword.
  62. Privacy? If you are concerned with privacy you can encrypt user IDs using md5 hashes or model the persona in the code and only push the persona name to analytics. 123456 e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e An md5 hash is a 128-bit encryption of a string. You can compare users without saving their user IDs
  63. Pzyche Pzyche allows you to get demographics data on visitors in real-time requiring no opt-in.* http://www.pzyche.com *I asked Pzyche where their data comes from they said their sources are “proprietary”
  64. Other Data Sources LinkedIn and Google+ are both options for data mining the people that come to your site but keep in mind that with signed in G+ users you will not get Search Referrers. Read: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-search-more-secure.html
  65. Dynamic Targeting Using the Facebook data user experiences can be tailored dynamically to reflect properties of the persona when they visit. What Normal Users See What Curious George Sees Curious George • 18-32 • Male • Loves indie rock • Wishes he had a beard
  66. Use it! It Works! MixCloud uses Facebook data to customize landing pages and has achieved a 55% reduction in bounce rate for FB users.
  67. THE FUTURE MEASURING ROI: CAPITALIZING ON OFFSETS IN LONG TERM KEYWORD VALUE
  68. MEASURING PEOPLE SHOW WHO IS DOING WHAT AND HOW TO MAKE THEM DO IT MORE
  69. Measuring People Using personas allows you step away from abstracts and identify insights in terms of people and their needs. Almost didn‟t look like a watermark, right?
  70. Keyword Ownership 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. OWNER Curious George Gamer Film Purist Tech Geek • 18-32 • 18-32 • 22-40 • 22-40 • Male • Male • Male • Male • Loves indie rock • Loves all music • Loves film soundtracks • Loves Techno • Wishes he had a beard • Wishes he could move • Wishes he could live in • Wishes you would stop out his mom’s the movie Avatar invading his online basement privacy • 5000 Searches Monthly • 600 Searches Monthly • 1000 Searches Monthly • 100 Searches Monthly • Conversion Rate 5% • Conversion Rate 2% • Conversion Rate 0.5% • Conversion Rate 0.2%
  71. Keyword Arbitrage Initial Conversion Persona Keyword Subsequent Conversion Keyword Keyword Rate Revenue Keyword Rate Revenue Sneakers 5% Curious George $50 Sneakers 40% $50 Sneakers 5% Curious George $50 Windbreakers 60% $100 Sneakers 5% Curious George $50 T-Shirts 20% $20 Windbreakers 3% Curious George $100 Sneakers 32% $50 Windbreakers 3% Curious George $100 Windbreakers 5% $100 Windbreakers 3% Curious George $100 T-shirts 80% $20 T-shirts 2% Curious George $20 Sneakers 50% $50 T-shirts 2% Curious George $20 Windbreakers 40% $100 T-shirts 2% Curious George $20 T-shirts 75% $20 Tracking keyword demographics also allows the attribution of future purchases to the original keyword and will give way to keyword matrices.
  72. Subsequent Conversion Prediction Curious George 60% of these users that buy sneakers from the keyword “sneakers” come back and purchase windbreakers 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.
  73. Rankings Push your rankings to your Analytics for viewing in context with personas, localization and conversion goals to prioritize opportunities Read and get the code for this: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/gettings-rankings-into-ga-using-custom-variables (@dohertyjf)
  74. Annual Keyword Value 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. Keyword Price per Keyword Earnings Ratio Annual Earnings per initial click Annual Earnings Keyword per initial click Earnings Yield Price per Keyword
  75. Thank You. Michael King SEO Manager www.ipullrank.com michael.king@publicismodem.com @iPullRank
  76. Appendix Mat Clayton’s Social Design Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/matclayton/mozcon-seattle-2011-social-design John Doherty’s Notes on Mat Clayton’s Presentation: http://www.johnfdoherty.com/social-design-how-to-co-mingle-social-features- earn-traffic-mozcon/ Facebook Open Graph Protocol Reference: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/ Google Analytics Custom Variables: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/gaTrackingCustomVariabl es.html My Keyword-Level Demographics Post on SEOmoz: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/keyword-level-demographics My Code Repository: http://www.ipullrank.com/code/keyword-demographics My Whiteboard Friday on Link Building Using Social Media http://www.seomoz.org/blog/scalable-link-building-using-social-media- whiteboard-friday

Editor's Notes

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wait how’d that get in there?
  • You can figure out what persona truly owns the given keyword or if there is a demographic outside of the 4 you’ve determined.

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