“Most of our content wasn’t really helping us reach the goals we wanted to achieve. We analyzed 70 pieces of content over the span of two years and discovered that only about 16% of those articles were responsible for generating 84% of our leads. Not great.”
“Organic search presented the best long-term opportunity for growth. Our sales from organic search traffic were three times higher than the previous year, and we weren’t even applying an SEO strategy. “
We developed pillar pages. Pillar pages are pages on your site that serve as a content hub for a particular topic (or keyword) that you want your company to rank for in search engines. Instead of churning out a ton of content, we opted for quality over quantity.
We optimized our existing on-site content. We identified other pages on our site that contained content that was similar to or overlapped with our pillar pages and redirected them to the relevant pillar page so that they didn’t compete with one another for rankings. Also, we took a hard look at our other pieces of blog content to determine whether we should update them.
The SEO Experiment That Improved Influence & Co.’s Rankings
To see your content rank higher in search engines, try taking a page out of our book by performing this SEO experiment.
A simple goal setting system and to keep track of your progress is to use the ‘Objective and Key Results’ [OKR] methodology. It describes the brands ’what we think is important and why this is important’ plus the ‘how do we get there’ meanwhile smashing departmental silos.
This quite blew my mind when reading the book. N=1, I never heard about this before and this feels like the best-kept secret of tracking progress. From my own experience implemented in two major projects for the Olympics and this book, it works like magic to keep track and be accountable.
I like it because of its simplicity, transparency, openness and no-nonsense approach. It gives a tangible measurable direction with accountability and clarity. As all is written down, openly communicated and available for all employees in the company, everyone knows what everyone else is doing and can help each other.
The TED Talk | Measure What Matters
John shares his take on what makes the difference between success and failure. Telling stories of ambitious leaders and teams, John’s keen observations and insights bring light to an oft overlooked aspect of dreaming big.
“But where is the hygiene-content? The factual stuff. The basics. The answers to the questions consumers truly have? That information is often hidden on hideous service pages or user-unfriendly PDF-esque manuals. Why?”
“Finding the answer to that question isn’t that hard. See; traditionally marketers aren’t used to answering exact consumer questions. That was always a customer service thing. And Mister Customer Service doesn’t tend to have the same deep pockets Mister Marketing has. And so consumers are condemned to cheap ugly ass product descriptions and coma-inducing FAQ-pages.”
“Pity. Because answering existing questions in a consumer-friendly manner pushes basically every single KPI-button a marketer could aim for. The Samsung-campaign Android & You, a campaign launched three years (!!!) ago in the Netherlands, proved to increase NPS-scores, purchase intent ánd brand consideration. Just by offering answers to existing consumer questions. Transforming customer service into a branding tool. And decreasing the number of incoming service calls at the same time. Win-win.”
“So, how do you start? Simple. Just find out which questions your target audience has. Tinker with the Google-machine, ask your customer service department, look at user behavior on your website. Construct and test the perfect answers. In video. In written form. Whatever works best. And publish. This approach will work. Whether you sell phones, send packagesor fly blue airplanes.”
“And before the Byron Sharp brigade starts off a collective rant in the comments; I’m not claiming awareness-fueling hero-content is obsolete. But there’s something valuable lying on the bottom of the pyramid. Let’s not forget that. Because sometimes satisfying your customer is as easy as just answering a question.”