Website persons can be an intimidating subject for most people. Bring keywords into the mix and the conversation can become utterly scary for some. I like to take the scariness out of website design and SEO, so I recently performed a training webinar that used Winnie the Pooh and his friends to talk through the process of mapping website personas to keywords.

If you’d like to watch the full sixty-minute webinar, it is available below. If you don’t have time for that much education, feel free to skim through the highlights listed here in this article.

Highlights of the Website Persona Discussion

Before we could jump into matching up our potential keywords to personas, we needed to review the basics of website personas and why they matter to the entire website design and optimization process.

Core Fundamentals About Website Personas

  • Successful website design isn’t just about colors, fonts, and content.
  • Good design is about asking the right questions and making sure those questions apply to your website visitors.
  • Good website design is about finding solutions to your website visitors’ problems.
  • It’s about mapping a journey for your visitors and creating clear paths for them to follow.
  • Successful website design isn’t about you.
  • When you are really designing your website around your website visitors, you focus on your visitor and you pay close attention to how your website can help them locate the right information and encourage them to take action.

Why Website Personas are Important

  • Different groups of people have different problems.
  • Because they have different problems, they have different needs.
  • With different needs, comes different answers or solutions.
  • With varied answers, you derive different terms and phrases the group or persona would use to search for their solutions.
  • By viewing different groups and creating seed keyword lists for each group, you exponentially expand your keyword universe and opportunities to rank in search.

Questions You Should Ask About Yourself

  • Who are you? How would you describe your business to a potential client?
  • What do you do? How would you describe your product or service offering?
  • What are your differentiators? What sets you apart from your competition?

Questions You Could Ask About Who You Serve

  • Are they men or women?
  • Are they kids, teens, adults, or baby boomers?
  • Are they consumers or businesses?
  • Are they universities, enterprise level companies, or small business?
  • Are they tech savvy or new to an industry based topic?
  • Do they exist in certain departments like IT, accounting, or manufacturing?
  • Do they have different positions like entry level, manager, or c-level executive?
  • Do they speak different languages?
  • Do they live in different regions?
  • Do they have different budgets and desired price points for goods and services?

Examples of Persona Groups

  • Age or gender
  • Income level
  • Geography
  • Professional position, occupation, or department
  • Industry
  • Business size
  • Stage in the buying cycle
  • Product or service type
  • Customer status – suspect, prospect, new customer, repeat customer

Documenting Persona Data

  • Name
  • Description
  • Drivers, goals, and/or objectives
  • Frustrations, challenges and paint points
  • Needs
  • Decision process and criteria
  • Purchase obstacles
  • Marketing channels

Additional Questions to Ask

  • Who do you help?
  • What are their individual objectives and goals?
  • What problems do your visitors have?
  • What specific issues do they struggle with?
  • What questions do they want to ask?
  • How can your products, services, or content help resolve these issues?
  • How can your products, services, or content help them reach their goals?
  • What content do you have to help answer these questions?

Matching Website Personas to Keywords

Once I walked through the concept of website personas, I used Winnie the Pooh and his friends to illustrate how you would document individual personas, perform keyword research, and map these keywords to the persona’s buyers journey.

It’s so much easier to teach complex subjects with fun examples, so I created website personas for Winnie the Pooh and three of his friends.

The Website Persona Examples

Persona #1: Winnie the Pooh

Description – Likes his pals in the Hundred Acre Wood and is always helping. Pooh loves honey.
Goals – Maximizing honey collection, Sleeping, spending time with friends.
Frustrations & Challenges – Controlling his impulsiveness, weight gain, and binge eating.
Needs – Stay on task, replenish honey

Persona #2: Tigger

Description – Tigger is energetic and a creator of mishaps, while also being loving and highly social.
Goals – Bouncing, eating ice cream sundaes, teasing Rabbit, tracking Backson
Frustrations & Challenges – Phobia of heights, doesn’t like baths and honey
Needs – Impulse control, Backson tips and tricks, cure height phobia

Persona #3: Piglet

Description – Shy and a bit cowardly, yet helpful and heroic. Struggles with anxiety.
Goals – To become brave, spend time with his friends, be helpful.
Frustrations & Challenges – Doesn’t like danger, the dark, being small, or Woozles.
Needs – Confidence, Woozle defense

Persona #4: Rabbit

Description – A bit compulsive and bossy. Also gets irritable quickly.
Goals – Staying organized, growing his garden, keeping his house clean.
Frustrations & Challenges – Tigger bouncing through his garden, messy friends, bugs.
Needs – Garden tips, keeping Tigger out of his garden, avoiding bugs.

Comparing Personas to Initial Keyword Options

Now that we have our website personas documented, we need to start documenting possible keywords associated with each. I call this a seed list.

Persona #1: Winnie the Pooh

Goals – Honey, sleep, friends
Challenges – Limited honey, impulse control, binge eating, weight gain
Needs – Honey source, weight loss, ADHD therapist

Persona #2: Tigger

Goals – Bouncing, sundaes, teasing Rabbit, tracking Backson
Challenges – Phobia of heights, baths, locating Backson
Needs – Impulse control, Backson tips, acrophobia therapist

Persona #3: Piglet

Goals – Become brave, friends, be helpful
Challenges – Anxiety, fear of the dark, being small
Needs – Confidence builder, Woozle defense, anxiety therapist

Persona #4: Rabbit

Goals – Organization, growing the garden, cleaning the house
Challenges – Tigger in garden, messy friends, bugs
Needs – Garden tips, bug control, OCD therapist

Possible Keywords by Personas

A seed list is great, but it only gives you part of a much bigger story. I like to use keyword research tools, like SEMrush or KW Finder, to expand my initial keyword list even further.

Persona #1: Winnie the Pooh

  • Local honey
  • Buy honey online
  • Where to buy raw honey
  • Honey products
  • Eating disorders
  • Binge eating help
  • Compulsive eating
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • ADD vs. ADHD
  • ADHD therapist
  • Does honey cause ADHD?

Persona #2: Tigger

  • Bouncing
  • Bounce games
  • Bounce trampolines
  • Where to get bouncy balls
  • Backson tips and tricks
  • Catching Backson
  • Where to find Backson
  • How to catch a Backson
  • Fear of heights symptoms
  • Fear of heights cure
  • Overcoming phobias
  • Acrophobia therapist

Persona #3: Piglet

  • Become brave
  • Low self-esteem
  • Home to build self-confidence
  • Boost confidence
  • Woozle defense
  • How to hide from Woozles
  • Woozle weapons
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety treatments
  • Anxiety therapist

Persona #4: Rabbit

  • Home organization ideas
  • Home organization products
  • Home organization tips
  • Gardening tips
  • Garden design plans
  • Vegetable garden planner
  • Garden defense owl
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • OCD causes
  • OCD symptoms
  • OCD treatment
  • OCD therapist

Don’t Forget Key Elements of Building a Seed List

Keyword phrases change as humans run through the customer journey and search results will shift based on the user intent. Pay close attention to both so you capture search traffic throughout the process.

Think Through the Customer Journey

  • Awareness – Pooh realizes he has an issue with excessive eating, but doesn’t yet know what it is or what it means to him.
  • Consideration – Pooh starts to search for causes, symptoms, and possible treatment options for compulsive eating.
  • Purchase/Decision – Pooh searches for possible therapists and schedules first appointment.

Winnie the Pooh Customer Journey

Remember Search Intent

  • Navigational – Navigational searches are performed with the intent of surfing directly to a specific website. These are direct searches for a brand, company, website, or a person.
  • Informational – This is the largest category and typically represents people looking for quick answers like recipes, sports scores, local weather, the cure to their current ailment or illness.
  • Commercial – Investigational searches leading up to a purchase that help a buyer find information.
  • Transactional – These searches are largely for purchases or completing a task such as signing up for a service.

Create a Sitemap of the Keywords and Content

Once we know who we are targeting, their needs, and our planned keywords, we need to use this information to create a website map. Below is a sample website sitemap I created based on the assumption that we are creating a website for the Hundred Acre Wood Psychology Office and Dr. Christopher Robin.

Possible Sitemap for Hundred Acre Wood Psychology Office

As you see, website personas, keyword research, and sitemap planning can all be manageable if you take it one step at a time and persona by persona.

If you need help designing a persona-based website designing a persona-based website or optimizing your website for SEO, I’d love to provide assistance!

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