In this article, Kevin Miller from GR0 shares his best practices to implement excellent SEO strategies and content writing to increase your website ranking. We’ll cover:
- Q: What inspired you to get into marketing and SEO?
- Q: What makes your SEO services special?
- Q: Can you walk me through your process for bringing the most value to your client?
- Q: How do you decide what sort of content to create for your customers?
- Q: What do you see some writers or marketers miss in their process that would make the content more effective?
- Q: Do you factor the persona into your content? If so, how do you do that?
- Q: How do you advise new startups to do content marketing? Are there any tips?
Q: What inspired you to get into marketing and SEO?
I started as the first marketing hire at a tiny startup in San Francisco. I was on the ads team, so I started to learn. I was building a college ambassador program for an app that was just like WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app, and it got acquired by Yahoo, and I got a job after that at google.
I chatted with hundreds of small business owners. I knew how they drove new businesses into their brick-and-mortar locations. I found it absolutely fascinating, so I learned the advertising side of it and how to capture intent and demand online.
I didn’t become fascinated with this idea of driving new business into companies, whether online or a physical storefront, but with the ads revenue, you have to pay for that.
There was this other side of the coin; organic search, where it’s free, and it’s earned based on how relevant your result is and how fast your website is, and how good of a job your website does in answering questions that a user has anywhere in the United States.
So I became fascinated with that and went down the rabbit hole of figuring out how to build a website that gets a million unique visitors a month. I spent years learning online courses and starting websites myself that worked or did not work. It led me to do freelance SEO consulting for actual companies.
So I started doing SEO about two and a half years ago, and shortly after that, I realized there was a real need in the market for search engine optimization strategy. I had a particular way of writing SEO content and getting featured in the news that was working.
So I decided to start this company with my partner John. We have been doing search engine optimization since it’s been about two years, and we’ve found a real niche in helping direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses.
Q: What makes your SEO services special?
First, we have really high-quality blog writers that we’ve recruited from different ivy league universities that will probably go on to write best-selling books, but they’re still in college where they’re graduated or they just recently graduated, and we’re giving them great work experience in exchange for incredible writing.
So we have intelligent people that are amazing at storytelling, and they create these pieces of content that are high quality and answer questions very thoroughly and very well. So that’s one piece.
The second is we are really adept at getting our brands featured in the news, so for every brand that works with us, we probably get five or six mentions and hits in write-ups in different major news publications per month; that’s included in our SEO strategy.
So effectively, when you hire us, you’re getting an SEO company and a PR company, making it more cost-effective.
So that is really the two big differentiators and the fact that we, our whole organization of 80 people, are focused on search engine optimization. Our attention is not divided to some people focusing on amazon ads, Facebook ads, or Instagram ads.
We don’t do any of that, we are just trying to be the best in the world at one thing, and I think there are only maybe 10 or 20 SEO exclusive SEO agencies in the United States, especially of our size. I think there are very few that have remained focused on SEO content strategy only.
Q: Can you walk me through your process for bringing the most value to your client?
To plan an SEO strategy, the first thing is we like to see where people are on their organic search journey today; search results. We use Ahrefs; we use Semrush, both of those tools to get a pulse check on where our client is coming to us today and how far along in their journey are there that drastically changes the SEO strategy that we might choose to employ.
Someone who comes to us with an idea and a website that’s about to go live and has no search engine visibility history will be fundamentally different from opendoor.com, a publicly-traded real estate company that we work with.
That’s where we start, and we only focus on what the customer is asking for, what their needs are, what’s the area of opportunity, and then let’s figure out what services we have on our side that can complement and fill those gaps.
We don’t plan the same SEO strategy for every single person. It’s always going to be curated. We do focus on three major buckets; we focus on content creation, a link building strategy which means getting written up in the news, and on-page optimization, which means making sure the website is very fast, and the user experience on the site is great (technical SEO).
So it’s always within those three pillars that our effective SEO strategy will consist of, but the SEO plan can highly change with regards to what is going to be delivered on a monthly basis based on the company’s life cycle and where it’s at the time.
Q: How do you decide what sort of content to create for your customers?
What we do is we try to write long-form written content that answers questions about the product or service that’s being sold, and that’s the essence of content marketing; figuring out what questions are our target audience asking in their consideration phase, on their way to making a purchase but we try to focus on bottom-funnel, high intent, high likelihood to convert keywords through SEO keyword strategy.
So there are a lot of strategies like there’s a lot of things we could write on that. We get a lot of traffic using white hat SEO techniques, but to your point, that strategy may not work, it might not actually convert into sales, and it may not drive any value other than website visitors.
But if those website visitors don’t take the next right action that will produce monetary value for the client, it’s not worth much.
So that’s what we try to figure out based on your company’s existing data. What keywords are converting? Whether it’s from Google Ads, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, or other search engines? Where can we mirror that SEO strategy template on the organic side? And sort of take a shortcut to focus on if this SEO strategy is working on PPC.
We can do it here, and we’re going to be able to drive a lot of revenue if we have the right SEO strategy and have done good technical SEO.
Q: What do you see some writers or marketers miss in their process that would make the content more effective?
There are several things; first of all, if you want to rank number one for a question or a certain phrase that’s of any value on Google, then the first objective is it needs to be lengthy, it needs to be thorough, and what I mean by that is typically you want to write about 1500 words per blog post. Using SEO tools, effective SEO, and link building, it could be possible to rank on top search engine results.
The real scientific way to do that is, let’s say you want to rank number one for protein powder. You would go and type that into google. You look at the top 10 results, and you would get the average word count of every single page on page one, and then you would write 20 words more than that average number.
That’s a way to be really robust and make sure that you’re answering the right things. Now, if I were to type in protein powder right now, step two would be to find people who also asked shake in the google search results to show me the top questions related to the parent topic of protein powder. This is an effective strategy as well.
So what I am seeing right now is that taking protein powder is good for my health. What does protein powder do? Is there anything bad about protein powder, and should I take protein powder every day?
If those questions get answered in your long-form piece of content, it’s going to give it a much higher likelihood that it’s going to rank on page one because that exactly focuses on the highest value questions from consumers in the United States today.
Beyond that, make great use of internal links to other relevant pages on your website and high-quality external links to govs.com or edus.com that are highly trustworthy. High trustworthiness factors are very important. That’s going to make a difference to rank really well and your SEO website strategy works well.
Then we algorithmically grade the quality of our content using a tool called clear scope to make it simple. Our writers write blog posts to the best of their ability. We then put this blog post into our tool, and we tell the tool that we want to rank number one for protein powder. That’s a part of our SEO strategy.
Using tools, we analyze the results on google and bing for the top 10 search engine positions. It’ll tell us what their articles have that ours do not, and it will give us a chance to improve our articles to make them as strong and formidable as what ranks number one on Google today. So that’s a little bit about the process that makes our SEO strategy effective.
The last piece I would say is every article that we write is written by a domain expert, someone who is a nutritionist, for example, in the protein powder world, or if it’s a real estate company, we’ll have a licensed realtor write the article and so it always needs to be authored by someone who has very strong domain expertise so we can make search engine to give us a top position n search results.
Q: Do you factor the persona into your content? If so, how do you do that?
The brands that we work with 99.9% of the time supply brand guidelines, and they help us understand the look and feel and tone of how to best communicate with their customer and their audience. We study that, and we have multiple writers audition to write for a brand, and then the owner of that brand will make a choice as to who most closely embodies that persona.
Q: How do you advise new startups to do content marketing? Are there any tips?
I think that the argument has become a lot easier over the last 12 months because of the privacy changes that Apple has made. It’s made it harder to be as cost-efficient advertising on Facebook and Instagram, and so marketing budgets have shifted back to what is known as their own channels, such as SEO email marketing, SMS marketing, and SEO strategy.
I think what we’re learning about consumer behavior in 2022 is that you need multiple touch points with a client to make an impression and ultimately earn their trust so that they feel confident enough to make a purchase.
Content marketing is the perfect place to get those touchpoints for free and use them to improve user experience. So it’s all about educating your consumer and giving them something of value that makes them feel the trustworthiness of your brand, and it’s an assist on the way to that eventual conversion and eventual sale.
So I think of it as the gift (SEO strategy) that keeps on giving where you can get your piece of content to rank well. It’ll rank well in positions one, two, or three and will keep appearing in search engine results for several years. That is much more cost-effective than paying for a click every single time.
Even not as a part of local SEO, you want it on your website, so that’s typically the rationale that I use.
Ultimately, when you’re looking at your overall funnel, if you have a lot of organic traffic coming in from search engines, it’s going to lower your blended CAC ratio so that your customer acquisition and your cost per acquisition are lower over time.