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PERSONAS FOR SEO IN 2012
How to build them and how to use them.

MICHAEL KING
Director of inbound marketing




                                 @ipullrank
DOWNLOAD THIS DECK:
http://slidesha.re/pubcon-personas




                                     @ipullrank
WHY DO WE NEED PERSONAS FOR SEO?



                                                                               What are you
                                                                              guys targeting?!




    A question I get a lot is “why do we need to use personas for SEO?” The answer is you don’t… unless you want
   to do a good job. You are creating content for an audience whether it be customers, influencers or people who will
                      link to you. You should understand who those people are and what they want.


 @ipullrank
CONSUMER INSIGHTS ARE PARAMOUNT




   UX, Content Strategy, Digital Strategy, Conversion Rate Optimizers and traditional marketing all employ consumer
                                    insights. Why did SEO ever think it was exempt?


 @ipullrank
WTF IS A PERSONA?




 PERSONA A                        PERSONA B                         PERSONA C                         PERSONA D
DEMOGRAPHICS                    DEMOGRAPHICS                      DEMOGRAPHICS                       DEMOGRAPHICS

 LIFESTYLES                        LIFESTYLES                       LIFESTYLES                          LIFESTYLES


 USER STORY                       USER STORY                        USER STORY                         USER STORY


 USER NEEDS                       USER NEEDS                        USER NEEDS                         USER NEEDS




    A persona is a hypothetical representation of a segment of an audience. I tend to use four because I find that to
                           be a manageable number but you can use as many as you’d like


 @ipullrank
PERSONAS ARE NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE




    “A major virtue of personas is the
     establishment of empathy and
    understanding the individual who
            uses the product”
                 -Donald A. Norman,
                  Nielsen Norman Group




 @ipullrank
PERSONA TYPES
             & DATA SOURCES




@ipullrank
BUYER VS AUDIENCE PERSONAS




       Buyer Personas buy your products.                                  Audience Personas Participate in the conversation.
           You want them to convert.                                         You want them to keep sharing and linking




    Sometimes your audience and buyer personas are the same, but most of the time they are not. The people you
    want links from are most likely not the same people that are going to buy your product. Treat them accordingly.


 @ipullrank
AD HOC PERSONAS USING “AFFINITY DIAGRAMMING”




    Many people advocate the post-it note approach. I personally find it unrealistic and not that useful. I prefer more
                                      quantitative approaches backed by data.


 @ipullrank
AD HOC PERSONAS USING SOCIAL MEDIA




   I outlined a process in my “Understanding Your Audience Using Social Media” Mozinar about how to use Keyword
            Research, Social Media and Discussion Search to develop ad hoc personas. http://mz.cm/UfXmVv


 @ipullrank
THE REAL PROBLEM WITH AD HOC PERSONAS




                                           While this approach can be very effective
                                       stakeholders may potentially challenge it because
                                          it’s not empirical. However neither is the old
                                        method of handing out post-its to stakeholders




    Ad Hoc personas don’t work well because there’s not enough hard data behind them when people question their
                       conclusions. Everyone has an idea of who they think the audience is.


 @ipullrank
EVEN AD HOC PERSONAS VIA SOCIAL ARE LIKE…




 @ipullrank
DATA DRIVEN PERSONAS




    Much more realistic, empirical and easier to justify are data-driven personas which can be created from a variety
                                                of sources of information.


 @ipullrank
iACQUIRE’S DATA DRIVEN APPROACH




At iAcquire we have a data-driven approach starting from Nielsen’s PRIZM segments, layering data from Experian Simmons
   and finally using Social Inventories from Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and DoubleClickto develop empirical and social
                     media-relevant personas. Google killed most of cool stuff in DoubleClick’s AdPlanner.

  @ipullrank
NIELSEN PRIZM




       Nielsen’s PRIZM segments all of the US into 66 predetermined types or “codes” with demographics and
                               psychographics that can be identified by zip code.



 @ipullrank
INSTANT PERSONAS FOR LOCAL SEARCH WITH PRIZM




   A common complaint is that personas will take too long. Use MyBestSegments’ free demo to find the top occuring
                PRIZM, P$YCLE or CONNEXIONS Segments per Zip Code. http://bit.ly/Qeh0uw


 @ipullrank
EXPERIAN SIMMONS




    Experian Simmons is an expensive tool made based on survey data made just for this type of customer
   profiling. They provide 61 Mosaic types and a whole lot of cross-tabbing and correspondence mapping of
                                                    data.

 @ipullrank
MOSAIC INTERACTIVE GUIDE




              Get free Experian Simmons data by Zip Code: http://bit.ly/R9MzuD




 @ipullrank
HITWISE




     Hitwise is also integrated with Simmons and can provide direct insights into Search behavior by Mosaic type




 @ipullrank
GOOGLE CONSUMER SURVEYS




    Google AdPlanner has scaled back the data it gives away significantly, but Google’s new Consumer Surveys is
                used to collect data off the back of the DoubleClick network at 10 cents a response.


 @ipullrank
SURVEY MONKEY MARKET RESEARCH SURVEYS




    SurveyMonkey gets explicit demographic data from respondents while Google infers it from sites you visit while
   logged in. We actually have a study using SurveyMonkey that examines Search Behavior launching in November


 @ipullrank
YAHOO CLUES




   Yahoo provides demographics at the keyword level with the Yahoo Clues tool http://clues.yahoo.com There is also
                              an API: http://www.s-anand.net/blog/yahoo-clues-api/


 @ipullrank
SHARE TYPES




The New York Times performed a study called “The Psychology of Sharing” in which they segmented all social media users
   into six sharing personas. This is especially useful if your just using personas for link building. http://nyti.ms/XhaQze


  @ipullrank
HOW iACQUIRE BUILDS
             PERSONAS




@ipullrank
MEET NORRIS A. ROWLEY JR.




                                    @NorRocwell
   Norris is our Manager of Market Research & Analytics. We work together to build sound and actionable audience
        reports for our client base. What follows is the data-driven process we’ve developed to build personas.


 @ipullrank
CHOOSE BEST GUESS PRIZM TYPES




   We start with our best guess of Nielsen MyBestSegments from PRIZM, P$YCLE or ConneXions types as a base
                                               to make assumptions


 @ipullrank
DEVELOP EMPATHY FOR THE CONSUMER




              Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and go through all of a given brand’s web properties.




 @ipullrank
GO THROUGH THE SITE AS THE CONSUMER




              Go through the brand’s site thoroughly as a consumer and continue to document the experience.




 @ipullrank
EXAMINE THE AVAILABLE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA




     Once we have an idea of the client’s online presence we examine our data from both PRIZM and Simmons to
                                     start filling in the gaps and building a story.


 @ipullrank
EXAMINE PSYCHOGRAPHICS




    Attitudes and characteristics from Simmons adds another layer of insights to who is a persona within the client’s
                                         target audience and helps tell the story.


 @ipullrank
EXAMINE MOSAIC TYPE PSYCHOGRAPHICS




    We slice and dice psychographics based on cross-tabbing relevant questions, but we also take another look at
                              the canned psychographics of the Mosaic types to see


 @ipullrank
VALIDATE USING SOCIAL INVENTORIES




      Determine how valid the segment is online by placing as much data as possible into Facebook, LinkedIn, or
                          YouTube ads. You may have to infer relationships in some cases.


 @ipullrank
BUILD YOUR PERSONA FROM CONCLUSIONS




   We use the all the data we’ve collected to build a user story, key traits, digital behavior and engagement insights.




 @ipullrank
HOW TO USE PERSONAS




@ipullrank
WHAT ARE NEED STATES?




                                                                               This replaces the obsolete Informational,
                                                                               Transactional, Navigational query classification



   Need States are classifications of goals that users are trying to fulfill when searching for a given keyword. You can
    define these however you like, but the consumer decision journey is more than adequate. This post talks about
                                               them http://mz.cm/T7hGZs

 @ipullrank
MAP KEYWORDS TO NEED STATES


     [flowers]




   [when do roses bloom]




    [what flowers for a first date]




     [buying chrysanthemums]



          [flower a month club]




   Mapping keywords to the need states or in this case the consumer decision journey will keep the content aligned
                             with the audience and ensure that it meets their needs.


 @ipullrank
STRATEGIC PLANNING – KEYWORD PORTFOLIO




     When performing keyword research we map our keywords to personas, need states and a variety of our data
                  points to ensure the integration of the consumer insights into the SEO program.


 @ipullrank
STRATEGIC PLANNING – SEO COPY BRIEF




    We also create a document called the SEO Copy Brief which outlines strategy, personas, keyword bucketing,
   best practices, measurement planning and so on to prepare any copywriter that will touch the site to create copy.


 @ipullrank
LINK BUILDING - PROSPECTING




          Use attributes of your personas to perform searches in Followerwonk and FindPeopleOnPlus.
       @JustinBriggs talks about this approach in his Content-based Link Building post on @OutSpokenMedia
                     http://outspokenmedia.com/seo/content-based-outreach-for-link-building/

 @ipullrank
LINK BUILDING - OUTREACH




                                             or


     Under the personas approach you can make use hyper-relevant canned messages for outreach or zero on a
                               user’s interests with hyper-personalized messages.


 @ipullrank
MEASUREMENT - SURVEYS




              Place a custom survey on your site and get user demographics right into Google Analytics with
                                               http://www.userreport.com


 @ipullrank
KEYWORD-LEVEL DEMOGRAPHICS




              This is the future. Read up on it and use it. http://mz.cm/UfYicl




 @ipullrank
KEYWORD OWNERSHIP




    Use Keyword-Level Demographics to determine what persona is actually searching and converting. If there’s a
                   large disparity only focus messaging on those that do search and convert.


 @ipullrank
DYNAMIC TARGETING




        Since you get the data in real-time you can tailor the experience to the persona that is visiting the site.




 @ipullrank
KEYWORD ARBITRAGE




    This data will give way to keyword matrices and allow you to understand there the place initial places it to spend
                                                     your money.


 @ipullrank
SUBSEQUENT CONVERSION PREDICTION




   This data will also allow you to predict the subsequent conversion of the user and then aggressive target them in
                            another channel such as retargeting to ensure the next purchase.


 @ipullrank
KEYWORD-LEVEL DEMOGRAPHICS BEST PRACTICES




                        Incentivize the Opt-In                         Just track the persona
                         (Communities or Coupons)




                   Use the appID Cross Property                        Cookie and Remarket




              I have a half-finished Wordpress plugin. If you’d find that useful tweet at me and let me know.




 @ipullrank
MAP USER PROFILES TO MEASUREMENT




          If your site requires profile collect the relevant persona information and map that to measurement.




 @ipullrank
USERREPORT.COM




              Place a custom survey on your site and get user demographics right into Google Analytics with
                                               http://www.userreport.com


 @ipullrank
PERSONAS ARE POWERFUL – USE THEM




    We as SEOs need to catch up to other disciplines and adopt consumer insights into the process industry-wide.
                                             Search is about people.


 @ipullrank
PERSONAS ARE POWERFUL – USE THEM




    We as SEOs need to catch up to other disciplines and adopt consumer insights into the process industry-wide.
                                             Search is about people.


 @ipullrank
MICHAEL KING
Director of Inbound Marketing

     www.iacquire.com

     mike@iacquire.com

     @iPullRank




           THANK YOU / Q&A

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Personas for SEO in 2012 (PubCon)

  • 1. PERSONAS FOR SEO IN 2012 How to build them and how to use them. MICHAEL KING Director of inbound marketing @ipullrank
  • 3. WHY DO WE NEED PERSONAS FOR SEO? What are you guys targeting?! A question I get a lot is “why do we need to use personas for SEO?” The answer is you don’t… unless you want to do a good job. You are creating content for an audience whether it be customers, influencers or people who will link to you. You should understand who those people are and what they want. @ipullrank
  • 4. CONSUMER INSIGHTS ARE PARAMOUNT UX, Content Strategy, Digital Strategy, Conversion Rate Optimizers and traditional marketing all employ consumer insights. Why did SEO ever think it was exempt? @ipullrank
  • 5. WTF IS A PERSONA? PERSONA A PERSONA B PERSONA C PERSONA D DEMOGRAPHICS DEMOGRAPHICS DEMOGRAPHICS DEMOGRAPHICS LIFESTYLES LIFESTYLES LIFESTYLES LIFESTYLES USER STORY USER STORY USER STORY USER STORY USER NEEDS USER NEEDS USER NEEDS USER NEEDS A persona is a hypothetical representation of a segment of an audience. I tend to use four because I find that to be a manageable number but you can use as many as you’d like @ipullrank
  • 6. PERSONAS ARE NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE “A major virtue of personas is the establishment of empathy and understanding the individual who uses the product” -Donald A. Norman, Nielsen Norman Group @ipullrank
  • 7. PERSONA TYPES & DATA SOURCES @ipullrank
  • 8. BUYER VS AUDIENCE PERSONAS Buyer Personas buy your products. Audience Personas Participate in the conversation. You want them to convert. You want them to keep sharing and linking Sometimes your audience and buyer personas are the same, but most of the time they are not. The people you want links from are most likely not the same people that are going to buy your product. Treat them accordingly. @ipullrank
  • 9. AD HOC PERSONAS USING “AFFINITY DIAGRAMMING” Many people advocate the post-it note approach. I personally find it unrealistic and not that useful. I prefer more quantitative approaches backed by data. @ipullrank
  • 10. AD HOC PERSONAS USING SOCIAL MEDIA I outlined a process in my “Understanding Your Audience Using Social Media” Mozinar about how to use Keyword Research, Social Media and Discussion Search to develop ad hoc personas. http://mz.cm/UfXmVv @ipullrank
  • 11. THE REAL PROBLEM WITH AD HOC PERSONAS While this approach can be very effective stakeholders may potentially challenge it because it’s not empirical. However neither is the old method of handing out post-its to stakeholders Ad Hoc personas don’t work well because there’s not enough hard data behind them when people question their conclusions. Everyone has an idea of who they think the audience is. @ipullrank
  • 12. EVEN AD HOC PERSONAS VIA SOCIAL ARE LIKE… @ipullrank
  • 13. DATA DRIVEN PERSONAS Much more realistic, empirical and easier to justify are data-driven personas which can be created from a variety of sources of information. @ipullrank
  • 14. iACQUIRE’S DATA DRIVEN APPROACH At iAcquire we have a data-driven approach starting from Nielsen’s PRIZM segments, layering data from Experian Simmons and finally using Social Inventories from Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and DoubleClickto develop empirical and social media-relevant personas. Google killed most of cool stuff in DoubleClick’s AdPlanner. @ipullrank
  • 15. NIELSEN PRIZM Nielsen’s PRIZM segments all of the US into 66 predetermined types or “codes” with demographics and psychographics that can be identified by zip code. @ipullrank
  • 16. INSTANT PERSONAS FOR LOCAL SEARCH WITH PRIZM A common complaint is that personas will take too long. Use MyBestSegments’ free demo to find the top occuring PRIZM, P$YCLE or CONNEXIONS Segments per Zip Code. http://bit.ly/Qeh0uw @ipullrank
  • 17. EXPERIAN SIMMONS Experian Simmons is an expensive tool made based on survey data made just for this type of customer profiling. They provide 61 Mosaic types and a whole lot of cross-tabbing and correspondence mapping of data. @ipullrank
  • 18. MOSAIC INTERACTIVE GUIDE Get free Experian Simmons data by Zip Code: http://bit.ly/R9MzuD @ipullrank
  • 19. HITWISE Hitwise is also integrated with Simmons and can provide direct insights into Search behavior by Mosaic type @ipullrank
  • 20. GOOGLE CONSUMER SURVEYS Google AdPlanner has scaled back the data it gives away significantly, but Google’s new Consumer Surveys is used to collect data off the back of the DoubleClick network at 10 cents a response. @ipullrank
  • 21. SURVEY MONKEY MARKET RESEARCH SURVEYS SurveyMonkey gets explicit demographic data from respondents while Google infers it from sites you visit while logged in. We actually have a study using SurveyMonkey that examines Search Behavior launching in November @ipullrank
  • 22. YAHOO CLUES Yahoo provides demographics at the keyword level with the Yahoo Clues tool http://clues.yahoo.com There is also an API: http://www.s-anand.net/blog/yahoo-clues-api/ @ipullrank
  • 23. SHARE TYPES The New York Times performed a study called “The Psychology of Sharing” in which they segmented all social media users into six sharing personas. This is especially useful if your just using personas for link building. http://nyti.ms/XhaQze @ipullrank
  • 24. HOW iACQUIRE BUILDS PERSONAS @ipullrank
  • 25. MEET NORRIS A. ROWLEY JR. @NorRocwell Norris is our Manager of Market Research & Analytics. We work together to build sound and actionable audience reports for our client base. What follows is the data-driven process we’ve developed to build personas. @ipullrank
  • 26. CHOOSE BEST GUESS PRIZM TYPES We start with our best guess of Nielsen MyBestSegments from PRIZM, P$YCLE or ConneXions types as a base to make assumptions @ipullrank
  • 27. DEVELOP EMPATHY FOR THE CONSUMER Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and go through all of a given brand’s web properties. @ipullrank
  • 28. GO THROUGH THE SITE AS THE CONSUMER Go through the brand’s site thoroughly as a consumer and continue to document the experience. @ipullrank
  • 29. EXAMINE THE AVAILABLE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA Once we have an idea of the client’s online presence we examine our data from both PRIZM and Simmons to start filling in the gaps and building a story. @ipullrank
  • 30. EXAMINE PSYCHOGRAPHICS Attitudes and characteristics from Simmons adds another layer of insights to who is a persona within the client’s target audience and helps tell the story. @ipullrank
  • 31. EXAMINE MOSAIC TYPE PSYCHOGRAPHICS We slice and dice psychographics based on cross-tabbing relevant questions, but we also take another look at the canned psychographics of the Mosaic types to see @ipullrank
  • 32. VALIDATE USING SOCIAL INVENTORIES Determine how valid the segment is online by placing as much data as possible into Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube ads. You may have to infer relationships in some cases. @ipullrank
  • 33. BUILD YOUR PERSONA FROM CONCLUSIONS We use the all the data we’ve collected to build a user story, key traits, digital behavior and engagement insights. @ipullrank
  • 34. HOW TO USE PERSONAS @ipullrank
  • 35. WHAT ARE NEED STATES? This replaces the obsolete Informational, Transactional, Navigational query classification Need States are classifications of goals that users are trying to fulfill when searching for a given keyword. You can define these however you like, but the consumer decision journey is more than adequate. This post talks about them http://mz.cm/T7hGZs @ipullrank
  • 36. MAP KEYWORDS TO NEED STATES [flowers] [when do roses bloom] [what flowers for a first date] [buying chrysanthemums] [flower a month club] Mapping keywords to the need states or in this case the consumer decision journey will keep the content aligned with the audience and ensure that it meets their needs. @ipullrank
  • 37. STRATEGIC PLANNING – KEYWORD PORTFOLIO When performing keyword research we map our keywords to personas, need states and a variety of our data points to ensure the integration of the consumer insights into the SEO program. @ipullrank
  • 38. STRATEGIC PLANNING – SEO COPY BRIEF We also create a document called the SEO Copy Brief which outlines strategy, personas, keyword bucketing, best practices, measurement planning and so on to prepare any copywriter that will touch the site to create copy. @ipullrank
  • 39. LINK BUILDING - PROSPECTING Use attributes of your personas to perform searches in Followerwonk and FindPeopleOnPlus. @JustinBriggs talks about this approach in his Content-based Link Building post on @OutSpokenMedia http://outspokenmedia.com/seo/content-based-outreach-for-link-building/ @ipullrank
  • 40. LINK BUILDING - OUTREACH or Under the personas approach you can make use hyper-relevant canned messages for outreach or zero on a user’s interests with hyper-personalized messages. @ipullrank
  • 41. MEASUREMENT - SURVEYS Place a custom survey on your site and get user demographics right into Google Analytics with http://www.userreport.com @ipullrank
  • 42. KEYWORD-LEVEL DEMOGRAPHICS This is the future. Read up on it and use it. http://mz.cm/UfYicl @ipullrank
  • 43. KEYWORD OWNERSHIP Use Keyword-Level Demographics to determine what persona is actually searching and converting. If there’s a large disparity only focus messaging on those that do search and convert. @ipullrank
  • 44. DYNAMIC TARGETING Since you get the data in real-time you can tailor the experience to the persona that is visiting the site. @ipullrank
  • 45. KEYWORD ARBITRAGE This data will give way to keyword matrices and allow you to understand there the place initial places it to spend your money. @ipullrank
  • 46. SUBSEQUENT CONVERSION PREDICTION This data will also allow you to predict the subsequent conversion of the user and then aggressive target them in another channel such as retargeting to ensure the next purchase. @ipullrank
  • 47. KEYWORD-LEVEL DEMOGRAPHICS BEST PRACTICES Incentivize the Opt-In Just track the persona (Communities or Coupons) Use the appID Cross Property Cookie and Remarket I have a half-finished Wordpress plugin. If you’d find that useful tweet at me and let me know. @ipullrank
  • 48. MAP USER PROFILES TO MEASUREMENT If your site requires profile collect the relevant persona information and map that to measurement. @ipullrank
  • 49. USERREPORT.COM Place a custom survey on your site and get user demographics right into Google Analytics with http://www.userreport.com @ipullrank
  • 50. PERSONAS ARE POWERFUL – USE THEM We as SEOs need to catch up to other disciplines and adopt consumer insights into the process industry-wide. Search is about people. @ipullrank
  • 51. PERSONAS ARE POWERFUL – USE THEM We as SEOs need to catch up to other disciplines and adopt consumer insights into the process industry-wide. Search is about people. @ipullrank
  • 52. MICHAEL KING Director of Inbound Marketing www.iacquire.com mike@iacquire.com @iPullRank THANK YOU / Q&A