The Power of the Venn Diagram for SEO – a How-To Guide

venn diagrams for seo

When it comes to search engine optimization, people often forget their foundation and it gets them into trouble…

We lose site of our goals and the basic building blocks to get us there.

Sound familiar? It happens to everyone (including myself).

So, how can we get back on track in a situation like this? Is there a better path to SEO growth?

You bet.

In an effort to get back to basics, I had the idea of starting a new series which applies well known models/concepts to the world of SEO.

In this post, I’ll highlight one of the most compelling ones: the Venn diagram.

While straightforward, if you apply the Venn diagram thoughtfully, it can reap serious benefits for your company/organization over time.

Let’s get started.

What is a Venn diagram?

Simply put, it’s a diagram representing the common ground and differences between two sets of information.

I know you know I know you know this.

Another explanation I like comes from Lucidchart:
“A Venn diagram uses overlapping circles or other shapes to illustrate the logical relationships between two or more sets of items. Often, they serve to graphically organize things, highlighting how the items are similar and different.”

The Venn diagram’s applications are extensive (far more than you may think). Uses range from simple logic to complex probabilities and beyond. For some “light” reading, check out Wikipedia’s entry on the Venn diagram.

mind blown bill nye

 

 

 

Why use the Venn diagram for SEO?

Primarily, using a Venn diagram for SEO will force you to visualize what types of organic search traffic will likely have the most positive impact for your business.

This is done by comparing and contrasting your organization’s differentiators and search/market demands.

While this process should be ongoing, each time you’ll be left with a strong roadmap of ideas to apply in the following areas:

– Keyword research
– Content ideation
– Site architecture and flow
– Selection of distribution channels
– Social media messaging
– And so on…

While straightforward, you’ll be amazed at how much clarity results from taking the time to visualize this information.

What’s the difference between typical research and this Venn diagram approach?

You may be thinking, “Wait, I already know my company’s best value propositions to the market.”

While this process may sound familiar, the distinction comes with documenting and visualizing your sweet spot(s) in the market (the middle of the diagram).

At the very least, you’ll verify you’re covering all your bases.

Furthermore, using a Venn digram for SEO ensures you don’t fall into common traps.

When learning about various organic traffic strategies around the web, you’ll often hear the same oversimplified mantras. Do these sound familiar?

“When it comes to keywords, look for high search volume and low difficulty.”

“It’s all about long-tail keywords. Cast that net far and wide!”

“Just create as many pages and as much content as possible! Rake in that traffic.”

OK, good luck with that approach. There’s a little more nuance to it.

The sad thing is, many sites fall into this trap (most often with blog content). It’s not that they don’t have a target, it’s that they don’t even have a sense of one.

How to build a Venn diagram for SEO

rainbow venn diagram

Step 1) Create your Venn diagram skeleton

I recommend taking pen to paper first, but Microsoft Word or online solutions work as well.

Draw your two circles with an overlap in the middle.

Step 2) One one side of the diagram, create a comprehensive list of your company/organization and offering’s differentiating factors

Take note of everything you can think of (even the small things)! Seek other perspectives from your colleagues.

What are you known for in your category? Or have you created a new category?

What are 2-3 reasons someone would choose you over a competitor?

Do you sell something at a value or premium price?

Is your customer experience supreme?

Are any intangible assets helping you? (X-factors, celebrity, positive associations and so on).

Step 3) On the other side of the diagram, create a list of common pain paints in your market or category

Without addressing your solution or features yet, what is the problem?

Do some basic keyword research. What pain points are causing people to turn to search engines the most?

Which pain points are trending up? Which are trending down? Check Google Trends.

What are the recurring themes in your prospects’ struggles?

Are there any unconscious pain points in your market? I.e. problems that exist without belief that a better way of doing things exists.

Step 4) Create the middle of the Venn diagram. What overlaps? What doesn’t?

Step 5) Leverage this information and prioritize next steps

– Deeper keyword research (what other opportunities exist?)
– Site/content gap analysis (are there areas you don’t directly address today?)
– Content ideation and creation (craft content based on your sweet spot)
– Promotion (selection of proper distribution channels)
– Link building and outreach (find and show value to highly relevant parties)

Conclusion

TL;DR

Using the Venn diagram for your SEO efforts is one of the most powerful ways to grow organic search traffic that matters for your business.

Recap of steps:

How to Build a Venn Diagram for SEO

Step 1) Create your Venn digram skeleton

Step 2) One one side of the diagram, create a comprehensive list of your company/organization/product’s differentiating factors

Step 3) On the other side of the diagram, create a list of common pain paints in your market or category

Step 4) Create the middle of the Venn diagram. What overlaps? What doesn’t?

Step 5) Leverage this information and prioritize next steps

Your turn.

How do you find opportunity in the world of SEO?

Beyond the Venn diagram, have you seen success using other visualizations?

Author: Ryan Hansen

I am an SEO and digital marketing professional based in Salt Lake City, Utah.