Hello internet friends. Today I want to share some of the awesome SEO work that I've been doing at eCommerceFuel. 🤓
If you're familiar with SEO research, a lot of writers come up with a list of topics they want to write about and then they will search for keywords related to that topic. They'll find a keyword somewhat related to their topic, they'll write about it, and hope that it ranks. 🤞 I call this bottom-up SEO research.
Then there's what I'm calling top-down research. And the hard part is you start the process ignoring what we want to speak about at first, doing all of the SEO keyword research, grouping everything, looking at the volumes (number of searches), and then from that list deciding which keywords we want to write about.
The benefit to doing keyword research this way is you know if you rank well you'll see decent traffic. And it prevents common problems like keyword cannibalization which can happen when you don't make an SEO plan.
Let me show you how I follow this process and how it drives traffic for eCommerceFuel:
Ever since Chat GPT came out at the end of 2022 I’ve seen predictions about content. Some good and some bad. But the general idea is that ‘the cost of content is going to $0”. This is hot-take based on the hype-cycle around a new technology. This prediction doesn’t follow any historical cases, and it assumes that creating content is primarily writing – which it isn’t.
There are some highly relevant historical examples, creating content is more than just writing, and there are fundamental flaws in Chat GPT that humans need to compensate.
I recently developed a content creation process for eCommerceFuel. In my first three months, I built a process that satisfies two primary responsibilities:
Synthesize the most useful content for our existing members from the internal eCommerceFuel Forum
Publish blog content that will attract 7- and 8-figure eCommerce businesses and encourage them to join the forum
There are a surplus of moving pieces involved in research, strategy, and content production, so I devised a process to help me juggle multiple projects at the same time — without compromising quality.
That's because our target persona (7- and 8-figure business owners) demands very high quality content. If we expect to continue attracting the best and brightest to our community we have to hold our site up to a high standard. And, to ensure it remains consistently relevant, we still need to publish at least once a week.
Here, I'll share how we've created eCommerceFuel's new content creation process from scratch.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of PMPro’s larger strategic focuses. We have hundreds of posts which generate a ton of SEO traffic, but we’re always looking to reach more potential customers. That means we have to increase the organic traffic we get from Google and other search engines.
Our newest tactic to improve SEO is using Cornerstone content. This will better organize our mountain of content, for both website visitors and search engine indexing.
But how do we even know if it’s working?
Unfortunately, SEO is a notoriously slow marketing channel. If you’re making progress, you won’t see it for months. But you don’t have to operate in the dark.
This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in. KPIs measure a critical aspect of your business, to give you a better idea of how things are going. This could be sales calls per day, closed support tickets per week, or (in our case) organic traffic from Google each month.
When I got the opportunity to create my own marketing team, I wanted to build a system of clear understanding. It would need to give me insight as the manager. But it would also need to give my team information on progress towards their primary goals.
I started with a pretty bare bones KPI sheet in January and kept tweaking every few weeks. Half way through the year this is where my KPI sheet ended up.
Today, I'll explain:
How I built this sheet
What insights these KPIs give me
Why you should track both output & results focused KPIs
How you can use my template to build your own sheet
One of my favorite events every year is Denver Startup Week. Each year they get free space from mature startups in Denver and they seek out speakers with hands-on knowledge to help new startups grow. So not only do you get to learn cool new things, and meet ambitious people, but you get to tour the offices of successful startups.
This year I primarily focused on the Growth (marketing) track but I also attended a few sessions outside of that track.
I started my job as Brand Manager at Paid Memberships Pro just over a year ago. Between Kim and myself we did just about all of the marketing for the whole company. I wrote blog posts and newsletters, sent out tweets, reviewed Google Analytics, and analyzed our sales numbers.
As we worked, we slowly built our team. In October we hired a marketing specialist to help us with data entry, social media, and graphics. Then we hired a content manager in January. She's taken over the blog which has opened up my time so I can finally focus on strategy.
When I worked at Nexcess we had a 15-day performance challenge. You would submit your site & admin credentials. We’d take your site and optimize it for you on Nexcess servers and then show you the results. This was a fantastic program because we'd almost always convert the user into a customer. It also helped us understand our customers & where they often get stuck while speeding up their site.
In the WordPress world it’s common to hear that your theme should control the look & feel of your site and plugins should control the functionality.
That’s always been a best practice in WordPress. But it’s even more important when you start considering speed. You really want to make sure your theme is doing as little as possible outside of the look & feel.