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How to use PPC personas to boost search engine marketing

Digital advertising, Buyer personas | 8 MIN READ
How to use PPC personas to boost search engine marketing

Are your PPC campaigns based only on keywords? That’s terrible.

Shift from keywords to an audience-driven approach with the help of PPC personas. PPC should be personalized. Consumers don’t trust brands. Therefore, your PPC campaigns should pack a lot of punch to stand out from all the noise generated.

What is PPC?

PPC or pay-per-click is an advertising model used to drive website traffic. The advertiser pays the publisher when someone clicks on the ad. The publisher is usually a website owner, search engine, or consortium of websites.

Why do you need buyer personas?

When setting up marketing campaigns, a buyer persona is one tool businesses should employ, especially in PPC campaigns. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your most ideal customers. It helps marketers be mindful of customers’ intent by creating PPC campaigns.

How to build personas for PPC campaigns?
How to build personas for PPC campaigns

You can quickly create SEM personas for your PPC campaigns with the steps that have been outlined below. First, gather all the already known information.

What are the pieces of information that you already know about your ideal customers? Jot them down. Write down other characteristics which you have noticed in your existing customers that you want to target for.

  • If you already have existing personas built out, take them into consideration.
  • What is your mission and vision statement?
  • What kind of customers do you usually prefer?
  • Which segment of customers are the easiest to convert?
  • Who engages with most of your emails, texts, and SMS?
  • What is the average lifetime customer value?
  • How much on average does a customer spend during a purchase?
  • What are the features that most customers love?
  • What are the oft-used keywords in the niche that you are targeting?
  • What does the search intent of most searches look like?
  • What are the top keywords that you target?
  • Which keywords give you the most conversions and which one offers the poorest?

The answers to the above questions will help refine your personas.

  1. Find out various aspects of their life such as hobbies, values, what they do in a day, purchasing motivations, etc. It will help you get a closer understanding of the personas you are targeting.
  2. Learn more about the technologies they use. Do they use an Android phone or an iOS phone? What is the costliest electronic gadget that they use? How many gadgets do each of them have? Which are the search engines that they extensively use? Do they use voice search? How do they search online for a product?
  3. The next thing that will help with your personas is knowing how they interact in the online world. How often do these people purchase online? What are the social networking platforms that they use? Do they like reading newsletters? How do they make purchasing decisions? Are they impulsive or do they take the time to buy something online?
  4. Identify the goals and challenges of the personas. Do you solve any of these challenges with your product/service? When contacting brands, what are the issues they face usually?

Example of using personas in your PPC ads:

Elma is 30 years old, lives in New York with her husband and 2 sons. Her husband is a Type-2 diabetic who loves chocolates. She has tried encouraging her husband to get fit and eat right, but that falls on deaf ears as his craving for chocolates doesn’t stop him from gorging on them. There are hardly any chocolates in the market that offer the same flavor without adding sugar in it. She is fed up with the products available in her local neighborhood and is sitting in front of her laptop to find chocolates that don’t use sugar.

Here’s what the company can do.

Your brand makes chocolates without adding sugar or any other chemical alternatives. Honey, dates, and dry fruits is all you use to sweeten the chocolates. It is perfect for Elma’s husband. But how do you tell her that your product meets her expectations? It is only possible if you know your personas.

Now that you know that Elma is firing her laptop to search for ‘zero sugar chocolates.’ She could also be typing ‘low carb chocolates’ or ‘keto chocolates.’ You should rank for either of these three keywords to get her to click on your PPC ad. The decision to consume less sugar is a lifestyle choice, and not just for diabetics. Therefore, mentioning that your chocolates are also for low carb or keto dieters will also work in your favor.

Do remember that there are a number of user personas you could have. Those on keto diet or low carb diet are the other personas that your brand needs to target.

The prospects you target consist of smaller subgroups and will be at different stages of decision making. To determine how many personas you need (or can afford), you can ask the following questions:

  • Do you have enough budget to run separate marketing strategies for each persona?
  • Which are the most crucial personas for you?
  • Which of the personas can be left off without significant damage to your campaign results?

Use Delve AI to create user personas:

There are AI-powered persona generator tools such as Persona by Delve AI that create personas without having to go through the tedious process mentioned above. The Live Persona tool is used by more than 5000 businesses across the world. It generates buyer personas and user journeys automatically using your website's Google Analytics data, and then enriches them with social media and voice of the customer data (e.g. reviews, blogs, communities, etc). Delve AI platform uses more than 20+ data sources to unearth insights and Live Persona tool segments your audience based on behavior, demographics, psychographics, geographies and transactions.

Delve AI also analyzes your social media and competitors to create personas for those audiences. The Competitor Persona tool refines your ideal customer profile with the data of your competitor and through learnings from your desirable segment. Delve AI's Social Persona tool provides rich insights gathered from your Twitter audience.

Develop your PPC campaign around the personas:

You can add natural language words that are usually used in searches such as ‘I’m looking for’ or ‘I want’. Take out some of these words and add it to your keywords. Do not use corporate parlance when choosing PPC Keywords. Instead, go with the words that your prospective customers will use to find your product/service, in their day to day lives.

The keywords will help you match the message to the personas. Would your persona be all right with sarcasm or humor? Do they expect you to be direct? Do you have to sell a product that is used during medical emergencies? You need to be clear about the benefits that your product offers, if you want your prospects to click on the ad link.

The call-to-action (CTA) and the landing page content should match the expectations or traits of your personas. If you are targeting a C-suite executive, they will have the patience to go through a report, but if it is a Gen Z student, videos would be the ideal way to convince them.

Do remember that PPCs aren’t the only way to find customers for your product. You can always invest in email marketing, referrals, organic searches, social media, etc. Why? Unless the budget is limitless, there is no way you can cover your entire target audience just by using the PPC channel.

How to use buyer personas to boost SEM performance?
How to use buyer personas to boost SEM performance

Buyer personas make sure that your PPC campaigns don’t fail. Let us look at the different ways brands can use buyer personas to boost SEM performance.

1. Organize your campaigns effectively:

Do remember that every customer persona has a different buyer’s journey. PPC personas help you organize your campaigns in such a way that it relates with the unique journey of each persona.

Here’s what you should do. Add one ad group per persona for your campaigns. If you want to create separate campaigns for each persona, that’s all right too. When you have separate ad campaigns for each persona, you have greater control over your ad targeting and messaging. It helps you personalize the experience.

2. Create ads for each stage of the buyer’s journey:

The way to target a prospective customer in the top of the funnel should be completely different from how you would target someone in the bottom of the funnel. You can create an ad group for each stage of the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision making stage. Dividing them this way helps personalize, and it is also great for tracking and attribution.

3. Refine your targeting:

To find and target the right buyers, you need to apply your buyer personas into your PPC platform. For those who are using Google Ads, the Audience Builder tool lets you upload customer persona demographics. Link Google Ads with Google Analytics site data using Google Tag Manager. With Live Persona tool, it will give you an idea about your existing personas.

4. Better your content marketing:

One of the most effective ways to get great search engine results is to work on your content marketing efforts. Content influences your organic traffic, increases brand awareness, moves the prospects deeper into the sales cycle, etc. With the help of PPC personas, not only do you know what you create, but also for whom you are creating it.

5. Develop personalized messaging:

When you know the pain points of a buyer persona, you can create specific messaging to address them. Make sure you target the ads to specific pain points, objections, and needs. Understanding the target audience’s behaviors, preferences, and challenges helps you address them in a way that will hit the right places.

For example, if you know that a particular feature is the most important factor during purchasing, ensure that you phrase your communication highlighting the feature.

6. Find which stage of the funnel the prospect is in:

The description used in the keyword research will help you segment keywords into the right stage of the customer lifecycle. Additional data from your buyer personas will help you target your audience with the right offers. Instead of targeting prospects of all the stages in the funnel with the same messaging, you can change your offer based on their sales cycle.

7. Know who not to target:

A negative buyer persona is a collection of characteristics such as real-life scenario, demographics, psychographics, or behaviors that disqualifies someone from being your customer. Knowing who not to target is as important as knowing who to target for your PPC campaigns.

Just like how there are negative keywords in a keyword campaign, certain attributes have to be used to narrow down your audience. Using negative personas can limit your audience, so make sure you employ it only on attributes that are deal-breakers.

8. Adjust your ad spend:

Once you have a fair understanding of your target market with the help of personas, you will know the right keywords to use in your PPC campaigns. By doing so, you will reduce the ad spend on other keywords that might not fetch great results. When you are armed with the knowledge of the right keywords, you can go for more long-tail or even brand name keywords since you have saved on your ad budget.

9. Use the lingo of your personas:

When you know how each persona communicates, you can speak their language too in your PPC ads. Use the words that they naturally use. Add slangs that your audience uses. It will grab their attention like no other.


Getting an in-depth understanding of your customers’ problems, challenges, and needs, will help you go a long way in increasing your bottom line. Using PPC personas, you can boost the return on investment (ROI) and profitability of your search engine marketing results. Instead of relying on gut feeling or hunch for your digital ad campaigns, prepare in detail about who you are targeting and the messaging you want to employ for each buyer personas, it will pay rich dividends.

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