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How To Align SEO Strategy With Your Buyer Journey


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has always been critical for businesses aiming to enhance their online visibility. As 93% of consumers’ online experiences begin with a search engine, using SEO to deliver what a consumer seeks can be powerful. 

Organic marketing through search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important as algorithm changes and updates to paid ad media are impacting businesses. The recent iOS security update has made it more difficult for marketers to rely solely on paid ads. Implementing SEO can help businesses improve their online presence and reach their target audience through organic search results.

This guide will delve into the intricacies of aligning your SEO strategy with the buyer’s journey to create solid demand for your brand. You’ll learn to build an SEO-optimized framework that maps a potential customer’s stages before purchasing.

What Are Decision-Making Processes? 

The B2B decision-making process is a series of steps that potential clients take before purchasing any product/service. The basic steps involve:

  • Identifying a problem or need 
  • Assessing and evaluating possible solutions
  • Making a purchase decision from a particular provider 

Thus, multiple stakeholders participate in the process. Each finds distinct qualities of your product/service appealing. Plus, they collectively influence your target organization’s final purchase decision.

Hence, you must identify and nurture these buyer personas with the correct information/content. 71% of high-performing companies use this strategy.  

Six Key Buyer Personas to Focus On

1. Problem Owner

This persona is your primary SEO target. They identify the need for a solution that you sell.

2. Decision Maker

The individual, usually in the C-suite, possesses the authority to make ultimate purchase decisions. They have the power to:

  • Sign checks
  • Reallocate budgets independently
  • Approve purchases without consulting others

3. Approver

This persona provides the ultimate approval for purchase decisions. Plus, they hold the final say on specific aspects of the business investment proposal. While there might be multiple Approvers, focus on fewer, such as the company’s two co-founders.

4. Recommender

This individual is like a team lead and has a big say in how things happen within the business. A recommender creates the proposal and does actual work related to the decision-making. One person or a team can fill this role.  

Suppose your target organization needs to decide whether to replace its software. In this situation, the recommender(s) proposes the new software and works with other stakeholders to collect important information.

5. Influencer

This persona can impact opinions and decisions regarding business investments. Typically, a junior-level employee is an influencer and researches the potential solution. Then, they inform the superior decision-makers about it. While they don’t control the budget or final decision, they can influence the decision-maker.

The influencer typically serves as your primary contact in the company. They involve relevant stakeholders in your sales process, such as finance or IT.

6. User

This persona includes the ones who will use your product or service. Individually, they may not wield significant decision-making power. However, the influence of a single end-user can extend to many others, and it can collectively generate a substantial impact on the sales process.

Once you’re done, you need an effective SEO strategy that syncs with each persona’s buying journey.

How to Align Your SEO Strategy with Buyer Personas

As each persona looks for different qualities and benefits, their online search intent differs, too. Therefore, you must conduct keyword research specific to the search intent of each persona to build a strong demand generation strategy

Suppose you are targeting B2B clients in the software industry, then here’s how your SEO keyword research synced with persona will look like: 

Problem Owner

  • Intent: Seeks solutions to particular challenges or issues.
  • Keyword Strategy: Focus on problem-solving terms and pain points.
  • Examples:
    • “Business efficiency solutions”
    • “Cost-saving strategies”
    • “Workflow improvement tools”

Decision Maker

  • Intent: Shows interest in high-level information, ROI, and long-term benefits.
  • Keyword Strategy: Emphasize business outcomes, ROI, and strategic advantages.
  • Examples:
    • “Enterprise solutions with high ROI”
    • “Strategic business tools”
    • “Executive decision-making software”

Approver

  • Intent: Look for reliable and secure solutions that align with their company policies.
  • Keyword Strategy: Highlight security, compliance, and reliability.
  • Examples:
    • “Compliant business software”
    • “Secure enterprise solutions”
    • “Approved software applications”

Recommender

  • Intent: Creates proposals for the recommendable solution to decision-makers.
  • Keyword Strategy: Focus on features, benefits, and comparisons.
  • Examples:
    • “Best-in-class business tools”
    • “Feature-rich enterprise software”
    • “Productivity comparison tools”

Influencer

  • Intent: Researches the top solutions out there to solve the discovered problem.
  • Keyword Strategy: Leverage product-specific terms and trending topics related to the problem.
  • Examples:
    • “Latest business solutions for XYZ (problem)”
    • “industry innovations around XYZ (Solutions)”

User

  • Intent: Looks for user-friendly, practical solutions that enhance daily tasks.
  • Keyword Strategy: Emphasize ease of use, functionality, and user experience.
  • Examples:
    • “User-friendly business tools”
    • “Intuitive software solutions”
    • “Efficient task management apps”

You can create a keyword cluster list and do your research processes for better outcomes.

The 3 Pros Framework (Profit, Process, and Problem)

The first page in the search result receives 95% of online search traffic. There is no need to say that you must strengthen your keyword research game. SEO is an integral part of demand generation for B2B companies through important marketing channels such as Google Ads, email, and social media. 

To simplify the buyer persona mapping that aligns with your SEO/demand gen strategy, you can implement the PPP framework (Profit-Process-Problem):

  1. Categorize persona types based on their needs:
  • Profit
  • Process
  • Problem 
  1. Thoroughly research keywords that will appeal to them. 

CategoryBenefiting Buying PersonaReasonFocus Keyword IntentKeyword Examples
ProfitDecision maker 
Approver
These personas seek profits from their purchase.Search for keywords related to profits that your product can bring for decision-makers.“High ROI software products”

“Cost-effective solution”
ProcessUser 
Problem Owner
These personas directly face the problem and want a solution that is easier to use.Search for keywords about how your product makes the process seamless.“User-friendly solution”

“Simplified Software process”
ProblemRecommenderThis persona studies the problem thoroughly and works with others to recommend the right solution.Search for keywords that include terminologies related to the problem and its solution.“Collaborative problem-solving for XYZ (terminology)”

“In-depth analysis XYZ (Problem)”

Follow these tips while performing PPP framework-based keyword research: 

  1. Determine the keywords your website presently ranks for. Adjust your content to eliminate any unrelated keywords. Then, align the pertinent keywords with your target personas and their respective stages in the buyer’s journey.
  1. Conduct a keyword gap analysis to examine the keywords for which your competitors are currently achieving rankings.
  1. Identify matches for the phrase, broad, exact, or related keywords.
  1. Gain insights into the keyword difficulty, search volume, and trends. 

Once you pinpoint keyword opportunities, integrate them strategically across your website.

The Four Pillars of SEO Alignment with the Buyer’s Journey

Before you start aligning your SEO strategy with your festive paid ads, take a look at buyer journey stages and related content-on-demand: 

To align SEO with the buyer’s journey, you must deliver the required content to each persona based on their position in the journey. 

You can achieve this with 3 practical steps: 

  1. Analyze each content piece to determine its relevant stage and buyer persona.
  1. Organize content based on topics pleasing each buyer persona. Implement this categorization across every page of your website, blog, landing pages, and downloadable materials.
  1. Modify persona-specific keywords in the contents:
  • Page titles
  • H1 tags or headlines
  • Metadata
  • Page copy
  • Image alt. text

Sync your SEO strategy with the different buyer journey stages below: 

1. Awareness Stage

At this stage, target buyers identify a problem or need. Thus, focus on sharing educational and guiding content. How-to guides, infographics, and informative videos are perfect for this.

SEO Strategy

  • Use long-tail keywords, phrases, and niche search queries related to the problem to target your buyer personas in the “Problem” category.
  • Use keyword modifiers like:
    • Upgrade
    • Prevent
    • Troubleshoot
    • Optimize
    • Problem
    • Issue
    • Fix
  • Use competitor analysis tools to find weak SEO strategy points of your rivals. 
  • Tailor your keywords for specific products and landing pages.

2. Interest Stage

The target buyer evaluates different solutions or approaches to solve the discovered problem. Thus, content like in-depth guides, comparison articles, and webinars perform better.

SEO Strategy

Your blog posts should use internal linking and calls to action that guide readers to the next stage. Posts in the awareness stage should link to the consideration stage posts and then to the decision stage posts. However, all of your content should link to your sales page.

  • Use internal linking and CTAs that direct readers to the next stage: decision blog posts for your target personas in the “Process” category.
  • Optimize for long-tail keywords and apply the given variations:
    • Comparisons
    • Features
    • Solution
    • Vendor
    • Supplier
    • Provider
    • Software
  • Improve your WUVK:
    • Website Structure: Are visitors finding the exclusive information they’re looking for?
    • Uniqueness: Is your website standing out from the competition?
    • Value: Is your text properly explaining the topics?
    • Keyword Balance: Are keywords appearing in the text organically?

3. Decision Stage

The demand has been built, so the target buyer is now willing to purchase at this stage. Thus, push them ahead with content like case studies, product demos, and free trials.

SEO Strategy

  • Use testimonials and reviews in content for your target personas in the “Process” category. 
  • Implement structured data markup for rich snippets in search results.
  • Mention queries like:
    • Benchmarks
    • Ratings
    • Pricing
    • Reviews
    • Pros vs. cons
  • Improve user experience by adjusting
    • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): How quickly your webpages display elements
    • First Input Delay (FID): Tracks page loading timings.
    • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Checks layout shifts with page loads.

4. Action Stage

As the name suggests, your target buyer is ready to confirm the purchase and implement your product/service. Thus, you must pre-prepare purchase confirmation pages, onboarding content, and thank-you emails. 

SEO Strategy

  • Optimize confirmation pages for your brand-related terms for your target personas in the “Profit” category.
  • Focus on user experience and easy navigation.
  • Incorporate transactional keywords in the content that feature terms like:
    • Buy
    • Subscribe
    • For sale
  • Use keywords in paid ads and highly optimized landing and product pages, enabling target buyers to take immediate action.
  • Leverage post-purchase surveys for feedback.

Besides ranking, your SEO strategy should focus on providing value to target personas throughout their purchasing process. Tailoring your keyword strategies and embracing frameworks like the 3 Pros enhance your online presence.

This article is written by Jyoti Sahoo, the Marketing Head at Revnew which is a demand generation marketing agency. She possesses in-depth knowledge of demand generation and revenue amplification strategies and enjoys sharing her insights with others. Jyoti likes to unwind by watching Netflix with a cup of tea and a bowl of popcorn when she’s not busy developing new revenue-generating ideas.

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