Google search, buyer personas hot topics

As part of the new content planning we have implemented within Concise Training, the 4th Tuesday of the month will be focused on talking about ‘Hot Topics’ in the world of social media and digital marketing. Each month, I will focus on discussing the implications of a topic that has been in the news or themes that have been consistently raised by clients during the month.

This week, I have a few different things I want to discuss – the impact of the changes in the Google search algorithm, results of a survey by Lloyds bank, and the importance of creating buyer personas when creating content marketing.

Google Search Algorithm

You are probably quite aware that Google has changed its search algorithm so that websites which are not mobile friendly will not feature so highly in search results on mobile devices. The change came into effect on 21st April and I know I got plenty of newsletters from people who wanted to tell me about it – I’m sure you did too.

So what have you done about it? The first thing is to check whether Google thinks your site is mobile friendly using this checker.

You may not have seen the effect yet – Google said it would take about a week to roll out to all sites. I guess the point here is that you need to know if and how the changes have affected how you site appears compared to your competitors – positively or negatively. By the way, do you religiously check each month where in Google search your pages are appearing for your keywords?

You can do this in a number of ways

1. Search for keyword phrases in an incognito browser window (in Chrome, click on the 3 lines on the top right and choose New incognito window). Choosing an incognito window won’t take your browsing history into account when displaying search results. If you do this each month and take a note where your website appears for keyword phrases, you can track any improvements. Of course, if it starts to fall down rankings or doesn’t appear on the first couple of pages, you might need to take action 🙂

2. Look at Google webmaster for your site (you may need to set it up first). This will show you which keyword phrases are getting the most impressions and how your site is ranking for each keyword phrase. This will give you and idea of which pages you should be focusing your SEO efforts on as well as allowing you to track which keyword phrases you are ranking on.

Lloyds Bank Survey

Have you seen the results from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2015? It states that 77% of SMEs now have basic digital skills, but 58% of charities are still without basic digital skills. It is an interesting report and worth a read. Some highlights:

  • The annual average weekly spend online in 2014 was £718.7 million, an increase of 11.8% when compared with 2013
  • Digitally mature companies are one-third more likely to report an increase in their turnover.
  • Only 13% of organisations are using their website for e-commerce
  • 84% of SMEs or charities communicate online, but only 53% have a website
  • More than three-quarters of all SMEs and charities are not putting any budget into improving their digital skills

Buyer Personas and Content

When talking to clients, there has been a repeating theme this month surrounding content. It is always difficult to know what to say on social media, but fortunately people seem to be moving on from just using it to sell or promote themselves.

I’ve been talking to clients about creating buyer personas for each of their products or services. You should create a personality around each buyer persona and even give them a name – Tracey for example. Think about why Tracey might purchase your product and services and what are the problems and pain that you can solve for Tracey. Then all you need to do is create content aimed at Tracey which solves her problems or pain and distribute it in a way that Tracey will want to consume it.

Sounds easy, but sometimes difficult to do when you are so close to your products and services. Let me know if you need any help with this.


I hope that you have found something useful in our ‘Hot Topics’ this month – do let me know whether you have any questions or comments. Use the area below or drop me an email or social media update.