Table of Contents
Content-based marketing is a tested and viable method for fostering business growth. It offers the potential for generating substantial revenue, albeit not always instantaneously. The timeline to visible outcomes often varies, typically with a noticeable delay until the benefits of your efforts start to manifest.
Content marketing is a strategy that thrives on patience and consistency, and it’s important to be cognizant of this as you embark on your marketing journey. Remember, the ripples of impact you create today may not immediately become visible on the surface.
Let’s now shift our focus to the visualization of this approach’s potential. Below, you’ll find a graph that presents an overview of the progression that a typical content-based marketing campaign might follow. This visualization offers insight into the pattern and pacing of results one might expect.
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
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 notion of marrying User Experience (UX) with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still an unfamiliar concept for many. Up until recently, even giants like Google didn’t give it much emphasis. This means that the majority might be unaware of its value. And, in an interesting twist, this unfamiliarity could turn out to be an advantage. It’s almost like possessing a secret weapon in a field where most are not even aware of its existence.
UX and SEO: A Perfect Pairing
This chapter’s title indicates that UX and SEO are a perfect pairing. And it’s not that we weren’t aware of this. SEO has always been an integral component of the myriad of UX disciplines. Despite this, a common practice is to allocate SEO duties to specialists who focus solely on this field.
A Gap in Approach: The Missing UX Techniques
What’s perplexing is that the majority of these SEO specialists do not apply UX techniques. Sometimes, it’s even more concerning: they label certain aspects as ‘user experience‘ which, while technically they are experiences, don’t align with the fundamental UX principles. For instance, it’s a routine statement to hear things like “the button must be red because…”. While it might hold true in some scenarios, in others, it could be entirely incorrect, even detrimental.
Understanding True UX: Making Informed Decisions
This is where the true essence of UX lies. It’s about the exploration and analysis of experiences that help us make informed decisions, decisions anchored in user research. Claiming that “one color is superior to another because…” without supporting evidence stands contrary to the ethos of user experience.
In UX, it’s paramount to remember that the power of UX lies not in assumptions or personal preferences, but in a deep understanding of user needs and behaviors, which we acquire throug UX research with users. Consequently, we should keep our focus on delivering experiences that satisfy users, rather than falling into the trap of making baseless assertions.
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 and SEO are 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 and SEO research 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 based 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 kickstart a content marketing campaign, the foremost step is pinpointing our target audience. Essentially, we’re asking: “Who are we producing this content for, and what do we hope to achieve with their engagement?” This foundational step is where the worlds of SEO and UX intersect and collaborate.
It’s tempting to think, “Our product is universal; we’re targeting everyone.” While some products may have broad appeal, designing content that speaks to every individual is a tall order.
Finding Your Audiences
Dive into tools like Google Analytics. Under the Audience tab, you’ll get a glimpse into the demographics and behavior of those visiting your website. This data will guide you in understanding who exactly is interested in what you offer.
From here, depending on what you unearth, you might identify multiple potential target audiences or just a focused few. Let’s consider a few scenarios:
For niche products or services, like tractors and agricultural machinery, the target audience is often distinct and limited. Through a thorough analysis, you’ll likely find consistencies in age, location, interests, and even factors that might seem outdated or oversimplified like gender.
However, for a more universal product, say a smartphone, the scope broadens. There are numerous variables to consider, and the target audience isn’t just one homogeneous group. It comprises different demographics, interests, and behaviors.
By the way, take a moment to ponder the image above this paragraph. Given the nature of the service, which is not specifically targeted towards any gender (and, statistically speaking, is mostly for men), who would you assume is the primary audience visiting the site?
Always remember: proper research is grounded in objectivity and rooted in data. It remains untouched by fleeting trends or ideologies.
Now, let’s get back to our smartphone example.
Anywhere you go on this planet, someone is likely using a smartphone. Sure, there are challenges – technological limitations, patchy signal areas, and so on. In response, our content strategy might include an article providing solutions to these challenges, or perhaps guidance on sidestepping them entirely.
Different age groups have unique preferences. For the younger crowd, perhaps we spotlight features that emphasize entertainment and less on the technical specs. For the mid-aged bracket, the technological prowess, usability, and long-lasting nature of the phone might be more appealing. And for the senior demographic? Emphasizing user-friendly aspects, like easy zoom or accessible functions, can be key.
Segmentation is Key
It’s vital to avoid cramming all this information onto a single page. The strategy should be to craft distinct content pieces and interlink them – a practice known in the SEO realm as internal linking. Coupled with a robust content dissemination approach on social platforms, and in some instances, aided by Search Engine Marketing (SEM), integrating high-quality materials like infographics or videos can add significant value.
The Intersection of UX and Content Marketing
You might recall our initial discussion on this. It’s easy to think, “Couldn’t this have been achieved with mere SEO research?” And you’d be spot on.
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.
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, let’s pull back the curtain and let you in on our approach that we implemented for two distinct businesses. The first one brought us on board at the tail-end of February, seeking our expertise for their highly specialized and expensive service.
Take a moment to glance at the graph above this piece. There, you’ll see the progress line: the company is now drawing in about 70 unique visitors via organic traffic each day. Admittedly, it may not seem like a large number at first glance. However, it’s crucial to understand that this is a very focused stream of traffic.
To boost the effectiveness of this strategy, we supplemented it with a touch of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a tailor-made social media marketing plan, and a targeted email campaign. The result? They’re now onboarding between 10 and 15 new clients every single day. The momentum keeps building, with each passing month showing stronger numbers.
With an Average Order Value (AOV) of $2000 per month, the math is straightforward: this company is now comfortably billing close to a million dollars monthly.
And this is not a one-time peak. The numbers have remained consistent, repeating the same pattern month after month, continually yielding impressive results.
Now, let’s dive into the story of the second company.
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.
The Content-Centric Approach: Content based marketing to the rescue
Years ago, our client embarked on a strategy that centered heavily on content creation. Although a substantial amount of material was produced during this period, a critical piece of the puzzle was missing: the user experience. Yes, results were achieved, but they were somewhat subdued, leaving room for improvement. Our client reached out to us for help, signaling the start of a new phase in their content strategy.
When we stepped in, what caught our attention was not just the sheer volume of content that was already in place, but also its level of specificity. The content repository was colossal, teeming with highly specialized information that we had seldom encountered before.
The Challenge: Chaos in the Content Kingdom
Nevertheless, beneath the impressive surface, the content environment was chaotic. The body of work lacked a discernible structure; it seemed as if content was being churned out without a concrete objective, target audience, or research-driven direction. It was a kingdom of content, yet without a clear rule. The strategy also exhibited signs of keyword cannibalization, which often happens when similar topics are covered across multiple pieces of content, diluting their SEO effectiveness.
SEO Intervention: Putting Things in Order
Our task was to introduce organization and strategic thinking into this bustling content environment. We embarked on a thorough SEO (Search Engine Optimization) restructuring process, aiming to maximize the potential of the existing content. Our efforts centered around achieving two main objectives: first, to establish a system that would prevent future keyword cannibalization, and second, to ensure that every piece of content served a distinct purpose and was tailored to a specific audience.
The Outcome: From Chaos to Coherence
Below, we will outline the transformative impact of our SEO intervention. The results speak for themselves, (if you’re too lazy to click: 600+ Google Page 1 positions when the client had only 20), indicating the power of aligning content strategy with a robust user experience focus. While we don’t promise miracles, we do believe in the potential of strategic thinking and systematic work. So, let’s explore the fruits of our labor together.
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.
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!
2023 Update: another use case
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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