620: Gaetano DiNardi Explains How to Skyrocket Organic Traffic in 5 Steps

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Gaetano DiNardi, VP Marketing at Sales Hacker.

A relationship with the right referralpartner could be a game changer for any B to be company. So what if you couldreverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice? Start a podcastinvite potential referral partners to be guess on your show and grow yourreferral network faster than ever learn more at sweetfish media dtcom, you're. Listening to the be te begrowth, show a potcast dedicated to help. I bee to be executives achieveexplosive growth, whether you're looking for techniques and strategiesor tools and resources. You've come to the right place, I'm James Carburry andI'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show, welcome back to the BEAUTYBY GRO show.We are here today with Gaitano Denardi, his the VP marketing at sales hacker. Ite know how Yo doing it: Amam Yeah, Oh James, thanks for Havig me, brotherAPPRECI. I am Superstok to chat with you, man, we I I saw in Lincoln theother day. You posted something about how you guys increased the websitetraffic. It sells hacer from thirty six thousand visitors a month which, to meis alr. S is impressive, but over the course. The last year you increased itfrom thirty six thousand a month to ninety nine thousand a month over thecourse of I think eleven months. So you you mentioned that you were puttingtogether a CS Stud on an article on how you did it, and so I read sals. I camein like come on. The show talk to us about what you guys did o almost threeX, your traffic you're web traffic over the last year, and you graciouslyagreed to do it. So so, thank you so much for joining us today, man, I, Ireally am looking forward to this aunt James. Thank you. I've been a fan of beto be growth pie cast for a while. I listen to it all the time and h nowhere I am sitting on it as a guest, so I I definitely appreciate you ossmanthanks so so tell or for the you know. Maybe a handful of listeners thataren't already familiar with sales. Hacker tells a little bit about stallshacker before we we jump into haven'N,...

...you explaine, o what you guys did toget such explosive web traffic growth. Yes, sir, so saletacker is a media company in theBTB TEX sales space and we provide world class thought leadership. Webanrs.We do three major sales conferences a year, the Revenue Summit Conference inCalifornia and San Francisco, that's focused on sales, markerting alignmentand that's happening on March. First. We also do the sales machine conferencein New York City N in the summertime, and then we do a internationalconference in the fall we're doing sales hacker to London for the secondyear in a row this year. So we're really excited about that andaside fromall the conferences and Webbanaurs and thought leadership. We also do onlinecourses, we do sales training and we offer digital partnerships for SASSsales brands that are looking the increase there legeneration theirpipeline generation and thought leadership top of the FUNL awarenessfor their brand and get that visibility that they need to kind of penetrate themarket and achieve their goals. I love it so so, like I mention before youguys, went from thirty six thousand visitors a month to ninety ninethousand visirters a month over the course of twenty seventeen you've gotsome pretty intense goals for for twenty eighteen, but before we get intokind of the nuts and bolts of what you guys did last year, which I think isgoing to be outlandishly valuable for our listeners. There's a couple things that that Iwant listers to understand about the way you guys, as blog, is set up one O.it's a hundred percent user generated so expand on that a little bit for usShsha. So the interesting thing about our blog is that we don't have quote unquote, consent writers,internally, that publish stuff for us, because we want to hit certain topicsor we want to target certain keywords or whatever all the content that yousee on sales. Hacker is coming from the...

...community where practitioner lead, sowe have a mix of quot, unquote influencers. I guess you could you cansay that, but the majority of people who contribute to the SALESHACKOR Blodare the people who are in the trenches the day to day folks who are in Beto,be SAS tech sales and marketing rules at these companies and they contributetheir experiments. Their case studies their learnings from day to dayactivity in B to be sales and marketing and t the challenge. There, obviously,is that we can't say, for example, for themonth of like February, that we want a target, a specific name, because wehave to Alinto the strength of the writers. So I think that in itself islike a really big challenge to overcome, especially for like some traditionalcontent, marketers that are very used to like having a content calendar wherethey plan things out for, like a months and months in advance and stuff. Now wedon't do that, we're more agile or more flexible or more glean, but we havemore diversity. We have more opportunities to serve differentaudiences in different ways, especially the different personas that we targetwith our content. So that's kind of what we. What we meanwhen we say that we're user Generatin- I love it. Okay, n another thing toknow before we get into the nuts and bolts of what you guys did to get thatkind of increase in your traffic. You has did very little manual linkbuilding aside from brand monitoring, and youknow, guest posting for thought. Leadership. Talk to us about your yourthought process behind that yeah. So a lot of s e o service providers and Seostrategists well kind of try to strike this balance of like new contentcreation versus building links, to try to boost the rankings and thereforeincrease the traffic that comes to the existing consent O on any given website.Our approach was this: Since we have...

...such a rich reservoir available to usof all this great knowledge from all these amazing practitioners in thecommunity. Let's just go the high volume approach, but let's maintainquality as well, so we didn't find it a good use of our time to like pickcertain articles that we wanted to build massive amounts of links tothrough you know, various different link building campaign sechniques andwe didn't really set out with our consctent strategy to build Linc,magnet type of concept. All we wanted to do was serve the right intent to theright audience, members and Um. We we just really focused on constant qualityand we were able to attract the natural sort of link acquisition by doing that-and we didn't have to you- know bust our humps. By doing all this manualgrunt work, an Ou regond try to secure links, so we invested our time intocontent creation versus the link building acquisition side of it. Thethird part that Thet I want to touch on before we get into t more tacticalstuff. The the biggest chunk of your new found organic traffic came fromupdating or refreshing old posts, which was super interesting to me. Talk towas a little bit about that and then and then we're going to ump indefinitely the first thing I did when I took over the concept marketing fromsales acker and early two thousand and seventeen aside from customer researchand interviews was. I took a really data, drimen approach, so how I wasgoing to prioritize content opportunities and what I saw was a lotof content that was rinking on peace, two of Google, the bottom of page, onethat wasn't well optimized and was competingfor very difficult terms, but had tons ofpotential, and I knew that all I would have to do is fix those posts withonpage. Optimization Best Practices...

...update the key, we're targeting alittle bit and get some engagement and fresh sort of new traffic to those to those poststhrough through means of social media ads and our email list just to get theengagement up, and that alone was something that wasenough to provide incredible results for us without even really that mucheffort so yeah that that was like a huge sort of like revelation for us assoon as we tried it with a few and saw tha the results very fast. I was prettyclear that that's what we needed to do, and you guys obviously have you know abit of an advantage in the size of your email list. How how big is your emaillist currently yeah right now? We have grown our list to about eighty thousand,and our goal is to double that by this time next year, so ye send ot an emailt to say check out our our new, updated post to eighty thousand folkscivilgoingto help so so Gaitano we've got five things that we're going totalk about, and these five things or or core things that helped. You guysincrease website traffic from thirty six thousand a month to ninety ninethousand a month. The first piece of this that we're going to talk aboutyou're, actually you're, putting together a more more comprehensive guide that so so, ifyou're not already following Gatano on on linkten or you know, subscribe tothe Sales Hackers emaiist make sure the do that. So you can get this entireguide when it comes out. But this first piece hat we're going to talk about inthis interview is customer research doctors about what you what you didhere, as you were trying to focus on okay? How if we have these augaciousgrowth goals, firm or website traffic? What do we need to do from a customerresearch standpoint yeah? So like the first thing I kind ofthought of was I have a blank slate here. You knowthere was really no consent pipeline in the works already when I took it over.It was just like okay figure out what to do and I could have started by doingyou know any million different things,...

...but I knew in my heart, based on myexperience and based on like what I know works best for be to be audiences,that you're only going to get the engagementyou need. If you find out what kind of pains your audience has and you figureout how to answer and resolve those pains through really good qualitycontent. So Um, I basically did interviews hour long interviews withrandom members of our emailist and I put together just questionnaires and try to figure out like okay, if you'rea V P of sales. What are you struggling with if you're an account executive?What are you struggling with if you're a CEO at a midmarket company, that'strying to move up up market? What are you struggling with, and based on that,I was able to figure out, like all these different pains and the consantideas started, just like you know, flowing like like a river after that,and I think, even more importantly, I figured out what people didn't likeabout the content and I was able to put a stop to that, and that was a huge winin itself. So that's kindof how it all started. I love it. So you started withyour customer customer research and then, from from there you guys did n anSceo Site Audit. What what all went into that audit? Oh Man, I think one of the the biggest sort ofeye opening finds from the SEOCIAD. It was that the home page was in desperateneed of a redesign. We use some some tools that are able to help us basically decipher. Why wouldn't anaudience continue clicking through from the home page to it's a deeper pageinto the site? Why would they bounce? What are they confused about? What arethey having a hard time finding and the problem with with the previous homepages, that sales hacker was trying to...

...put together a picture of all thethings they did and Kindof just like cram it together in a way that was alittle bit convoluted and it wasn't clear what theunique value proposition was, and we figured this out by using soolls likehot jar you can see where users are are moving around a lot with their mouthsand they're trying to figure out like where to click but they're not actuallyclicking on stuff. You can also see like where the clicks are going withthe heat mapping technology that they provide and there's another great toolcalled what users do where you can set up scenarios and have like random userstest the home page or whatever page. You want, on your sight, to extractlike findings from doing that, so the seouncovered that the homepage needed aredesign that the site architecture in general needed to be fixed because thesite navigation was very, very confusing and there was a lot of likethings that just didn't belong in certain subfolders and stuff, and wehad to clean all that up. We did this process where we aligned the targetkeywards that we wanted to go after to the key pages that we wanted to rankfor it, and we found a lot of disconnection there so that aided ourconstant strategy as well, and then I think, like Kindof, the final thingthat it helped us just figure out was like. There was a lot of low hangingfruit opportunities that we could capitalize on early by justprioritizing the things that were going to have big impact with low effort andthat's kind of where it all started right there with the audit. Okay. Sothat's that's super helpful, this third piece that we're going to talk about.We alluded to it earlier in the interview, but it was it's thechallenges of Seo. While running a user generated blog now I asked you offline,I said hey if you were a vendor, if you were a Betoby Tech Company, would youadvocate, for you doing doing a user generated blogas opposed to having internal folks...

...write it and- and you said Y, you thinkyou would, but there are clearly some challenges there. So talk to us aboutwhat you guys found fo for the folks listening that are maybe thinking aboutdoing a user Torite, a blog yeah. So I think I think the number one challengeof running a usergenerator blog is: you have to give people a reason to Wanta likecontribute to your sight like what's in it for them, you know, and I think howMax got this started early with sales actor. was he m built the business offof doing local meetups and there was a genuine sort of hype and excitementaround these local meetups, because there was nothing out there like it atthe time, so the hype and excitement around the local meetups was easilytranslatable into online consent for the website Um. So I think, that's likethe number one challenge like what, if you're like a SASS vendor and you're, abrand new SASS that just came out and your start up and no one knows aboutyou. What are you going to do to get to convince people that, like they shouldinvest time and create ind content for your site, which not that many peopleknow about? So I think that's like the top challenge and h the second biggestchallenge with it. You know considering that, let's just say you do have like agreat audience bill or somewhat of an audience built, and you feel that youhave relationships in your industry and you can get influential people to writefor you then t the next biggest thing you have to kind of deal with is likecoaching, the writers and and the the contributors through the consent,production process itwas a very difficult thing to overcome, because alot of salesriders have a tendency to just kind of give you a brain, dumpy,style, stuff and like to really have SEO success. It's ideal. You would haveSEO baked intellect the strategy and the planning of the content, but what Ihave to do at sales acker momore often than not, is take something thatsomebody gives me and then rework it to where it's more sceo friendly than itwould have been before, and I think...

...those just alone right. There are likesome really big challenges with getting Seo Success when you're running a usergenerated block this. This fourth piece that we're going to talk about Gatanois on page optimization, talk us about what you guys did from this standpoint,where Al you know kind of in this section, we'll also talk about long,tell key words that featured snip it so I'll. Let you I'll let you kind ofelaborate on thet, basically like one of the biggest problems. I I noticed,as I was like auditing sales acter's older content was the fact that a lotof writers tried to get really fancy with like mysterious sort of headlines and whatyou W, what you find a lot when writers try to do this, is they don'taccurately describe what the consent is about and it doesn't it just doesn'twork it flaps like with Seo what works best is being concise and clearlydescribing and telling the user what they will learn why they should tune in?What's the point and like just cut to the meat and potatoes like like bigfluffy introduction, paragraph stuff with all these therle radical thingslike it, just doesn't really work well with SEO. If you look at a hub, spot'scontent, all the stuff that they're like crushing in they're ranking numberone for they get right to the point, there's maybe a two sentence: Intro andthen you'll see like a head or two tag, and then they get right to the meatandpotatoes. You know don't make people dig for for the gold. You know what I'msaying like just lay it out there for them and and make it easyeasilyscannable and get right to the point so like in terms of Onpaye, optimization,just structuring the flow of information in a way that people canvery quickly scan, pick out and and consume was like the biggest thingabove all, believe it or not. Do you...

...have any kind of standard? As far asthe length of content, I hear some people saying you gotto do two thousandplus words and then and then I look up and it's like o go to four thousandplus words. Is there any kind of standard that you guys hold yourwriters to from a Word Count Perspective? No, and I will tell youI'll, tell you why. So let me just step back N and Kindo, preface it withsaying that generally longer formed content tendsto rank better than shorter form content. But correlation is not alwayscausation. The famous LTL line there in the S L world, but it is the case thatlonger formed content just tends to be more comprehensive. It tends to be morethorough. It answers all the different questions that a searcher might have ona given query on a given topic so like for a really long, taile keyword.That's not that difficult to rank for and has low search volume. You may beable to comprehensively answer that Queeri with a five hundred wordblockpost, and it could be the best thing out there, because you said yousaid what you needed to say in a very concise manner, and you gave the userthe answer to what they wanted and they were happy with it and they didn't hitthe back button and the browser and go somewhere else. They were done bom,then. In other cases you gotto go deep K. Ow, you got to drop a twenty fivehundred word bomb. You know if you want to rank for some of these really beefyhead term keywords that are like extremely difficult to rank for andhave m high competition, because, like I'll give you a good example, one thatwe were recently experimenting with was the keyword of sales operations. Wewanted to rank on page one for that. We were not ranking it off for it, but webuilt like a three thousand word long form guide that broke down salesoperations in a number of different perspectives and another trick. Westarted doing recently that really helps us with our with our userengagement and rankings is by adding...

...jump links within post. So if you havelike a three thousand word Bom, the last thing you want to do is make ithard for people to find the certain sections within that guy that they want.So we we usually put somewhere towards the middle or the beginning of the post,a table of content, so that a user can click on a specific section and jumpright to that, and that helps a lot with the user engagement and thereforeit will help you with s e o, if, if users are happier with your sites,content and the A as far as featured snipp its, what do? What do you meanwhen you say that right? So this is like the big new buzz thing in Seo, butit actually is making a a very big impact in a number of ways. So numberone: Let me just kind of explain what a futured snip it is for people thatdon't know if you search for something in Google, and you see that littleanswer box at the very very top, and it has like maybe a two to three sentence:explanation of what it is you're searching for with like a littlepicture next to it, sometimes to graph. Sometimes it's like you know, just theimage of the blog itself. It depends on what type of queer you're searching forlike if you search for best salesbooks, for example, you'll see the carocellmark up and you'll see like all these sales books, but in that sort of carselform at that, Google will put together for you in their structure data markup,but for other queries like, for example, bessal's tools, that's another one thatwe we captured, the featured snip efore you'll, see that it has like a bullet,pointed breakdown of, like all the different categories of sales tools,because for that article, what we do was we, we structured and broke downthe tools based on the category, a function that that tool does so, inshort, the feature snip. It is that little ancwer box at the top of theresults page that is meant to give the searcher a very, very quick answerwithout forcing them to click into any. Given article from the search page,I've always wondered how that how that...

...works? I jus, I just got im best sallstools an google and I see yeah I've. I've been seeing Thas an'm, like Oh man.That would be awesome to beyeaht pull that off. SO THAT'S INCREDIBLE! So sothis is this last piece that we're going to talk about is something I amvery interested. I know listeners are going to be really interested in it.It's content, promotion and distribution techniques. So you put allthis effort into you're wrangling these these writers editing it into into a digestibleformat, one that that people are going to want to engage with now. How do we go about distributing it?Obviously, you guys have a massive email list, but I'd love for you togive us some other. You know some some other ideas and other things that youguys have done from from a distribution standpoint, sure so um right off tojump right off the bat you're going to have a major advantage on your consantpromon distribution. If you have a user generated blog because these people whocontribute with you, I guess what the first thing they're going to go do isas soon as y they're done contributing for you they're going to go share, notheir social networks. If they're a contributor from like a SASS companythat has a big email list, they're going to hit their list Um so right offthe bat you kind of get that double that dual double amplification effect:Ret Awak. So that's the first thine. The the second thing that we've beendoing H- that's been really helpful, for us is just crushing it withfacebook guids I got. I got to give a quick shot out to my man, a JackKoaoski. He is our paid media specialist and he runs off our paidmedia and he does a phenomenal job with setting up the copy targeting the rightaudiences balancing spend really getting thus the biggest bang for ourbuck on the cosper click model. But if you my advice to anybody that wanted toreally boost the impact of their...

...content with any paid media channel, itwould definitely be face Bo ads. I think I'l just get the best targetingand the Best Bank for your buck there. So we've been leveraging that and thenI think, like there there's a lot of other things that we do as well like we,we have like a network of people that will help us share stuff. We have thisinfluenceer sort of gaggle amp product thing. So let me just explain what thegaggle amp is: it's this tool, where there 's like a community of influencesthat will all share something as as soon as you trugger that content to beplaced within the Gaggle amp tool. So we we utilize that. But I think thenewest thing that we've been doing that been having a huge impact for us. Isthat H, that sort of viral newsfeedy post strategy on linked in where youput a little story about the block post, you give away a little teaser of it,and then you put the link in the first connet and you draw up a lot ofengagement and discussion and people end up clicking through tyour articlefrom that Max and I Alin on he r strategy for doing that and also Jack who also aligne with us. So likewe really want to push something super hard and super heavy, like the three ofus will aline and come up with like a little bit of an angle that we can takefrom that blockpost and put a story out on it on our length, infeeds and dropthe link in the first comment, and then, if all three of us do that at the sametime increase this little many sort of like thunderbult effect, and it gets alot attraction and engagement from doing guys. Do you guys do the samesame post or do you alter it for for each of your profiles or just write thesame kind of thirteen hundred character, post and then all three of you used thesame one yeah so m? We don't do that for the same post at the same time,like usually Max like we do this on like Wednesdays or Thursdays, becauseour our publishing schedules is like heavy in the beginning of the week andlight towards the end so like usually by Wednesday or Thursday, we'll say allright Max. You promote this Oenmot, this Jack. You do something on this andwe all kind of do it on the same day and it creates this little bloom effect,but it's all different, usually it's...

...very rare that we'll promote the samething at the same time. 'cause. We don't want to seem cheesy too, like ifwe're all you know promoting the same thing and it's kind of like al. I I Iget it these guys are trying really hard. So it's good to give a little bitof diversity too. 'cause, like Max's connections, are more executives. Sorof be to be in sales. Mine is, is more of a mix of sales and marketingpractitioners. A lot of Seo and inbound marketing enthusiastm then Jack is justhis network. has more social sellers, millennial sellers, a lot of businessdevelopment sales development? So I think between the three of us. We getgood sort of well rounded audience exposure. By doing that, you alsomentioned something Gatoo, that's interesting! You talked aboutleveraging ti like founders, who have reallypowerful personal branding. Can you talk to us about that? Yeah, yeah, so m.We get away with doing a lot of stuff because of Max so like we can hit upquotable on sales fors they get massive traffic and engagement. We Cou be likehey, you know, can Max do a guest post, unquotable and they're like yeah doneMaxhas connections with like entrepreneur and ink. You know he cando a guest post there for thought leadership at any time that he wantsand the list kind of just goes on and on and on. We have. You know,connections with Hubspot and all these huge authority sites that we can easilygo to any time. We want and basically do a guest post. We just did like awhole bunch of stuff with intercom a drift. The list Kindof just goes on andon and we're we're really fortunate that we have Max Somebody who haspublished a book that was a really popular and impactful contribution tothe sales world and based on that, we were able to unlock a lot of doors forPR and thought leadership. So I'm glad that you mentioned that Gatano, becausethe I mean the power of focusing on your personal brand. It's so necessary,like I was, I was just parking. I had...

...another interview earlier today. I wastalking to the CEO of of a company, and he mentioned you know, hey you, Kno doyou know such and such and- and I said Oh yeah, I know we've had him on theshow a couple of times heas an he. He actually used to work for me and hessince gone on, and you know to do his own thing and he's really invested alot of time in building his personal brand over the last fifteen twentyyears, and he was like I I y. u know focused on other things, and so here Iam, you know now in twenty eighteen and he really wants to make it a focus tofocus on this personal brand this year, but he's looking back on it. Seeing youknow, someone that who, who is working for him is appear in the industry whosebested in their personal brand and is now reaping the benefits, because it'sit's not this. You Know Max didn't wake up one day when he was twenty four ndand become a thought leader like he's invested in that for the long hall, butnow he's reaping the benefits of it and he's still incredibly young, and so Ithink for the folks listening to this, maybe you're not quite a an executive,yet you're you're serving under a VPF marketing or RSMO start building. Yourpersonal brand now start putting out home content. Even if it's you know notfour or five days a week, get started start doing that because tha I I lovetha. The connections that you guys now have I mean who can say like Oh yeah, Ican go to Antrprenour or hub spot or corrible from any time I want and and get a guestpost. You just can't bed that, apart from personal brand right yeah, I meanJames. You know that Ma'an Even Yourself, you know, like you, have oversix hundred episodes. Now I think, on on podcast, like thatthat, takes like tremendoustremendous discipline, consistency and ou know just focus man like there's amillion things you could be doing with your life, but you've committed tosomething and you do it and you don't...

...miss a beat and like that's what ittakes to get great results. It's just like, like we were mentioning likebefore, like the precall we were talking about. The aggregation ofmarginal gains like Seo is like built on that there's no growth. H Like I, Ireally hate the word growth hack, but like it's it's buzzing still and Um. Itgives a lot of fals sense of perception when it comes to Seo, there's really noway to growth hack. You know three X in your traffic in a year, there's no wayto growth hack, doubling your email list, unless you pay for low quality,lleads, of course, but like you're not going to get any value by doing that,you're just going to pay for TURNC. So like yeah, it's just it's as simple. Asthat you know, starting now with building your personal brand and thelonger you wait. The longer it's going to hurt, so don't wait anymore, do now.This has been phenomenal man, so t so the five, the five things that wetalked about, specifically that that allowed you guys to just about tripleyour your web traffic customer research. You did your Seo, cite audit thechallenges of Seo while running user, a user generated blog and how youovercame those talked about on page optimization, long, teekeywords, an wetalked about distribution and promotion and how you can go about promoting thecontent that you've spent so much time investing an creating. This is going tobe a phenomenal resource Goteno. I really appreciate your time today. Ifsomebody wants to stay connected with you, they want to learn more aboutsales hacker. What's the best way for them to go about doing that. Oh Yeah!Definitely so! Um Yeah! If you want to hit me up directly, you just hit me upon Lincton, just search me, Gatano, Denardi, you'll find me. You could alsogo to my website. If you curse to learn a little bit more about what I dobehind sales hacker, you can check me out there. I also publish SCO, thoughtleadership post on my website, official Gatano Dotcom and if you just want tolearn more about sales hacker, what we do just hit up sales hacker dotcom andyou can find us there. Aso G Tink, you...

...so much for time today. This has beenagain incredible, so I'm really really excited to get this one Li yeahthanksjames. I appreciate you to ensure that you never miss anepisode of the be to b gross show subscribe to the show in Itunes Wer,your favorite pod cast player this garantees that every episode will getdelivered directly to your device. If you'd like to connect with be to beexecutives from all over the world make sure to join our private facebookcommunity. There are some incredible conversations happening inside thisgroup to join visit. Bta B growth show tcom, slash FB. Thank you so much forlistening until next time.

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