Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide to Audience Research and Content Analysis

How your customers find you can vary greatly. It may depend on their interests, needs, or pain points.

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

At this point in your search and SEO planning, you’ll want to identify:

  • Target characters
  • Purchasing stages
  • potential keywords

Your goal will be to map your target characters, purchase stages and keywords for each character and purchase stage.

Searching for a character

You can start by using customer service data or information from Google Analytics demographic details. With this information, you can start creating target characters.

Below is an example of potential target characters for a real estate company.

Once you’ve got your personalities and ideas about who they are, what they need and what they’re looking for, you’ll want to outline the potential steps they’ll take on their buying journey.

Buyer’s Journey

Finally, you can add potential keywords they will be searching for and assign them to the journey.

Draw keywords into a character in the buyer’s journey

The goal of this stage is to identify all possible ways to find you and ensure that you have optimized content on your website targeting these purchase stages and keywords.

You’ll begin by identifying the essential and root phrases. As you progress, you can dig deeper into longer terms or semantic related keywords.

This will allow you to identify the gaps and opportunities that you missed during your initial baseline and competitive research. Some of these keywords will only be revealed if you truly understand your audience, their needs, and their weaknesses.

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

Rate your current content

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

  • Does your website have pages that get no traffic from Google, semi-duplicate pages or multiple pages targeting the same keyword?
  • Do you have content pieces that match the keyword list you created in the previous stage?

Before creating a content calendar or editorial strategy, it is best to proofread your existing content. By reviewing your existing pages, you can decide which pages you want to remove, merge or improve.

Some of the items you can look for include:

  • page movement
  • key word
  • Number of keywords ranked
  • The number of words
  • internal linkage

To perform a content audit, you will 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 current site pages.

Combine all of this data into a content audit spreadsheet. The spreadsheet could look like this:

Evaluate your site’s content

Once you have collected all the data, go to the URLs and name the pages:

  • Memorizes: The page is optimized, performs well and can be left alone.
  • improvement: Page ranking can be done better through on-page SEO.
  • Rewrite / Revamp: This is for pages where the content needs to be refreshed or rewritten.
  • Removal: These pages are not working properly and should be removed. When you do this, it is important to remove the page from your sitemap, Google Search Console, and any incoming links.
  • Consolidation: If there are multiple pages targeting the same keyword, consider moving all content to the best performing URL and using 301 redirects for the other pages.

How to improve, refresh or merge pages

Once you’ve named all your pages, it’s time to optimize your content. Some pages may perform well but they can be updated to help them perform better. Others may be performing poorly and need improvement to rank up.

Usually, this process will include two steps:

  • Editing and refining of existing content.
  • Expand the article with new content.

Define primary and secondary keywords for each page

The best way to collect this data is to use Google Search Console to rank pages or a keyword database for non-existent pages.

To collect data from Google Search Console, click Performance > Search Results Report:

You can click on a page to see the keywords it ranks for, clicks, impressions, and the average position of 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 making necessary content updates.

Renew existing content

When optimizing pages, you need to make sure that you are maintaining or adding the right SEO elements on the page. Let’s review these:

Keyword Optimization

The keyword must appear in:

  • Meta address (page): For existing articles, you can edit the meta title of an existing article. Use the Google SERP Simulator to see what your title will look like. Where possible, start the title tag with your primary keyword and add modifiers to your titles.
  • meta description: Up to 230 characters for article description. Make sure to use the keyword as close as possible to the beginning of the meta description.
  • The first title of your article is the title. This must be a file H1 Title. The title/title must include the primary keyword.
  • the first paragraph. The keyword must appear in the first paragraph, preferably inside the first 100 words.
  • Link text: Include the keyword in at least one external link.

Add any secondary keywords

All related secondary keywords should be naturally incorporated into the article. For each related keyword, add it in the H2 title. Whatever the focus keyword for each paragraph, it should be both in the H2 heading and in the paragraph after the heading.

questions and answers

Questions and Answers is an easy way to expand on your articles by searching for related questions. Take the keyword, and search for it on Google. Use the questions in the People Also Ask box as section headings:

The title of the section containing the question will be H2. In the next section, you should answer the question as quickly and succinctly as possible. do not re-ask the question; Instead, provide the answer right away.

If the question is “How are you presented in excerpts,” then the first sentence should answer the question: “To access featured excerpts, you need to ask and answer questions using paragraphs, lists, and quick answers.”

Use the points! Google loves to list answers with important pointsSo, where possible, answer the question and immediately add a list of points:

Content Format

Use the appropriate format to make the content easier to read quickly. Here are some suggestions for formatting your content:

  • Break the giant text walls. Give information in short paragraphs. Use brief sentences.
  • Add listings. Google loves listings! Are there any paragraphs or sections that you can change into bullet points or numbered lists? If so, do it!

Add 2-3 internal links to other relevant pages on the site. Make the link text short. Next, find at least 3-5 relevant pages on your site, and link them to your target pages. Each page of your site should contain as many links as possible from other pages of the site.

Add 2-3 external links to related pages. Good external links serve a powerful purpose. They create a natural link map and link your sites to trusted sources. Google will give more weight to the page with good external links.

Add new content

If the article is weak, you can add new content to expand on the main points.

Writing new content

  • Add more paragraphs. If you can add a menu, more subheadings, etc., that’s even better!
  • reading level. Keep the language at seventh grade reading level whenever possible. The best content is easy to read and understand, not dense and impenetrable.


  • Add new and improved images to your revamped content.
  • With the link, please write alt text for the picture. This should be a one-sentence image description that includes the keyword keyword.

Content standardization

When there are many short pages or articles that are all rated for the same keyword, it may be ideal to combine these articles into one longer and more comprehensive piece.

When merging articles, keep in mind:

  • Take bits and pieces from the various existing articles and combine them into one logical one.
  • The TARGET URL permalink must be written at the top of the document and include the new and improved meta title and meta description.
  • Add links to internal pages and external sites

Prioritize your repairs

Once you have created and named your spreadsheet and added your primary and secondary target keywords, the final stage is to prioritize and assign your improvements based on traffic or keyword importance.

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

If there are pages that have a lot of traffic and can perform better, then these pages should also be prioritized.

At the end of this stage, you should have a comprehensive keyword list that will set you up on existing pages or be named to be created.

Beware the hole Beware the hole

During the early stage, you want to be mindful of identifying personality, content, and keyword gaps. If you don’t have content targeting some of your keywords, you will miss out on opportunities to reach your target audience.

Most sites will have some degree of disassembly because their SEO and content plans go through different teams and stages.

Before spending significant resources on producing new content, first identify and grow the content you already have, and then “take care of the gap” by creating a content plan targeting all keywords that aren’t optimized.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of the search engine. Staff authors are listed here.

New in 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, workflow automation and optimization. Marcella owns a digital marketing agency called Gryffin that is based in California.

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