SEO guide to audience research and content analysis

SEO guide to audience research and content analysis

How your customers find you can vary significantly. It can be based on their interests, needs, or pain points.

Some people may already know exactly what they need and search for it on Google. Others may be just beginning the research process. Others may already know what they need and compare to find the best source to buy from.

At this stage of your SEO research and planning, you want to identify:

Your goal is to map out your target personas, buying stages, and keywords for each persona and buying stage.

Persona research 

Persona research 

You can start using customer service data or information from your Google Analytics demographics. With this information, you can start creating target personas.

Below is an example of possible target personas for a real estate company.

Once you have your personas and ideas about who they are, what they need, and what they’re looking for, you’ll want to map out the possible steps they’ll take in their buying journey.

Buyer’s journey

Buyer’s journey

Finally, you can add the possible keywords they search for and assign them to the journey.

Map keywords to persona to the buyer’s journey

Map keywords to persona to the buyer’s journey

The purpose of this stage is to identify all possible ways in which you can be found and to ensure that your website content is optimized for these buying stages and keywords.

You start by identifying basic basic sentences. As you progress, you can delve deeper into long-tail terms or semantically related keywords.

This allows you to identify gaps and opportunities missed during your initial baseline and competitive survey. Some of these keywords won’t be discovered until you really understand your target audience and their needs and pain points.

This phase completes your research phase and gives you all the information to create your content strategy and focus your on-page SEO priorities.

Evaluate your existing content

Evaluate your existing content

With your extensive keyword research, the next step is to look at your site’s existing content and see if it’s optimized properly.

Before creating a content calendar or editorial strategy, it’s ideal to check your existing content. By reviewing your existing pages, you can decide which pages should be deleted, consolidated or optimized.

Some of the elements you can look for are:

To perform a content audit, you need to export all your pages from your CMS or use an SEO audit tool like Screaming Frog or Semrush Site Audit to get a list of your site’s existing pages.

Consolidate all this data into a content control spreadsheet. Your spreadsheet might look something like this:

Assess your site’s content

Once you have collected all the data, go through the URLs and label the pages:

Optimize, refresh or consolidate pages?

Once you’ve labeled all your pages, it’s time to optimize your content. Some pages may perform well, but can be refreshed to make them perform even better. Others may perform poorly and need to be optimized to rank.

Usually this process involves two steps:

Select primary and secondary keywords for each page

The best way to collect this data is to use Google Search Console for page ranking or your keyword database for pages that aren’t.

To collect data from Google Search Console, click Performance > Search results report:

You can click on a page to see the keywords it has been ranked for and the clicks, impressions, and average position for each:

This will help you identify target keywords for each page, which you can add to your spreadsheet.

For each page, add the primary and secondary target keywords that you will use when performing necessary content updates.

Revamp existing content

When optimizing pages, you need to make sure you keep or add the right SEO elements on the page. Let’s take a look at these:

The primary keyword should appear in the:

All related secondary keywords should of course be included in the article. For each related keyword, add them in an H2 heading. Whatever the focus keyword is for each paragraph, it should be in both the H2 heading and the paragraph after the heading.

Questions and answers

Q&A is an easy way to expand your articles by finding related questions. Take the primary keyword and search for it on Google. Use the questions in the “People also ask” box as section headings:

The section header with the question will be an H2. In the next section, you should answer the question as quickly and concisely as possible. Don’t ask the question again; instead, give the answer immediately.

If the question was, “How do you get into snippets,” then the first sentence should answer the question, “To get into featured snippets, you have to ask questions and answer them using paragraphs, lists, and quick answers.”

Use bullet points! Google loves to list bulleted answers, so answer the question whenever possible and include a bulleted list right away:

Use proper formatting to make the content easy for people to read quickly. Here are some suggestions for formatting your content:

Include 2-3 internal links to other relevant pages on the site. Keep your anchor text short. Then find at least 3-5 relevant pages on your site and link to your target pages. Each page of your site should contain as many links from other site pages as possible.

Add 2-3 external links to relevant pages. Good external links serve a strong purpose. They create a natural link map and connect your sites to authoritative resources. Google will give more weight to a page with good external links.

Add new content

If the article is thin, you can add new content to expand important points.

Writing new content


Content consolidation

If there are multiple short pages or articles that are all ranked for the same keyword, it may be ideal to merge these articles into one longer, more comprehensive piece.

When consolidating items, keep the following in mind:

Prioritize your fixes

After you’ve created and labeled your spreadsheet and added primary and secondary keywords, the last step is to prioritize and assign your optimizations based on traffic or keyword importance.

If you have pages targeting important keywords that aren’t ranking well, move them to the top of the priority list.

If there are pages that have high traffic and could perform better, they should also be prioritized.

By the end of this phase, you should have a comprehensive list of keywords that you have assigned to existing pages or want to create.

Mind the gap

Mind the gap

In the early phase, you should consider identifying gaps in persona, content, and keywords. If you don’t have content that targets some of your keywords, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your target audience.

Most sites will have some degree of cannibalization as the SEO and content plans go through different teams and phases.

Before you spend significant resources on producing new content, identify and maximize the content you already have, then “watch the gap” by creating a content plan that targets all keywords that aren’t optimized.

The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Marcela De Vivo is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in digital marketing. Marcela travels the world talking about SEO, data-driven marketing strategies, and workflow automation and optimization. Marcela owns a digital marketing agency called Gryffin, based in California.

How do I increase my website visibility?

Here are the 15 best ways to make your website more visible:

  • Target your website pages for keywords.
  • Structure your web pages for Google Search.
  • Create more pages.
  • Go to online directories.
  • Get verified by Google.
  • Use catchy page titles.
  • Collaborate with influencers.
  • Create quality content.

What is website visibility? Website visibility is the process of getting your website found on the internet when your prospects are looking for your related products and services. One of the best ways to increase your visibility is to get your site ranked in the major search engines of Google, Yahoo and Bing.

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is the set of approved search engine optimization tactics designed to increase a website’s position on a search engine results page (SERP). Search engine results that appear as a result of approved methods, rather than payment or trickery, are called organic search results.

What is an example of white hat optimization? Examples of white hat optimization include writing content for human readers, optimizing on-page elements for SEO, using internal links for target keywords, focusing on fast load times, improving mobile-friendliness, and creating quality content for organic link building.

What is white hat SEO benefits?

The Benefits of White Hat SEO Boost Your Rank: A marketing campaign that follows Google’s best practices such as matching keywords to relevant landing pages, creating great content, and getting trusted backlinks will improve your rank on the SERPs.

Why is white hat SEO important?

White hat SEO is important because search engine results would be chaotic without it. Without rules to run the internet, website owners would rely on more dated SEO methods to rank on the search pages. And users would have to search many irrelevant sites to find what they are looking for.

Which hat is good for SEO?

Black hat is the form of an SEO technique where the website user tries all the crooked and wrong activities in the book to improve the status of his website and increase his Google search position. These are methods that we should always stay away from.

What is white hat and black hat SEO?

While white hat SEO is about looking for ways to improve user experience, black hat SEO relies on manipulating Google’s algorithm to improve rankings. Simply put, if a tactic is designed to trick Google into thinking a site is providing more value to users than it actually does, it’s deceiving — and it’s black hat SEO.

What is black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a practice against search engine guidelines, used to rank a site higher in search results. These unethical tactics do not solve the searcher and often end in a fine from search engines. Black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking and using private link networks.

What is white hat black hat and GREY hat in SEO?

Black Hat practices are effective, but they are risky and may result in your site being reported. Gray Hat SEO, on the other hand, is an SEO practice that remains “ill-defined” and/or “ill-advised” by search engine published guidelines and can be off-putting. Essentially, it’s black disguised as white.

What is GREY hat SEO?

Gray Hat SEO is an SEO practice that is riskier than White Hat SEO, but may or may not result in your site being banned from search engines and their affiliates.

How many types of keywords are there in SEO?

There are 9 types of keywords: short tail, long tail, short term, long term, product definition, customer definition, geotargeting and intent targeting. All these keywords have their special power that can multiply your SEO efforts when used in different situations.

What are the SEO keywords? Your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that allow people to find your site through search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential traffic base with keywords for SEO that help searchers connect with your site.

What are the 4 types of keywords?

When we research a user’s intent behind a search query, we classify all keywords into four main categories of intent: commercial, transactional, informational, and navigation. We are going to identify what these types are with a brief breakdown of each type.

What are keywords examples?

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. For example, if you want to buy a new jacket, type something like “men’s leather jacket” into Google. Even though that sentence consists of more than one word, it is still a keyword.

How many types of keywords SEO?

There are three types of keywords that are described according to their length: Short-tail keywords (also known as head, broad or generic keywords) Mid-tail keywords. Longtail keywords.

What is link equity?

Link equity, once popularly referred to as “link juice”, is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. This value depends on a number of factors, such as the authority of the linking page, current relevance, HTTP status, and more.

What is Link Equity SEO? What is Link Equity in SEO? Link equity or ‘link juice’ is the idea that reputation/authority is passed on when one page links to another, thereby sharing some of the SEO value between pages.

What is backlink equity?

What is Link Equity? Link equity is the value a site gives to another site with a follow backlink to that site to increase its organic position on Google.

What is a backlink meaning?

A backlink is a link that is created when one website links to another. Backlinks are also known as “inbound links” or “inbound links”. Backlinks are important for SEO.

What is a backlink and how does it work?

Backlinks (also known as â€inbound links†, “inbound links†or “one-way links†) are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks to be ‘votes’ for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks generally have a high organic ranking in search engines.

What is an example of a backlink?

Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. If someone links to your site, you have a backlink from that person. If you link to another website, they will have a backlink from you. For example, these words link to YouTube, so they now have a backlink from us.

What does link equity mean?

Link equity, popularly referred to as “link juice,” is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. This value depends on a number of factors, such as the authority of the linking page, current relevance, HTTP status, and more.

How much is a link worth?

Chain Link Price:$6.35
Price change 24 hours-$0.579 8.35%
24 hours low / 24 hours high$5.64 / $7.31
Trading volume 24 hours$1,093,404,607.66 17.56%
Volume / Market Capitalization0.3685