Three SEO Personas – Are You One Of Them?

Organic search used to just be for the technophiles, the Excel-lovers, the self-proclaimed geeks, etc. Now, SEO is all grown up and has welcomed all types of people, each of whom have a hand in the channel’s success. Let’s go over three primary personas involved in organic search today, and then you can tell me — which one are you?

The Content Marketer

Content marketers often come from a more traditional marketing background. They are strategists first, and understand each and every type of content asset inside and out — be it white papers, eBooks, Web copy and more.


They know how to create assets for a specific audience, and they know how to best leverage existing assets to support specific marketing and business goals. These people are also usually great writers themselves, and either still create content or have been experts on the creative side.

Content Marketers:

  • Have their hands in multiple marketing channels, including web content for organic search, mail marketing, lead gen assets for download and even offline content.
  • Consume resources from places like the Content Marketing InstituteMarketingProfs and Marketing Land’s Content Marketing column.
  • Attend a diverse set of marketing conferences, not limited to a channel or focus.
  • Understand the basics of organic search as it relates to content, but usually don’t understand technical SEO. They look for high-value metrics on the performance of the content within their campaigns.
  • Read books like those by Seth Godin.
  • Pride themselves on understanding the brand and audience, the channels available to market within, and mapping content to all of it.
  • Use social media to promote content and build brand.

Content marketers may know that the organic search channel is one not to ignore, but they may not know just how powerful it is. These professionals need the right type of data to support their efforts for content in search, and to build a case for additional content in this channel.

The content marketer and technical SEO have a symbiotic relationship, where each can help the other obtain their goals for organic search. Knowing how the two work in tandem will boost results.

As the content marketer drives quality content for marketing initiatives, the technical SEO lends data and SEO best practices to it. At BrightEdge, for example, we found that when you optimize web pages for search before they are published, brands had the potential to drive 10 percent more traffic, 25 percent more revenue and 50 percent less time to results for targeted pages. That’s something the content marketer would want to know.

If you’re a content marketer, check out this article on how to succeed with content marketing in organic search.

The SEO Data Junkie

SEO data junkies usually come from a technical SEO or analytical background in search marketing. They are logical thinkers who love to deep dive into data and interpret what the numbers mean. They are often trying to establish best practices in addition to creating new ways of approaching SEO.


These personas like to get their hands dirty in websites, and figure out what makes them — and the campaigns being run on them — tick. From trying new tools and setting up customizations on existing tools, SEO data junkies are always looking for better data to show just how and why organic search is a channel not to be ignored.

SEO Data Junkies:

  • Consume resources from places like Google Webmasters on YouTube and Search Engine Land.
  • Live and breathe the organic search channel, but understand how the channels work together to assist one another in the bigger picture of web marketing.
  • Favor search marketing conferences over other types of conferences.
  • Know a bit about content strategy from a search perspective, but leave the branding and communications piece, including content development, to the experts.
  • Read books like those by Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik.
  • Pride themselves on White Hat SEO and harnessing big data to create actionable next steps in organic search.
  • Use social to express their opinions, and to impact search results visibility.

The SEO data junkie knows just how valuable the organic search channel is, because they have the experience and data to back it up. Yet, even with all the data at their fingertips, they are always looking for new ways to slice and dice it, interpret it and present it to show the decision-makers how SEO impacts organic search and the business.

SEO data junkies are nimble – always on their toes and ready to respond to changes within the search engines – but they’re also traditionalists, knowing just what needs to be done to be true White Hat practitioners.

When it comes to content in the organic search channel, SEO data junkies know it’s the star of everything else that’s going on behind the scenes in order to get the right search results to the right person at the right time.

And even though SEOs and content marketers have the same goal in organic search, some brands continue to separate the two into different initiatives, teams or departments. In the end, the SEO data junkie is often an evangelist for marrying content and data.

If you’re an SEO data junkie, and want to learn how to blend your discipline with content marketing, check out this post on content and SEO.

The Decision Maker

The decision maker is a director or executive – often at the CMO or CEO level. This person is not directly involved in any hands-on aspect of marketing, but must understand the initiatives inside and out to make informed decisions about how they will impact the business’s bottom line – including making calls on the strategy where needed.


 As a CMO, this person often has a background peppered with all types of marketing initiatives – both online and offline – and a long laundry list of managing campaigns and budgets to target ROI.

The decision maker is either the head of marketing and reports to a CEO type, or is the CEO herself.

Decision Makers:

  • Consume resources from publications like Forbes and TED. (Editor’s note: Don’t forget the Marketing Strategies Column on our sister publication, Marketing Land)
  • Oversee multiple initiatives for multiple marketing channels, including the budget.
  • Go to leadership forums for CEOs and their industry’s conferences.
  • Have a high-level of understanding and interest in marketing as it relates to business outcomes, regardless of channel.
  • Read books like those from business author Jim Collins.
  • Pride themselves on leadership and making business decisions that weigh multiple factors like impact, business priority and more.
  • Use social once every few weeks (when they can remember) to tweet something random.

The decision maker may not know how important the organic search channel is to their bottom line, yet these people are making real decisions every day about where the dollars and resources are going to go for SEO.

This person wants to be shown why the company should invest in SEO, and how they are going to get from Point A to Point B with SEO being a catalyst for that. Always appreciative of data and strategies that will help them understand or sell the initiative to the higher ups, this type of executive needs the support of his or her team to drive those points home.

If you’re a decision maker, check out this article on how to measure business outcomes of SEO.

So, which one of these personas fits you? Is it more than one? Is there anything I forgot to mention about your characteristics or interests? Let me know in the comments below.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO


About The Author: is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise SEO Platform. He combines in-depth expertise in developing and marketing large on-demand software platforms with hands-on experience in advanced SEO practices.

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