Persona Development With Google Data: How Does It Work?

When it comes to locating the information you need, Google is an excellent resource. Google is not only an instrument for finding information, it can be used as a powerful tool that helps you improve your marketing efforts through persona development. According to HubSpot, personas are “fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers.” Creating personas for your business can help you imagine what your ideal customer looks like, and their shopping behaviors and preferences.

You can use Google to find out how your target audience is looking for information, what specific information they are seeking, and what words they are using to describe their problems. You might also research how customers are finding products, services, and terms related to your niche and use that data to aid in your persona development and marketing efforts.

Using Google to research persona development

There are four Google resources that every small business owner should consider when conducting marketing research.

1. Google’s Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner should be your first stop when determining how popular a keyword is, how many of your competitors are using the same keyword, and what other keywords might be related to it. You can also use a helpful browser extension, like Keywords Everywhere, to view search volumes next to related queries.

2. Search auto-complete

Google search auto-complete

Another way to see how people are searching for information and what questions they’re asking is to note search auto-complete results. You’ll observe that these terms automatically generate as you type in a search term or question.

3. People also ask

People also ask

Use the “People also ask” section to discover even more questions related to your query. Once you begin clicking on individual questions, the metaphorical accordion will expand with even more related searches. You can also use a tool like Answer the Public, which aggregates search queries and auto-suggests results from both Google and Bing, for even more ideas.

4. Google Trends

Google trends

The last tool on this list is Google Trends, which reveals how popular a search term is, search trends during a specific period of time and geographical region, and a list of related topic queries.

Using Google data to improve your marketing strategies

Once you have an idea of how people are searching for information online, you can gather those terms and questions as a swipe file (a collection of terms and ideas to inspire your own marketing strategies). You can then use them in several ways on your website.

  • Topic ideas: These might drive your content generation, including blog posts, videos, audio content, and downloadables that answer questions and educate your target audience members.

  • Use terms in posts and pages: You can use popular terms in the body copy and meta descriptions of your blog posts and pages, and in subheadings used throughout your content, to provide information relevant to a particular search term. You can even use them to create an FAQ page.

  • Discover additional topics that your target audience is interested in: Since these tools will show you related topics and queries, you can use this information to find out what else your customers care about. It can also help you get specific with your ad campaigns, allowing you to target potential customers and site visitors based on their interests.

Step up your marketing game with Google’s help

The best way to market your products and services is by getting familiar with your customers’ preferences. Thanks to the sheer amount of data available, Google can help you work on your persona development, gain insight into their behavior and pain points, and create powerful, targeted marketing campaigns.

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Brenda Barron

Brenda Barron is a freelance writer, editor, and SEO specialist from southern California. She is a contributor to The Motley Fool and blogs regularly at The Digital Inkwell.

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