JULY 25, 2018 BY PRAVEEN SHRIVASTAVA

Best Practices in SEM for Content from Nick Jordan, CMO Logic Inbound

Nick Jordan, CMO and SEM Logic Inbound

JULY 25, 2018 BY PRAVEEN SHRIVASTAVA

Best Practices in SEM for Content from Nick Jordan, CMO Logic Inbound

Nick Jordan, CMO and SEM Logic Inbound

Nick is the CMO of Logic Inbound, a Seattle based Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agency. Logic Inbound has been in existence for a few years and boasts of 40+ clients.

Qwardo CEO, Srinivas Penumaka had an incredibly insightful chat with Nick and came away impressed with how Logic Inbound has had a stellar track record in getting high quality leads for themselves with their SEM skills.

Here are 9 takeaways that we hope will help you garner top search results for your content and increase the ROI of your investments.

1. SEM extends the shelf life of content

Content once created is usually promoted on social media and through newsletters, with low consumption rates. Thereafter, the content is relegated to the resources section.

However, if content is optimized for consumers on the basis of their search patterns, you will continue to get revenue generating traffic weeks, months and even years after its creation.

2. Align content with search queries

The first step in this process is to use an SEO analysis tool to conduct keyword research to figure out all the ways that people search for products and services relevant to client and competitor sites.

Nick suggests looking for not just bottom of the funnel keywords but also expanding the search to top of the funnel, where it is less competitive with a much higher search volume.

“An example of that is there are 3.7 million ways that people are searching Google for tea or coffee. I want to target tea drinkers and coffee drinkers at the middle and the top of the funnel, so I’m going to filter by informational queries that I think people are making.

These are things like how, what, why, verse reviews, right? Every month, 36,000 people are searching for how much caffeine in coffee. Probably 36,000 of those people are coffee drinkers. And when you start adding up the search volume of all these opportunities, it’s possible to create hundreds of thousands of visitors a month at the top and the middle of the funnel.”

2. What drives search rankings?

Nick says that at Logic Inbound they found that only two or three of their SEO activities were driving 90% of the search traffic and results. Hence they align their SEM efforts for themselves and their clients on these key activities, once identified.

The two most important criteria for search rankings are relevance and content. It is possible to beat larger brands with better content, with a lesser focus on backlinks and the like.

“Google’s goals are to show the most relevant highest quality Search results for any given Search. And if you could align your website with those two goals, Google is going to rank you all that, right?

Because as soon as Google stops providing the highest quality, most relevant Search results, they leave an opportunity for some other Search marketing company to come in and eat their lunch. And Google generates, I think, over 100 billion dollars a year in AdWords revenue. Their revenue is directly dependent on being able to deliver the highest quality most relevant Search results.”

For improving relevance, Nick suggests being as specific as possible to search queries you want to rank for. Google looks for four or five signals for relevance, including the URL, meta title, meta description, H1 (title of the article), H2 (subtitles).

You can also rank higher by creating questions and answers on Quora, which is a very strong domain for search rankings.

For content quality, Google also looks for certain signals such as the length of the content (indicating higher user engagement), and well structured data (bullets, videos, images, bold formatting, tables etc).

4. Google ranks web pages and not websites

The strength of the domain name and the actual content on a web page are equally important for Google to rank a page. What’s most important however is again the relevance of the content on a page with the user’s search queries. Hence it is possible for a lower ranked domain name to out rank a larger domain by publishing higher quality content for a given search query.

“Which is great because we don’t have the resources of Instagram and Shopify and neither do … Typically, our clients don’t either, and so we needed to figure out a technique and tactic that would allow us to beat stronger sites without our clients investing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into their campaigns.”

5. How long does it take for a new brand to ace search rankings?

Even with a thorough focus on the best practices Nick spoke of with regards to relevance and quality, search rankings do take time.

For the fastest results, you can opt for Adwords, however with ads, you are not creating a long term revenue generating content asset. As soon as you stop the ads, your rankings go away, and so do your traffic.

Any search engine marketing campaign needs to have a 9-12 month timeframe to see real results. And that is also the time that you need to give a search engine marketing vendor you hire.

6. Choosing a search marketing vendor

Nick suggests that you evaluate a search marketing vendor by checking whether they have been able to make search marketing work for themselves in generating revenue. Investing a year with a vendor to get results is a long time, hence its vital to do one’s homework before partnering with a vendor.

7. What does a search marketing campaign with a vendor look like?

Here are the steps Nick suggests in executing such a campaign:

  • Opportunity analysis: Ensure that the ROI is 10x that of the campaign spend. Ask your Search marketing vendor to deliver analysis on all the opportunities available to drive qualified traffic at the bottom, the middle, and the top of the funnel.
  • Identify opportunities: Those that can deliver reasonable results to your topline revenue growth, and continue the discussion with the vendor.
  • Competition: Identify who is currently ranking for the selected opportunities, and analyze what needs to be done to beat them, aka, an executable game plan.
  • Identify content: Create a lot of content for all the search opportunities identified across the funnel. These will consume the major part of the investment for the initial part of your campaign, which will be aimed at generating revenue far into the future.
  • Backlinks: Build a couple of backlinks for each content, but not too many.

8. Measuring Success

In the first couple of months, a vendor will be setting up on-page optimization for the content created, without delivering search rankings or significant traffic.

Over the next couple of months, the vendor should start delivering consistent increases in rankings across the opportunities being targeted, eventually reaching the first page of search results.

From this point on, the focus should shift to measuring increase in qualified traffic and converting them to revenue generating leads or product sales.

9. Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do your research: Before spending a lot of money on creating content, spend some time figuring out what your target audiences are searching for and align your content accordingly. This will drive a lot of qualified traffic to your content in the future.
  • Focus on the quality and relevance of content more than anything else.
  • Select an SEM vendor with a proven track record of having made search work for themselves and de-risk your investment with them.

 

Praveen Shrivastava
Praveen is a demandgen marketer, with a decade in the enterprise tech industry. Passionate about digital marketing in driving business goals and is never satisfied with status quo. Praveen takes care of marketing at Qwardo.

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