Use Personas to Drive Relevant Web Traffic
Quality over quantity should be your mantra when it comes to driving relevant web traffic.
When driving relevant web traffic to your site through inbound marketing or advertising strategies, the goal is to produce relevant visitors who will convert before leaving. This might mean downloading a white paper and becoming a warm lead, or requesting a demo of your service becoming a hot lead, or perhaps making a purchase directly from your website if you own an eCommerce company. The challenge is that too often, marketers focus on the volume of visitors and not enough on understanding exactly who their ideal visitor is.
To start driving relevant web traffic, you need to start asking yourself, “Who are my ideal website visitors?”
A persona is a type of character description that has been developed and backed up by data. Once you have built a persona for your ideal website visitor, you can more accurately create content that is targeted towards that person. For example, you wouldn’t write an article about Men’s socks for a wine club that targets women in their 30s, would you? If you wouldn’t do that, then you shouldn’t produce content irrelevant to your key persona(s).
How do I discover my target persona(s)?
The best way to find an answer to this question is to first look into your current web traffic statistics. Do your best to find out this information through Google Analytics, assuming you have it set up on your website, and if you don’t I recommend you do it now.
Ask some questions when thinking about your key personas:
- Do more men or women go to your site?
- Around what age are your visitors?
- What locations are your visitors from? Are there a lot specifically in one area?
- Are most visitors single or married?
This is called static information and it is crucial to increasing relevant web traffic. Answer these demographics and you can develop the initial “Who?”. After you’ve gathered all this information, a persona should be developed using storytelling. In other words, based on the information, what story could you put together?
If you are a winter sports e-commerce company and the data says most visitors are married women in their 30s with 1-2 children from Minnesota, then you could say:
“ Minnesota Malorie is a married woman in Minnesota who has 1 son named Jake. She is in her 30s, and her son is starting to gain interest in Winter sports. She wants to find the safest gear for her son at a decent price as Minnesota is an expensive state to live in and her family nets under 80K in annual income. She will likely read reviews from other Moms to be sure it is the safest for Jake”.
Now that we know this, web content can be tailored for MM and focus on decent prices and safety.
This is a high-level example of persona development. As you continue to understand your customers/clients better, you will be able to expand and build out your key persona(s) in more detail.
So how do you know s/he cares about safety?
Just because s/he’s a stereotype of sorts it doesn’t necessarily mean s/he is interested in young Jake’s safety as the main priority (Who knows?). This can be proven through search element data.
When a woman that fit the description of MM came onto the website, where did they click? Did MM go to CHILDREN’S > HELMETS > REVIEWS > SAFETY SPECIFICATIONS? By looking at this data, the story builds itself. Maybe MM saw the cheapest helmet, didn’t hesitate at checkout and purchased the helmet. If this is the case, then perhaps price should be the main differentiator.
Remember to work on finding trends within the data from your website analytics. You want to drive relevant web traffic by using the data to create accurate personas.
Who is your competitor’s key persona(s)?
In addition to knowing the key persona based on your best website visitors (aka those who purchase), you should also find out the ideal persona of your competition. Are they targeting the same persona? If not, what’s different about their persona?
You can learn a lot about your own website by discovering, for example, what leads MM to your winter sports e-commerce website and leads men in their 20s to the competitor’s website. What are the differences in design, content, and messaging? This may lead you to a stronger sense of future content plans, web changes, SEO strategy, design, and social engagement.
Will personas also help website traffic volume?
Over time the use of personas as a best practice to create relevant, targeted content at each stage of the inbound marketing funnel will increase the volume of your organic visitors. Better yet, the increased volume of visitors will also be made up of quality visitors who are more likely to purchase! More organic visitors mean spending less of the advertising budget to produce paid visitors.
Content Writer and PM
kelsie at heartbrain dot marketing