How your customers find you can vary significantly. It may be based on their interests, needs or pain points.
Some people may already know exactly what they need and search for that on Google. Others may be just starting the research process. Others may already know what they need and compare to identify the best source to purchase from.
In this stage of your SEO research and planning, you’ll want to identify:
- Target personas
- Buying stages
- Potential keywords
Your goal will be to map your target personas, buying stages and keywords for each persona and buying stage.
You can start by using customer service data or information from your Google Analytics demographic details. With this information, you can start creating target personas.
Below is an example of possible target personas for a real estate company.
Finally, you can add the possible keywords they’ll search for and map them to the journey.
Map keywords to persona to the buyer’s journey
The goal of this phase is to identify all of the possible ways you can be found and to make sure you have content optimized on your website targeting these buying phases and keywords.
You’ll start by identifying primary, root phrases. As you progress, you can go deeper into long-tail terms or semantically related keywords.
This will allow you to identify gaps and opportunities that were missed during your initial baseline and competitive research. Some of these keywords won’t be uncovered unless you truly understand your audience and their needs and pain points.
This stage will complete your research phase and give you all the information to create your content strategy and focus your on-page SEO priorities.
Evaluate your existing content
With your comprehensive keyword research, the next step is to look at the existing content of your site and see if it’s optimized properly.
- Does your website have pages that are not getting any traffic from Google, pages that are near-duplicates or multiple pages targeting the same keyword?
- Do you have content pieces to match the keyword list you created in the previous stage?
Before creating a content calendar or editorial strategy, it’s ideal to audit your existing content. By reviewing your existing pages, you can decide which pages need to be removed, consolidated or optimized.
Some of the elements you can look for include:
- Page traffic
- Primary keyword
- Number of keywords ranking
- Word count
- Internal linking
To perform a content audit, you’ll need to export all of your pages from your CMS or use an SEO audit tool, such as Screaming Frog or Semrush Site Audit, to get a list of your site’s existing pages.
Consolidate all of this data into a content audit spreadsheet. Your spreadsheet could look something like this:
Assess your site’s content
Once you have collected all