767: A 4-Part SEO Growth Strategy for Your B2B Blog w/ Dan Shure

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Dan Shure, Co-Owner of Evolving SEO and Host of Experts on the Wire.

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There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweetphish MEDIACOM. You're listening to BEDB growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BEDB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. We are here today with Dan Shore. He is the CO owner of evolving Seo and he's also the host of the really popular podcast experts on the wire. Dan, how you doing today, man, I'm excellent. Thanks for having me. I am really soaked to have you Dan. I've heard your name a ton, I've seen you on twitter, I've heard a lot of people say a lot of really great things about you. So really excited to have you here. Before we get into our topic, we're be talking about an eight twenty seo growth strategy for bb blogs, but before we do that, tell us a little bit about evolving Seo and then also tell us a little about your podcast. Absolutely. So, essentially, I'm an SEO consultant. I hope companies large and small, for example wgbh being a current client, but down to companies that are maybe a small blog or small ecommerce site, essentially help lead them through the SEO challenges and strategy through education, training, you know, research, strategy, competitive research, and helped them brother traffic or a void. Issues like algorithm updates, such as the one that just happened a week ago, was a really big one, by the way, and then the the experts in the wire. My Seo Podcast, we've been on the air about two and a half years. I interview Seo and marketing as experts like rand Fishkin, Noah Kaigan, him a Wilson of coffee blogger, Brian Dean, a back lingo, even John Uler from Google, and that's a lot of fun and what I really try to do with those guests is dig into the the details, to the the stuff that you don't hear them talk about elsewhere, and I think the audience really really likes that. I love it. I love it so so, Dan, I want to dive into this at twenty sceo growth strategy. You've broken it down, as we were talking about offline. You've broken it down into basically a four part process. Before we dive into step one, just give us, give us a little bit of an overview of the eighty twenty seo grow strategy and then we'll dive into step one. Absolutely it's a little bit of a philosophy which I'll touch upon here. So if anyone out there listening is not familiar with at twenty, I definitely recommend getting the book. Eight twenty principle and just getting familiar with the concept of that. That being is that typically eighty twenty percent of the input or activity results in eighty percent of the results. And so that means is, if you can tap into that and understand what are those twenty percent of inputs that are causing eighty percent of the outputs, well you can just work on that twenty percent. So I see a lot of companies working really, really, really hard at the wrong things or at things that maybe aren't wrong, but they're not that twenty percent that's really going to show them. wrote. So I sort of stumbled into this principle in relation to blog content probably three or four years ago when I initially grew the traffic...

...of a blog twenty x for a particular Sass pliant, bb Sass pliant, and so that's kind of the approach Ryes, just figuring out what you can do to grow traffic a little bit more easily. I love it. So so this first the first part of this four part process. Dan, you say that you've got to find your current top posts. Talk to us about what what this looks like. Yeah, what you have to do first is figure out what is your current twenty percent. Whether you've been blogging for five years or five months, if you have ten posts or a thousand posts, you're going to have a handful of post that are driving an outsize amount of your traffic. So it's quite simple. All you need to do is go to your analytics, maybe segment by search traffic and look at your landing pages and the landing pages that are getting the most trafficker probably, you know, there's probably five or ten that are really, really big winners. Identify on average, how much traffic a month are those top winning post driving? And so if you identify that your top poster getting maybe on average a thousand visits a month, that's your twenty percent number right. Like you want to add more content that's going to get a thousand visits or more per article, and that's how you grow that top twenty percent. But that's your first step, is just identifying what articles are the top twenty percent currently at it. So you so you identify, you know, say, a handful of posts that that are bringing in, you know, a thousand visits a month or or whatever the case is. I guess you didn dive into okay, they're all about this you know topic or they're all structured in a certain way, like what are you looking for inside of those posts, so that you can ultimately, you know, design other content to match that. Usually the common thread for why they're getting the most traffic is simply because they target a topic that has high search volume, that you rank for. Okay, and often times with companies that have not invested a lot in SEO or, they don't do seo or, and very calculated way. That happens by happenstance, which is Great. Like I talk to so many companies and you're like, oh my goodness, we have this one post is doing the amazing. That's what they say, you know, in air quotes. Yet they have no idea why it's done amazing. But when you dig in any look, they happen to write about a topic that really nails a particular keyword that they ranked for, and so they're getting all their traffic with that sort of magic, you know, recipe, so to speed. so that's the thread of that's the formula of why they're getting traffic. been from there. Once you identify that, and in the next step we'll talk about maybe aligning with topics, but that's kind of what's driving the traffic. Gotta so before we get to that, you've got another, another step in in this process that you've got to define and your traffic goal. Can you talk to us about that? Yeah, absolutely, so I think you know, let's say you've got those handful of posts that are getting a thousand visits a month and then you want to look at your entire blog traffic and let's say the entirety of the blog is getting twentyzero visits a month. If you want to double your traffic, then that's going to lead you to while, how many posts do I need that each get a thousand visits a month before a double traffic? And doing a simple, you know, math formula here might be more complicated in reality. But if you add twenty posts that get a thousand visits each, when you're traffic, assuming they all rank and, you know, get the clicks, etc. Let's say you write ten posts. They get two thousand visits a month. Well, that's only ten posts that you need to double your traffic. So that's sort of how the math works. Think of how much traffic is one piece of content going to receive? And the slight nuance here is so many people look at Seo, is keyword search volume and you know, they...

...they might look at a keyword like, for example, I've a video on youtube that sort of breaks down the a twenty process and the example I use as a keyword called data planning cycle, and you might look at that keyword and say, oh well, that that keyword has five hundred searches a month. Yet a post around that topic will often rank for thousands of keywords when you throw in on a long tail and the synonyms and the variations, etc. So what you really end up with is a traffic potential versus just looking at the search volume of one keyword. That's interesting. I think I've definitely fallen into that trap of, you know, as we're kind of exploring topics to write about, of just looking at at traffic. Is there? Is there a particular toolers they're like, what has helped your clients see kind of the total potential traffic as opposed to just looking at, you know, search volume? Yeah, the great question and this fits into, you know, Nice segue into the planning process. I'd like to use seem rush and the the best way to it to figure out a traffic estimate is take a topic that you're interested in writing about, and we'll talk about a little keyword research in a moment. But let's say you do land on data planning cycle. You search that keyword in Google and then pull out the top ranked article that's most centric to that topic. So let's say you see a data planning wikipedia page rank that's too broad. That's not going to be usable to get the data. You want to find the article that specifically talks about and ranks fort data planning cycle. So you don't want to pull something in that out that's too broad. Once you identify that, and in some cases there isn't an example, but most cases there are, and once you ID that, bring that over to see m rush and just drop it into the search bar and that should return the URL report. That URL report is going to show their estimate for how much monthly traffic that article is getting. Oh Wow, and yeah, and keep in mind that, you know, make sure your settings are set to us and Google, etc. And then also by default you're going to see just desktop estimates. You can also cook on mobile to get an estimate for Mobile. Oftentimes I just stick to desktop because, especially with be to be, it's very much a desktop world in many cases now. But typically that number you see, let's say I drop a post in there and sem or shows something like eight hundred fifty six visits a month. You can usually safely round that up a little bit. You can in some cases almost even double that number. And that's the actual traffic number, because that's m rush only has like a sample set of data. You know, they're just using like a Cliffi rate curve, you know, to estimate, but that's going to give you the number. And so once you identify topics and you're pulling out post that already exists in putting them in seam rush, that gives you the traffic potential. And then one last little licening on the cake. For all my clients I do this in a twelvemonth time period. So I actually take the monthly number, multiply by twelve and tell them in a twelvemonth time period, once you start ranking, here's your annual potential traffic. And I think that number is way more realistic and relevant to the true ur I've content. Because you know, we all know well and good, it's not just a month or why? Once you post something and you start ranking for it, you're going to be there for usually a year, if not more. Got It. And so once you identify those, those topics that are already ranking on the first page of Google, then it's just a matter of basically like picking apart that content and and making the content that's currently right, like making a version of that content that's better. Or is there is there more to it than that? Yeah, I think there's definitely a lot of nuances. So certainly higher quality piece of content is one one approach to it. oftentimes you'll find that, especially if you're of the luxury of working on a site that has a high authority, already a high domain authority in...

...terms of links, and even just a high topical or Grand Awareness Authority, you can oftentimes create a piece of content that is maybe just different, but you'll potentially rank better because you have a higher authority. So that's always a leverage point or a ranking gap that I look for when when identifying topics. I think it'd be worth while the backup one quick step to just a couple tips for how to identify these topics, because often times, especially as an outside consultant, when I'm stepping into a new comp for example, I was helping a company recently around the topic of Leeds. It's like, I know, I didn't even know what a lean was really until I talk to them, and then after that point, you know, everything is an unknown, unknown to me. So one of the challenges that identifying these topics to start digging into to begin with, and there's two ways to do this that I recommend. One is the mass keyword explorer and then the other one is Buzzumo's question of the analyzer. So what you do is you start with the known topic, let's say lean, and you just you drop that into the Moss Keyword explorer and then you play with the filters a little bit, one being set to based upon broadly related topics, another one based upon search results with similar pages. You basically play around with the filters a little bit, but the tool does really, really well. It spits out related topics to you. So then you'd see like notice of commencement and like all of these other terms that you wouldn't even know to look for, and so that's really amazingly to just kind of gather up all of these broad topics and then, similarly, if you drop a topic into buzz suomost question analyzer. What that tool does is it's scouring millions of QA websites for people that have asked questions around that topic. But what it does is it gives you a nice tag cloud at the top or word cloud that shows you all over the CO occurring terms that that most appear when somebody has asked about a lead, and so that's another really great way to kind of get theologies topics. Yeah, the last thing I mentioned that is don't be afraid to go top of funnel or midfunnel. One big way to make the strategy work for you is to know that you can go for these terms that might not directly relate in it lead to a conversion, but it's going to attract a lot of traffic, a lot of awareness, a lot of that first touch point traffic and it brings value in a in a different way. But oftentimes there's top or midfunnel topics have a lot more opportunity to them. Today's gross story is all about search engine marketing. The company were highlighting is sentinel one. This challenger Cybersecurity brand was set out to disrupt the endpoint protection space. Their brand was top notch, their product was innovative, but they were struggling to gain traction online and an already developed industry. Then they found directive consulting, a Bob Search Marketing Agency. Within the first quarter of working with directive, Sentinel one was able to increase their organic traffic by a hundred and twenty eight percent and overall lead volume by an outstanding two hundred and fifty one percent. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results for you to so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. Yeah, that makes sense. And so you so those two tools, just to reiterate those tools, you said Mas key word explorer was was one and then the other one was buzz sumo's question analyzer. Is that? Is that right? Correct? Yeah, awesome, and I just actually saw Brian Dean's post about buzz sumo, like the definitive guide to buzz sumo, and it was a it was an incredible piece of content that just kind of walked through a lot of different features inside of...

Buzz Sumo that will make it worth your while. So I think if you just google probably back link O, Buzz Sumo, that it would the the article would pull up. But definitely check that out. So so now dance. So we've done we've done the research. We've found, you know, our current twenty percent, those top posts on our site that are driving the most traffic currently. We've established kind of what our traffic goal is moving forward based on on a lot of what you just explain now. We started to determine what topics we are going to create content around to achieve that traffic goal. But now this fourth step of the process, we've actually got to execute and create this stuff. Talk to us about how we go about doing that. Yeah, this is definitely as much art as it is science and as much practice, you know, as it is theory. But some quick tips, right. I mean the first step that I urge all the all my clients writers that I work with this just search google. Start by searching Google for the topic you're going to cover and you can learn a lot by looking at Google search results, especially nowadays, where they're really getting the mapping of user intent very well. Start by looking at what contents currently ranking and literally take the time and click on everyone and and really analyze pick apart, maybe trying to figure out like what about this content is causing google to rank it currently. So that's when then you do second as you can use a plug in like keywords everywhere, and it's a free plug in for chrome. Once you install it, it's going to give you a lot of data in your search results, but one in particular is where they pull out all the related keywords from the page that Google would normally be suggesting to you, but they pull it all out in a box on the right hand side and this just gives you an insight to what are common questions, themes details of this topic that users are looking for when they're searching the broad topic, and so that's really useful as well. And then, finally, you also want to look at what content types is google surfacing. Are they surfacing video, images, a map, e commerce result, shopping results? Because often you're going to want to mix that into your contents. In other words, if they're surfacing youtube videos, put a video and your content. If they're ranking images close to the top, especially about chart or, you know, a graph, put that in your content. So it's really a matter of studying the search result to decipher. What should that even look like to begin with? But then one thing I've been doing my clients is taking a step further and using this insight to develop a rough outline of the content and structure. One thing I find is, you know, ranking for search is way more about the structure of the content versus Oh, should I, you know, stuff these keywords and my header and put them in bold letters and all these like tricks that a lot of people used to do, but really no matter a whole lot anymore. I'll give you a funny example. At least a few months ago, if you were to search protein in eggs in Google, the topic to post ranking were basically here are fifty foods that had more protein than eggs, and so the contents not even about answering the question. It's about intestipating. What is the user really looking for? You know, somebody interested in how much protein are there in eggs? That's probably somebody just trying to increase their protein. So Google's like, no, we got you. We're just going to give you all these other ways that have more protein and eggs with so interested. Fascinating. Yeah, I mean, so protein and eggs wasn't even in the title or in the URL in an optimized way get it. Those articles were ranking. So this is a nuance and that's why I say it's art as much as science. Is really trying to understand what the user wants by just studying search results. But getting back to the structure, I do recommend creating it an outline and you can use these different things like the related searchers, autocomplete, studying the content that's already been created to figure out...

...what is the structure your content and a little more specifically with that is oftentimes I'll see, getting back to the data planning example, oftentimes to somebody searching data planning, they're really looking for a definition or what is data planning or the overview, but a lot of people will mistakenly jump into how to use Dana data planning or why you need it or like these things that are more sort of in the weeds than what the users looking for. And so I would just be mindful of like does the user want to list? Do they want to how to the do they want an opinion? Do they want to comparison all these different different like content formats, and you want to make sure to match the right one to your particular topic. So once the topics obviously have been defined, the structure is has been outlined. Any tips around, you know, beyond that point, the actual creation of the content, what's the structure has been laid out? Yeah, nowadays, and especially with this last Google Update, I can emphasize enough having an expert actually create or at least review the content. I want to point all the listeners to actually something that came out in two thousand and eleven but is so relevant to Google now. It's if you just Google twenty three questions, I meet signal. He was like the former head of search, I think, for Google. He put together a list of questions ask yourself about your content, and one of them is, for example, is this website the primary source of this content? So, in other words, like Google, users are looking for. They don't always want secondhand opinion or secondhand advice. They want like something from an expert and they want something from the primary source, you know, especially in some fields like finances, for example. And so when you're creating the content, I mean that's the top thing that I see so many companies trying to take a shortcut on is just hiring a freelance writer to do a little research and like that can work sometimes, depending up on the competition of what's out there. But there's so much content generally out there now for all the different spaces and industries you really really should have an expert at least create the content and, like I said, have an oversight on the content. So have if you're creating content for, you know, for law or for, like I said, finances, have somebody in those fields at least review the content and then on the content itself, say this has been reviewed by such and such name, you know, doctor or lawyer or whatever it is, to show that credibility and then make sure to link to the author's page with their pretentials as well. That something Google's definitely looking for out of I love it. So anything else on this last step, Dan, before we kind of do a an overview and then and then close it down today. There's a lot of directions I could go and I think that I'll answer. I'll counter a myth that I hear out their lot for the ministers can and the myth being oh the all the content, all content has to be super long and in depth. You know, we mentioned Brian Deane I mean he's known for doing like two thou three thousand word posts etc. That's great for some searches, but again it goes back to user intent. So that's not true, and I mean Google from people from Google have said that there's no absolute length of content or like short concert content can do fine and I've seen this working in reality. I literally had a client. It was for I think the key word was sales, sales team names. All this post is is a list of sales team names, like literally. And I had another client that was health coaching business names and it was just a like a list of like fifty or a hundred name ideas. That was it. There's like a paragraph, a text and just the list of names and that's it. I call this fast food content. Oftentimes, you know you want like a hamburger...

McDonald's right. You don't want an expensive steak, and so a lot of searchers that's what they want. They want the quick answer to solve their problems. So in many cases, if you're giving somebody a long in depth post, that actually might not help them. They might just want the quick answer. So I think you need to be mindful of that. So I think that's something I see a lot of people make a mistake on and it's and it's something I've bought it into as well. I'd thinking like Oh, every post has to be, you know, two thousand words, and then it's twenty five hundred words and it's like Dang, before before I know I'd every post, our rites gonna have to be five thousand words. I might as well just write a write a book about it. So that's really good to know that that length of content. I think that's I hear that a lot in bb marketing circles, that you know, you that content needs to be extraordinarily long to be able to rank. So it's good to know that that's not always the case. But there's there's still a bit of critical thinking, I'm sure, that goes into understanding whether this is fast food content or not. Exactly. Yep, and that's really art of it comes in. And if you're not SRUE, what I say is put the quick and easy stuff at the top and then go into more depth in the bottom or underneath that. All right. So, so to break this down, Dan so, the the first step of this process is to find your current twenty percent. So going in looking at your analytics finding out what what are the current posts that are driving the most traffic? Then you want to you know, transitioning into step to, you want to figure out, okay, what is our traffic goal for content? And so if we can replicate the traffic we're getting from from these three or four posts, or whatever that number is, it's going to get us to this number. We want to get to this number. So how many additional, you know, post do we need to create to be able to get us there? And then, and then you you did a real deep dive on topics that can help you get there. You talked about Mas Keyword explore, you talked about buzz huomost question analyzer. If a lot of resources around that. And then and then the fourth step is actually creating that content. So you mentioned plug in, called keywords everywhere. The article that you mentioned, I think, was twenty three questions by just say a meet signal. Yeah. So so check out those resources. Dan. If there's somebody listening, they want to stay connected with you. Maybe they want to dive in and and ask a deeper question about something that you shared. What's the best way for listeners to stay in contact with you. Twitter is definitely we're most easy to kind of get a hold of. I tend to miss a lot of DMS, but if you have me, I'll usually see that. So That's at Da n underscore Schuur, and then definitely listen to the podcast experts in the wire. You know, if you're looking for in depth advanced Seco meeting, Vance SCO and yeah, I'd say those are the two best places. You can also check out the website of all from seocom. Love it awesome. Damn well, thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic and I really appreciate a mend. Thanks for having me. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations. Would likeminded people will talk business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a B tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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