Developing Audience Personas for SEO at #PubCon 2012 [VIDEO]

by Dana Lookadoo on September 11, 2012

Are you excited about PubCon 2012? I am! To kick off the pre-conference search marketing festivities, I had a chance to “hang out” on Google Plus with Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures, to discuss my session, “Developing Audience Personas for SEO.”

What you’ll learn from the video interview is our process for collaboratively working with clients, specifically the C-Suite (executive team, product management teams), to help them dig in and discover who they are writing for and how to develop content that is not only SEO-friendly but also converts to leads and sales. At PubCon, I’ll be sharing our personas templates – worksheets for collecting information and tracking it throughout the content and site-development life cycles.

CONFESSION: This was my first Google+ Hangout. I learned that recording via my laptop’s wireless microphone gave me a lisp I never had before. I also learned the quality of a built-in webcam is, well, something to be desired. Aside from that, I’m pretty impressed with Google’s technology and their integration within Google+.

Transcription (edited)

Arnie:  Hi. I’m Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures. We’re a search, social, and content marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona, and I’d like to introduce you to Dana Lookadoo. She’s an SEO consultant and trainer at Yo! Yo! SEO. How are you doing, Dana?

Dana:    I’m doing very well, Arnie. Nice to be here, thank you.

Arnie:  Great. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually seen you in person.

Dana:    Yeah, we get to do that at PubCon real soon.

Arnie:   Yes. Well, I don’t know when people will see this but it’s two months from when we’re recording this anyway. I know you’re on two or three different sessions and one of them is called “Developing Audience Personas for SEO.” I was hoping maybe you could take a couple of minutes and tell our viewers what they might expect by attending your session.

Dana:    Okay, great. Actually, what I’m going to be covering is the aspect of what’s involved in working on a re-design and handling personas, so that you’re actually looking at working with a corporate. I’ll be talking about getting the C-suite involved in this and a little bit about the workshops and the processes that you can have with them.  They tend to think, “Oh, we know our audience.” Well, maybe they don’t really know the audience. So I’m going to talk about some of the process that you can go through with them.

What I’ve put together is like holding a workshop, and they actually get to have pictures of people and put them on a piece of paper. Kind of like the old schools, so that they’re involved. So, I’m going to share a little bit about that process as well as sharing a worksheet that you can capture.  That information and worksheet can then carryover to the content development process.

Then, we’re going to cover a little bit more about the survey gathering, so that you’re gathering analytics from your website (so that this is also based on data) and gathering information from your customers and how that information comes back. That gets fed to the C-suite and then, at this point, we can start talking about keyword research, how we would approach the people in that aspect, and then how this can get carried on to the content development team.

So the people who are actually writing content now have a worksheet in front of them.  They have that information. They understand that person. They understand their needs. They understand their tasks. They understand their main points, including why that the content would also include any objections that the audience may have.  All gets written into it so it becomes a flow. We’ll call it a redesigned persona development flow. That’s kind of the CliffsNotes version.

Arnie:  Yeah, excellent. You said you do workshops on these? Are they half day, full day, or what kind of workshops?

Dana:    Normally in the workshop, you go to a client’s site for the full day.   We did one recently with a product development team so you’ve got the actual product group; the people who are developing software for instance with this client. For instance, we brainstorm up on the board to identify the different types of personas and then narrow them down to what everyone would agree would be their audience.

Everyone has a worksheet and we have a bunch of photos and pictures of people that they sort through and they figure out who their persona is going to be. They decide to either work in teams or singularly and write out their persona. It’s a fantastic way to really get into their heads. They get really creative. They give them names.

Then, obviously from there you want to follow up with some data and look at different tools that’ll give you data – Yahoo Clues, Facebook – more on the data approach. What I’m going to focus on is that integration of working collaboratively with a client.

Arnie:  Excellent. Well, it sounds like it’s going to be a great session. As you and I were chatting just before we went on air it turns out we’re on a session that you’re moderating called “The Content Engine” and I’m really looking forward to that as you can probably expect.

Dana:    Yeah, I’m looking forward to that too. As I mentioned, it’s great because the personas feeds right into what you’re doing with content.

Arnie:   Right, super.

Dana:    I look forward to that.

Arnie:  Great. I will be too. All right, well that is all the time we have and I want to thank you for your time, Dana. I really, really appreciate it and I really look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas in October at Pubcon.

Dana:    I do too, Arnie. Thank you.

Arnie:   All right. Thanks everyone.

* * *

About Arnie Kuenn

Arnie Kuenn is the president of Vertical Measures, a search, social & content marketing company helping their clients get more traffic, more leads, and more business.  Arnie has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing for more than 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and author of content marketing book Accelerate! Moving Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing available on Amazon. You can find Arnie on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.

About PubCon

Pubcon is the premier search and social media conference and expo which will be taking place in Las Vegas from October 16 -18, 2012.  Pubcon Las Vegas 2012 is supported by the industry’s leading  businesses, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors involved in social media, Internet marketing, search engines, and online advertising. It will offer a week-long look at the future of technology presented by many of the world’s top speakers. Check out conference updates via @PubCon on Twitter.

OK, that was fun!

Are you preparing for PubCon in Las Vegas? Check out Tips for Speaking, Moderating & Attending PubCon 2012 for more goodies.

Will we be seeing you there? Let us know. Team Yo! Yo! SEO will be there. Look for my tweets via @lookadoo and those of Lyena Solomon via @lyena.

Shout out a Yo! for Pubcon!

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