From 0 to 3 mil. a month with just UX and SEO? Yes, it’s possible!

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In this article, we’ll tell how we used both UX and SEO techniques in order to create whole experiences for content based marketing campaigns.

Content based marketing is one of the proven ways to generate huge amounts of money. In general, the results are not immediate and they take quite a bit until you see the effects.

Of course, once you see these effects, you won’t believe the power of these campaigns. Consider the graph below:

UX and SEO marketing graph
Graph showing the growth from 0 to almost 5000 organic clicks

This is a real client (we won’t disclose so competitors can’t copy) who approached to us on March 2020 with a site that had no results whatsoever. You can easily see how in April it started to grow, little by little. Up to 4500+ organic traffic clicks.

Not too much? Keep reading 😉

UX and SEO: a match made in heaven

UX and SEO: Cumulative Layout Shift, part of the Core Web Vitals.
Cumulative Layout Shift, part of the Core Web Vitals. Image Credit: Google.

We all know about the need for SEO. It’s like having a sign that tells people “hey, come to my shop, I have nice things for you”.

The problem comes when the sign is hidden, or barely seen, or written in a strange language. Nobody will understand what is your sign’s point, or your intentionality.

However, not many people understand the implication of proper UX and SEO interaction. As a definitive proof: just a couple montsh ago Google added some basic user experience rating to their Core Web Vitals stats. And do not expect an in-depth or meaningful analysis, it’s just some shallow overview. According to Google, these stats don’t have much importance right now, but they’re paving the way for future releases where user experience will become important for these stats. Guess we’ll see.

The point is: if Google didn’t care until a couple of months ago, you can imagine that most people will completely ignore it.

And guess what … that’s the best part! I mean: you could have a secret weapon that most people don’t even know exists!

As the title of this section says, UX and SEO are a match made in heaven. Not that it’s something we ignored. SEO is part of the set of the many UX disciplines. But there is a tendency to leave the SEO part to specialists who are exclusively dedicated to this area.

However, the vast majority of them do not use UX techniques. Or even worse: they call user experience to things that can be (obviously, EVERYTHING is an experience), but not as they conceive it. For example: it is very common for them to say things like “the button must be red because yadda yadda yadda”. Which may be true in some cases. And completely wrong and even harmful in others.

THAT is UX. The measurement of experiences that lead us to make sound decisions based on research with users. Saying “such color is superior to another because ….” is the definition of anti-user experience.

So with this cleared up, imagine the power of SEO used in conjunction with the great power of UX. Generate organic traffic at no cost but with intentionality and a user interface (UI) dedicated specifically to boost said organic traffic.

Do you know the saying “like shooting fish in a barrel”?

Content Based Marketing: the crossroad between UX and SEO

UX is based on research. If someone tells you “we did UX” just stop them and ask “what methodology did you use to investigate? What data did you get?” As many of us know, the vast majority of people will look at you without understanding what you are talking about.

This research is not only important: it is inevitable. Otherwise, we are talking about anything else, usually web design. Since UX equals research and there are no user experiences that cannot be measured and quantified (in fact, the measurement of such experience is the LITERAL DEFINITION of user experience), any attempt to avoid such research methodology simply results in chance and subjectivity.

Now: within the different areas that make up user experience, we said that we can find SEO. And SEO is another discipline that requires a lot of research (obviously we are talking about real SEO). Search engine optimization has been very competitive for years. And now it’s getting very complex, with data processing and information variables that interact like never before.

What does this mean?

Well, in the first instance, both UX research and SEO share a scientific methodology. And with that understanding, it is relatively simple to concatenate data that comes from different dimensions of the user experience and extrapolate it to an SEO strategy.

Which brings us to “content based marketing”

According to Wikipedia definition:


Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:

Attract attention and generate leads
Expand their customer base
Generate or increase online sales
Increase brand awareness or credibility
Engage an online community of users

Simple and concise: generate valuable content that gets people to return to the site, share it and expand the brand value.

Content Based Marketing (or CBM) is the most successful strategy for growing an online business, along with UGC (User Generated Content). If you have read our article on Growth Hacking, you will already know that these two strategies are fundamental pillars of an online growth plan.

How to create a Content Based Marketing campaign

To create a campaign based on content marketing, we must first clearly define who our audience is. In other words, who do we want to give our content to in exchange for their engagement. And obviously, it is the first investigation that we must do, and the first collaboration between SEO and UX.

Someone might say: “well, our audience is the whole world, we want to reach everyone”. And we may have a product with those characteristics. However, it is very difficult for the content that we generate to interest everyone.

To be more specific: the first thing to do is find audiences. We can find that in Google Analytics, we look for the Audience tab and we can see who is part of our target audience.

Once we have this information, we can narrow down a certain number of audiences. In very specific products and services, we are only going to have one or two important target audiences. For example, if I sell tractors and agricultural machinery, I will hardly find more than 2 important audiences. By crossing the data I will see that it will always be within the same age, the same types of geographical location, interests, etc. And although it sounds “old” and politically incorrect, even gender is going to be predominant.

But if my product is, for example, a smartphone, the number of variables and audiences is going to be very large and complex.

SEO Analysis: recognize audience's interests using GA
Here we can see the main interests for the audience of a site

By the way, look at the image above this paragraph. It is for a service that is not geared towards a specific gender (in fact, statistically it is mostly for men). However, who would you say is the main genre that visits the site?

Remember: research is objective and analyzes data, it does not care about fashions or ideologies

Let’s continue with the example of the smartphone.

Geographically, a smartphone can be used anywhere in the world, although obviously there are going to be technological barriers, poor reception, etc. So, in our content strategy we can create a post that teaches how to deal with these problems, or how to avoid them.

Then we have age audiences. For a young audience, we can highlight certain less technical characteristics and focus on fun and entertainment. While for adults we can highlight certain technological and usability details, aspirational aspects, durability, etc. And for older adults, we can highlight aspects such as accessibility, ease of use, being able to zoom in on the text, etc.

The important thing: not to generate all this on a single page. Instead, we must create different pieces of content and link them (what in SEO is known as internal linking), in addition to having a content sharing strategy in social media, and in certain cases help us with SEM. The addition of exclusive and high-value content (infographics, videos, etc.) is a really important plus.

So now you know the basics of content based marketing. But… how does UX interacts with that?

Well, remember that we started with that. But obviously, you could say “it would have been the same with just SEO research”. And you’d be 100% correct.

So let’s dig deeper

Implementing SEO and UX as part of a coordinate marketing campaign

So we identified audiences. That’s just a small part. But the power of UX is to research how such audiences (aka users) interact with our product or service. So, once we start to roll this content strategy, we’ll slowly start to notice patterns and behaviors. Those patterns and user behaviors will help us “tune up” our content, giving us the information to make it more focused and sophisticated.

So, if we see our users reach a certain point of the article and abandon it, we can infere our content is sub-par and is not helping our users. Maybe we need more images, maybe we need to be more focused, maybe we need to be more shallow.

The good news is that UX it’s not a guess. Reading and interpreting data will tell us what’s going on. For example, let’s say our articles are very long. Then maybe we need to split content in smaller chunks, or simply make the content shorter.

Whatever you do, don’t try to outplay Google in its own game. Chances are you’ll lose. Just write good content, provide value and be ready to change as many times as needed.

UX and SEO: How to set goals

So we have audiences and content. But we forgot something really important: goals.

Simply put: what do you want users to do? Let’s assume your answer is “to sell a product”. Now, if you analyze user’s behavior, it’s possible that people is not buying. So, maybe is better to change to another marketing strategy: do NOT sell anything, just make people share your content and grow your brand. This will increase visitors and position your brand, which means more authority and trust. Which means… SALES!

From 0 to 3 million dollars a month with UX and SEO: LTV is the key

So you wanted us to spill the beans, huh?

Well, this is what we did for not one, but two different businesses: one of them hired us by the end of February. A highly specialized and costly service.

On average, the lifetime value (LTV) for each client is 50-60k. If you check the graph on top of this article, you’ll see the growth: they’re getting 70 uniques of organic traffic per day. Doesn’t look like a lot, granted. But this is highly targeted traffic.

We combined it with a little SEM, a social media marketing strategy and a mailing campaign. Nowadays, they’re signing between 10 and 15 new clients PER DAY. Every single month, and growing. The AOV (average order value) they charge is $2000 per month . So that’s almost a million dollars per month.

Then the next month, again. And again. And again.

guy throwing dollars gif

What did we do? We created highly specialized content with a high level of sophistication in a very complex area, so the client quickly became an authority, outranking all their competitors. As a matter of fact, some competitors shared the content we created for our client!

So you may say: OK, probably a stroke of luck. But as we repeatedly say: we only believe in data, so luck is an statistical probability.

Let’s see another case.

This time, the client started with this content based strategy years ago. But he missed the UX side, so he got some results, just nothing important. He requested our help, and we noticed he had lots of content. An outstanding amount of content like we never saw before. And highly specialized one.

However, it was unorganized, it didn’t have any goal, or audience or research. He was just publishing content and even cannibalizing his own keywords. So we did everything he needed to do regarding SEO. And here are the results (please click because it’s a large image). If you’re lazy to click the link, or don’t understand what it is: those are Google ranking improvements. Simply put: we ranked 600+ keywords on page 1 for our client. He had less than 20, so…

Also, technical improvements are one of the main parts of UX and SEO (aside of research). Our client’s site got from a lousy 40-ish rank to “all green” metrics. As a matter of fact: All 100. And this is for mobile!

Of course, this closed the deal to achieve those 600+ page 1 keywords. We had a lot of content that only needed to be spiced up and get some UX touches. After doing that, we solved all technical isues, and Google rewarded the client with lots of organic traffic.

UX and SEO: Technical SEO details

Now, we don’t know how much money did this “small” change make to our client. But he’s getting 5x more organic traffic and he hired us to use the “UX magic” (his words, for us UX is the opposite to magic) to improve the conversions of his site and fix their cart abandonment rate issues. So we guess he’s pretty happy with the current results!

Summary

UX and SEO are here to stay. It’s a tactical advantage for any business that uses it, and a clear disadvantage for those businesses ignoring it.

Doing this is not difficult, it just requires time, patience and a firm commitment to data. If you plan to do this kind of strategy, remember: what you think is completely irrelevant unless it’s supported by data. If you can work this way and leave your subjectivity (and your surrounding’s subjectivity) aside, then you have half of the way paved. Content based marketing is not difficult, it’s basically effort, and knowledge of the area you want to work in.

Remember: you don’t need to do it all by yourself, just hire people to write or create exclusive content and focus on making business. Measure everything and adjust as needed. Rinse and repeat. It’s really as easy as that.

And keep in mind this “UX trend” (like some people calls it) is not a trend, but a scientific discipline followed by ALL the companies you admire and would like to be in their place.

Furthermore, Google already announced that in 2021 search results and rankings will be focused on User experience. If you’re not ready for that, you better start now… in a few months it will be really late!

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