Are you guilty of just publishing and hoping and moving on?
If so, listen to a man whose daily driver is a DeLorean. His agency specializes in helping software companies promote their content to get high-quality publishers to link to it, increase traffic and signups, and win at the SEO game. A warm welcome to the In Search SEO podcast, the founder and CEO of Growth Gorilla, Alan Silvestri.
In this episode, Alan shares 3 steps to promote your content more effectively, including:
- Figure out which pages to promote
- Know what promotion channels to choose for each page
- Implement a content promotion system
3 Steps to Promote Your Content More Effectively
Alan: Hey, David, it’s great to be here. I love the intro. Thank you for that.
D: Thank you very much. Hopefully, the rest of the discussion pleases you just as much for sure. You can find Alan over at mygrowthgorilla.com. Interesting brand name, Alan. How did you come up with that?
A: Actually, I don’t know. There’s no particular reason. I think I was just looking for something that sounded well with growth and looked nice because I had this logo in mind with the gorilla, synth wave, and cyberpunk, which is something that I’m really into. So I guess the gorilla fits well in there and that’s how I came up with it.
D: Well today you’re sharing three steps to promote your content more effectively. Starting with number one, figure out which pages to promote.
1. Figure which pages to promote
A: Yeah, this is step one. As you mentioned in the intro, there are a lot of companies and people that are guilty of just publishing a ton of content and just letting the content sit there on the website to do nothing for their business. There is an article that Ahrefs talks about how 91% of the content that is published gets no traffic whatsoever from Google. And there are three main reasons for that. The number one reason that correlates to this is that those pages don’t have any backlinks. So the fact that those pages don’t have backlinks makes me think that people are not being very proactive in the way that they promote the content and get it out there to the right people. This is why it’s really important, especially now in 2023, for people to think more about the promotion as well, and not just about the creation. The ratio there should be 40-60. Spend less time on the creation and create higher quality content, and then focus the rest of the effort and investment to get the content out there in front of the right people.
Step number one is to figure out which pages you need to promote. To do that, I seriously think that any business should be able to identify its business goals for what they are. Essentially, switch pages on your website which are most likely to bring some kind of value to your business. And what does value mean for your business? Because there are a lot of goals and different business things that you might get from your content. So you really need to be clear on what they are. For example, you might get brand awareness, lead generation, customer engagements, or benefits for sales enablement. So you need to be clear on what you want to get out of your content before you can even identify the pages that are worth promoting. Once you know that, then the first step is to do an analysis, which is like a content audit. So have a look at all the pages that you have already published, then what we typically do is a quick analysis which we call the content distribution buckets. We want to have a visual look, typically, we have a chart that shows this pretty well, to show us how many pages are ranking in Google in the top three, in four to ten, 11 to 15, then everything else. We call that the content review, content that’s just sitting there and not doing anything for the business.
Once you know the percentage of each of these buckets, then you know which one you should be focusing on. The best thing to do in the beginning is to try to push the pages that are ranking on page two and page Three directly to page one. Because if they are already ranking quite well, it means that Google likes the page so maybe with just a couple of extra backlinks and some kind of extra visibility promotion, you might be able to get them to shoot all the way to page one.
D: Are you saying that for the pages that are ranking on page two and page three, the content will probably be alright already, and you can assume that because it’s ranking on page two and three? So all you have to do is focus on the links, you don’t even have to do any kind of content analysis?
A: That’s not necessarily true all the time. But the fact that it’s already ranking is a pretty good indication. That said, we do still want to make sure that the page is matching, particularly the search intent that’s behind the keyword. Sometimes you can rank with a slightly wrong search intent on page two, but to get into page one, you really need to nail that down.
So you still want to make sure that the page is matching the search intent behind the keyword, but also the content type. So if the top 10 results are all blog articles, you might want to try to do a blog article instead of a landing page, a case study, or things like that. You want to try and mimic what is already ranking, try to do it better, and maybe with a different angle to try and stand out. Those are the two things that you should be paying attention to from a non-page standpoint, search intent, content type, but also content quality. We typically do a quick SEO audit with tools like Surfer SEO to make sure that the page has all of the correct optimizations, from an on-page standpoint, the keywords, but also internal linking, and things like that. So once you have all of these covered, then you know that you can focus specifically on the backlinks.
D: Let’s move on to step number two, which is to know what kind of promotion channels/type to choose for each page.
2. Know what promotion channels to choose for each page
A: Once you have this list of all of the pages that are doing well, then they maybe could just use a couple of extra backlinks, some extra distribution. Then what we typically do is research the audience. Let’s say you have ten blog articles, five landing pages, and three case studies. For each different page type, we want to know for your industry, what types of channels are working best for the different types of content. Then what we do is we have a look at the competition, what they’re doing, what kind of response they’re getting for the blog articles, what kind of communities they’re going to share the case studies, and things like that.
Once we have all that data, then we know which channels we should maybe be prioritizing for the different content types. For example, if you want to get brand awareness, maybe social media is better for that. Or you could do influencer marketing, content syndication, or video marketing. On the other hand, maybe instead of looking for lead generation, you should look more into things like email marketing, paid search, paid social ads, or more outreach link building. Something that we do is we specialize in trying to push the pages that are ranking well with some high-quality backlinks all the way to page one. But the thing that is also very important to keep in mind when you do that is you only want to promote the pages that have some business potential as I mentioned before.
D: You said high-quality backlinks a few times so what is your definition of what a high-quality backlink looks like nowadays?
A: For us, it’s all about relevancy, but also traffic. You want links from websites that are relevant but also have traffic. But you also want to think centrally on the page level and not only on the domain level. You want links from pages that are relevant, that are ranking, but also bringing in traffic. Those two things can give you the SEO boost that you’re looking for. But it can also bring in referral traffic, which is also good to make sales. For the SaaS clients that we work with, these typically look like list articles like top 10 tools for this or top 10 tools for that. If we can get a client placed in one of these articles that ranks on page one, that maybe could bring in some referral traffic as well as the SEO benefit for the link.
D: And step number three is to implement a content promotion process and system.
3. Implement a content promotion system
A: Once you have the shortlist, you know the pages that you want to promote and the channels that you need to use to promote these pages, which can be link outreach, but it can also be content distribution or content repurposing, turning blogs into videos, and things like that. Once you know all of that it’s just a matter of first identifying the KPIs. Once you have the business goals, and you have the content that’s attached to those business goals, the number one thing that you need to do is establish how you’re going to measure that success. You want to know the type of metrics that you will be using to measure success.
Once you found those, then you need to optimize the content for the specific channel and for the specific distribution method that you will be using. If you’re doing link building, as I said, you want to make sure that the search intent, content type, and content quality are okay, so that the links are going to be more effective. If you’re doing content repurposing, you want to make sure that all the right things to get a block from a video are done. The same thing for podcasts, you want to make sure that you have all of the podcast directories to distribute your content on. You can do influencer marketing to spread the podcast out to more people, and so on.
The other thing is, once you have established the KPI and you know that your content is well optimized for the promotion, then the next step is to develop a simple content calendar. Developing a content promotion calendar gives you the peace of mind of knowing that all of your efforts will be spread out over the month or quarter. Once you have a content asset that’s been created and repurposed into different mediums, then you can schedule that out for the whole month. And then you can focus on creating the next piece.
D: I think many brands are getting better at creating long-form content. They could be based upon webinars, live stream discussions, or long-form videos on YouTube. What are they not doing well when breaking that piece of content down? How should a long form piece of content like that be best broken down in order to maximize its impact?
A: That’s a very good question. The main thing to think about is those snippets that are mentionable. These could be things like facts, statistics, or things that you can use to reach a specific audience. Try to remove all the fluff and just focus on the main things that are valuable for your target audience. The other thing is to study your niche and your industry to know which distribution channel works best because it doesn’t make sense for you to repurpose a podcast into a video unless you know that your audience consumes videos. Maybe it’s better in that case to do an infographic. You really need to nail down the specific audience, the places, the websites, and the communities they are using to consume the content, and then adapt those snippets of content to those places.
D: Great advice there. It’s easy to produce content that you like to produce yourself but if it’s not something that is relevant to your target market or the style of content they like to consume, then you’re perhaps not serving them or taking advantage of that opportunity. What I’m also a fan of is using a service like alsoasked.com and defining longtail keyword phrases and common longtail questions, trying to incorporate those types of questions into a podcast or into a webinar, taking that specific snippet, and maybe transcribing the answer to that. Or publishing on social media and trying to rank for those longtail terms on a pre-meditated basis incorporating the answers into that long-form content.
A: That’s definitely great. Something else that I’ve seen work well is using a tool like SparkToro, this is something that we use internally. It’s the new tool by Rand Fishkin. It shows you the words and phrases that your audience is using in communities. You can use that to do research. You can use that to find the best possible places. But you can also use those to come up with new content or new questions, like you said, to also answer the pain points or the queries that your audience might have.
D: Yeah, it’s a great tool. It’s also good for defining what platforms, websites, or podcasts your target audience happens to interact with. And it’s not necessarily even specifically your industry sector. It could just be an example of a website that is quite likely to be frequented by your target market.
Yeah, it’s good to have a mix of SEO metrics and data, but also the audience data that’s more holistic. And it gives you a better picture of what everyone else is doing. So you can also study your competition, see what they’re doing, which communities they’re publishing content into, and then use that data as well.
The Pareto Pickle – Optimize Click-through Rates
D: Let’s finish off with the Pareto Pickle. Pareto says that you can get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. What’s one SEO activity that you would recommend that provides incredible results for modest levels of effort?
A: Something that we always recommend clients to do is to have a look at their Search Console data, and have a look at those pages that are already ranking quite well. I’m talking about positions one to four, maybe one to five, but where the click-through rate is very low. So then what they can do is optimize the title together with the description to increase the click-through rate. Essentially, you have pages that are ranking super well, but people are not clicking them. So you need to ask yourself why that is and have a look at the search engine results. Because the reason the click-through rate is low might be because there’s an image pack, a local pack, or things like that. People are not clicking because they don’t need to. In that case, this doesn’t really work. But in the case that it’s a simple SERP and your page is ranking at position three but people are not clicking, maybe that’s because your title is not enticing. So if you just optimize that, it’s a super quick fix that can increase traffic quite dramatically.
D: I’ve been your host, David Bane. You can find Alan Silvestri over at mygrowthgorilla.com. Alan, thanks so much for being on the In Search SEO podcast.
A: Thank you, David. It’s been great.
D: And thank you for listening. Check out all the previous episodes and sign up for a free trial of the Rank Ranger platform over at rankranger.com.