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In episode 23 of the Customers Who Click podcast I had a fantastic chat with Chris Dickey, the founder of Visably about how brands can dominate page 1 of searh.
We’re not talking SEO specifically though, so don’t expect a detailed SEO strategy here, in this episode we discussed a range of options for how you can ensure your brand has a presence across page 1, whether you own the search results or not.
It’s a ‘’if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach. SEO is hard enough as it is, and going for every keyword relevant to your brand will take a huge amount of time and effort. Time and effort that can be put to better use.
Chris talks to us about how PR, affiliate relationships, 3rd party retailers and content based sites can all be used to ensure that your brand appears either on page 1, or on one of the page 1 search results.
Chris has worked in PR for for over 14 years, including founding his own agency, and more recently launching Visably, a new SaaS business for measuring brand visibility.
2:23 - 18:03 - Chris Explains Dominating Page 1 - Chris realised that the impact of earned media was becoming less and less. People pick up newspapers and magazines less, and are less loyal to media outlets. The most impactful pieces of coverage where therefore those that appeared on page 1 of search results. So he wanted to investigate how they could be more deliberate in their approach to targeting these resources. Given that 70% of clicks happen on the first 5 organic results, its so important to claim these spots. But with SEO becoming ever more competitive, what other ways are there to get brands into these spots?
18:25 - 20:32 - Myths & Misconceptions around Search Visibility - The main one is the idea that if you do everything right, optimise your website, do your keyword research etc, you’ll hit page 1. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. It’s not impossible of course, it depends on your business and the space you’re in, but for the majority of companies out there it’s going to be incredibly tough.
20:54 - 32:12 - How does Chris Approach a New Project - They start with a big keyword analysis, working out not only what are the high volume search terms for this business, but also what the intent is around those keywords. It’s no longer about exact match, there’s a lot of longer tail keywords, people tend to search with a questions or statements now that show specific search intent, and if you can match your content to that intent you’ll get rewarded by Google. Then they really focus on Informational intent as transactional will be dominated by the ecommerce sites, it’s not a PR space. So really focus on informational, how can they produce content to help answer peoples questions, or how can they get their clients brands listed on comparison and review sites that will benefit them.
32:54 - 38:57 - What are the Biggest Mistakes Brands Make - Absolutely intent, people doing the keyword research, coming up with the target list, but not understanding the intent behind those keywords. If you try to rank a page for informational content on a transactional intent keyword, you just wont.
39:07 - 47:14 - Upcoming Trends for the Next 18 Months - That this idea of search engine visibility picks up more, and people understand that the most valuable coverage is a page 1 result. You can get mentioned on some amazing sites, but if there’s no follow link, and the page doesn't show up in search results, it’s not offering you any value.
47:20 - 51:24 - Chris’s Pet Peeves - Untargeted solicitation. So not just cold emails and whatnot, but when little effort has been made to actually make sure you’re a target for it. This happens a lot with PR and service companies who do automated outreach, but it also includes retargeting. Retargeting someone who has infact made the purchase is a waste of money, and it’s just annoying for the customer.
51:39 - 56:33 - What’s the Most Underrated Aspect of Marketing - Influencer marketing, which is obviously becoming bigger and bigger, everyone knows about it, but do many brands actually do it that well and really crack it? It’s mainly used at the moment as an advertising channel, rather than really what would be considered ‘influencing’.
If you’d like to hear more from Chris you can find him on Twitter or LinkedIn, or test out the Visably platform, it’s currently in Beta so free to use.