My son was in a fantastic camp this summer. After our experience in 2012 (“It’s terrible! They put us in group timeouts!”), I spent a lot of time researching alternatives. Like most moms, the first stop was Google: “best summer camps in Brooklyn.”
Marketing kudos to the camp we ended up choosing, because their site does show up on page one of Google’s search results (did you know 75% of users never go past the first page?). The problem is they were below the fold, meaning I had to scroll to the bottom.
I did more research on the camp of course, but since I’m obsessed with Inbound Marketing for small businesses, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how they could’ve been closer to the top of Google’s search results.
The first thing any good inbound marketer will tell you is you have to define your buyer personas before you design your website. Buyer personas are the heart and soul of succeeding in online marketing, because when you know who your ideal buyer is, you can create content that naturally draws them to your site. In the case of this particular summer camp, I would define the buyer persona as:
- A mom or dad in their mid-30’s to late 40’s, within 5 miles of Park Slope, Brooklyn
- Working parent(s) who can’t adjust their schedules for the entire summer — they need reasonable hours and extended day care
- They don’t have a car (or don’t want to lose their coveted street parking spot) so they need bus pickup/dropoff options
- They travel once or twice during the summer, so they need flexibility with the weeks they book
- They enroll their children in enrichment programs throughout the year: music, art, sports, etc.
- They make sure their children eat healthy food, organic when possible
- They value organized companies that have solid communication strategies
What questions and concerns would our buyer personas have? I went to this camp’s open house and took note of the questions parents asked:
- “Will you make sure my child drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day?”
- “What if my child has to go to the bathroom while you’re at the park? Who will take them?”
- “What are the qualifications of the counselors?”
- “What is the counselor to child ratio?”
- “Will my child spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities?”
- “Are the buses air-conditioned?”
- “I’m nervous about my child going to the beach with such a large group of kids – how do you keep them safe?”
- “How do you handle bullying or bad behavior?”
- “Do we have to sign up for the whole summer, or can we pick the weeks we want?”
- “Is it standard to tip the counselors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip?
Now, how we can optimize our website with content that alleviates our persona’s concerns?
- Free eBook offer: How to Choose the Right Summer Camp for Your Child
- Video: A Day in the Life of Our Campers
- Blog: The Ultimate Summer Camp Checklist
- Guest blog: Why I Became a Camp Counselor
- Blog: An Interview Roundtable with our Bus Drivers – Your Questions Answered!
- Video: How We Ensure Safety at the Beach
- Blog: 5 Silly Songs to Get Your Kids Ready for Summer Camp!
- Video: A Look Inside Our Rigorous Counselor Training Program
- Blog: 25 Funny Quotes Overheard This Week at Camp
- Video: Did You Miss Our Open House? Watch it Here!
- Blog: Fuel Your Little Camper with this Healthy Breakfast Recipe!
- Paypal checkout: An Easy Way to Tip Your Child’s Camp Counselors! (oh, how I love this idea)
I could go on and on. The point is that to create an arsenal of keyword-dense content that attracts the right person at the right time, and makes them want to come back, you must:
- define your buyer personas
- make a list of every question/concern/objection they might raise about your product or service
- openly and honestly address every question/concern/objection
When you educate your personas with a variety of content, the SEO takes care of itself.