What is a Buyer Persona in the world of online marketing?

Buyer persona stands for a description of the person you are targeting – whether it is for your content, product, ad, service or anything you are trying to sell. If you have an online store selling fashion jewelry, you need to decide whether you are trying to sell them to girls going to college or middle-aged ladies in the corporate world. You need to make sure that your Google AdWords campaign doesn’t show your multicoloured, jazzy-looking necklace to a middle-aged woman looking for something sober to wear at work. You have to clearly define your buyer persona before you go online with an article, product or campaign.

In the case of a blog, we call the buyer persona by a simpler name – audience profile, but the concept is basically the same. Your online content should be targeted towards a specific audience, which you need to decide before you start writing. Let me explain this by an example.

Suppose, you are a stay-at-home mum and want to start a blog on various topics which you feel confident to write about – parenting, investing, cooking, women’s health. You have 4 completely different categories of articles.

The audience profiles would be something like this for each category of topics.

Parenting Blog:

  • Gender – male or female
  • Age – 21-45. (I am assuming that most new parents are in this age range)
  • Married (in most of the cases :-))
  • Have kids.

Investing:

  • Gender – male or female
  • Age – 21 and above (even retired people need investment tips)
  • Married or single
  • Has an income

Cooking:

  • Gender – male or female
  • Age – 13 and above (many aspiring chefs would be interested in this)
  • Married or single

Women’s health:

  • Gender – female
  • Age – 18 and above (younger girls could probably learn from their mothers)
  • Married/single
  • Working/not working

These can be made more and more specific for each article you are writing.

You need to bear in mind the profile of your reader while placing an article under a category. Suppose you write an article on investing and place it under the women’s health category, you are missing out on the male audience who could probably be interested in the content.

Similarly, if you keep the age profile of the cooking category as 18 and above, you will miss out an opportunity to target teenagers who are probably interested in cooking or want to make a quick snack for themselves while their parents are away at work.

How are Buyer Personas related to SEO?

In most Content Management Systems, you have 2 ways of classifying your content – by category and by tags. This is an important part of Search Engine Optimization and telling the search engine where to index your article.

Category is the main group under which your article is placed. An article can only fall under one category. Though some categories may overlap, it is advisable to place an article only under one category, so that the search engine indexes your article only under that category. In the example given above, adding an article under both – investing and parenting will not make much sense and can confuse search engines. There could be some topics like how to plan for your kids’ education which could come under both -investing and parenting, but you need to decide for yourself as to which category your article would fit in better. Duplicating the same article under both categories is not advisable and can lead to the search engine flagging your site for duplicate content.

Tags are keywords which apply to your article. The latest search engine algorithms don’t give too much value to the tags which you assign due to keyword abuse and keyword stuffing in the past. However, they help a person in finding all articles related to that phrase or keyword in your website. You could think of tags as the index you find in the last few pages of a book, which shows a word and the page numbers in the book where you can find that word. An article can have multiple tags. Coming to the ‘investing for kids’ education’ article, you can place it under the ‘parenting’ category, but add a tag which says ‘investment’, so that someone looking for investments in general will also know that there is a related article under the parenting category.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Do post any questions and comments and also let me know if you would like to read about a particular topic.

Advertisements