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Topics Over
Keywords
an SEO-driven approach
to content marketing
0
Hi, I’m @anum.
Beyoncé is my patronus.
I work with a team
of incredible
content muggles.
This squad was
dedicated to brewing
the perfect recipe for
content magic.
We wanted to concoct three potions
that would …
We wanted to concoct three potions
that would …
1
Scale production of SEO site pages to fuel organic traffic.
Generate a mass of backlinks to help those site pages rank.
We wanted to concoct three potions
that would …
1
2
Scale prod...
Increase the social share rate of our weekly blog content.
Generate a mass of backlinks to help those site pages rank.
We ...
Scale
production of
SEO site pages.
1
When experimenting with our own
content process, I grew obsessed with
HelpScout’s resources.
Each resource is a thorough, ungated,
web page guide.
Each resource is a thorough, ungated,
web page guide. This one particularly
caught my attention.
Customer Acquisition
Google Search
 I’m Feeling Lucky
Customer Acquisition
In addressing an entrepreneur's most important early-stage question –
customer acquisition – it's eas...
Customer Acquisition
Customer acquisition management - Wikipedia
Customer acquisition management is the set of methodologi...
This inspired us to develop our own
playbook for creating what we call
SEO Site Pages.
These site pages are comprehensive,
search-optimized guides built around
specific keywords. 
EMAIL
ETIQUETTE
FOLLOW
UP EMAI...
Each strives to be 10x.
WATCH:
“Why ‘good unique
content’ needs to
die”
Of our first 10 Site Pages, five were
ranking in a top ten SERP position.
We found that the more links we included on
a page pointing to related, external content,
the higher we ranked.
# EXTERNAL...
We also saw a similar correlation when we
linked together our own related content
through internal links.
# INTERNAL LINKS...
Learnings Log:
q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP.
Generate a mass
of backlinks to
site pages.
2
Of course, ranking in SERP requires far
more than targeting a keyword – we
needed backlinks from external sites.
Instead of simply hoping
that other websites would
find and link to our
content, we actively ran
backlinking outreach.
This outreach took two key forms.
This outreach took two key forms.
Guest blogging to earn a backlink within
the contributed post.
This outreach took two key forms.
Guest blogging to earn a backlink within
the contributed post.
Email outreach to earn a ...
We later uncovered that backlinking success
was not dependent on a purely raw number
of links.
Site Page 
 SERP
Position
#...
We later uncovered that backlinking success
was not dependent on a purely raw number
of links.
Site Page 
 SERP
Position
#...
This “higher quality” link follows a simple
formula.
Relevant
content
This “higher quality” link follows a simple
formula.
Relevant
content
The external web page
linking to our site page
is on...
This “higher quality” link follows a simple
formula.
Relevant
content
Strong
da
This “higher quality” link follows a simple
formula.
Relevant
content
Strong
da
The domain authority
of the external websi...
This “higher quality” link follows a simple
formula.
Quality
backlink
Relevant
content
Strong
da
Learnings Log:
q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP.
q Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & ...
Increase social
share rate of
blog content.
3
Beyond organic traffic, we wanted to
continually grow our blog readership.
We figured …
more
shares
We figured …
more
shares
more
exposure
We figured …
more
shares
more
exposure
more
readers
We figured …
more
shares
more
exposure
more
readers
… but things didn’t play out
exactly as predicted.
We found that more social shares was not
resulting in more views of our content.
SOCIAL SHARES
VIEWS
We also noticed that more social shares was
not contributing to more conversions.
CONVERSIONS
SOCIAL SHARES
Learnings Log:
q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP.
q Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & ...
Despite these learnings, we were still
puzzled.
Despite these learnings, we were still
puzzled. 
Sure, we got some
things right. But not
enough to explain
how we grew our...
Domain authority from 49 to 60.
MAY JUNE JULY AUG
Weekly organic sessions 13% W/W.
JUNE JULY AUG SEPT
SERP clicks for one keyword over 500%.
Impressions
 Clicks
 Avg. Position
632.97% 564.53% 8.76%
We decided to take a closer look to
uncover the mechanics behind these
success metrics.
Let’s quickly review our findings so far.
I. Relevant external & internal links
fuel traffic from SERP.
II. Backlinks shoul...
Fortunately Hermione
uncovered even more
insightful findings. 
Cambria Davies
Updating historical blog
content with related Site
Page links helped increase
organic traffic for the old
blog post as well...
For example: We
published a post in 2014
that started with little
organic traffic.
Into early 2015, it saw a
few spikes in traffic.
When we launched a related site
page and linked the two together,
organic traffic spiked again.
But this time, traffic stayed
up and continues to grow.
Long-tail keywords are
building the mountain
that lifts Site Pages to the
top of Mount SERP.
Finding
V
This page ranks #1 in
SERP for “follow up
emails after a meeting.”
These are among 1,005
search variations
contributing that traffic.
Long-Tail Terms
12 templates for follow up after a meet...
Our final learning is when everything
magically clicked.
Finding
VI
Doubling down on one
topic across all content
(Site Pages, Blog, Guest
Posts, etc.) is where max
growth is achi...
Part of our Site Page brainstorming
involved looking for patterns of
success in historical blog content.
We then wove together all the similar-
themed posts to build a 10x site page.
So we now had a
comprehensive, designed,
SEO-optimized site page.
And a variety of posts on
the same subject across
our blog, guest blogs,
SlideShares, and more.
So we now had a
comprehens...
It turns out linking these posts to one
another showed topic authority.
In fact, the more links to related content
we had across our site, the better we ranked.
# LINKS
TOTALIMPRESSIONS
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
TOPIC A
Step I:
CREATE 10X SITE PAGE
C...
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
TOPIC A
Step II:
CREATE SUPPORTING
CON...
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
TOPIC A
Step III:
LINK ALL THE RELATED...
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
Step IV:
REPEAT ANY TOPIC
OPPORTUNITIE...
This has led to a new content process on our
team emphasizing topics over keywords.
Step V:
ANALYZE AND TWEAK
PROCESS TO R...
Topics over
keywords. That’s our
magic formula.
And these insights led us there:
q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP.
q Backlinks should be stro...
Thank You.

deck available:
ANUMHUSSAIN.COM/
PRESENTATIONS/TOPICS-
OVER-KEYWORDS
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Topics Over Keywords: An SEO-Driven Approach To Content Marketing

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Topics Over Keywords: An SEO-Driven Approach To Content Marketing

  1. 1. Topics Over Keywords an SEO-driven approach to content marketing
  2. 2. 0 Hi, I’m @anum. Beyoncé is my patronus.
  3. 3. I work with a team of incredible content muggles.
  4. 4. This squad was dedicated to brewing the perfect recipe for content magic.
  5. 5. We wanted to concoct three potions that would …
  6. 6. We wanted to concoct three potions that would … 1 Scale production of SEO site pages to fuel organic traffic.
  7. 7. Generate a mass of backlinks to help those site pages rank. We wanted to concoct three potions that would … 1 2 Scale production of SEO site pages to fuel organic traffic.
  8. 8. Increase the social share rate of our weekly blog content. Generate a mass of backlinks to help those site pages rank. We wanted to concoct three potions that would … 1 2 3 Scale production of SEO site pages to fuel organic traffic.
  9. 9. Scale production of SEO site pages. 1
  10. 10. When experimenting with our own content process, I grew obsessed with HelpScout’s resources.
  11. 11. Each resource is a thorough, ungated, web page guide.
  12. 12. Each resource is a thorough, ungated, web page guide. This one particularly caught my attention.
  13. 13. Customer Acquisition Google Search I’m Feeling Lucky
  14. 14. Customer Acquisition In addressing an entrepreneur's most important early-stage question – customer acquisition – it's easy to waste a lot of money in the wrong channels, especially ... Customer acquisition management - Wikipedia Customer acquisition management is the set of methodologies and systems to manage customer prospects and inquiries generated by a variety of marketing techniques. Customer Acquisition Strategy for Startups www.helpscout.net/customer-acquisition/ https://en.wikipedia.org/.../Customer_acquisition_management
  15. 15. Customer Acquisition Customer acquisition management - Wikipedia Customer acquisition management is the set of methodologies and systems to manage customer prospects and inquiries generated by a variety of marketing techniques. https://en.wikipedia.org/.../Customer_acquisition_management In addressing an entrepreneur's most important early-stage question – customer acquisition – it's easy to waste a lot of money in the wrong channels, especially ... Customer Acquisition Strategy for Startups www.helpscout.net/customer-acquisition/ The HelpScout guide ranks ABOVE Wikipedia.
  16. 16. This inspired us to develop our own playbook for creating what we call SEO Site Pages.
  17. 17. These site pages are comprehensive, search-optimized guides built around specific keywords. EMAIL ETIQUETTE FOLLOW UP EMAIL EMAIL TRACKING
  18. 18. Each strives to be 10x. WATCH: “Why ‘good unique content’ needs to die”
  19. 19. Of our first 10 Site Pages, five were ranking in a top ten SERP position.
  20. 20. We found that the more links we included on a page pointing to related, external content, the higher we ranked. # EXTERNAL LINKS SERPIMRESSIONS
  21. 21. We also saw a similar correlation when we linked together our own related content through internal links. # INTERNAL LINKS SERPIMRESSIONS
  22. 22. Learnings Log: q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP.
  23. 23. Generate a mass of backlinks to site pages. 2
  24. 24. Of course, ranking in SERP requires far more than targeting a keyword – we needed backlinks from external sites.
  25. 25. Instead of simply hoping that other websites would find and link to our content, we actively ran backlinking outreach.
  26. 26. This outreach took two key forms.
  27. 27. This outreach took two key forms. Guest blogging to earn a backlink within the contributed post.
  28. 28. This outreach took two key forms. Guest blogging to earn a backlink within the contributed post. Email outreach to earn a backlink through email requests.
  29. 29. We later uncovered that backlinking success was not dependent on a purely raw number of links. Site Page SERP Position # of Backlinks Avg. DA Email Etiquette 8 8 71 Networking Email 12 13 44
  30. 30. We later uncovered that backlinking success was not dependent on a purely raw number of links. Site Page SERP Position # of Backlinks Avg. DA Email Etiquette 8 8 71 Networking Email 12 13 44 ß The Email Etiquette page has fewer, but HIGHER QUALITY links.
  31. 31. This “higher quality” link follows a simple formula. Relevant content
  32. 32. This “higher quality” link follows a simple formula. Relevant content The external web page linking to our site page is on a similar topic.
  33. 33. This “higher quality” link follows a simple formula. Relevant content Strong da
  34. 34. This “higher quality” link follows a simple formula. Relevant content Strong da The domain authority of the external website is 40 or above.
  35. 35. This “higher quality” link follows a simple formula. Quality backlink Relevant content Strong da
  36. 36. Learnings Log: q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP. q Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & DA.
  37. 37. Increase social share rate of blog content. 3
  38. 38. Beyond organic traffic, we wanted to continually grow our blog readership.
  39. 39. We figured … more shares
  40. 40. We figured … more shares more exposure
  41. 41. We figured … more shares more exposure more readers
  42. 42. We figured … more shares more exposure more readers … but things didn’t play out exactly as predicted.
  43. 43. We found that more social shares was not resulting in more views of our content. SOCIAL SHARES VIEWS
  44. 44. We also noticed that more social shares was not contributing to more conversions. CONVERSIONS SOCIAL SHARES
  45. 45. Learnings Log: q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP. q Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & DA. q Social shares were not generating meaningful results.
  46. 46. Despite these learnings, we were still puzzled.
  47. 47. Despite these learnings, we were still puzzled. Sure, we got some things right. But not enough to explain how we grew our …
  48. 48. Domain authority from 49 to 60. MAY JUNE JULY AUG
  49. 49. Weekly organic sessions 13% W/W. JUNE JULY AUG SEPT
  50. 50. SERP clicks for one keyword over 500%. Impressions Clicks Avg. Position 632.97% 564.53% 8.76%
  51. 51. We decided to take a closer look to uncover the mechanics behind these success metrics.
  52. 52. Let’s quickly review our findings so far. I. Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP. II. Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & DA. III. Social shares were not generating meaningful results.
  53. 53. Fortunately Hermione uncovered even more insightful findings. Cambria Davies
  54. 54. Updating historical blog content with related Site Page links helped increase organic traffic for the old blog post as well as the new site page. Finding IV
  55. 55. For example: We published a post in 2014 that started with little organic traffic.
  56. 56. Into early 2015, it saw a few spikes in traffic.
  57. 57. When we launched a related site page and linked the two together, organic traffic spiked again.
  58. 58. But this time, traffic stayed up and continues to grow.
  59. 59. Long-tail keywords are building the mountain that lifts Site Pages to the top of Mount SERP. Finding V
  60. 60. This page ranks #1 in SERP for “follow up emails after a meeting.”
  61. 61. These are among 1,005 search variations contributing that traffic. Long-Tail Terms 12 templates for follow up after a meeting email to recap meeting details follow up email request for information meeting follow up examples wording for email after meeting free meeting followup template
  62. 62. Our final learning is when everything magically clicked.
  63. 63. Finding VI Doubling down on one topic across all content (Site Pages, Blog, Guest Posts, etc.) is where max growth is achieved.
  64. 64. Part of our Site Page brainstorming involved looking for patterns of success in historical blog content.
  65. 65. We then wove together all the similar- themed posts to build a 10x site page.
  66. 66. So we now had a comprehensive, designed, SEO-optimized site page.
  67. 67. And a variety of posts on the same subject across our blog, guest blogs, SlideShares, and more. So we now had a comprehensive, designed, SEO-optimized site page.
  68. 68. It turns out linking these posts to one another showed topic authority.
  69. 69. In fact, the more links to related content we had across our site, the better we ranked. # LINKS TOTALIMPRESSIONS
  70. 70. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords.
  71. 71. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords. TOPIC A Step I: CREATE 10X SITE PAGE COMPREHENSIVELY COVERING A TOPIC.
  72. 72. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords. TOPIC A Step II: CREATE SUPPORTING CONTENT AROUND TOPIC’S LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS. A A A A
  73. 73. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords. TOPIC A Step III: LINK ALL THE RELATED CONTENT TOGETHER – ON INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DOMAINS. A A A A
  74. 74. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords. Step IV: REPEAT ANY TOPIC OPPORTUNITIES THAT MATCH YOUR PRODUCT / BRAND. TOPIC A A A A A TOPIC B B B B B
  75. 75. This has led to a new content process on our team emphasizing topics over keywords. Step V: ANALYZE AND TWEAK PROCESS TO REFLECT WHAT IS AND ISN’T WORKING. TOPIC A A A A A TOPIC B B B B B
  76. 76. Topics over keywords. That’s our magic formula.
  77. 77. And these insights led us there: q Relevant external & internal links fuel traffic from SERP. q Backlinks should be strong in relevancy & DA. q Social shares were not generating meaningful results. q Optimize historical content for topic takeover. q Support primary content with long-tail focused posts. q Dominate a full topic across the web.
  78. 78. Thank You. deck available: ANUMHUSSAIN.COM/ PRESENTATIONS/TOPICS- OVER-KEYWORDS

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