Welcome to the very first in the series of Listeners Questions.
This week's question is: "Which SEO content should I start with?"
The expert in the answering booth today is Brad Smith, the Founder of Codeless and Wordable and the mastermind behind scaling Monday.com's SEO.
How to Start SEO: Which Content to Start With
Ben: "The first question that we've got is from someone who's starting SEO from scratch, and the question is quite simple, which is: which content should I start with? How do I get started?"
Brad: "It's very, it's very tough to answer cause it's very broad. What I would probably say is, what content's gonna make you money? And so, what I mean by that is usually its bottom-of-the-funnel stuff.
Usually, it's related to your product. And the challenge is always, especially for people who are new at this, is always finding that the middle ground of it needs to be commercial or have some commercial intent, but it also needs to be focused on solving the actual pain point of the reader, and still be somewhat entertaining or interesting to read.
If you imagine a little Venn diagram, it's specifically in the middle, and that's why it's very hard.
That's why most people don't do it well and why most people struggle, it's because it's very difficult to find something commercial that is related to your product, but then you have to put the entire angle emphasis of that content onto the customer. In other words, if somebody, like, if you're selling toilets and somebody is trying to buy a toilet, they're not like, they don't always assume that they need a new toilet.
"The challenge from a content perspective is how do you align, uh, those questions and pain points for the customer to ultimately like what you wanna sell them."—Brad Smith
In other words, they start with "well, why is my toilet running at night? How come my toilet won't flush? Why is this one thing broken?" They start with all that kind of stuff. And so that's the challenge from a content perspective is how do you align, uh, those questions and pain points for the customer to ultimately like what you wanna sell them and why your widget is better than the next persons."
Ben: "Nice. Okay. I think I wrote a similar LinkedIn post on what you are talking about this week, which is finding out what your product value is and then finding out what needs that your prospects also have, like what problem they have, and then writing a really good blog post that's like, "here's how to solve your problem" and also with another element of "why also our product is pretty good at solving it". Sort of like a jobs to be done type thing?
To start, create content with a dual purpose while waiting for SEO to kick in
Brad: "Yeah, that's very similar. I think it's, especially if you're just starting out or if your website's newer or smaller or whatever, you can go after top-of-the-funnel type of content that's just informational or educational.
The challenge is you might need to do that in the beginning because it's very hard to compete with the more competitive queries which are typically the most commercial stuff on the internet. But it's gonna take you a while to actually achieve any results.
That's the challenge. So usually there's some middle ground there where it's like, how can we actually use this content in multiple ways and actually like solve someone's problem at the same time.
In other words, like how do we create this content, collateral or assets so it helps a salesperson persuade somebody? So there are multiple goals behind it other than just SEO.—Brad Smith
Think of it almost like, in the B2B world, it's like sales enablement. In other words, like how do we create this content, collateral or assets so it helps a salesperson persuade somebody? So there are multiple goals behind it other than just SEO. Cause if you're just starting out, SEO's hard and takes a long time, unfortunately."
Ben: "Yeah, you've said so many good points there. I think like one thing, I think so many people pick that very big top-of-funnel word, like keyword thinking, oh, it's got a hundred thousand a month, like, let's go for that.
Yeah, obviously. Um, but that doesn't make sense cuz it's very difficult to win that and it's not very aligned. Although it's a general awareness piece, it's maybe not that good.
But I also really agree with this, if you are gonna get a hundred thousand people a month coming to your website, have you got any of the bottom-of-the-funnel content that helps convert them into something like, do you have the guides or the basics, the foundations in place?
Brad: "Yeah, what's really funny too, I feel like B2B companies and consumer companies almost do the opposite. They almost get it wrong from both angles. Meaning B2B companies tend to do like only bottom-of-the-funnel stuff. So they only do stuff about their own brand or their own product. And it's like, guys, nobody cares.
Like literally nobody cares about [your product]. They care about solving their problems.—Brad Smith
Like literally nobody cares about you. They care about solving their, their people are selfish. Like, we're all inherently selfish. We wanna solve our own problems. I don't care about like, whether it's this coffee that I got down the street or another coffee, I just need the caffeine. Like I don't care that much about each individual place.
Um, so B2B companies get it wrong from that perspective. Consumer companies do what you're talking about where they do like only top of the funnel. They do like only the fun stuff, the interesting stuff. But it's like, well, okay, that's great. But you know, how does that translate into actually selling anything at any point in time?"
Ben: "That's so true. So true. And it's such. Strategies, but everyone needs a bit more of a mix of both. Yeah."