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How to Not Go Viral and Grow by 500,000+ Monthly Visits #StateOfSearch


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Presentation from State of Search in Dallas, Texas.

Published in: Marketing
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How to Not Go Viral and Grow by 500,000+ Monthly Visits #StateOfSearch

  1. 1. How to Not Go Viral and Grow by 500,000+ Monthly Visits Ross Hudgens, Founder, Siege Media @RossHudgens |
  2. 2. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before...
  3. 3. SEO agency starts a presentation on content and links.
  4. 4. They show you a fancy interactive you can’t replicate. @RossHudgens |
  5. 5. Then they list a ton of publications it got covered in. @RossHudgens |
  6. 6. Then they show another fancy $10,000+ interactive you can’t replicate. @RossHudgens |
  7. 7. Then they list a ton of publications it got covered in. @RossHudgens |
  8. 8. Then you see another one of those presentations. @RossHudgens |
  9. 9. And another. @RossHudgens |
  10. 10. And another. @RossHudgens |
  11. 11. They’re cool. But do they work? What’s the value of the talk or for the client? @RossHudgens |
  12. 12. Here’s the problem. @RossHudgens |
  13. 13. Viral topics aren’t on brand. a Brand voice Topics that can go viral @RossHudgens |
  14. 14. Giant link spikes aren’t natural “brand” activity. @RossHudgens |
  15. 15. Would you want to wait a full year for the next link spike? @RossHudgens |
  16. 16. For many reasons, these linkbait assets fail to deliver measurable results. @RossHudgens |
  17. 17. Instead, let me propose something novel. @RossHudgens |
  18. 18. Content that generates five links. @RossHudgens |
  19. 19. Content that generates seven links. @RossHudgens |
  20. 20. Content that generates nine links. @RossHudgens |
  21. 21. And doing that several times a month, over and over again. @RossHudgens |
  22. 22. With content that’s on-brand. @RossHudgens |
  23. 23. And delivers something more than a link. @RossHudgens |
  24. 24. And doing it for less cost per link than those other companies would charge for their average “swing” at virality. @RossHudgens |
  25. 25. We’ve been in business five years, and we’ve only had two assets go “viral.” @RossHudgens |
  26. 26. But we’ve helped ten businesses grow by 200k+ monthly search visits, including five by 500k+. @RossHudgens |
  27. 27. And seven by monthly traffic value increases of $240,000 or more. @RossHudgens |
  28. 28. Here’s a secret: Virality is overrated. @RossHudgens |
  29. 29. Virality and large, interactive linkbait is shiny and fun to talk about. @RossHudgens |
  30. 30. But sustained quality content and links, done over and over again... is what drives sustainable business value. @RossHudgens |
  31. 31. And you can do it yourself! For less. And you can learn from it without breaking the bank. @RossHudgens |
  32. 32. They are Barry Bonds. Steroids and out of the league. @RossHudgens |
  33. 33. You can be Adrian Beltre: .387 on base percentage and future Hall of Famer. @RossHudgens |
  34. 34. How can you consistently create effective, linkable content?
  35. 35. Here’s our playbook for doing it. @RossHudgens |
  36. 36. First, make your business invest in at least one sunk cost differentiator. @RossHudgens |
  37. 37. What are examples of sunk cost differentiators? @RossHudgens |
  38. 38. A photographer @RossHudgens |
  39. 39. A videographer @RossHudgens |
  40. 40. An animator @RossHudgens |
  41. 41. Best-in-class website design @RossHudgens |
  42. 42. Industry-best graphic designers @RossHudgens |
  43. 43. If you can’t invest in any of these, stay home. @RossHudgens |
  44. 44. First, find top/middle funnel search topics that have 30 LRDs each on average and build those, first. @RossHudgens |
  45. 45. In B2B spaces, make an effort to build data studies that get cited. @RossHudgens |
  46. 46. And even if you do that, always curate the go-to “KEYWORD statistics” post, too. @RossHudgens |
  47. 47. In B2C (or B2B), build the things people curate. @RossHudgens |
  48. 48. Make sure they tie back to search and drive real business value. @RossHudgens |
  49. 49. Slot that content in a folder, ideally one word that deoptimizes/still signifies what it’s about. @RossHudgens | /blog/ or /reviews/best-air-conditioner/
  50. 50. Then, make your content exactly the highest volume version of the keyword, unless the folder repeats it. @RossHudgens | /ideas/home-decor/
  51. 51. Do some targeted outreach. Use the following template framework: @RossHudgens | Subject: ASSET TYPE for WEBSITE: POST TITLE Hey name, Custom sentence about what about their site made us reach out, without being fake. Second sentence on what our content is about. You can see it here: If you like the post, we’d appreciate if you considered sharing it with WEBSITE readers. Thanks and looking forward to hearing what you think!
  52. 52. Maybe generate 10 links. @RossHudgens |
  53. 53. Use that content promotion to generate bottom-funnel value through follow-ups. @RossHudgens |
  54. 54. And then, watch that asset (and its bottom funnel connectors) rank. @RossHudgens |
  55. 55. Rinse and repeat... forever. @RossHudgens |
  56. 56. You’ll soon build a marketing flywheel. @RossHudgens | content links promotion generate rankings
  57. 57. Your link velocity will naturally increase without more cold outreach. @RossHudgens |
  58. 58. Virality, as it turns out, rarely generates a flywheel effect. @RossHudgens |
  59. 59. You should still apply the “leans” of virality in your content ideas. @RossHudgens |
  60. 60. Validate concepts with 1. average links to those concepts 2. search volume 3. social proof in terms of sharing on social networks. @RossHudgens |
  61. 61. Ideally, the intersection of these three means you are building things that have search demand, but also link opportunity, too. @RossHudgens | Links Search volume Social proof
  62. 62. For bonus points, always include the outreach market/shareable format you will include when ideating for max linkablility. @RossHudgens | DIY Flower Crown for Parties and Weddings (SV 2,400) How to Make a Flower Crown - 2x Custom photography/video how-to. This has 53 LRD’s. Confident we could rank for this query. We could include a shareable featuring different styles of flower crowns similar to the flower chandelier infographic to make the piece more shareable and capture the winter wedding market for outreach. • Outreach Market: lifestyle, wedding • Format: photography how-to
  63. 63. Going to bat with these five levers, one or more sunk cost differentiators, and a work ethic to do it for years… @RossHudgens |
  64. 64. …means you will win, even without going viral. @RossHudgens |
  65. 65. Here’s to eight links. @RossHudgens |