A complete SEO Cape Town Guide focusing on one of the most misunderstood and valuable tools of online marketing.
Actional clues to harvesting data to construct the personas
Learn how to build personas in 7 minutes
This SEO Cape Town Guide, “How to build personas?” is going to increase your conversions. What are the conversions? They occur when people do what you want them to do on your website. The key to achieving a high number of conversions is identifying who the user is and then tailor creating content and value propositions according to this. Read this SEO Cape Town Guide to increase leads and subscriptions to your website or online community.
‘Personas are not real people, but they represent them throughout the design process. They are hypothetical archetypes of actual users. […] Personas are defined by their goals.’ – Alan Cooper, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.
Why do we even need an SEO Cape Town Guide for persona creation?
In the words of one of the leading authorities on online marketing, Seth Godin:
“Treat people differently, everything else is a compromise.”
What types of information or user data are we looking for to create a persona?
Focus on behavioural drivers and relate this to your customer journey and value proposition. Why have they arrived at your website in the first place?
Look at what potential hurdles may exist in that customer journey in terms of their goals User goals and personas should be inextricably linked! We are creating the personas to better understand their goals and how we can fulfill them with our websites’ value proposition. As an SEO company we have to perfect this technique for our clients.
Where do we get the data to create personas?
Let’s begin with a couple tried and trusted techniques to gather user data. In this SEO Cape Town Guide we give you invaluable information on how to source persona crafting data.
Qualitative interviews over the phone
Decide on a percentage of your customer base as a population sample and randomly select that number of past clients. Offer them a discount for a few minutes of their time. Between 6 and 12 is a good start. As an SEO company in Cape Town we try and fit this in when we see clients.
Your sales employees on the front line. If your company is even reasonably successful, your sales staff whether in a call centre, or at a sales desk, know your potential personas better than any executive management staff. Interview them around a template set of questions to save the data and measure it.
Creative new surveys. Survey Monkey is a great tool for this. You can also use it to make reports. Adapt your survey questions to follow the constituent elements that make up a Persona, discussed further below. You want to find out who the person is who your services appeal to and how better solve their needs.
If you have not set up Google Analytics, do it now! Read how to do this here.
Google Analytics is one tool that can not be done without and best of all, it’s from the horse’s mouth. Chrome is the most used search engine, and therefore the way they interpret your visitors is fundamental to your online success.
Look at the audience demographic information. An example would be under audiences/mobile/devices. Google actually yells you the device people use. This is very pertinent information as certain mobile devices are already targeted to certain personas, that represent a certain lifestyle. Remember personal add substance to our demographics, the extended attributes of a user is what we are after. We want to humanise them.
The latest phones could well help you humanise a user from a lifestyle point of view, especially in South Africa, where we use LSM or the livings standard measure, LSM is a way that we group target segments according to hr a group of goods and services owned. This is due to a cultural cosmopolitan society where many cultures mix and match.
For international sites, look at the languages. Where are the users coming from? Geographic has a huge cultural affect n people, and therefore the users who visit your site. If you mainly have Spanish visitors predict assortments could be optimised for these type of palates if it were a culinary site, as an example.
Even drilling down deeper into the provinces would have an effect on user’s lifestyles. Think of the difference between what folks in Cape Town do over weekends in comparison to our northern Joburgers. These details seem finite but should affect your persona targeting deeply.
Facebook offers a whole lot of highly targeted user information that can really help you identify and clarify user personas.
Alexa by Amazon
Alexa has come out with a whole lot of tools that offer deep user insights that can be used to create personas. Alexa has always been one of the original web monitoring sites. Their insights even cover a level of education.
Read the Comments on your blog if there are comments. Investigate who the commenters are, they usually add a little bio to comment.
SEO Cape Town Guide: Build the Persona
There are a host of tools to help you find personas. The idea is to find images of the people that visually match the persona contract you have calculated with your collected data. Begin with an excel spreadsheet with tabs have different variables as related tot eh persona.
The custom web design is certainly 80% of the influence when it comes to conversions online. The design also influences the uptake or the value proposition.
Hubspot offers a brilliant version of a persona builder, to help speed this process up.
SEO Cape Town Persona characteristics guide
For a persona to be successful, it must be:
-Reflective researched patterns of behavior
Technological personality aptitude:
-Appitude for technology
-Web navigation style
Emotional characteristics of personas:
What emotionally drives the human to change their behaviour on an emotional level?
Most humans have a sense of purpose, in the way they live their lives and the careers they follow. These driving factors can be harnessed to positively manipulate a personas behaviour as they are central to their way of life.
Depending on your particular service or product, certain products are related to life challenges. For instance, it may be that your supplements help with middle age weight-loss. You would then tailor your personas personality to this type of life challenge.
We all have a certain set of daily challenges relative to our families and careers. Daily challenges shape personalities and therefore would certainly shape the personality of your personas.
Looking at brands owned, used and preferred by client data, if available, can really help shape the perception of the persona. Lifestyle products especially give an idea. Again, with the LSM system in South Africa, marketers heavily rely on lifestyle products to cluster buyer segment characteristics that is why we included it in this SEO Cape Town guide.
Is your Persona, the “planner” in the family, or in a corporate environment, or are they “Alpha Male, with the persona slogan “I take control”. Think of your family, your siblings, often society has rough personality archetypes. These archetypes usually spring from underlying psychological strong points that define one’s character, and, therefore, are extremely useful in Persona creation.
BIO or Background
The “BIO” or background of the persona is what ties all the other characteristics mentioned above. This is where the actual personality of the persona is formed. This is also where creative value propositions and need solving services and products begin, usually the most pertinent to solving the website’s objectives.
The Organisation’s buy-in
The persona is only as good as it is accepted and used as a reference by UX, design, develop, content, copywriter staff to enhance the journeys value proposition of the persona. In order to win staff buy-in, you need to package and communicate the personas efficiently to all staff in the online value chain.
The personas mustn’t just live in the digital marketing plan, they must live int eh action of your organisation’s daily operations. Otherwise, the operations will not be targeted. The only way to achieve this is the staff buy-in. Put the personas on your office walls or in your boardroom.
Customer Journey modeling
Now that you have the personas imagined in detail, it is now time to audit your customer journey. The idea is to follow that journey with each persona in mind and then makes notes for changes in the design and content in order t accommodate the personas collectively or individual depending on your overall goal, product and service assortments and limitations of your website.
Test with persona’s with “front-line” staff to see if they match the type of personality they usually come into contact with. The front line- staff deal with the actual public each day and will confirm your accuracy almost instantly. Also, include your support staff. They listen to the pain points of your clients every day. Their insight into need-solving is invaluable.
Take Buying Cycle in Consideration
It is always an idea to reimagine the persona at different stages of their buying cycle. This helps you adapt content to fulfill each step leading to the final conversion being at your site. The more risk association or cost, the longer the user will move through their cycle. Often visiting your website numerous times. Make sure you have content that offers each step just reward.
Imagine which content will help Barry gain the information about the product or service he is looking for. The idea is to gently nourish each consecutive step in the buying cycle in a need-solving, supportive way.
This is why it is important to build a persona in the first place. You need to imagine how they will need in each step of the cycle.
Formulate hypotheses as to what would work better in terms of conversion optimisation. Do you believe a breadcrumb chunked approach for a long form would allow for better conversions or do you think that too many steps would have too much of a drop-off the funnel?
By monitoring data related personas and hypotheses you will naturally edge towards higher conversion optimisation rates. This is really where everything comes together. The only way to test is to monitor data carefully.
Let’s look at a persona construct for BrandSeed
Occupation: CEO of Online Retailer
Education: Masters Degree, Bachelor of Commerce Informatics
Barry was one of the first to specialise in informatics during his Bachelor of Commerce when it was offered by his university. He knew that online was the way to go and positioned himself as a leader in commerce management and that is why he completed his master’s degree. Barry was one of the first entrants into the South African e-commerce world and has learned its a details game. He loves the tech world and dreams of bringing his online retail to other international territories.
Expanding his retail empire to international territories. The sky is the limit online and Barry knows this. He is seasoned in online business and wants to dominate the SERP, he also knows the value of employing skills in South Africa at lower operating costs than the markets he dreams of dominating.
-reduce operating costs
-Automate as much as possible
-use the latest software/apps solutions
He’s used SEOs but can’t find a sustained solution. His ranking seems to see-saw. He makes an acceptable return from Adwords for his online sales but yearns for sustained upper ranking positions to allow for greater ROI.
He has many departments that are not seemingly working cohesively with a direct strategy that offers sustained results. He doesn’t have the in-house leadership to execute an advanced SEO strategy and he knows it as none of the staff have managed to pull off a sustained advantage.
Alpha male, Great-leader, perfectionist
Barry wants things done now
Barry appreciates efficiency and time-saving attributes of any value proposition. He wants solutions and not problems. He has fired enough companies for just identifying issues, he wants a sustained solution and accountability.
High-end, tech-savvy. Loves digital business dashboards and monitoring software.
Apple Mac, iPhone
We hope that this SEO Cape Town Guide on how to create personas has shed some light on how important this practice is and how to create your own. Personas are an invaluable tool for conversion optimisation. Sign up for our newsletter buy subitting your details below and we wll send you weekly insights into digital marketing.