5 SEO & Paid Media Strategies To Learn From Your Competitors
Additional Contributors for this piece: Kim Brown, DRA Paid Media Strategist Looking for new sources of organic traffic? Of course you are! How…
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This is to culminate eight years of experience that we have as an agency working with … Been fortunate enough to work with Fortune 500 companies as well as some pretty savvy startups that had more funding than they knew what to do with SEO and organic search and paid search was a big driver of growth for each of these companies that we’ve worked with. Over the years, we’ve applied and we’ve learned best practices. Some things worked and some things didn’t and what we’ve done is we’ve boiled down to what we feel are some of the more essential components and traits, really, of companies that separate the best from the rest. With that, definitely help make this webinar a success for you and jot down questions and feel free to engage with us in the Q&A chat.
We do have some analysts standing by who work on campaigns so feel free to ask you’re very technical, very specific questions. Often, one of the biggest feedback we often get from these is it wasn’t technical enough or it was way over my head so we definitely have those attending who are SEO gurus and others this is really your first exposure to it. I like to pride myself in going in and explaining the why behind some of these concepts and so we’ll jump off the webinar and we’ll look at websites and we’ll apply some of the … What we’re going to learn today in terms of some of these habits and see how we, as an audience, are doing. I’ve actually picked that random … A few of the attendee websites so if I’m bringing up your site, apologies upfront.
We tend to give very, hopefully, frank and constructive feedback that hopefully you’ll be able to apply some of these learning and get better results from your demand gen effort. With that, we are recording this webinar so don’t feel like you need to take screenshots and we’ll make a copy available after the webinar and we’ll e-mail everyone a copy and feel free to send it over to a colleague who wasn’t able to attend if you see any of it is relevant to you in terms of where you’re at, what’s your demand gen efforts.
All right, so with that, a little bit about us. As I said, we’re primarily focused on B2B companies who go through a form submission type of lead where it’s a multi-step type of process. It takes multiple months if not years to close folks. The reason we have that focus is due to how we track our services. We’ll talk a little bit more about that a little later on in terms of some of the best practices a lot of the companies we’ve worked with do apply. We focus on search engine optimization campaigns so running organic campaign, soup to nuts, paid search and display as well as re-marketing or re-targeting campaigns. That’s definitely what we do as well and we also build websites and landing pages from the ground up that are designed to be responsive and render well on mobile devices and tablets and designed to convert right.
Then, finally, marketing automation. More and more folks are adopting Marketo and Eloqua and all these fancy tools and really don’t know what to do with it once they have it and again, in someone’s hands who knows what they’re doing to drive nurtured campaigns and e-mail campaigns is definitely something we’re getting more into. With that, companies work with us to increase qualified leads, not just raw leads and we’ll talk about best practices on that front. To track SEO and paid search to ROI and there’s definitely some gotchas in that as a lot of us here definitely know and then marketing automations support.
All right, so with that, let’s get into the topics. Again, what separates the best from the rest? Really, the four SEO habits we see of world class companies we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. Then, we’ll go right into some of the live audience based off of some member websites that we found. Again, make this as impactful for you as possible. Engage with us in the Q & A chat. We’ll answer your questions as soon as we get them.
All right, so habit number one. I like to think that we’re in a unique position and that we talked to many of you guys and really, you’re peers. I mean, we work with and we sell to marketers and you, as marketers, sell your products and services. What we find is that when we talk to folks, invariably, they sit in the three distinct buckets. Those who are really crawling in terms of using digital marketing to drive awareness and business for their business, those who are firmly crawling or walking rather and they definitely understand the impact that SEO and paid search has on their business. It’s a piece of the marketing mix and it’s important to them. Then, those who really get this search, paid search, organic search is a critical component of them keeping the doors open. They know exactly what it’s costing the business in terms of losing to their competitors on a monthly basis or how much a specific keyword costs them by not ranking in the top five.
With that, we see how SEO, how paid search really impacts the business and when we get the CEO or the COO or a marketing executive from the company on the line, when we talk about SEO, it’s a company priority for those that really get it. They know exactly, at least at a high level, where they’re at in terms of visibility. They know exactly the road map in order to get there and it’s not one of those things where it’s a dark art that sits in the marketing corner and you dust it off every other month and hopefully, you see big wins. As I go through some of the examples that we’re going to talk about, you’re going to see exactly some of the efforts some of these folks go into in terms of their search strategy.
We’d like to start with this first one which is SEO is a company priority. It’s not just the VP of Marketing or even the marketing intern. That’s another thing that gets me often. We talk with companies and startups and they have an intern in charge of the SEO strategy and we’re sitting there, “Well, don’t you do a 100% of your sales online? Why are you going to leave this in the hands of someone who’s essentially learning the industry using your business?” I get that a lot of folks don’t understand the impact of it and they think it’s about meta tagging and it’s a check box in terms of the re-design and it’s a one and done when … I look at all these websites every day and we’ll take a look at a few in terms of what goes into a comprehensive strategy.
When we talk about how people are using search in order to discover websites these days and we see stats like … This came from Google, 88% of buyer’s research products they intend to purchase online and in our world these days, it’s a cliché thing. You have a question? Google it. You’d be surprised at how many people actually Google things that you care about and people are really looking for your product or service.
Unfortunately, because it’s not a company priority, they’re finding your competitors first and they’re getting first crack at them. The second thing we see is … We see stats like this all the time and we help track our client’s analytics and we get insight into some of their close one situations and we see about a 15% close rate from SEO leads compared to 2% for outbound leads. Obviously, this is a general stat and each business is a little different but when you see stats like these and it’s not just one of those things that’s an ugly stepchild that sits in the dusty corner of marketing and no one cares about it. It’s front and center. Everyone knows where they’re at and it’s something that needs to have the best and brightest on it.
What we also see is that internal stakeholders, as I mentioned before, are in the loop on the progress. SEO has evolved over the years and what once was a ugly, wild west scenario where people would build all these nasty links on Indian directories and meta tagging stuffing and all that. That no longer is the case. Google has gotten wiser over the years, their algorithms have adjusted to those tactics and it’s evolved to the tune where it’s about quality content, content that you yourself would share with your prospects. It’s meant to be educational and with all those things done properly, it will perform well from a search marketing perspective.
Again, we’ll demystify, well, how do you get a website ranking? We’ll take a look at some examples and, hopefully, it will be crystal clear how it works these days. The point that SEO is a company priority, internal stakeholders are in the loop on SEO progress. They don’t have to be in the weeds and in its nest but certainly from a high-level, how are we doing according to plan? That question is a tough one for a lot of companies.
We say, “What do you mean according to plan?” “Well, you should have a plan. What’s the Q1 goal for raw leads from organic?” When asked these questions, the folks often … You hear crickets because it’s not something that’s been done before and you throw spaghetti against a wall, hopefully something sticks, and then you go into the next quarter and it’s no wonder we’re scratching our heads at the end of this wondering how come we’re not seeing a return on our marketing dollars because there’s no strategy or there’s no goals.
Usually, there’s a set of clear goals that need to be set out front. These goals don’t need to be hard and fast. Goals are meant to be updated. You don’t let the idea of perfect to get in the way of better. A goal can be, “Hey … ” for a lot of companies that we work with, I want to get a clear list of keywords that we care about and were bought into, that expand the buyer’s journey, awareness terms, consideration and buying types of terms and map those to the right pages.
That is a goal within Q1 and that’s perfectly fine so long as, within the next quarter, the goal should be, hey, let’s increase organic traffic by 15%, 20%. There’s a calculation that we like to go through in terms of identifying what does it cost in the business? How many new visitors are you missing? How many raw leads? How many close one deals? Is it costing you to not tackle this thing called SEO? Having a clear set of goals and then, we have scorecards that we use as part of our campaigns that we feel really does a good job in terms of keeping those executives in the loop. You’d be surprised that some of the companies where they look at these metrics as part of their board meetings.
Organic visibility is so key to their business that it’s imperative that they know where they’re at according to plan at all times. It’s something that board members ask, “Hey, how come our percent of keywords dropped this last month?” “It turns that we weren’t able to execute on our SEO content plan.” You’d be surprised and soon you might be chuckling but it’s the honest to goodness truth. If you’re working online and you depend at all based off the website in terms of generating revenue, you need a plan like this. I get some of you, this is totally green and, as I mentioned in the crawl, walk-around scenario, your firm maybe in the pre … You’re still in the womb in terms of where you’re at in terms of your sophistication.
We’ve been fortunate enough to work with folks very, very early on in that and grow with them as well as those who are at the latter end of that where they definitely understand it. They just need a better strategy. I highlight why this is a company priority. I mean, imagine you’re looking … You’re the VP of Marketing, you’re the one … You’re the shot caller and you’re seeing this as an update for your SEO strategy. You know exactly where you’re at according to plan and you know where you’re at according to last year. You know exactly you’re on track for the quarter in order to hit your raw lead goal or your MQL goal or whatever kind of metric that you’re held accountable for or incentivized on.
When you have something like this, it definitely drills down to not just, hey, where we’re winning but where underperformance lies. You use a red green system and if it’s red, then what was the root cause of that and what are we going to do differently in order to turn it around? With that, it creates accountability, it keeps stakeholders in the loop. Quite honestly, how else would you know if what you’re doing is successful? This is why … When you do this level of tracking, it definitely changes the tone and it changes the conversation in terms of what SEO means to the business.
On to the second one in terms of some of the SEO Habits of World Class Companies. They measure the money metrics, the SEO money metrics. Again, this is primarily from a B2B standpoint. For you B2C folks where there’s a shopping cart and you swipe a credit card and that’s it. I get it. Yeah, you should have e-commerce tracking, you should know exactly how organic and paid search interacts with your business. For you B2B folks, this one’s near and dear to my heart because when I first entered the industry, going on eight years ago, we didn’t have a [forward 00:15:03] tracking. Marketo didn’t exist. Salesforce was super nasty to work with and it wasn’t as coherent and at least, cleaner these days in terms of being able to pull in lead sources, tie it to opportunities and leads within the CRM.
Really, you’d look from a marketing contribution standpoint, how much revenue each campaign contributed to the bottom line. Again, in that crawl walk around scenario, the evolution of working with companies, each are at a different stage. Some are working with a website that you can’t make any changes to. You got to hire a developer. It costs a thousand dollars just to even touch the template and it’s no wonder that you don’t even want to touch this thing called SEO. Whereas others, you have the right CMS in place, you have the CRM in place, they’re connected, you maybe even invested in Marketo and you’re running some nurture tracks and you’ve made the connections and that’s great.
What we see in terms of that evolution on the left-hand side that we’re going to see here is some of the SEO metrics we tend to track for folks who are early on in terms of the evolution. They look at organic traffic volume. That’s great. It’s wonderful that you’re getting more people from organic search and we’ll talk about it. Obviously, [inaudible 00:16:28] just because you have a website visitor. It could be a student who’s looking doing their research and they click on your website. It’s clear they’re never going to buy from you.
We look at percent of SEO keywords on page one and this is a step even further in terms of evolution where not only are you tracking traffic but you know, hey, these hundred keywords that you care about are important to you and you are tracking where you are in terms of visibility on a monthly basis. Of those 100 keywords that you care about, what percent are on page one? Even another one would be, “Okay, great there on page one. What about above the fold in the top five positions? Because that’s where the real action happens.” You get what I’m saying in terms of that evolution percent of SEO keywords on page one and, of course, this is assuming that you care about … You track the right keywords that you know are profitable and often, that’s a challenge for a lot of folks as well.
Then the third one, what’s your organic conversion rate? There are some that are saying overall conversion rate and people that come from organic search, whether it’s Bing, Yahoo or, in this case, Google, that we care about the most. For every hundred people that come from an organic search, how many actually do what you want them to do? Whether it’s do the free trial or contact us or download that white paper so that you’re capturing their name and e-mail so that your sales reps have, at least, a shot at all in order to follow up with them and turn them into a paying customer.
Then, finally, organic bounce rate. The percent of people that reach your website from organic search and leave after viewing just one page. For some folks, that’s definitely a negative thing where you want them to view multiple pages, maybe sit on the home page, go to the product page, go to the testimonials, et cetera. These are some of the things that we tend to track as part of that scorecard that we saw before, month over month and these things should be improving. If they’re not, then why are we paying someone to do this internally? Why are we, again, paying someone to do this because you should be moving in the right direction?
In terms of what separates the best from the rest in terms of the SEO habits, those that we’ve worked with who took it a step further, who’ve made that connection between CRM at the website to the CRM Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, whatever system you use to track leads, they measure sales pipeline opportunity from SEO leads sourced from SEO. What do I mean by that? Well, many of you sell the businesses. It’s six, nine, twelve months, if not longer.
I’ve worked with a company that had a two year sales cycle so it was imperative that we track pipeline opportunity based off of leads that we helped them sourced because how else … I mean, if it’s going to take two years to close this thing but they had a six figure type of sale here and if they close one of these things, it pays for our services and then some. When you look at pipeline opportunity from SEO derived leads, it then becomes a very important … Especially if you’re paying someone internally to do this, that’s their job description or you hire an agency like us to help with that.
Again, that’s not the [inaudible 00:20:03] all right, that’s pipeline. Close one revenue from SEO sourced leads. Again, I get there’s a difference between first touch and last touch and we’re going to distinguish that especially from a B2B type of scenario where there’s often 6, 7, 12, 32 touch points along the buyer’s journey from introducing them from a paid search ad to closing and based off of retargeting ad. There’s a big difference between the two and I want to distinguish them and make the case for why it’s important to do both to track along that buyer’s journey, and I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The third thing in terms of the money metrics and this is what we see in terms of those who are a little bit more evolved in this digital marketing spectrum. They look at sales contribution by marketing and this is often … I’ve done webinars in the past on how to bridge the gap between sales and marketing and the importance. We’re big proponents and followers of serious decisions and they harp on the need for alignment. It makes sense where if you have marketing focused on one set of goals and tasks and sales on a completely different path, how is there any synergies?
Here you’re busting your butt to generate a bunch of leads only to have sales ignore them because of previous experience or whatever, I mean, I’ve worked with a lot of companies where that was the case but you’d be surprised what happens when you start to close that loop and marketing says, “Hey, that super awesome enterprise deal that we closed? Guess who sourced it? You got it. This champ over here who is busting their tail in terms of doing the keyword research and mapping and doing all the SEO work needed in order to help out sales.”
Once you’re able to show how much … Some folks are responsible for 20% of the opportunities and more and more businesses that they start to have quotas for marketing and I get that’s a daunting thing but it’s also liberating too where you’re not just getting eyeballs on a website, you’re responsible for driving business and once you’ve made those connections … We’ll talk about how companies are doing that more and more these days here in a second but this is what we see in terms of measuring the money metrics on the left-hand side.
I would argue the majority of those on this webinar might still be looking at those things in terms of success metrics. Maybe not even that but on the right, you see a clear distinction and we’ll talk about the importance of why that matters. This is highlighting why it doesn’t make sense to just track leads and stop there. A lot of folks that we’ve worked with and we continue to work with and we’re trying our best to help them make that connection, this is why it doesn’t make sense to just track leads. Imagine, you are the digital marketing manager and you look at this report and you don’t have the right side here. You’re just looking at the left side here. You’re at the end of the year and you have your marketing investment and you’re about to double down on one of these three areas.
You say, “Hey, my social campaigns … ” Assuming you’ve tagged them properly and we can talk about UTM tracking all day and that’s a topic for another day. Imagine you’re the marketing manager and, again, you’re deciding where to spend your budget and you see ten leads from social, five from paid search, and two from SEO. You think, “Gosh, that SEO investment, we did all that hard work and it didn’t pan out. I only got two leads. I got ten from social, that’s awesome.” As you made that connection and tie it to pipeline and tie it to close one which, still the majority of people haven’t done that, you would have been making a huge mistake because when you see the revenue opportunity generated from these leads, you see about 275 grand from those two leads versus 85 from the social side of things.
Worse, you’re spending more dollars on getting leads that lead the smaller ticket items. What does that do? That eats up your sales rep’s time. They’re spending the three, six months on the buyer’s journey on leads that generate smaller ticket items whereas, hey, it turns out there’s more opportunity on the SEO side. We just needed to expand the keywords, map them to the right pages … We’ll talk about some of those things here in a second … We would have gotten way more revenue from that. Therefore, I should have doubled down on my SEO campaign as opposed to doubling down on the social.
This is the head-smacking type of view here but this happens all the time. We talked to people and they still haven’t made these connections and they’re, worse, working with an agency and they’re doing this. That’s why it’s important to close that loop, get this information in the hands of the person deciding do I bit up this keyword? Do I double down on this one from an SEO perspective? Because it can really make or break the business.
Again, under the third point here which is they track along the buyer’s journey. Some of the SEO best practices of world class companies, they recognize that it’s a not just a one and done type of sale. Often, we’re talking to some folks around this webinar that has six, nine, twelve months sales cycles and it’s a complex thing. Just because someone finds you on an organic search does not mean they’re going to buy from you the next day. For our business, we track this too and often, it’s a 90-day sales cycle. They’re vetting other agencies, they want to see if we’re the right fit, you do all these tracking and what have you so it’s not just you attend the webinar, you download one of our e-books, and you’re going to work with this the next day.
I’m going to highlight why it’s important to track along the buyer’s journey. Let’s say, John Smith, I am a prospect. Let’s say you sell marketing automation software. Naturally, an organic search term you want to do well for or you might want to pay for is marketing automation software. That might be a cost prohibitive term. Google might charge us $20 a click. On the surface, it might seem, gosh, that keyword … I don’t even want to touch it … $20 a click, but your average shell price is 10 grand so let’s keep that in the back of our mind here when we’re deciding whether or not to double down on that particular term and the importance of tracking multi-touch. Let’s say you’ve optimized your website, you’ve done your due diligence, you mapped the keywords to the right pages, you’ve meta tagged the heck out of your website, market automation software.
The prospect goes to Google, does an organic search for it, clicks on your website and because you did an awesome job on your SEO and guess what? This John, I’m not ready … They’re asking for seven fields, I don’t have time for this. I’m going to go to lunch. It started on his desktop, did that search, then went to lunch while he’s on his browser on his mobile device. Then, because you’re a savvy marketer, you ended up doing a re-marketing or a re-targeting campaign and you start serving up banner ads on New York Times.
Then John says, “You know what? Let me go ahead and give it a shot. [Inaudible 00:27:46] and hopefully, I don’t get a stomach virus and I finally fill out the form.” John clicks on the ad, downloads the e-book … Remember, a separate device, separate session then, hopefully, your lead development rep or your SDR, whatever you call them internally, hopefully you have one of those where you able to follow up with this lead, call John, vet him for budget need, timing and authority and finally, finally, at the end of this, your sales rep hopefully uses Salesforce or the sharing properly closes it out with the lead source attached to it and, finally, becomes a paying customer at $10,000.
Guess what? If you haven’t done this level of tracking, you would have lost all of this on the left hand side. All of it. Worse, maybe your sales reps work outside the Salesforce flow and says, “I’m going to go ahead a create a new lead outside the flow and it’s a sales sourced lead close to one ten grand. Some of you shake your head and you’re saying, “That would never happen.” You’d be surprised. There were a lot of companies that they haven’t done that. There’s no rules in place, but this actually happens.
This is why one of the first questions we ask when we work with companies is tell me about your sales cycle. How many stages in the buyer’s journey? Does sales use CRM properly? These types of things are imperative because we’re looking for these types of instances that can happen. Imagine, you’re looking at your opportunities and you see this. You see first touch source organic. Oh, the first touch page. Google stripped organic keywords years ago. This is why we pull in the page that they land on. Often, this was an anonymous visitor, right? John Smith was not self-identified in that first visit. He just clicked on organic listing and then bounced, went to lunch on Chipotle, on a separate mobile device and then finally did a separate keyword search for best marketing animation platform, and then finally clicked on your landing page and became a close on business.
Here’s a kicker for me. For some of you who’ve actually done this level of tracking, one, God bless you. I mean, you’re in the minority. The second point I want to make here is you need to get this information in the hands of the person doing the optimization. Often, we’ve seen this too, you know? They’ve invested in a visible or bright funnel or whatever system. We’ve actually built a tool similar to this to help with that. Often, you don’t need all the bells and whistles and reporting but you need to get this information in the hands of the person deciding do I bid on that keyword, marketing animation software? It’s $20 a click but if it generated 100 grand and closed one business, and my average position is four, I got 100,000 reasons to bid that keyword up. Often, that doesn’t happen. Getting this type of information in the hands of someone who’s deciding do I bid this up, do I bid this down, because it generates revenue.
Master closed loop reporting. We’re still on that, the tracking, tracking along the buyer’s journey here and that’s the best practice. Some of them a search for medical devices. They can either click on an up-page search or an organic listing, but, often, there’s a gap between … We highlighted that with John Smith and doing the search on the desktop and going to lunch, right? The connection a lot of folks don’t make though and, in the end, we built a tool to help do this level of tracking, it’s all about tagging the web-to-lead form, whether you use the Salesforce web-to-lead form or the Marketo form or whatever form you used.
We had a couple of additional hidden field that sit on the back end and we populated via some java script and the same tool that I mentioned like visible and some of the stuff there, do the same process. Regardless of how you end up doing it, just know , A, it’s possible and, B, it should [inaudible 00:31:49] especially if you depended all on digital marketing, especially you have a high-tech, a $50,000-deal. We’ll look at where did originally John Smith that I introduced him, what page did the original land on and, finally, doing the heavy lifting, the first touch and what was the last touch prior to filling out the web form becoming a raw lead and I need to then map all these to opportunity and we have a lot of experience in doing this level of tracking.
Again, this isn’t meta tagging. This is not keywords and page title. This is being able to track the return on investment and then change your strategy based off of what’s working. Super, super important. Again, I am the optimizer. I’m looking at these landing pages. Here are the keywords theme. Here’s how many leads. Here’s how much deal value. Ah, I need to expand keywords based off of this theme, dial back on the other ones, which is why it is very, very important to have a keyword mapping document.
The fourth thing, fourth and final thing before we start to go through this live audience here with the 30 minutes that we have left. Again, submit your URL within the Q&A chat if you’d like for us to take a quick look. If we don’t get the chance today, we’ll definitely reach out afterwards to see if we can do that. Type in your URL and the number one keyword that you care about, then we’ll go through and break it apart, hopefully, supply you with some good recommendations.
We’ve done a couple of these already, of these webinars. This one might look familiar. We did this on one of our first webinars. It was so important that I’m going to reiterate it again. In fact, in the two examples I’m about to go through, we’re going to learn exactly why this is important. One of the last habits that we often see is that savvy marketers, those who really get it, they start by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes, and they ask a question, what are they searching for? Often, they do this before they write content.
Much as when we were in school, there is an order of operations. You got to multiply first, then you do the subtraction and then you do that … Folks get it backwards because there’s no degree in this stuff. We’re all just winging it until we get it hopefully and we keep our jobs but, often, we’ll talk with folks and they say, “Hey, I redesigned the website. Now, I’m ready to optimize.” Then, I have to break the bad news to them and say, “Guess what? Because you didn’t put yourselves in your customers’ shoes, you got to redo the content.” You say you want to rank for this keyword but there’s no page on the website at all that has anything to do with this. Then, I show them, “Well, maybe your competitor did.” They have a page. They have a whole section. They have a glossary section that they cue and it’s just like … There’s no way we’re going to displace them. We’re only left by paying for that visibility, paying on that keyword.
In order of operations, they start by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes first, then they identify the keywords and they map them to the right pages, they then do a content gap analysis. Where are the gaps? Then, they write the content and then they iterate thereafter. Tracking the revenue, changing the strategy based off of what’s working, dialing back on what’s not. While what I just said probably makes total sense, majority of people I talk to don’t go through that process. They use internal jargon instead of what your audience is actually searching for. Keywords that you should target should stay on top, middle and bottom of the funnel. Ideally, you have offers to match. These are steps towards that evolving and getting better results, and it all starts by putting yourselves in your customers’ shoes.
When they do that, they often find that, hey, by putting myself in my customers’ shoes, I’m going to invest in content because we did that content gap analysis but you got to target the right group of keywords based off of who your audience is. The example I’m going to go through here is two different distinct buyers that we intend to sell to, marketing analyst and managers, CMOs. They care about very, very different things, much as your business probably does too. You have younger people that you sell to or lower level in the food chain and higher level. They care about very different things, so an awareness thing for our business.
Again, as I go through this example, think of how to apply it to your business. A blog I might write for our business is, for the analyst is Five conversion or optimizationh hacks to lower Your pay per click cost per lead. Right? That’s a very tactical thing. The CMOS side, probably [inaudible 00:36:47], no, I don’t have time for this. Whereas, the CMO, “Hey, someone should drive revenue with SEO this quarter.” That’s very much at that alley. He might forward it down to the market analyst and say, “Hey, please read this.” That happens all the time.
I did the heavy lifting of identifying what do they both care about, what keyword terms might match that, and a fourth column here might be keywords that identify, that match each one of these. An evaluation type of search or topic for business might be how to build an integrated organic and paid search program, very much in line with that analyst to that’s their job to do. Whereas, a CMO topic might be the cost of not ranking, how to calculate your SEO opportunity. What is it costing your business to not tackle this thing? Then, at the latter stage, you guys get the point here. Then, of course, you identify where am I missing, comb over the content calendar, and that’s how you iterate and get better results.
I’m going to recap here and then I’m going to go through the live audits here with the remaining time we have left. You guys want to stick around because I have some good examples that some of you, where maybe a third of this information I walked through might have been helpful. These examples will definitely help you if none of this was relevant to you.
SEO have its world-class companies. One, SEO is a company party and we talked about why that was in some of the reporting that goes into that, how some track this. They measure the SEO money metrics. They don’t just look at traffic and bounce rate and that type of thing. They track along the buyer’s journey and I walked through very, hopefully, clear example of John Smith and avoiding that stomach virus from Chipotle. Then, the fourth one, they put themselves in their customers’ shoes. We talked about the importance of identifying internal jargon and separating that from what your audience is searching for actually, and the, the order of operations. You do the content first, then you care about redesign and that type of thing.
Live analysis. Again, submit your URL in the Q&A chat. Again, if we don’t have time to do it now, we’ll definitely get to and, hopefully, schedule time to walk through what we’re seeing. With that, let’s take a look at a couple of … Again, if I choose your site and apologies if I choose it and dump on it a bit. That’s not my intent. It’s to help you get better results. The first one that we saw is a company called Transcat. Here they are at the top right here. It looks like they are a reseller of test and measurement instruments, a reseller of other products.
That’s a tough one because, often, you’re probably trying to go after those companies branded terms, and it’s tough to … It’s like Sephora when they’re trying to rank first specific product when the company who sells that ranks number one. It can be a difficult thing. You know, I worked with campaigns where that was the case before and you can actually displace, believe it or not, someone else’s branded name especially if you’ve done your SEO and you have a strong domain authority. It can and does happen.
Let’s take a look at the site really quickly. I’m going to highlight one of the things we just went over, which is putting yourselves in your customer’s shoes. There’s a few things that we look at or that Google looks at when they’re deciding to rank your website higher for a specific keyword. I talked about the 200 variables that they look at. Each one of these things I’m going to talk about are one variable of the 200 that they consider as part of their algorithm when they’re deciding to rank Transcat higher for testing measurement instrument as that keyword than one of their competitors.
One of the things they look at is keywords within page titles. This should not be news to some of you. They look at that. The order does matter. Sometimes getting keywords closer to the first part of it … Test, Measurement, Instruments, [inaudible 00:41:13] Transcat. That might be an area that I look at and I test to see if I’m on page one below the fold, that might get me some better movement. Getting gears within meta descriptions and those that’s getting truncated here. This is your ad on Google. Right now, they’re trying now putting their best foot forward. Whereas, someone down below might do a better job and turns that meta description [inaudible 00:41:40] going to say these guys aren’t relevant, really, these guys down here … That type of thing. I’m doing a branded search here.
We’ll do a search for that actual keyword but I also want to highlight, look at how they mentioned test ampersand measurement instruments. There’s a difference between test spelling out and measurement instruments and test ampersand measurement instruments. I want to highlight here and I use this … Again, we’re putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes. We’re saying, “Okay, customer, what are you actually doing searches for?” When I see test ampersand measurement instruments, there’s 20 searches a month. But when I do test and spell that measurement instruments, there’s what? Three, four times volume. True, it’s on the lower end here but when we talk about long-tail traffic and how all that adds up, this can be a very big deal.
The fact that I found this just by looking at these guys’ homepage … Google looks at your website as a book. Your homepage is the most important page of your site. They’ve essentially wasted that property on an area that gets, on a keyword that gets a quarter of the volume of something else that, had they put themselves in their customer’s shoes, mapped these keywords to the right pages mentioned the term within the content, they’d be getting a much different outcome. I’m doing a search for test ampersand measurement instruments. Here they are, right there, below the fold on page one.
If you rank in the ninth position for that particular keyword, you’re not getting that much click [curate 00:43:22]. There’s been studies over the years that, say, the percent click curate if you rank in the one, two, three position versus the ninth and tenth. There they are below the fold with that test ampersand, a keyword that gets 20 searches a month but, when I do a search for test and measurements, they’re actually not that bad either for that particular term. Let’s make sure. I’m going to do a search there for it … No. I take that back. They dropped off of page one entirely for that term.
When they’re in the ninth position for test ampersand measurement instruments, they now dropped off of page one for that particular term. Let’s go on page two. Maybe they’re lingering around there. Yep. Sure enough, they’re there, page two. A keyword that gets 90 searches a month, three times the volume there or a little bit more than that. They’re on page two for it. That’s just a couple of the elements that we’re looking at but we use tools, and if you attended one of our other webinars, you will see me use a few tools to compare websites. We love to use Moz, formerly SEOmoz, back in the day for you old-school SEO [inaudible 00:44:41]. We love this tool for a few reasons. It allows us to compare web pages and look at, of those 200 variables that Google considers, what’s going on and how am I going to change my strategy.
I’m going to go ahead and pick a competitor here who does well for that particular keyword, and say, “Okay, Mike. You mentioned putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, mapping the right pages, and making sure that I have mentioned the right keywords.” That’s one of the elements. These guys here, Tektronix, what did they do? They were smart. They knew that there is difference between ampersand and spelling out and. They said, “Okay, I’m going to mention it in that order on the page itself.” As did Omega up here. Of course, they got it within the meta description as well.
A couple to these variables that they’re beating these guys at Transcat and they’re sitting on page two there probably sitting there wondering how come we’re not getting better results from our SEO campaigns. I’m going to compare these guys tek.com and I’m going to compare Transcat. I go through this to show you how to use this tool. I use Open Site explorer from Moz. It’s a paid tool that we like to use. If you care about all your business or you have someone internally that’s working on this, I’m going to show you just quickly … I mean, I could spend a whole webinar just on going through this tool and how to use it and that type of thing. I’m just going to quickly go through what’s going on here.
I’m going to compare tek.com and I’m going to compare Transcat because that’s what were trying to [inaudible 00:46:25] about what’s going on here and who’s ranking for what. I’m going to go ahead and do a compare link metrics. I add these guys in here and we’re going to see side-by-side what’s going on. There’s a few things that stick out to me. One, there’s a lot of mumbo jumbo on this with Moz rank and page this but I care about total linking root domain. What does that mean? That means the number of URLs that link to tek.com versus Transcat. Right now, they have 1,800 links pointing to tek.com versus Transcat’s 120.
Right away, that stands out to me. That is a discrepancy. That’s something that I want to focus on. Often, that’s why companies hire PR firms. Any SEO company that you work with should have a plan of attack in order to bridge that gap. There’s difference between quality and quantity just because one of these links might be … One of the 120 might be worth 1,800. I’ve seen that happen. You get a link from TechCrunch or a well-known Yahoo Finance and it’s a DoFollow link and I don’t want to talk about the difference between the two right now but just suffice to say one pass this SEO value and one does not.
That stands out to me. The other thing that stands out to me is that they’re doing a much … They have a much larger website. They have 63,000 other links internally, internal equity passing links, passing the value to this specific homepage. It’s well interlinked within the website versus 1,752 internal pages referencing the homepage. SEO equity is passed from page to page by linking to one another. When I’m looking at the comparison, sure, I’m thinking, “Okay, that’s another thing that stands out,” but a couple of the variables. They’ve mapped the right keywords, they’ve put themselves in their customers’ shoes. Now, let’s see what they’re doing on the linking front.
I’m clicking on this anchor text tab. SEO has a black eye at all. Many years ago, folks would do what we call exact match anchor text linking, meaning get the keyword that you want to rank for in someone else’s website referencing your website exactly. Over the years, Google looked at those links and said, “They’re a natural. I’m going to dock your website because of it. Here are all the links some of the website referencing Tektronix. I want to highlight this one right here. Tekronix test and measurement equipment.
Remember the search I did a search for? Test and measurement instruments, right? This helps them. There’s six links using that exact brand plus keyword and I love that type of strategy. Here, I can look at some of these. It looks relevant. We’re not talking about some random … I did a webinar a few years ago on target and Google leveled a manual penalty again. They got the keywords dresses on auto blogs. They worked for the pretty shady agency that got dresses on auto blogs exact match anchor text to link, voting for Target’s deeper dresses page.
Someone found that out. They had a level manual penalty against them. They lost a lot of organic traffic because of that. That’s not what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing electronic definitions, industry types of directories. These don’t have to be beautiful websites, partner websites. Google hits this definitions on electronics. They hit test and measurement equipment. They go to the bottom left destination all the way in the bottom left here with that term in mind, helps them rank better for test and measurement equipment and derivatives thereof. In this case, the test and measurement instruments term that they do quite well for.
If I were to go through all these other ones, as a plan of attack, I might export this, reach out to some of these if I’m Transcat to try to bridge that gap because they got 120 links going up against 1,800. Again, I’m assuming that this is a profitable keyword unless I have to close out loop like we talked about earlier on. That’s why it’s important to do that close loop type of scenario, otherwise, you don’t know which keywords are profitable. You’re going through all the blood, sweat and tears needed to get that visibility.
Hopefully, some of these was helpful. I do actually have one more example … I know I have seven minutes left but some of you guys might want to see this one, similar process that I’ve gone through. Again, if you want to take advantage of this, I’m actually going to bring that slide up right here. It’s a 30-minute consultation. We’ll help you go through the similar analysis. If you want to know what it’s costing your business to not tackle SEO, reach out in the Q&A chat right now and we’ll set up a quick call either later this week or early next week. I’m going to go through one more example before I lose everyone right now. Similar and, hopefully, you’ll pull some nuggets from it.
Type in the Q&A chat if you want to take advantage of this type of analysis and I’d be happy to do it personally. Let’s do another example here. This one’s actually quite interesting. Again, that first one that we did was an example of not putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes. The difference between and and ampersand and how that can impact search, definitely an important lesson. I hope everyone was able to get from that.
This other example, Accellion I want to call it. They appear to be a secure file-sharing type of website. They’re going up against box.com and several others. This one was actually fun for me to go through, really drove home when you really do SEO well and how to go about optimizing for a keyword, this is a perfect example and, hopefully, you guys will think so too. Accellion, they signed up for this webinar. I don’t know if they actually attended it. They’re a secure file-sharing website.
I mentioned, one, put yourself in your customers’ shoes, identify the volume, make sure it makes business sense, and there’s a model that we go through to see how many leads are at stake by getting better ranking. Secure file sharing is the keyword. This is the keyword that get thousands of searches a month. I would use that Google Planner tool to make sure it made sense. Look who’s ranking number one for that. SmartVault. I have never heard of these guys before. Never. They’re outranking box.com and Dropbox and all these other folks who probably have much bigger marketing teams. I bet you they’re looking at this and saying, “How in the hell did they outrank us for that particular term?”
Again, we’re analyzing Accellion who’s attending this webinar but I want to break down the optimization done by SmartVault here, beautifully done. Keyword within first position is the page title. Keyword’s exactly in that order within the URL close to the root, close to the homepage. They have the flash features in between. [Inaudible 00:53:58] probably get that closer to the homepage because the homepage can more readily lift up the deeper page, and then they have it within the meta description a couple of times. Really well done. I give them an A+ on page optimization, some of the three areas that Google pulls from that page.
Let’s look at the actual page itself. I’ve done a control find secure file sharing. From an on-page perspective, they mentioned the term eight times. Right within, what we call, an H1 tag, a header tag, they’ve done an internal link for that particular term. This page is so important to them that it’s part of their navigation. This is highlighted in the bottom, secure file sharing, so they internally … Remember the internal links that we saw on that tool? This is another one of those ways of pass equity within the top navigation. Google actually looks at these links in the nav and footer and place priority over those versus internal links, believe it or not, what’s in the actual content.
When I compare this optimization strategy, this is very well optimized for and, in fact, so well done that they’re beating box.com and several others who I recognize and use. They’re getting first crack at these prospects who are doing searches for secure file sharing because they prioritize SEO. It was a company priority. They map them to the right page. They put themselves in their customers’ shoes. All the things that we’ve learned in this webinar but they’ve taken it one step further too. I’m using that tool again and I’m comparing, again, this case, the deeper secure file sharing page, the page that ranks, versus Accellion and they were smart enough to get a secure file sharing page.
What I like about what the did is they got closer to the root. They didn’t get that flash features in between there and unnecessary parameter in order to have the homepage lift up that deeper page. If you’re redesigning the website, we always advocate flatter architecture, architected websites for those reasons. Again, the total linking root domains. They have [inaudible 00:56:09] and they’re not leaps behind here, right? They have seven URLs linking to their homepage versus their two. Again, there’s a difference between quality and quantity.
Let’s look at some of these seven links that they’ve garnered here. I’m going to click on the anchor text, tap here, secure file sharing. Wouldn’t you know it? Exact match anchor text, and what are they using? You guessed it. PR Newswire. They have some partner links here as well. This isn’t like Head and Shoulders [inaudible 00:56:38] thousands of links behind. These guys, Accellion, made it a company priority. They invested in this. They could, very quickly make some headway on that term secure file sharing just looking at how these guys have done it. Let’s look at a couple of these links that these guys, SmartVault, has gotten. Here’s that PR Newswire.
This is why it’s important to do smart press release links. I know we have a minute left. If you have to leave, again, I’m recording this. Hopefully, you found it helpful but feel free to reach out in the Q&A chat if you’d like for us to do something similar for you. Within the boilerplate, the About Us, see that online documentation, document storage and secure file sharing. Look at the bottom left, that is a very well-done type of link. Why do people do this? PR Newswire is a paid service. They do this because guess what? Other people can pick up this type of link and, sure enough, here’s one website that did that.
Intuitiveaccounting.com, who knows what this website is about but they picked up this press release that they released on PR Newswire and, sure enough, within the boilerplate, the About Us, they left secure file sharing as that link and that then is a vote from this website for SmartVault, for that deeper, well-optimized page secure file sharing. I can go through example after example and, hopefully, some of this is stuck in terms of … There’s a lot in this webinar, I get that, so again we’re going to record this. Hopefully, you find some of these helpful. I won’t keep you anymore. I’m going to go ahead and bring up this … If you’d like for us to go through a similar type of analysis for your website, feel free to reach out in the Q&A chat or reach out to me directly, [email protected]
With that, hopefully, some of these SEO habits of world-class companies was helpful for you and your business to help you get more out of your demand gen efforts. I’d love to help you in your efforts. Feel free to reach out. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll see you on the next webinar two weeks from now. We’ll send out the topic here in the next few days. All right, folks, thank you for your time and I’ll see you on the Q&A chat a little bit after to answer questions if you want to take advantage of the analysis. All right, folks, thank …
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