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6 Ways To Engage Your Organic Search Traffic On Social Media

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6 Ways To Engage Your Organic Search Traffic On Social Media

It can feel like it takes forever to build an online audience of people who actually want to read what you post, engage in your content, and actually buy the products and services you offer – especially when trying to grow organically.

Organic growth can sometimes take months or even years to reach a profitable point.

The crazy thing is most creators and business owners are still waiting on Google to hopefully bring another person to their website or page.

But what if there were a way to fix that problem?

What if there were a better and faster way to engage your organic search traffic and your social media content all at the same time?

Luckily, there is!

We created this simple six-step process to engage your organic search traffic on social media and drastically expand your organic search reach using Facebook lookalike audiences.

  • Step 1: Perform keyword research.
  • Step 2: Create a piece of content (for this example, it will be a blog).
  • Step 3: Get some organic traffic to that piece of content.
  • Step 4: Set up your social media pixel and pixel the people who read the content article.
  • Step 5: Create a Facebook lookalike audience.
  • Step 6: Serve social media ads to that audience.

The steps may seem a bit much, especially if you’re new to organic growth. But don’t worry; this blog will break it down for you.

Step 1: Perform Keyword Research

Most people starting out with keyword research already have a few keywords or phrases they think will for their business or niche. These could be keywords related to their business or brand, like [best books to read for business] or [what foods cause inflammation?].

Keyword research (keywords) or the specific words and phrases that you and your ideal audience are using related to your products, services, industry, etc.

These highly specific seed topics are very important and a great place to start.

Many times the content you want to create and rank for and what your audience is actually typing in the search bar are likely completely different.

Which is one of the most pivotal reasons to perform keyword research in the first place.

If people aren’t searching for it, then why waste time creating it in the first place?

The smartest way to avoid this is to find the exact words and phrases your ideal customers are currently searching for on Google and other major search engines.

Figuring this out isn’t as complicated as it sounds. There are a handful of keyword research tools that can help.

For example, we use Ahrefs to research the phrase, [how to get followers on Instagram].

Screenshot from Ahrefs, October 2022ahrefs search data for how to get followers on instagram

You can see in the image above how many people are searching for this key phrase and the other relatable parent topics related to it.

When creating content for search engines, it’s essential to create content that answers one question at a time.

It’s okay to elaborate on that question, even up to a few thousand words. But don’t confuse one article with too many questions and topics.

For example, you could take these short-term and long-term keywords and write a blog post on each topic (of course, when it makes sense for your business).

If it doesn’t make sense to write a topic on each of those questions and the keywords are too relatable, then maybe it makes more sense to use this set of keywords as an H1 or H2 heading instead in the same blog post, which will also play a significant factor in search engine rankings.

Step 2: Create A Piece Of Content

Now that you understand the importance of finding the right keywords to use in your content marketing strategy, it is time to create a blog post.

When writing a blog, it is essential to remember that the goal is to get new readers to your blog consistently, which will eventually lead to a sale.

It’s also to get readers and engagement on the blog, so signals are sent to social media and the search engines to help your article get first-page rankings and rank in the first 10 blog posts on Google.

Again, this is where keyword research comes into play.

Make sure to read every blog on the first page of Google related to your keyword research. When doing so, make sure that your article outperforms each one of those blog posts or is found more valuable.

When performing keyword research correctly, it takes no time to get top rankings in Google because you know what people are searching for and how frequently they are searching for it.

Once your blog post is published on your website, it is time to wait for some people to read and engage with it.

Step 3: Get Organic Traffic

The only thing you have to do in this step is to wait for some organic traffic to trickle in; the goal is to have around 1,000 people. If 1,000 seems like too many, try to have at least 100.

Over time when the piece of content you created starts to get search results, you can set up a pixel (this is the next step) and begin running social media ads to hack the process and get more eyeballs on your content faster.

However, let me start by saying this may not be as simple as it sounds – this is the step where most businesses get stuck and don’t know how to grow reasonably.

Most creators, businesses, and companies understand how a simple marketing funnel works, but what they don’t understand is how to continuously get newly qualified people throughout every piece of the marketing funnel.

Even so, most businesses don’t understand how to successfully intertwine multiple platforms and use social media to grow their organic search traffic or vice versa.

People have created all these great pieces of content, but they don’t understand how to use that awesome content to take them to the next level.

People don’t have enough time to create new content every single day. The pressure of having to come up with new ideas every day, film videos, or write a 2,500-word blog post often times leads to burnout.

And when you are using multiple platforms, that’s where this marketing strategy comes into play.

You have to understand how to track every person who touches your content, from the first touch to the last.

Studies have shown that it usually takes a person seven interactions or touches with a business before making a purchase.

To know how many times a person interacts with your content, it is critical to have a pixel placed on your website for accurate data tracking, leading to the next step.

Step 4: Set Up Social Media Pixel

Once you have published your blog post and have a small or large amount of traffic engaging with your content, it is time to set up your social media pixel on your website.

how to set up a pixelScreenshot by author, October 2022how to set up a pixel

If you are unfamiliar with a pixel, here is the definition.

A pixel is a few lines of code that you copy into the header section of your website.

It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.

The pixel serves two primary purposes:

  • To remarket to someone who has visited one of your pages.
  • To know which pages they have visited and to track and see if someone has completed the desired action, whatever that may be.

What the pixel does, in essence, is allow Facebook to track its audience on our platform; we are essentially giving Facebook access to our tracking.

If you are unsure how to create a Facebook pixel and add the Facebook Pixel to your website, follow this two-part process:

Part 1: Create A Facebook Pixel

  • Go to Events Manager.
  • Click Connect Data Sources and select Web.
  • Select Facebook Pixel and click Connect.
  • Add your Pixel Name.
  • Enter your website URL to check for easy setup options.
  • Click Continue.

Part 2: Add The Facebook Pixel To Your Website

Once you’ve created your pixel, you’re ready to put the Facebook pixel code on your website.

There are a few different options on how you can set this part up:

  • You can manually add pixel code to a website.
  • Use a partner integration.
  • Use email instructions.

Once the tracking is in place and you fully understand your target audience’s patterns, you can begin implementing the R3MAT strategy, showing the right message to the right person at the right time with the right expectations.

Once you have your social media pixel set up, it’s time to move to the next step.

Step 5: Create A Lookalike Audience

Did you know that Facebook can predict if you are pregnant before you know you’re pregnant? Or that Facebook can tell if you’re cheating on your partner? Or that you’re going to get a divorce?

It can track every scroll up or down, a swipe of the finger, every heart, repost, retweet, and knows every person, business, and profile you interact with.

Seems pretty scary, right?

But here’s where that becomes super powerful.

Facebook has an option where you can create a lookalike audience based on its tracking abilities to reach new people who are most likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.

You can create a group of people with similar likes, interests, and demographics to those already interacting with your website.

Here is how to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience:

  • Go to your Audiences.
  • Click the Create Audience dropdown and choose Lookalike Audience.
  • Choose your source notes:
    • A source can be a customer audience not created with your pixel data, mobile app data, or fans of your page.
    • Consider using 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on lifetime value, transaction value, total order size, or engagement.
  • Choose the country/countries where you’d like to find a similar set of people.
  • Choose your desired audience size with the slider.
  • Click Create Audience.
how to create a custom audienceScreenshot from Facebook, October 2022how to create a custom audience

Creating this audience allows any business to create a small subset of people you can talk to any way you choose.

You can now show this audience relevant ads, move them through the sales funnel, build your relationship with them, and build your reach and frequency.

All of this is possible because Facebook is watching so many little data points all of the time.

Facebook continuously collects information about what you buy, who you search for or friend, what websites you visit, and the accounts you follow and unfollow.

Plus, thousands of other bits of personal information are gathered from public records and your social media activity.

Step 6: Serve Audience The Social Media Ads

The final step is to show relevant ads to your new lookalike audience that you just created.

To keep this process going, make sure you are consistently showing your lookalike audience(s) new relevant content that meets them at every point in their buyers’ journey.

Meaning you will hit them with new or recycled content (and the kind your audience likes to engage with) at the awareness stage, consideration stage, and decision stage of the buyers’ journey.

When you complete this six-step process, you are officially taking your organic search and lighting it on fire.

Conclusion

Make sure you continue to repeat this simple six-step process to engage your organic search traffic on social media over and over to see the best results.

Repeat everything from performing new keyword research to creating new content and setting up your new pixel to running new ads to the piece of content to a saved or new audience.

This doesn’t mean you must change what’s working, but maybe take a few clips out of your existing content and show that to your audience.

Break larger pieces of content down into smaller segments to create new pieces of micro-content out of your current existing content.

More Resources:


Featured Image: oatawa/Shutterstock

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Google Documents Leaked & SEOs Are Making Some Wild Assumptions

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Google Documents Leaked & SEOs Are Making Some Wild Assumptions

You’ve probably heard about the recent Google documents leak. It’s on every major site and all over social media.

Where did the docs come from?

My understanding is that a bot called yoshi-code-bot leaked docs related to the Content API Warehouse on Github on March 13th, 2024. It may have appeared earlier in some other repos, but this is the one that was first discovered.

They were discovered by an anonymous ex-Googler who shared the info with Erfan Azimi who shared it with Rand Fishkin who shared it with Mike King. The docs were removed on May 7th.

I appreciate all involved for sharing their findings with the community.

Google’s response

There was some debate if the documents were real or not, but they mention a lot of internal systems and link to internal documentation and it definitely appears to be real.

A Google spokesperson released the following statement to Search Engine Land:

We would caution against making inaccurate assumptions about Search based on out-of-context, outdated, or incomplete information. We’ve shared extensive information about how Search works and the types of factors that our systems weigh, while also working to protect the integrity of our results from manipulation.

SEOs interpret things based on their own experiences and bias

Many SEOs are saying that the ranking factors leaked. I haven’t seen any code or weights, just what appear to be descriptions and storage info. Unless one of the descriptions says the item is used for ranking, I think it’s dangerous for SEOs that all of these are used in ranking.

Having some features or information stored does not mean they’re used in ranking. For our search engine, Yep.com, we have all kinds of things stored that might be used for crawling, indexing, ranking, personalization, testing, or feedback. We even have things stored that we aren’t doing things with yet.

What is more likely is that SEOs are making assumptions that favor their own opinions and biases.

It’s the same for me. I may not have full context or knowledge and may have inherent biases that influence my interpretation, but I try to be as fair as I can be. If I’m wrong, it means that I will learn something new and that’s a good thing! SEOs can, and do, interpret things differently.

Gael Breton said it well:

I’ve been around long enough to see many SEO myths created over the years and I can point you to who started many of them and what they misunderstood. We’ll likely see a lot of new myths from this leak that we’ll be dealing with for the next decade or longer.

Let’s look at a few things that in my opinion are being misinterpreted or where conclusions are being drawn where they shouldn’t be.

SiteAuthority

As much as I want to be able to say Google has a Site Authority score that they use for ranking that’s like DR, that part specifically is about compressed quality metrics and talks about quality.

I believe DR is more an effect that happens as you have a lot of pages with strong PageRank, not that it’s necessarily something Google uses. Lots of pages with higher PageRank that internally link to each other means you’re more likely to create stronger pages.

  • Do I believe that PageRank could be part of what Google calls quality? Yes.
  • Do I think that’s all of it? No.
  • Could Site Authority be something similar to DR? Maybe. It fits in the bigger picture.
  • Can I prove that or even that it’s used in rankings? No, not from this.

From some of the Google testimony to the US Department of Justice, we found out that quality is often measured with an Information Satisfaction (IS) score from the raters. This isn’t directly used in rankings, but is used for feedback, testing, and fine-tuning models.

We know the quality raters have the concept of E-E-A-T, but again that’s not exactly what Google uses. They use signals that align to E-E-A-T.

Some of the E-E-A-T signals that Google has mentioned are:

  • PageRank
  • Mentions on authoritative sites
  • Site queries. This could be “site:http://ahrefs.com E-E-A-T” or searches like “ahrefs E-E-A-T”

So could some kind of PageRank scores extrapolated to the domain level and called Site Authority be used by Google and be part of what makes up the quality signals? I’d say it’s plausible, but this leak doesn’t prove it.

I can recall 3 patents from Google I’ve seen about quality scores. One of them aligns with the signals above for site queries.

I should point out that just because something is patented, doesn’t mean it is used. The patent around site queries was written in part by Navneet Panda. Want to guess who the Panda algorithm that related to quality was named after? I’d say there’s a good chance this is being used.

The others were around n-gram usage and seemed to be to calculate a quality score for a new website and another mentioned time on site.

Sandbox

I think this has been misinterpreted as well. The document has a field called hostAge and refers to a sandbox, but it specifically says it’s used “to sandbox fresh spam in serving time.”

To me, that doesn’t confirm the existence of a sandbox in the way that SEOs see it where new sites can’t rank. To me, it reads like a spam protection measure.

Clicks

Are clicks used in rankings? Well, yes, and no.

We know Google uses clicks for things like personalization, timely events, testing, feedback, etc. We know they have models upon models trained on the click data including navBoost. But is that directly accessing the click data and being used in rankings? Nothing I saw confirms that.

The problem is SEOs are interpreting this as CTR is a ranking factor. Navboost is made to predict which pages and features will be clicked. It’s also used to cut down on the number of returned results which we learned from the DOJ trial.

As far as I know, there is nothing to confirm that it takes into account the click data of individual pages to re-order the results or that if you get more people to click on your individual results, that your rankings would go up.

That should be easy enough to prove if it was the case. It’s been tried many times. I tried it years ago using the Tor network. My friend Russ Jones (may he rest in peace) tried using residential proxies.

I’ve never seen a successful version of this and people have been buying and trading clicks on various sites for years. I’m not trying to discourage you or anything. Test it yourself, and if it works, publish the study.

Rand Fishkin’s tests for searching and clicking a result at conferences years ago showed that Google used click data for trending events, and they would boost whatever result was being clicked. After the experiments, the results went right back to normal. It’s not the same as using them for the normal rankings.

Authors

We know Google matches authors with entities in the knowledge graph and that they use them in Google news.

There seems to be a decent amount of author info in these documents, but nothing about them confirms that they’re used in rankings as some SEOs are speculating.

Was Google lying to us?

What I do disagree with whole-heartedly is SEOs being angry with the Google Search Advocates and calling them liars. They’re nice people who are just doing their job.

If they told us something wrong, it’s likely because they don’t know, they were misinformed, or they’ve been instructed to obfuscate something to prevent abuse. They don’t deserve the hate that the SEO community is giving them right now. We’re lucky that they share information with us at all.

If you think something they said is wrong, go and run a test to prove it. Or if there’s a test you want me to run, let me know. Just being mentioned in the docs is not proof that a thing is used in rankings.

Final Thoughts

While I may agree or I may disagree with the interpretations of other SEOs, I respect all who are willing to share their analysis. It’s not easy to put yourself or your thoughts out there for public scrutiny.

I also want to reiterate that unless these fields specifically say they are used in rankings, that the information could just as easily be used for something else. We definitely don’t need any posts about Google’s 14,000 ranking factors.

If you want my thoughts on a particular thing, message me on X or LinkedIn.



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Do Higher Content Scores Mean Higher Google Rankings? Our Data Says It’s Unlikely.

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Do Higher Content Scores Mean Higher Google Rankings? Our Data Says It's Unlikely.

I studied the correlation between rankings and content scores from four popular content optimization tools: Clearscope, Surfer, MarketMuse, and Frase. The result? Weak correlations all around.

This suggests (correlation does not necessarily imply causation!) that obsessing over your content score is unlikely to lead to significantly higher Google rankings.

Does that mean content optimization scores are pointless?

No. You just need to know how best to use them and understand their flaws.

Most tools’ content scores are based on keywords. If top-ranking pages mention keywords your page doesn’t, your score will be low. If it does, your score will be high.

While this has its obvious flaws (having more keyword mentions doesn’t always mean better topic coverage), content scores can at least give some indication of how comprehensively you’re covering the topic. This is something Google is looking for.

Google says that comprehensively covering the topic is a sign of quality contentGoogle says that comprehensively covering the topic is a sign of quality content

If your page’s score is significantly lower than the scores of competing pages, you’re probably missing important subtopics that searchers care about. Filling these “content gaps” might help improve your rankings.

However, there’s nuance to this. If competing pages score in the 80-85 range while your page scores 79, it likely isn’t worth worrying about. But if it’s 95 vs. 20 then yeah, you should probably try to cover the topic better.

Key takeaway

Don’t obsess over content scores. Use them as a barometer for topic coverage. If your score is significantly lower than competitors, you’re probably missing important subtopics and might rank higher by filling those “content gaps.”

There are at least two downsides you should be aware of when it comes to content scores.

They’re easy to cheat

Content scores tend to be largely based on how many times you use the recommended set of keywords. In some tools, you can literally copy-paste the entire list, draft nothing else, and get an almost perfect score.

Scoring 98 on MarketMuse after shoehorning all the suggested keywords without any semblance of a draftScoring 98 on MarketMuse after shoehorning all the suggested keywords without any semblance of a draft

This is something we aim to solve with our upcoming content optimization tool: Content Master.

I can’t reveal too much about this yet, but it has a big USP compared to most existing content optimization tools: its content score is based on topic coverage—not just keywords.

For example, it tells us that our SEO strategy template should better cover subtopics like keyword research, on-page SEO, and measuring and tracking SEO success.

Preview of our upcoming Content Master toolPreview of our upcoming Content Master tool

But, unlike other content optimization tools, lazily copying and pasting related keywords into the document won’t necessarily increase our content score. It’s smart enough to understand that keyword coverage and topic coverage are different things.

Sidenote.

This tool is still in production so the final release may look a little different.

They encourage copycat content

Content scores tell you how well you’re covering the topic based on what’s already out there. If you cover all important keywords and subtopics from the top-ranking pages and create the ultimate copycat content, you’ll score full marks.

This is a problem because quality content should bring something new to the table, not just rehash existing information. Google literally says this in their helpful content guidelines.

Google says quality content goes beyond obvious information. It needs to bring something new to the tableGoogle says quality content goes beyond obvious information. It needs to bring something new to the table

In fact, Google even filed a patent some years back to identify ‘information gain’: a measurement of the new information provided by a given article, over and above the information present in other articles on the same topic.

You can’t rely on content optimization tools or scores to create something unique. Making something that stands out from the rest of the search results will require experience, experimentation, or effort—something only humans can have/do.

Enrich common knowledge with new information and experiences in your contentEnrich common knowledge with new information and experiences in your content

Big thanks to my colleagues Si Quan and Calvinn who did the heavy lifting for this study. Nerd notes below. 😉

  • For the study, we selected 20 random keywords and pulled the top 20 ranking pages.
  • We pulled the SERPs before the March 2024 update was rolled out.
  • Some of the tools had issues pulling the top 20 pages, which we suspect was due to SERP features.
  • Clearscope didn’t give numerical scores; they opted for grades. We used ChatGPT to convert those grades into numbers.
  • Despite their increasing prominence in the SERPs, most of the tools had trouble analyzing Reddit, Quora, and YouTube. They typically gave a zero or no score for these results. If they gave no scores, we excluded them from the analysis.
  • The reason why we calculated both Spearman and Kendall correlations (and took the average) is because according to Calvinn (our Data Scientist), Spearman correlations are more sensitive and therefore more prone to being swayed by small sample size and outliers. On the other hand, the Kendall rank correlation coefficient only takes order into account. So, it is more robust for small sample sizes and less sensitive to outliers.

Final thoughts

Improving your content score is unlikely to hurt Google rankings. After all, although the correlation between scores and rankings is weak, it’s still positive. Just don’t obsess and spend hours trying to get a perfect score; scoring in the same ballpark as top-ranking pages is enough.

You also need to be aware of their downsides, most notably that they can’t help you craft unique content. That requires human creativity and effort.

Any questions or comments? Ping me on X or LinkedIn.



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Unlocking Brand Growth: Strategies for B2B and E-commerce Marketers

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Unlocking Brand Growth: Strategies for B2B and E-commerce Marketers

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, scaling a brand effectively requires more than just an innovative product or service. For B2B and e-commerce marketers, understanding the intricacies of growth strategies across different stages of business development is crucial.  

A recent analysis of 71 brands offers valuable insights into the optimal strategies for startups, scaleups, mature brands, and majority offline businesses. Here’s what we learned. 

Startup Stage: Building the Foundation 

Key Strategy: Startups focus on impressions-driven channels like Paid Social to establish their audience base. This approach is essential for gaining visibility and creating a strong initial footprint in the market. 

Case Study: Pooch & Mutt exemplified this strategy by leveraging Paid Social to achieve significant year-on-year revenue gains while also improving acquisition costs. This foundational step is crucial for setting the stage for future growth and stability. 

Scaleup Stage: Accelerating Conversion 

Key Strategy: For scaleups, having already established an audience, the focus shifts to conversion activities. Increasing spend in impressions-led media helps continue generating demand while maintaining a balance with acquisition costs. 

Case Study: The Essence Vault successfully applied this approach, scaling their Meta presence while minimizing cost increases. This stage emphasizes the importance of efficient spending to maximize conversion rates and sustain growth momentum. 

Mature Stage: Expanding Horizons 

Key Strategy: Mature brands invest in higher funnel activities to avoid market saturation and explore international expansion opportunities. This strategic pivot ensures sustained growth and market diversification. 

Case Study: Represent scaled their efforts on TikTok, enhancing growth and improving Meta efficiency. By expanding their presence in the US, they exemplified how mature brands can navigate saturation and seek new markets for continued success. 

Majority Offline Brands: Embracing Digital Channels 

Key Strategy: Majority offline brands primarily invest in click-based channels like Performance Max. However, the analysis reveals significant opportunities in Paid Social, suggesting a balanced approach for optimal results. 

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