The SaaS landscape is getting more and more competitive. This makes content marketing and user acquisition more difficult and expensive. You can’t afford to focus on content or acquisition strategies that won’t deliver. Unfortunately, it takes most teams too long to find out what doesn’t work.
MarketMuse Co-founder Jeff Coyle and George Chasiotis from MINUTTIA discuss high-impact content strategies for SaaS companies. Get ideas for quick wins and long-term plays and hear examples of:
- Topic clusters for thousands of keywords
- Strategies around keywords like alternatives, comparison, software
- How to build topic authority in a crowded space
Understanding Your Real Competition
Jeff asked how MINUTTIA approaches a new B2B SaaS client in terms of thinking critically about their real competition, including technology advice sites like TechTarget, G2, Capterra and all the rest.
George explained that it’s a very tough game because you have to think not only about your business competitors but review sites and affiliate websites as well.
When a company comes to MINUTTIA, one of the first things to clarify is where a company wants to get to within a specific timeframe, whether that’s six months, a year, or more. He wants to understand whether you have the budget to support the achievement of your goals and whether you’re realistic about achieving them. In a highly competitive space, it’s going to be more expensive. George offers Click Up as an example of a company trying to find their way in a competitive category. “They don’t have aggressive goals or a large budget.”
Moving Beyond Middle of the Funnel
When companies come to MINUTTIA these days, even though they have commoditized keyword research, prospects frequently say they’ve got mostly everything covered but that they’re missing top of the funnel content.
George explains that the standard and best practice would be to uncover just the appropriate terms – some phrase match, term match and semantic match. But he says that if you take a step back and think like this person is searching for things online, you see the opportunity. That is to be there when they are searching for these things, regardless of whether they will make a decision with monetary value attached to it.
Jeff points out that today’s situation of saturation is actually the way that cluster development actually works, and the easiest one to understand is people. The hardest one to understand is things like roles, response, roles, responsibilities, industry, and how they manifest as a wayfinding off of your general pages.
Blue Ocean Content and the Traffic Conundrum
Everyone always wants quick wins and to many, that means lots of traffic. But sometimes very important pages don’t have traffic data. George has found that over time, as they get buy-in from their contact within a company, and buy-in throughout the organization, it gets easier to convince clients of the need for this type of content.
And sometimes you simply don’t know how well a piece of content will perform. George and Jeff discuss a couple of examples in the form of Hubspot’s website grader and CoSchedule’s headline analyzer. In both cases they weren’t created based on keyword research, however these assets continue to generate significant years after they were created.
Building Topic Authority in a Crowded Space
While George acknowledges that MINUTTIA is not as scientific in their approach as MarketMuse, he’s quick to point out that they have a “very good process in system in place.” While he does make use of technology, he’s not obsessed with keywords. George acknowledges their importance but, as he points out, “at the end of the day what matters is to give answers to questions that people have. And some of these questions may not have search volume.” So he tries to get as close to the customer as possible, gleaning insight from recorded sales calls, G2, Capterra, customer support tickets, etc.
The Forgotten Part of The Customer Journey
Jeff sees the post-purchase phase as the “forgotten part of the customer journey” and asks George for his insight. He responds that content marketers are very focused on the acquisition stage, and often forget about what happens after the sale. George feels that in many cases, what happens after the sale has an indirect benefit on what happens before – it’s always easier to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.
Google’s Helpful Content Update
George sees this recent update as a greater shift toward quality content and a superior experience all-around. He points out that experience translates across a company entire website including CTA’s, linkable elements, easy navigation, along with a goal or ideal journey that you would like visitors to take.
Jeff explains how it’s most likely that Google isn’t just looking at page level but rather evaluating at a page-topic combination level. He believes “there has to be a matrix of concepts associated with the page because one page may have a massive bounce rate for one word and a wonderful one for another.” He implores people to not use averages for bounce rate when analyzing pages.
“When you’re looking at your pages, please look. All the page, topic combinations. That’s why we (MarketMuse) built our All inventory, which gives you all the page topic combinations. It’s literally for that purpose.
George Chasiotis is the Managing Director of MINUTTIA, an organic growth acceleration agency for B2B SaaS companies. George started out as an independent marketing consultant but was soon pulled down the path of creating an agency.
The aim: build a team and scale a business by trading on his knowledge and expertise and creating successful systems and processes. That path has led to MINUTTIA, where George is materializing his vision for content and SEO systems that are heavily based on strategy and eschewing short-term tactics, delivering repeatable and scalable success for companies in different verticals and of different sizes.
In his free time, he imparts wisdom (read: rants) on LinkedIn or buries his head in psychology books to get down the “why” of human behavior.
George Chasiotis (LinkedIn)
Jeff Coyle: Hello, welcome to another MarketMuse content strategy webinar in our content strategy webinar series. I’m the host Jeff Coyle, the co-founder of MarketMuse in today’s discussion is one that’s near and dear to my heart. If you know anything about me, SAS content strategies talking about quick wins long-term plays.
And how do you blend those into deliverables? I have someone that knows this. Super well has so much experience really innovative methods, but also important. And I think, appropriate takes on this space, but we’ll get to that in a second. First I got a little bit of housekeeping. First ask us anything.
We know a lot about this stuff. We know a lot about other stuff. So please ask us questions if it fits, if this discussion fits or you want to think about some other ways that you might work into the funnel for content strategy. Or even get really into specifics if it doesn’t fit in the flow of our discussion, we’ll answer that at the end of the webinar.
If it does we might work it right into our discussion. The replay will be sent in the next couple days while you’re at a go check out our webinar archive library. I think we’ve got well over 100 replays available everything from sales enablement, with Pam diner analytics and, blog strategies with Andy Cresta.
Or user intent profiling with Kevin indig. There’s something for everyone. So go check those out. If you like, ’em shoot me some feedback at Jeff at MarketMuse dot com. And if there’s any sessions you’d like to see or people you’d like to see on our webinar series or if you’d like to be, feel free to shoot that to Jeff at MarketMuse dot com too.
All right. Now I am so pumped. We have the founder of minutia. Chad’s Giles and he’s helping us today. I didn’t roll that could as well as I did in the prep, but it’s great to have you tell us a little bit more about minutia and how you all are, set up and then your mission.
George Chasiotis: First of all, you nailed it.
Thank you very much. And I must say that I’m very excited about this because our conversations tend to be, I don’t know why and how this happens, but tend to be. Philosophical in some sense. And so I’m really excited to see how this will go. So yeah, I’m the managing director of Munia. We started the agency something like two and a half years ago, which was not the best time to start a new business considering what happened, in the world with COVID.
But I would say that. If you consider the acceleration to online and digital, then in retrospect, maybe it was the right time to start an agency. We work primarily with beer business house companies. And even though we started with, smaller companies nowadays, we. With some high profile public sales companies and the unicorns that we read about in tech ranch that’s not to say that we don’t, take on and work with and help smaller companies.
But, we have to brag a bit about our work, and we help these companies with accelerate organic growth. Through con marketing and SEO. So in an, this is what we do. We also try to be as active as we can in terms of content. We have our own podcast, the, so where we interview weekly we have weekly interviews of some very prominent players and professionals, hardworking professionals.
Like you in the SaaS industries, when, and we discuss everything around con marketing and SEO, and we try to, publish con on our blog. So we try to be very active and we will be more active in the near future. And we also do great webinars like this one, so real excited about it.
And let’s see how it.
Jeff Coyle: So awesome. The SAS SEO show so go check it out. And certainly there’s few replays that you should prioritize. You can sort descend start with CEO. Y now I’m just kidding. So note thinking about the one thing we often talk about is that first of all, the B2B SAS, Isn’t just agencies working with clients.
You’ve also got in-house teams for those companies who some of them have been, know, have accelerated to a later stage of content, strategy, maturity or content. Marketing maturity. A lot of clients that we work with directly tend to skew towards B2B SAS or B2B technologies. But you also have publishers and aggregators in the mix.
So how do you think about when you approach a, maybe a new space or a new client, how do you set the stage so that the client understands or that the prospect understands that, they might not just be battling the company that they have on their dark. As their direct competitor they’re battling the, technology advices, the tech targets, the G2 S the CAPA, the software advice, the CROs decks, the, and all everybody in between.
And they really do have to think critically about that.
George Chasiotis: They do. And it’s a very tough game because you have to think not only about your business competitors, who, in many cases are very obvious, like these are. The other tools in our category that we are competing against, but also review sites.
And you, me, as you mentioned, and let’s not forget the affiliate websites, that by the way, still the traffic from you in many cases, branded traffic and send it back to you so that you can pay them a commission per sign up or, demo request or whatever your deal with this website is.
I would say that in general and it’s not, and it’s not only that because what we also see, particularly with a specific set of keywords, alternative keywords such as, for example, MarketMuse alternatives we see an, like an obsession with these keywords and we see not even review sites, not even, affiliate websites, which, may have a an obvious benefit.
Targeting these keywords and having visibility for these keywords, but also other blogs and publishers that just get into this frenzy of alternative company alternative or product alternative and cover these pages and these keywords as well and target them. And unfortunately in many cases rank for them as well.
So it’s a pretty saturated space for and that’s obvious for anyone. Into that space to, to understand now, how do we set expectations? I would say when a company comes to us nowadays, one of the first things that we want to understand is first of all, where do they want to get to in the next six months, one here, whatever.
What is your ultimate goal? Because if you come to us and you are operating in. Let’s say competitive category, such as email marketing, you are an email marketing software. Chances are you are not going to be a category leader. It will be way more expensive and way more difficult to find your way in a competitive category like this.
So we need to understand what your goals are to begin. Once we have the goals checkbooks tick. Then we want to understand whether or not you have the budget to support the, let’s say achievement of these goals because either you like it or not. And even though many parts of all these content marketing slash SEO services and that’s.
That doesn’t include only, working with service providers, but having the capabilities in house. Even though many parts are highly commoditized, for example, content, briefing, still prices. I can assure you that prices go up. So we need to understand that you’re realistic about achieving the goals that you want to achieve and that you have the budget.
To support working with us or doing it in house, whatever. So these are the main two things that we want to understand when a company comes to us and from there it’s really easy for us to tell them, even in the intro call that, you know what, we don’t really think that this is going to happen.
You can still work with us, but at least we are, upfront and transparent and let you know. Chances are, you’re not going to get there because let’s not forget that not all companies have the goal. I will say an example of finding their way in such a competitive and traditional category that exists for, I don’t know how many years, 20 years maybe such as project management as click up.
They don’t have this aggressive goal and very ambitious goal. And at the same time, the budget to, to get there and to pay their way in reaching the top of the category. So in and out goals and budget.
Jeff Coyle: Nice little name drop. I’m very familiar with that team as well. No another great to the question I have, gosh, so much to unpack estimating and predicting return on investment for how much content is needed to achieve a goal.
That’s the number one, secret of MarketMuse obviously, and I think it’s the real big differentiator for agencies. Is being able to be on the nose and honest about when someone says, Hey, my CEO says we need to own CRM. what’s it gonna take? And that’s but, and I wanna get into that. I want you to unpack that a little bit more, but to two of your other points, I think that they’re really important.
One is, I have my own take on this, but why do you think that middle of the funnel overflows Alternatives. And those are where people’s brains are hardwired and they’re, over overanalyzing those page types. What’s your take on that? And then my second question is for, cases where awareness to consideration how do you feel that, the passe strategies related to long tail.
I have influenced that. So first question, why are people obsessed with standardized Mo F U and then middle of the funnel. And then third question. Do you think that kind of long tail that doesn’t work anymore is the blame?
George Chasiotis: No, not I can start with with a latter and say that, no I don’t think that this is the case.
I think that long. Can work, for example, in the context of, a topic cluster, we want to build a topic cluster and we have identified through a tool like MarketMuse for example, quick,
Jeff Coyle: Quick interruption, before you go down there. Long tailing without the cluster, without the pillars with just the long tail, just the teeth, so no, continue what you’re saying.
George Chasiotis: Yeah. Yeah. , it’s not only in the context of a topic lesson, but I would say that. I think that it’s still relevant. It’s still relevant. Now why do people focus so obsessively on alternative pages and vs pages, even though in our experience, alternative pages convert better in general?
I would say because it’s easier to do these pages and at the same time, there is an assumption. these pages are going to convert. We have seen that in many cases, this is true. These spaces do convert and you need to do them. You need to do them, even if, for your like, own run, like MarketMuse alternatives, for example.
But but that’s not always the case. And I have examples of clients we, we worked with and we worked with where certain alternative pages simply don’t work. Why. For example, the pricing between the tool that you are presenting your self as an alternative tool is completely different and they have a free forever plan and you don’t have it.
Like, how do you expect, even if you rank I don’t know, high in high positions for the target keyword, how do you expect that people will? If. One of the main determinants is price and pricing plans. How do you expect that they will choose you instead of that competitor? Even if they have reached a a switching moment or they are in the process of, I have identified this tool as one of the main players in the category.
I’m not convinced it’s the best because I know for whatever reasons, but I’m looking for alternatives. I would say that it’s easy. And at the same time, what I’m about to say is not going to sound so so I don’t know, so elegant or whatever for, especially for our service providers, but like it’s easy for agencies, for example, or consultants or whatever, to identify the 10, 20 alternative alternative.
Based on the tools, capabilities, and say that, you know what, we should definitely cover these 20 keywords. And not only that, but you know what my work works. I don’t know, 10 20 K for me to present you a bunch of alternative keywords, which by the way, you can uncover yourself and you don’t need to pay me to tell you that you need to pay me in an ideal world to.
To show you the limits of where this thing can go and the limits are definitely not, market news alternatives or whatever, so I don’t know. Maybe I prolonged it a bit, but I think that we rightly we are, let’s say focusing on these keywords, but. In many cases, they, in several cases, they don’t work as well, but they are not by no means the end all be all to a common strategy for a SaaS company.
Jeff Coyle: No, I love that. And I think unpacking that a little bit, what you’ve said effectively is, and it’s easy for maybe less refined agencies or content strategists to, to bucket content. For top of funnel and middle funnel and bucket that into the middle and say, okay, here’s the repeatable package for M O F U in your topic.
It’s ver versus content for your top five clients and then a profile of your top six alternatives. And that feels like I, okay. I check the box, I’ve got the middle. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. And the same thing goes. Early stage awareness and I, my, my follow up question here is to say, and it used to be this too.
You would see this in the content practice deliverables of you get glossary definition, pillar guide, then you get versus alternatives, best superlative, then you get pricing packaging. And so it was it. It’s that it’s your first entree into content strategy and it’s where. SEO firms that aren’t really content strategists.
That’s where they, that’s where their skillset stops. They’re more comfortable not dealing with content in the first place. So two questions there again, how do you feel about what I just said, but then also, what do you do in a situation where the client isn’t interested in building early stage awareness, content, or topic funnel, or even pre.
Unknown buyer. Cause they need that. You can’t win the middle of the funnel unless you’re there at the top, whether it’s ranking or not. So how do you get into that?
George Chasiotis: That’s a very good question. And that’s obviously something that we try as a service provider to figure out ourselves, like, how do you deal with these types of clients?
I guess that this is in the context of a good client and agency relationship. That would be only a small indicator that moving forward, this will not work because there may be other things behind or like under the carpet that are hidden. But you can see them based on that little small thing that I’m interested just in bottom of the final middle of the final.
And that’s it now I must say I, I wanted to say when as you were posing the question. What we see is that very often companies come to us nowadays, even though we have something, as let’s say, commoditized as keyword research, and we have many companies come to us nowadays. And what they tell us basically is that, you know what we know, and we have done all these bottom of the final or middle of the final piece of con what we miss is the top of the funnel.
And the reason why this happens is. We have a very simplistic way of thinking about things. And just to give you an example I will illustrate that through an example. I’m not going to name the company name, obviously, because it’s a, it’s an, it’s a client of ours, but we have a client and we know it’s SaaS company.
It’s growing really fast and we know that we have seen through a customer research that. One of the audiences that is going to like takes the decision, makes the decision for buying the product is actually a person who leads a creative team, a team of designers, for example, web designers.
Okay. So if we wanted to take a simplistic, a very simplistic approach and, just tell our client that, you know what, this is our. You can go on and work based on this strategy, we would do the the usual stuff. But I talked about limits earlier and I like to think about things differently today because this person, the person that leads a creative team is thinking, searching.
Things online. And these things are not limited only to the tools, capabilities, which can be, whatever, I don’t know, con optimization to whatever. So in this case, the the standard and the best practice for us would be to uncover just these terms a bit phrase, much, a bit term, much, a bit semantic.
That’s it take it? We get paid. Everyone is happy, but if you think of, if you take a step back and think like this person is searching for things online and. Cover keyboard such as how to manage a creative team, which is a term that a person like that may be looking for online. Then you see that there’s actually a very big opportunity that unfortunately the way the game is structured nowadays.
companies will not tackle because it’s not the obvious, it’s not the easy one to do. So nowadays I try to take a step back and think about that person who ultimately we want to get in front of and lead to, become a customer or just get an impression, whatever is, important for us and think that this person is searching for different things.
I want to be there when they are searching for these things, regardless of whether they will take a they will make a decision that’s that has a monetary value attached to it. Okay. So this is how I want to think about it. And once again, I think that this is not the easy thing, it’s the difficult thing, but as more and more things are obvious in the way SaaS condom, strateg.
Like I know performed, I dunno if that’s the right work to describe it, but as more and more things are more obvious and more saturated as an extension, we have to think more creatively and focus a bit on, on the customer. And the fact that this customer, this person is searching for many different things and not just the things that are tied to the product capabilities.
Jeff Coyle: A lot of people will agree with you there, but not really get what you said, so I’m gonna unpack it. But I got, I understand what you’re saying. What you’re saying is today’s, situation of saturation, but it’s actually the way that various stages of the funnel, that’s the way that cluster development actually.
it’s just the way that nobody understands that it works. So I have to go to the third dimension, right? So the first dimension is awareness consideration purchase post-purchase champion. But to do cluster development, I have to tilt the funnel and look at the buyer journey. So the easiest one is people.
You talk things, you talked about roles, response, roles, responsibilities, industry. typically they manifest as way finding off of your general pages. But they don’t have that, that, that excitement as, high volume keywords and landing pages. And so when you’re saying to somebody, on your MarketMuse alternatives page you need MarketMuse alternatives page pages for small teams for enterprises, for middle of.
For SAS companies, free commerce to DTC for Fs moving consumer goods. Those don’t have search volume. George, why are you recommending them? And that’s the transition. I believe that people are starting to make it’s the twist matrix on each stage of the funnel for journey, for roles, for responsibilities.
I love your example of how do you manage a creative team, guess what? That’s not a project management software for creative teams. It’s just, the person wants to manage their team better. So it’s thinking about their roles and what they run into. So how do you make that situation work with a prospect?
I have to run into this every day, but you’re talking to somebody who wants, that immediate gratification. How do you make the case to write an industry specific feature benefit page? That likely will never get any entrance traffic and will only be clicked by people in that industry.
I have my own methodologies for this, but I’d love to know how do you make the unsexy
George Chasiotis: sexy? That’s a very good question. And once again, these are all things that we try to figure like figure out and try to understand ourselves. But one of the, one of the things that I see work and I see it repeatedly.
We may come to an engagement with a client with our own like convictions of how things should be what we should do first, what we should do next. But there are so many things that happen inside a company. And so many things that change constantly. And at the same time, the way we have our own convictions and belief systems and way of doing things and approaching.
The same applies for the client. Not so much in like younger companies, like smaller companies, smaller teams, but definitely in bigger companies where, this is how we do things here. It’s really difficult to beat that. Like how do we beat that? Unfortunately by taking the route that we know will help.
Validate our work and our effort. And then further down the line say that, you know what, now that we’ve nailed that part and that we see traffic and signups or demo requests or whatever the offering may be. Now that we have seen that we actually have a bit more space to experiment. So and this is something by the way that we see and we see it Mainly through our point of conduct because I talked about us working with very big companies.
So in many cases like you may have a very big company, but just a handful of people. In many cases, it’s just one person. And once you have the buy in from that person and you help them at the same time get the buy-in from the people inside the company. Then they come to you and they are more relaxed, definitely, and more comfortable.
Trying new things and taking a more creative approach. And I wouldn’t say that I would limit that to just like keywords and pages that target a specific keyword, but pretty much everything. I think that we published a blog post a couple of weeks ago. And we talked about algorithm, EO and heuristic, EO, and essentially algorithmic.
EO is anything that you do. The goal of satisfying but in reality, its manipulate the algorithm and heuristic SEO is essentially what you do without having in mind at all. Whether or not there is a search volume for this. And I will give a couple of examples of heuristic. Let’s take HubSpot HubSpots website greater.
I think they launched it back in, I don’t know, 2007, something like that. I don’t think that hub so’s founders, when they launched the website greater they, check the keyword data provider to see, does this hub search volume, do people really search about website greater? I don’t think they did it.
They just, thought that the idea is good. People are actually interested in having a search a website greater, they launch it and it was a massive success. And guess what? Up until this. The website greater gets traffic. They created demand for it. Another example, great example actually is co schedules head headline, analyzer.
I don’t think that people at CoSchedule when they launched that searched, once again, use the cure data provider to say, oh, there’s no demand or there’s no search volume for headline analyzer. Let’s kill it. We are not going to do it. Not this quarter. They did it. And guess what people.
not just search for Co-Schedule headline analyzer today, but search for headline analyzer. And you would argue that, you know what, but Q keyword data nowadays in general are better and more people use the internet. But I would say that we see such examples nowadays as well. But unfortunately in order to be able to get there and get the buy-in that we need to launch this initiative.
And do all this creative stuff, regardless of whether there is a keyword behind a page or a section or whatever or not you have to have some validation first and to do that you have to take the route that, we are forced to take to get this validation. And I’ll tell
Jeff Coyle: you one thing, Garrett, from Co-Schedule.
Did do that. So he has, I have that recorded and in a session from about two years ago, about blue ocean content, about how they look to figure out what’s the content, what are the honey pots or tools, can they build that? No one else could. And so that then, I think that example dovetails perfectly with what you’re saying is it’s really hard to walk in the door somewhere and sell the idea of building out the content greater.
Or the website greater, yeah. We have a bunch of domains on the content greater, by the way, we just still haven’t implemented them. And cuz it’s hard to justify all that. Even for a theme who who rock some roll, like CoSchedule does who you do and who the team you work with.
So when you’re, is the play then to, sell the sugar and that the Gatorade to the kids. And then once they, run around and they have their successes, then you’re like Hey, here’s the actual exercise plan. Here are the actual ways that you’re gonna climb Mount Everest.
Then it’s not gonna. From the candy bar,
George Chasiotis: sort answer. Yes. And the reason is man and the reason is we are here to speak only the truth. The re the reason for that is that when you have a person from inside a company, a new engagement and comes to you, the point of contact that tells you and tells you that, what.
We have a new director of marketing by the end of the quarter, I need to have this launched. And not only that it needs to work. Otherwise I may have a problem. Okay. So when a person comes to you and tells you that you can’t really, Open a discussion about heuristic NCO or original content.
Let’s do some more studies or opinion based on or whatever. Like you, you can’t say that. Okay. And you can say that because at the end of the quarter, this person cannot go to their director of marketing and say that, you know what, but we published this piece of content. It got it. It created many discussions on Twitter or LinkedIn or.
the director of of marketing will ask them, okay, where are the leads? Where are the leads as simple as that? So unfortunately we have to help that person achieve their goals. And if by the end of the quarter we help them achieve their goals. And we know how to do that very well at this point.
Then we have a chance, as I mentioned, previous. To get internal buy-in and experiment a bit more. When I talk about experimentation, I don’t mean like we are going to launch a headline analyzer, but we will have a bit more like space to to play and like experiment with new ideas and creative approaches when it comes to common industrial.
No I love
Jeff Coyle: That you’re talking pragmatically and, as much as the pain and then the pain for many of us probably listening is to say, oh gosh, yeah, that’s real. That’s real talk. Let’s drive it then back to a couple things that you talked, you mentioned then what you say about someone selling something that is basic as premium, right?
So if the, if there’s a canned package, , that meets minimum for awareness. There’s a canned package that meets minimum. Why isn’t that a commodity then? What do you do about somebody who’s selling? What’s your perspective on someone who’s selling keyword research that, literally is not expert driven.
It’s a commodity. And they’re selling that as, a specialty to be basically to an unrefined or a immature audience. What do you do in those scenarios and how do you differentiate yourself? Because you’re doing authority based research. You’re doing real personalized research. Is it to, try to raise the bar or is it try to make the, the meets minimum free?
What’s your thought process?
George Chasiotis: First of all, I think that there are many reliable and trustworthy providers out there. And I would say to your point that if anyone is able to sell something that’s, mediocre or commoditized for premium well done, really well done.
At the end of the day time will tell whether you should you. You should be in business and you will grow and so forth. But if you manage to do that, chances are that you’re selling something more than that. And this is not just in services, yeah. You’re selling brand that you have built and invested into and so on and so forth.
So that’s one. now, how do we differentiate ourselves? And by the way, this is not a sales pitch or anything like that, but this is the exact thing that I would say to our client. The exact thing that I would say to anyone, actually, I would tell them that, what if, what you want and what you need is to make just alternative pages or vs pages.
Since we are talking about SaaS companies, right? You can do it yourself. Or if you don’t want to do it yourself, go work with another agency. Don’t come to work with. We can do alternative pages and comparison pages and whatever. But you come to us in order to see once again, as I mentioned previously, the limits of where this thing can get you.
That’s obviously the, like justifying the value to what I’m saying now. The pursuit value obviously is not as easy, but I think. As more and more things become commoditized and people are fortunately more educated. They can understand that there is a point in that, meaning that, you know what?
Yeah, we can do that ourselves. Like we can tackle that. But. When we are searching for ways to, for example, develop topical authority so that we can have chances of getting visibility for, I don’t know, email marketing software in a timeframe of two years then, like this is the the agency we are going to work with.
Jeff Coyle: awesome. That punchline is the thing, right? So it is to say, In order for us to own email marketing software, there is two years plus worth of work. Some of it is things you might think are obvious. Some of it isn’t obvious. We’re the, the we’re not the basics. We’re the way to get you there.
And by the way, the obvious isn’t gonna get you. and that’s the pitch. I That’s the dream of authority, right? So how do you do that? How do you actually functionally do that? Obviously share as much as you’d like, but how do you build topic authority in a crowded space to predict estimates?
I do it with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. And I deliver it to thousands of clients. But how do you do it? If you are, selling that as an agency who doesn’t have those capabilities
George Chasiotis: That’s a great question. And you may be right. This may be the sales pitch.
I like, I wanted to have it in, on, on our new website, but like my director of growth thought that it’s very aggressive and we left it outside. But like to your question, I would say that first of all, this is not scalable as we are going to give you 20 keywords This quarter and we are going to give you 20 keywords next, next quarter.
And we are going to charge you. I don’t know, 5k for that, so it’s not scalable. And also to your point, obviously like we are not as scientific in our approach as like MarketMuse obviously. Yeah. But I would say that we have a very good process and system in place. Yeah. Using obviously technology and leveraging technology when we can to identify.
And it’s not only about keywords because like people very often are like so obsessed with Keywords Keywords are important and they represent something. But in many cases at the end of the day, what matters is to give answers to questions that people have. And some of these questions may not have a search volume or touch them.
Like this happens some may not be reported in SEO software. Why? Because in most cases, SEO software report averages. And guess what, if something is an emerging topic? And like it’s connected to your products, capabilities to your industry, whatever, like you have to cover it. You will not find that through an SEO software.
I would say that the way we do it is by taking a step back once again and thinking about audiences and customers, instead of just trying to uncover keywords Nothing wrong with that, but the ultimate source of truth, especially if we’re talking about SaaS companies is your customer.
And so we try to get us close to the customer as possible and try to get insights from them that you will not get from. Or it’s like very hard to get from SEO software. And when I. Insights like some of the sources here could be sales calls. If you record sales call, chances are that in many cases you will you will have recordings reviews that you have in review sites.
Like G2 Capterra and so on customer support tickets. That’s great. So that you can have a, like a proactive rather reactive approach when it comes to like how we do, how do we support the customers that we already have and so on and so forth. once again, it’s not scalable. It’s not easy. But it’s the ultimate source of truth.
Jeff Coyle: No, I love that answer. And I, you get into some things like post sale doc, which is the, that’s the forgotten part of the journey, right? The implementation, the forums, the support side, CS tickets, that’s content that people forget is actually part of the. And you need it in order to be there in the middle and top of the funnel.
So I love that you got into those things, they’re not as exciting. They’re not as known as being important too the best sites in the world that rank for what is X, right? It’s because they have support in the middle of the funnel. It’s because they have support at the bottom and post sale and customer success content.
I. mean That’s the secret. We’re all talking about here and the people who can bring that forward, that was the original model for content strategists and editors in chief, in the eighties, nineties, and today, We’re actually telling a writer that, or an editor or a content strategist that all the stuff they wanna write.
Yeah. Crush it. Be an expert. Let us though as technical strategist or SEOs. Let us weave it all together so that it works, is that what we’re saying? Like GMs and experts and editorial superstars are actually the all stars.
George Chasiotis: I think that this happens because we are as content, I don’t know what’s the right word here, but content marketers, or SEO professionals or whatever, we are very focused on.
The acquisition stage, like I brought them here. I brought them to the website what else do I have to do? And we forget even though nowadays like companies separate those roles into product marketing and content marketing and so on, but we forget what happens after. And by the way, as you, like correctly mentioned what happens after in many cases, may Also have a, an indirect benefit and effect on what happens before, for example help centers may have a positive contribution to a website’s overall authority based on specific topics.
Yeah, because we talk about I don’t know, hundreds, if not thousands of pages depending on like how big your customer base is and so on. There is a an indirect benefit for the acquisition stage as well. But I think that definitely, we have to give more attention to what happens after the sale, because.
What we forget. And I think about that for us as an agency as well. Like I know, and I’m sure because I have these discussions almost daily that our clients, for example, now it’s a time when, there’s a lot of chat around helpful content and so on, so forth our clients. And if you, a sales company, your customers like discuss these things and rest assure they are going to search for information online.
As I see it, it’s better if you serve this piece of content or whatever proactively to them rather than having them check a competitor website or a publication or whatever and have their attention like being fractured. So I would say that we have to be if anything, more proactive about how we treat everything that happens.
The sale, the conversion, because let’s not forget that these people not only, they are searching for information online, but guess what? It’s easier to sell to them to upsell the more cross-sale the more like whatever they already, they have already given you their credit card one.
So it’s nothing for them to make another charge, to, to buy something more. So why not? And I agree with you we have to start caring a bit more. Everything that happens after
Jeff Coyle: someone, I love your example. I think one time I was speaking and said where do you want your kids to learn?
How learn about drugs? Do you want ’em to learn about it on the playground? Do you want ’em to learn about it on the internet or do you want to learn it from you? And that’s the G2 S the stack exchanges the community forums, and, or you. On the playground, which I guess you could say maybe that’s a marketing event.
Maybe it’s brighten SEO. That would be the playground. But yeah, those are things that if you can control the conversation, you wanna control the conversation. And the best customer you have is the one you already have. And that’s all really poetic here, I think, as we dive in. So you tipped it I’m recording a series of interviews and discussions.
The product reviews, update number one, and now number two, which just came out and also the helpful content update. I’ve spent an ungodly amount of hours researching the changes, and I am pretty feeling pretty good about it. It’s a good place to be if you’re a Minuttia or MarketMuse right now who produces high-quality content.
And knows the space and understands topic, authoritativeness and authority. But what’s your take on HCU as the SEO nerds are calling it. And I’m allowed to say that because I am one,
George Chasiotis: I would say that obviously content is very important and quality of content. And I think that this is a, what happens right now is a great shift towards.
Like not compromising on quality and being more certain that the person we have or the company we have assigned to write a piece of content, actually know their staff and they are not just following the instructions of a, of an AI generated content brief. So this is a very important point. But at the same time, something that I see over and over again, and I have, examples of companies who reach out to.
us Is the fact that content is one thing. Okay. And definitely content is important, but when we talk about content, it’s not just like the text that you have on like the body section of a blog post. Okay. So it’s the whole experience have you mapped the right CTAs to this piece of content?
Do you have any linkable elements? Is it visually appealing? Is it easy to navigate? and at the same time, is there an ultimate goal for this website now for SaaS companies? Like the ultimate goal may be obvious. Like we want you to, if you’re on the blog we want you, and depending on the intent, we want you to subscribe or you want, you, we want you to read this download, download this report, or, request a demo if the intent is there or whatever.
Okay. But for other websites it says, I don’t know. I see blogs that don’t have a, like an obvious journey that you would like ideally people to take. And so just even if you do great work, when it comes to content and people come and see something that’s not really humanized, you can understand that they’re.
actually Like people, human beings that write the content, represent this blog and so on and so forth. And by the way, this is the ultimate goal and the objective that we have for this blog, I see these websites have having diminishing returns when it comes to their performance. And I think that these are all things that we need to to contribute.
I don’t know how things will evolve but I think that. Moving forward. It’s going to be more about the experience. And when I say experience, I don’t mean just check your bounce rate and see whether or not the bounce rate is high or low, because guess what if we have, what is, as you mentioned previously piece of content.
The bounce rate, like should be low like people want to get an answer to a very specific question. They got it. They bounce back. Okay. But. So this is this is to say that bounce rate always, you should evaluate it on a page level. And at the same time, it’s not the end all be all when it comes to user experience bounce rate.
Yeah it can draw a picture, but definitely not the whole picture. So you have to dive deeper into experience and start thinking about experience experiences instead of, and meaningful outcomes for the visitor instead of. Checking boxes of SEO, best practices
Jeff Coyle: a team member of mine, head of content strategy for MarketMuse Stephen Jeske is probably listening to what you just said and laughing because we were literally talking about something you just said yesterday and how actually it would be pretty foolish.
To be looking only at it at the page level, without it being a page-topic combination level. So there has to be a matrix of concepts associated with the page because one page may have a massive bounce rate for one word and a wonderful one for another. So as you get into this please don’t use averages for bounce rate.
When you’re looking at your pages, please look. All the page, topic combinations. That’s why, we built our all inventory, which gives you all page topic combinations. It’s literally for that purpose because you’re your project management software comparison, the best project management software page that compares the top 20 things.
Guess what that page shouldn’t rank for? What is project management? It shouldn’t rank for it. You’re gonna need that other page. But if you’ve got people landing on it for that, what is query, guess what? They’re not happy and that’s a problem. It doesn’t say that page isn’t on the nose as a comparison page.
So I think you said that so eloquently and it’s the way that Google has to do this work. To be effective and efficient, and I think you nailed it there. So we are coming on close. I wanna answer all the questions that have come my way. So as far as you talked about quick wins, what are some examples of quick win plans?
Other than let’s just say awareness, quickie of awareness, cluster, and middle of the funnel versus, and and alternatives. What are.
What are the other quick wins plans that you typically use to knock it outta the park in the first three months?
George Chasiotis: That’s a great question.
Nowadays and after a lot of, experimentation and trying to figure things out once you can we try to push towards this topic cluster approach and we try to, even though, unfortunately if you want to build a topic cluster in a separate sub folder, chances are that it’s a bit more difficult to get to request and get development time from the client, side. But if the client is up for it we push, towards that direction and we keep, we create topic cluster since in separate sub folders. And then, the cluster pages under that sub folder, obviously and we have seen great results with that. So this is something that we now try to expand and explore with more of our clients.
So this is definitely one and definitely something that was really eye opening for me. Definitely. And this is something that I’ve seen this year in great effect was website acquisitions and how great this can contribute to your organic growth. And you have to be obviously very careful and strategic about it, but it can really if implement it correctly, it can definitely help.
So this is another thing and yeah I think top of mind these two things.
Jeff Coyle: awesome. Those are great takeaways, I think. And the website’s M I N UTT I a.com the SAS show. Correct. That’s the name? My brain is working the SAS show, right? The
George Chasiotis: SA CSO and
Jeff Coyle: yeah, the SAS SGO show.
And if you’re saying it it sounds like his last name has the word SAS. Yeah, I’ll give you the last word. But if you also wanna book a demo, MarketMuse do a personalized content audit be able to actually estimate how much content you need to build on any particular topic to own it.
Shoot us a shoot us a book demo here. Go check out everything that George builds on the site, listen to his recordings. They’re amazing. It’s a great show, but I’ll give you the last word. Anything you wanna talk about or.
George Chasiotis: First of all, it was a very insightful conversation. And I think that we could go on and on about these things because they are very interesting.
And I really do hope that they were interesting for the people who stayed with us until the end. We are in the process of complete brand redesign and website redesign. Everything will be live. By mid September I’ve been told by our developers. So feel free to check the website.
I would say early to mid September and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m trying to be pretty active there and subscribe to our podcast and to our YouTube channel where we publish the video version of every. That’s all. Thank you very much for for this for this Jeff and the team at mark news for putting this together.
Jeff Coyle: And I lied, last word goes to me and it’s at George Jo and I’m Jeffrey under store Coyle on Twitter. And thanks again. It’s been a pleasure. Everything that we do with y’all is just a awesome experience. And I think there’s a few laughs. the the podcast that you and I did together for anyone that really dives in.
I think you’ll be doing a little laughing out loud at that one too. So thanks again. And I look forward to our next chat. Cheers. Thank,
George Chasiotis: thank you very much, Jeff.