– Hi, guys, I'm Kara, marketing associate here at Campaign Creators. If you're watching this, you're watching part two of
our three part AMA series interviewing HubSpot's head
of content SEO, Aja Frost. If you haven't watched part
one, go ahead and watch that. We covered some great things on SEO, content strategy, and more. So let's get back into it. (upbeat music) You kind of answered my next question, but wondering if you want
to elaborate more on it. But, yes, there's a lot of
blog writers, content creators that are writing a lot of blogs, but don't necessarily have
a strategy put in place, and they see the results,
traffic isn't growing. What would you suggest for them to do next if they want to improve their traffic, but they just have a bunch of blogs now? What's the most efficient
or effective way for them to use their time? – Yeah, I think my first step would be going to Google Search Console or a keyword research tool
like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, you've got a bunch of options, and just looking at where you're
currently getting traffic.
What keywords you're
currently ranking for. And being really honest with yourself about whether those keywords are actually ones you
should be ranking for, whether they have the potential to drive qualified traffic or not. And if you find that there's some keywords that are good fits, I always
think about it in two ways, good fit for your audience
and good fit for your product. And for a keyword to be worth targeting it needs to have both. So if you find keywords that
you're currently ranking for that meet those criteria,
you can either work on improving the content and
getting it to rank higher, or finding more good-fit keywords if you're already
ranking highly for those. Like, what other keywords in this sphere can we rank for as well? And that's probably like, the simplest, this should take, you know,
five hours of your time, activity that you can do, whether you're doing it once a month, or once a quarter, it's really easy.
But it does, yeah, it requires
being very, I don't know, just honest with yourself.
– Intentional. – Yeah, honest and intentional because I think you can
rank for a lot of keywords without having them be good-fit keywords. You can get a lot of traffic, but if it's not qualified traffic, it's like a vanity metric. – No customers, exactly. – Yeah, yeah, and if you are using GA and you have like custom
goals or events set up and you're actually tracking
conversions on the page or, you know, email subscribers, or like, any goal that you've set up, you can drill down even further
and say, okay this page. Maybe it's in the 50th
percentile for traffic, but it's in the 99th
percentile for conversions.
Why? How? What do I do to make more of these pages? – Yeah, yeah. And now that you're talking
about conversion rates, traffic, I think another question
that I wanted to ask was, what, besides traffic,
is a very common metric that people use to determine whether their post is successful, are there any other maybe more
important or relevant metrics that you use to determine
or say like, yes, this blog post or this
content I've created was a good idea and is proving success? What are some metrics that
you would suggest tracking? – Yeah, so I think earlier
when I touched on, okay, it's organic first, it's not organic only, we're also looking at these other things, our reporting metrics have, and I would argue that for everyone, your reporting metrics
should line up very closely to your strategy and your goals.
Like, they should be one and the same. If you want to do X, what you're tracking should be right there with it. So we're still, I'd say,
organic traffic is still one of the first metrics that we look at, but we are also looking, and it depends on the type of content. So, let's say we've written something that is specifically
designed to convert someone into a free user. Like, we have a free meetings tool, and so if someone's looking for how to schedule a meeting using Gmail, we know that person could be
a great fit for our products. So that query might have 150 MSV, fairly low for our normal target keyword, but it's a perfect lead into the product. So for that post, we will
look at organic traffic, we'll look at ranking for target keywords, but we're also going to look at, okay, last touch attribution
for that product page. And even going so far as to say, like, did someone hit this blog post
before they became a user? If so, we're going to attribute
that to the blog post.
So that would be one
metric that we look at. We have a lot of more
lead-gen oriented posts, kind of colloquially
known as conversion bait. So for those we're
looking at how many people hit a lead-gen thank you
page from a blog post, yeah. For posts that are intended
to kind of strengthen our point of view, or
garner a lot of buzz, which tend not to have the most traffic because they're more like,
future thinking or more timely. I think like a lot of
what Nate Silver does is a really good example. I don't know if you read his website– – No, I don't. – But he does a lot of political,
of each piece of content so it will say like, this is designed, I mean it's not going to write out, this is designed to get
links, but it will say– – What's the goal? – Yeah, it'll say goal, like links, or legion, or
academy sign-ups, whatever, and then we can look and say, okay, did that do what
it was intended to do? – Got you.
– So it makes it very
easy to measure, yeah. – Yeah, it's a good way to organize, yes, did it accomplish a goal? No. It's really good that you're writing
that out and everything. – Yeah. – Awesome, great tips. So we talked about metrics. Now that it is December,
what is today, 10th? – 11th. – 11th, it's again, time is flying by. – Time is flying, yeah. – Now that we're coming
to the new decade, 2020, do you feel like SEO is changing
in the next upcoming year, do you feel like it's not? Or do you have any predictions of what you see SEO
going in the next year? – Yeah, I think one thing
that is starkly obvious when you use Google, is how much of the traditional
SERP has disappeared. So SEO's talk about the 10 blue links, and that was, you know, standard
Google, back in the day, type in a query, you get ten blue links. Maybe you'd have one
or two ads at the top, but that was pretty much it.
And now, I was on Twitter, the SEO Twitter community is fantastic. – Is it? – Yeah, people are– – I had no idea. – It is my favorite
pastime during the day. I spend a lot of time on SEO Twitter. Someone just made like an
SEO, have you heard of an RPG? – No. – It's like an old-school computer game. Someone made one for SEO, Alexis Merkle, and published it on Twitter yesterday. – Love it. – Yeah, so that gives you an idea of the type of cool stuff that's coming up in this world.
But yeah, someone posted a screenshot of, it was a Black Friday related query. I can't remember if it
was like a product query or like, Black Friday deals
or something like that, but it was massive, and all the way down at the very bottom was the first organic result. By organic, we mean
something that's not an ad or a featured snippet, or a people also ask box,
or knowledge grab, or media.
Yeah, so Rand Fishkin calls this, "The rise of the zero click search," because Google is giving
users so much information right on the SERP, they
have no reason to click. And now, I think, for the
first time ever, this year, more than half of desktop queries no longer result in a click. – That's a lot. – Yeah, it's a lot. And even if people are searching more, and more people are getting
access to the internet, and the overall pie is growing, websites are increasingly getting a smaller slice of the pie. So I think it's every SEO's job, knowing that this is a trend, knowing that outside of
Duck Duck Go, or Bing, having, you know, this
incredible upward trajectory and displacing Google, it's
going to keep happening.
It's an irreversible trend. And how do you either get as big a piece of the pie as possible, meaning like, as much search activity, as many clicks are actually happening. How do you make sure that
your website is getting as many as it can for the right queries? Or how do you find other
sources of traffic that you own, that aren't reliant on
Google, very hard to do, if you figure it out, let me know. (both laugh) – I was hoping you'd answer that one.
– No, no, don't have answers to that. Just know that it's important
and that someone should. Or how do you make your
website so effective that it doesn't matter that you're getting fewer
clicks, necessarily? You know, can you turn
the lever in other ways? Can you increase conversion rates? Or create a new type of
content that's more engaging? It's a really tough question, I think everyone's struggling with it. It's incredible to see
entire market caps, you know, business market caps just tumble, like, TripAdvisor's a great example. Or like hotel booking websites, you know, once Google decided to
go into the bookings or restaurant reservation games, you can take out an entire industry.
That's a lot of power. So, you have to think about it, but I don't know if there
are any easy answers. – Yeah, no, it's crazy how
there's featured snippets. I'm starting to see now, well like, YouTube clips specifically, or even like, if you ask a question, it'll put the clip exactly at the video– – The suggested clip, I know, it's crazy. – This is so specific to,
yes, answering my question, but, yeah, it pushes down everything. There's like, I don't
know what they're called, but all those questions that are– – Yeah, the people also ask boxes. – Yeah, and I guess I
didn't think about it until you mentioned it now, but it is becoming like,
organic is at the bottom now, and so, yeah.
If you have answers to– – Yeah, let us know. – That would be a great answer to know, but a good thing to think about..