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7 Successful B2B Content Marketing Examples You Can Learn From

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7 Successful B2B Content Marketing Examples You Can Learn From

There is no one right way of doing content marketing.

Depending on their goals, resources, target audience, and so on, different companies do content marketing differently. 

In this post, we’ll share seven inspiring B2B content marketing examples, why they’ve done well, and how you can replicate their success.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps businesses sell online.

Shopify's free tools

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 9,000

Estimated organic traffic: 1,700,000

Number of keywords the tools rank for: 121,000

Key statistics for Shopify's free tools page, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey statistics for Shopify's free tools page, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What it does well

When it comes to content marketing, Shopify has gone the whole hog. It’s invested in almost every type of content marketing: blogs, podcasts, free courses, free guides, and more.

The different types of content marketing Shopify has invested inThe different types of content marketing Shopify has invested in

But I want to drill down into one aspect of its content marketing: free tools. Shopify offers over 20 free tools:

A sample of the free tools offered by ShopifyA sample of the free tools offered by Shopify

These tools have two things in common. First, they solve problems for budding entrepreneurs. For example, you’ll need a business name for your new company. Shopify solves that by offering a free business name generator:

Shopify's business name generator toolShopify's business name generator tool

Second, these queries have thousands of monthly searches on Google. For example, the term “business name generator” gets 81,000 monthly searches in the U.S.:

Search volume for "business name generator", via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerSearch volume for "business name generator", via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

That’s why its tools page—and each individual tool—is getting hundreds of thousands of search visits:

Key statistics for Shopify's business name generator toolKey statistics for Shopify's business name generator tool

How to replicate its success

Tools are content too. Consider creating a free tool if you have the ability or resources. This is especially applicable if you’re a software company.

However, don’t just create any free tool. Create those your potential customers are searching for. 

Here’s how to find them. You can:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
  2. Enter one or a few broad keywords related to your industry (e.g., if you have a real estate website, these might be mortgage, rent, and down payment).
  3. Go to the Matching terms report.
  4. In the Include filter, add words like calculator, tool, tools, and, checker.
  5. Choose Any word and click Apply.
The Matching terms report with tool-type words filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerThe Matching terms report with tool-type words filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Look through the list to see if there are any relevant tools you can create.

Make sure you review the top-ranking results to see if you can “beat” them. Ask yourself:

  • What’s good about them?
  • How could they be improved?

When you’ve created your free tool, know that you’ll likely have to acquire links to rank. There are many ways to do this, but the best starting point for tools is to use the Skyscraper Technique. 

Read this post or watch the video below to learn more:

Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that allows you to research your competitors, study what your customers are searching for, optimize your website, and more.

Ahrefs blogAhrefs blog

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 33,400

Estimated organic traffic: 645,000

Number of keywords the blog ranks for: 107,000

Key statistics for Ahrefs blog, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey statistics for Ahrefs blog, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What we do well

Our content strategy is simple. We target topics that have:

  1. Search traffic potential – Topics that our potential customers are searching for on Google.
  2. Business potential – Topics where we can pitch our product.
  3. Ranking potential – Topics where we can rank in the top three with our current resources.
The best keyword strategies prioritize keywords with traffic, business, and ranking potentialThe best keyword strategies prioritize keywords with traffic, business, and ranking potential

Doing this consistently allows us to rank high for keywords that are relevant to our customers and pitch our product as the best solution to those problems. 

This no-frills SEO content strategy has helped grow our annual recurring revenue (ARR) consistently over the years.

How to replicate our success

Use the same process in example #1 to find keywords with search traffic potential:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter one or a few broad keywords related to your industry
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. Filter for keywords with Traffic Potential (TP)
Matching terms report with Traffic potential filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerMatching terms report with Traffic potential filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Eyeball the list and note down all relevant keywords. 

From there, you’ll want to assign a “business potential” score to each keyword. Here’s the cheat sheet we use at Ahrefs:

Business potential chartBusiness potential chart

You’ll also want to give each keyword a “ranking potential” score. We can check each keyword’s ranking difficulty by scrolling to the SERP overview section and analyzing the metrics shown for the current top-ranking pages.

SERP Overview for "how to grind coffee beans", via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerSERP Overview for "how to grind coffee beans", via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

What should you look out for? There are many factors involved in assessing ranking difficulty. But broadly speaking, you’ll want to pay attention to:

  • Quantity and quality of backlinks – Links are a Google ranking factor. So the more high-quality backlinks the current top-ranking pages have, the harder it’ll be to compete. Check the Domains column to see how many websites are linking to each top-ranking page. To understand link quality, click on the number in the Backlinks column and review each page’s backlink profile
  • Website authority – You can use a proxy metric like Domain Rating (DR) to gauge a site’s authority. If the DR scores of the top-ranking pages are all higher than yours, you may want to prioritize other keywords.
  • Search intentSearch intent is the why behind the query. You’ll want to make sure you’re able to fulfill the search intent for the keywords you want to target.
  • Content quality – Can you beat the top-ranking pages on content quality? This is subjective. But if the #1 ranking page reviewed 47 air purifiers for its blog post, can you do the same or more?

To go in-depth about how to assess ranking difficulty, I highly recommend reading our keyword difficulty guide.

After reviewing the keywords for the four attributes, give them a “ranking potential” score:

How to score a keyword's ranking potentialHow to score a keyword's ranking potential

Learn more: How to Create an SEO Content Strategy (Follow the Ahrefs’ Framework)

Slidebean is a pitch deck design platform for startups and small businesses.

Slidebean's YouTube channelSlidebean's YouTube channel

Key stats

Number of YouTube subscribers: 401,000

Total views: 27,325,552

What it does well

I reached out to Slidebean’s CEO, Caya, to find out more. From what he told me, the platform’s approach is twofold.

First, it started with a recurring video series known as Startups 101. For this series, it mainly targeted startup-related keywords on YouTube.

Slidebean's playlist for Startups 101Slidebean's playlist for Startups 101

However, it exhausted its list of topics in about a year. This was when it decided to move up the marketing funnel into TOFU-related topics.

Since we had found a “YouTube formula,” we decided to apply it to other kinds of content, and one of them was this idea of exploring failed companies. The first one was WeWork, which was just the right bridge between a startup-focused company and a widely known brand. At this stage, the series was called “Startup Forensics.”

However, there were only so many tech startups to explore, so we quickly opened that up to “Company Forensics” to broaden our horizons. 

Jose CayassoJose Cayasso
Slidebean's Company Forensics seriesSlidebean's Company Forensics series

Slidebean’s goal was to get as many eyeballs as possible. Thanks to the mere exposure effect, people would think of Slidebean in the future if they were ever looking for pitch deck software. 

How to replicate its success

Predicting what kind of videos will take off on YouTube is difficult. You could launch a well-produced, expensive, and entertaining video to crickets. 

That’s why Caya started his YouTube journey by initially targeting topics his target audience was searching for. Only when he built an audience did he move to other types of content. 

Here’s how to find topics people are searching for on YouTube:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter one or a few broad keywords related to your industry
  3. Select YouTube in the search engine dropdown
  4. Go to the Matching terms report
Matching terms report for YouTube, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerMatching terms report for YouTube, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Go through the list to find relevant keywords for your YouTube channel. 

Then, watch this video to learn how to create videos that will rank on YouTube:

Founded in 2014 by Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar is a social media automation tool.

MeetEdgar's homepageMeetEdgar's homepage

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 7,300

Number of backlinks: 40,300

Key stats for MeetEdgar, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey stats for MeetEdgar, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What it does well

Appearing on podcasts helped MeetEdgar grow into a thriving business. From 2014 to 2017, founder Laura Roeder appeared on an estimated 100 podcasts.

A podcast interview where Laura Roeder, the founder of MeetEdgar, was the guestA podcast interview where Laura Roeder, the founder of MeetEdgar, was the guest

According to Jen Carvey, a former employee, this strategy helped MeetEdgar reach 1.25 million website visitors, 100,000 email subscribers, and $329,000+ monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

How to replicate its success

There are more than 850,000 active podcasts today. Plenty of them will need guests. So if you can find podcasts with your target audience, you can appear on them. Not only will you generate brand awareness, but you can also get links back to your site.

The easiest way to find podcasts to appear on is to simply search for “best [niche] podcasts”:

SERPs for "best investing podcasts"SERPs for "best investing podcasts"

Keep in mind that many of them will be popular podcasts that can be challenging to pitch for. So if you’re starting out, try this method:

  1. Find a prolific podcast guest in your industry (e.g., Laura Roeder)
  2. Enter their website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (set it to Exact URL)
  3. Go to the Backlinks report
  4. Filter for results with “episode” in the Referring page title
Backlinks report for MeetEdgar, filtered for Laura Roeder, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerBacklinks report for MeetEdgar, filtered for Laura Roeder, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Once you’ve gathered a list of potential podcasts, find the emails of the hosts and reach out to see if they’re willing to interview you. 

Learn more: How to Use Podcasts for Link Building 

First Round Capital is a seed-stage venture capital (VC) firm.

First Round's The ReviewFirst Round's The Review

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 9,900

Estimated total visits: 368,900

Estimated organic traffic: 43,500

Newsletter subscribers: 127,000

Key stats for First Round Review, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey stats for First Round Review, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What it does well

At the time, most VC firms were either blogging about market trends or opinion pieces from their partners. First Round decided to position itself differently and focused on writing stories about the operator side (i.e., startups).

With a portfolio of startups it had already invested in, First Round was in a unique position to interview and tell never-seen-before stories.

This was perfect for attracting its target audience too. New or potential founders aren’t interested in market trends; they want content that solves real problems—product development, hiring, marketing, and so on.

How to replicate its success

Camille Ricketts, the ex-editor of First Round Review, started by asking: 

What is the number one thing that all of these early-stage founders want?”

Her answer? To be able to go to coffee with somebody who has done the thing they’re trying to do. That was how The Review was born: a magazine-style blog of “coffee meetups at scale.”

Before you create any content, make sure you know exactly who you’re targeting and what problems they’re facing. If you haven’t created your buyer personas yet, follow this guide on how to do it.

Learn more: Why You Shouldn’t Try to Be the First Round Review: 3 Content Lessons From Camille Ricketts

Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider.

Kinsta's blogKinsta's blog

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 15,900

Estimated organic traffic: 1,600,000

Number of keywords the blog ranks for: 330,000

Key stats for Kinsta's blog, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey stats for Kinsta's blog, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What it does well

Like us, Kinsta follows a keyword-driven content strategy. However, what makes its approach unique is what SEO Glen Allsopp calls “error message marketing.”

Here’s the gist of how it works:

  1. You’ll inadvertently face issues when doing something technical or using a technical tool.
  2. You’ll probably Google how to solve it.
  3. Kinsta specifically targets those keywords.

This way, Kinsta builds brand awareness among its target audience—developers, webmasters, site owners, etc.—people who basically fix such technical issues regularly.

Top pages for Kinsta's blog, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTop pages for Kinsta's blog, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

How to replicate its success

If there are tools regularly used by people in your niche, determine what problems their users have and target those topics.

For example, let’s say you’re a U.K.-based company that targets boiler engineers. Here’s how to find these topics:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter the names of tools/products your niche uses (e.g., Intergas, Vaillant, Vokera, Worcester Bosch)
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. In the Include filter, add words like fault, error, code
  5. Choose Any word and click Apply
Matching terms report with error-type words filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerMatching terms report with error-type words filtered, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Eyeball the list and find those topics that are relevant to your site. 

YouGov is a market research and data analytics firm. It provides a few services, including custom data and research, audience profiling, segmentation, and brand tracking.

YouGov's blogYouGov's blog

Key stats

Number of referring domains: 29,900

Estimated organic traffic: 497,000

Number of keywords the tools rank for: 175,000

Key stats for YouGov's blog, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerKey stats for YouGov's blog, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

What it does well

YouGov makes money by providing custom data and research. Therefore, its marketing strategy aims to achieve two main objectives:

  1. Build brand awareness among companies who may need its services
  2. Show that it has high-quality data

YouGov achieves this by publishing content using data on “hot topics.” These articles then get linked to by trusted news organizations like the Guardian, L.A. Times, and The New York Times that are looking for data to support their conclusions:

Links to YouGov, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerLinks to YouGov, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

How to replicate its success

The key idea is to use data to create interesting articles or answer interesting questions in your niche. 

If you’re part of the industry, chances are you already know what those questions are. For example, in the SEO industry, many people wonder about how long it’ll take to rank on Google. However, the answers were always based on conjecture and not data. 

So we attempted to study this objectively with data. The result? 4,000 backlinks from 2,200 unique websites.

Stats for our blog post on how long it takes to rank on Google, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerStats for our blog post on how long it takes to rank on Google, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

If you’re out of ideas, you can try to recreate popular but outdated studies. Here’s how to find them:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Enter a search term like [industry] + “study,” [industry] + “survey,” [industry] + “research,” or [industry] + “data”
  3. Set the filter to an In title search
  4. Set the Published filter to an older date range (e.g., 2010–2015)
  5. Sort the results by referring domains
Finding outdated but popular studies, via Ahrefs' Content ExplorerFinding outdated but popular studies, via Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Once you’re done with the study, you’ll need to reach out and introduce it to people who may be interested. Follow our blogger outreach guide to learn how to do it. 

Learn more: Blogger Outreach: How to Do It At Scale (Without Feeling Like a Jerk)

Final thoughts

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing. Depending on your goals, there are a variety of strategies you can use for maximum effectiveness.

If you’re just getting started with content marketing, I recommend reading this comprehensive guide.

Did I miss out on any amazing B2B content marketing examples? Let me know on Twitter.

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System Builders – How AI Changes The Work Of SEO

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Kevin Indig's Growth Memo for SEJ

AI is terraforming tech. The content and SEO ecosystem is undergoing a massive structural change.

Human-written content gains value faster for LLM training than for end consumers as the pure profit licensing deals between LLM developers and publishers show.

Publishers struggle to survive from digital subscriptions but get millions that go straight to their bottom line for providing training data.

Content platforms, social networks, SaaS companies and consumer apps coat their products with AI. A few examples:

  • Spotify DJ (AI-generated playlist).
  • AI Overview (AI answers in Google Search).
  • Instagram AI personas (celebrity AI chatbots).
  • Ebay’s magical listing (turn a photo into a listing).
  • Redfin Redesign (try interior designs on real house pictures).
Image Credit: Kevin Indig

The quality of machine-generated content (MGC) challenges human-generated content (HGC). I ran an experiment with my Twitter and LinkedIn followers: I asked them to choose which of two articles was written by a human and which by a machine – and they had to explain their answer.

Only a handful of people figured out that AI wrote both pieces. I intentionally framed the question in a leading way to see if people would challenge the setting or believe that one piece was written by a human if told so.

  • Not an isolated experiment: A survey of 1,900 Americans found that 63.5% of people can’t distinguish between AI content and human content.1
  • People seek help: Google search demand for [ai checker] has reached 100,000 in May 2024 (Glimpse).
  • Dark side: scammers use MGC to make money, as 77% of AI scam victims lost money.2
Search demand for AI checkerImage Credit: Kevin Indig

The quality level of LLMs pushes SEO work towards automating workflows and learning with AI, while writers will take content from good to great instead of zero to one.

Boost your skills with Growth Memo’s weekly expert insights. Subscribe for free!

How AI Changes The Work Of SEOImage Credit: Lyna ™

System Builders

Clients, podcasters and panel hosts often ask me what skills SEOs need to build for the AI future. For a long time, my answer was to learn, stay open-minded and gain as much practical experience with AI as possible.

Now, my answer is SEOs should learn how to build AI agents and workflows that automate tasks. AI changes the way search works but also the way SEOs work.

AI + No-code Allows SEOs To Automate Workflows

A few examples:

1/ Cannibalization

  • Old world: SEOs download search console data and create pivot tables to spot keyword cannibalization.
  • New world: SEOs build an AI workflow that sends alters, identifies true keyword cannibalization, makes content suggestions to fix the problem, and monitors the improvement.

2/ Site Crawling

  • Old world: SEOs crawl websites to find inefficiencies in internal linking, status code errors, duplicate content, etc.
  • New world: SEOs build an AI agent that regularly crawls the site and automatically suggests new internal links that are shipped after human approval, fixes broken canonical tags and excludes soft 404 errors in the robots.txt.

3/ Content Creation

  • Old world: SEOs do keyword research and write content briefs. Writers create the content.
  • New world: SEOs automate keyword research with AI and create hundreds of relevant articles as a foundation for writers to build on.

All of this is already possible today with AI workflow tools like AirOps or Apify, which chain agents and LLMs together to scrape, analyze, transform data or create content.

Moving forward, we’ll spend much more time building automated systems instead of wasting time on point analyses and catalogs of recommendations. The SEO work will be defining logic, setting rules, prompting and coding.

building automated systems Building workflows with AirOps (Image Credit: Kevin Indig)

You Can Learn (Almost) Anything With AI

I never made the time to really learn Python or R, but with the help of Chat GPT and Gemini in Colab, I can write any script with natural language prompts.

When the script doesn’t work, I can paste a screenshot into Chat GPT and describe the issue to get a solution. AI helps with Regex, Google Sheets/Excel, R, Python, etc. Nothing is off-limits.

Being able to write scripts can solve problems like data analysis, a/b testing and using APIs. As an SEO, I’m no longer dependent on engineers, data scientists or writers to perform certain tasks. I can act faster and on my own account.

I’m not the only one to figure this out. People are learning to code, write and many other skills with AI. We can learn to build AI workflows by asking AI to teach us.

Search demand for coding with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig
Search demand for write with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig
Search demand for learn with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig

When you can learn almost anything, the only limit is time.

The Work Of Writers Changes

Against common belief, writers won’t be crossed out of this equation but will play the critical role of editing, directing and curating.

In any automated process, humans QA the output. Think of car assembling lines. Even though AI content leaps in quality, spot checks reduce the risk of errors. Caught issues, such as wrong facts, weird phrasing or off-brand wording, will be critical feedback to fine-tune models to improve their output.

Instead of leg work like writing drafts, writers will bring AI content from good to great. In the concept of information gain, writers will spend most of their time making a piece outstanding.

The rising quality work spans from blog content to programmatic content, where writers will add curated content when searches have a desire for human experience, such as in travel.

A mini guide to Los AngelesTripadvisor’s attraction pages feature human-curated sections. (Image Credit: Kevin Indig)

Unfair Advantage

As often with new technology, a few first-mover people and companies get exponential value until the rest catch up. My worry is that a few fast-moving companies will grab massive land with AI.

And yet, this jump in progress will allow newcomers to challenge incumbents and get a fair chance to compete on the field.

AI might be a bigger game changer for SEOs than for Google. The raw power of AI might help us overcome challenges from AI Overviews and machine learning-driven algorithm updates.

But the biggest win might be that SEOs can finally make something instead of delivering recommendations. The whole value contribution of SEOs changes because my output can drive results faster.

Survey: ChatGPT and AI Content – Can people tell the difference?

Artificial Intelligence Voice Scams on the Rise with 1 in 4 Adults Impacted


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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12 SEO Meetups You Should Have On Your Radar

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12 SEO Meetups You Should Have On Your Radar

Want to meet other people interested in SEO offline? Give an SEO meetup a go.

In my experience, it’s one of the best ways to meet like-minded people and provides a more relaxed, informal setting than a bustling SEO conference. Who knows—you could make new friends at a meetup or even land new SEO clients.

But with so many events worldwide, it’s impossible to mention them all. So, here are some of the most talked-about SEO meet-ups I think you should have on your radar.

Okay—so I may be a little biased, but I wanted to start by sharing our Ahrefs’ SEO Events. We’ve run five Beer and Snacks Meetups in Singapore. We’ve also hosted an SEO Workshop and Networking meetup the day before BrightonSEO, and we just launched our London Meetup.

Tickets to the London Meetup sold out in a day and a half—it was our fastest-selling ticketed event ever.

Tim Soulo, Joshua Hardwick, and Ryan Law will speak at our inaugural event, covering topics such as improving your rankings, competitor research, and content marketing. To stay informed about our next event, follow our events page.

Sidenote.

Missed our meetups but still want to catch up with the Ahrefs team and a host of world-class speakers? Get Ahrefs Evolve tickets ✨

London SEO XL MeetupLondon SEO XL Meetup

The LondonSEO Meetup hosts an evening of networking with industry peers and leading experts featuring SEO speakers like Itamar Blauer, Steph Hugman, Reina Hanada, and many more.

The bigger XL event has even hosted prolific search engine news chronicler Barry Schwartz in 2023.

Search London Meetup PhotoSearch London Meetup Photo

With over 2,800 members, Search London is a popular meetup that has been around for over a decade.

Events are organized every 8-12 weeks, and members are from a mixture of agency, client-side, and start-up businesses.

The meet-up is open to anyone in SEO, PPC, or social media—and offers marketing professionals and first-time speakers a safe, supportive space to share their industry knowledge and experiences.

Search 'n Stuff Meetup PhotoSearch 'n Stuff Meetup Photo

Search ‘n Stuff meetups are an energetic and all-embracing community tailored to empower digital marketers, startups, in-house teams, and professionals. Expect sharings centered on strategies, campaigns, and other relevant SEO topics.

Neurodivergents In SEO Meetup PhotoNeurodivergents In SEO Meetup Photo

Neurodivergents in SEO provide a safe space for neurodivergent SEOs to network and learn.

The group holds in-person meetups at BrightonSEO, both in the UK and the US, and monthly pub quizzes with great prizes.

If you’re an SEO or marketer and identify as neurodivergent, you’re more than welcome to join the community. You can do so by signing up here.

Search Norwich PhotoSearch Norwich Photo

Search Norwich launched in 2018 as a free marketing meetup event. It often features top industry speakers who share their knowledge, tips, and advice with the search marketing community. At Search Norwich there are no sales agendas, fluff, or pitches—just valuable insights.

SEOFOMO Meetup PhotoSEOFOMO Meetup Photo

The SEOFOMO meetups are run by SEO superstar Aleyda Solis, who is a well-known SEO speaker and founder of SEO consultancy Orainti. She’ll also be the headline speaker for our first Ahrefs Evolve Conference.

SEOFOMO is a laid-back, free event perfect for learning, connecting, and sharing with other SEOs.

SEO Mastermind PhotoSEO Mastermind Photo

SEO Mastermind is a supportive, free, and friendly SEO community where you can grow your skills, meet like-minded people, and get answers to all your organic marketing questions.

SEO Mastermind meets around eight times a year, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium—but they also occasionally have meetups in other locations, for instance, at Brighton SEO and ISS Barcelona.

Organizer Jeroen Stikkelorum told me that SEO Mastermind is on a mission to build the most valuable Dutch-spoken SEO and organic marketing community in The Netherlands and Belgium. So if you’re local, give it a go.

SEO Lager Fest Meetup PhotoSEO Lager Fest Meetup Photo

SEO Lager Fest is a fun SEO meetup that (apart from drinking) enables you to network with like-minded folks in the SEO industry. They hold an SEO quiz, run case study competitions, do AMAs, and even do SEO charades.

SEOnerd Switzerland Meetup PhotoSEOnerd Switzerland Meetup Photo

SEOnerdSwitzerland is a volunteer-run association that organizes events for SEOs in Switzerland and beyond.

Dedicated to fair opportunities and diversity, they provide training and coaching for people wanting to break through as a public speaker in the SEO industry.

SEOnerdSwitzerland also offers training and coaching for speakers, aiming for a diverse and inclusive panel.

WebSchrona Meetup Photo, Salzburg, AustriaWebSchrona Meetup Photo, Salzburg, Austria

WebSchrona is a free monthly meetup for SEO and online marketing professionals in Salzburg, Austria. They meet every second Thursday at 6 p.m.

There’s no fixed agenda, so discussions are often unplanned and spontaneous and often involve a drink of some description.

Organizer Alexander Außermayr tells me that everyone is welcome to join their SEO meetups. The aim is to provide a regular, uncomplicated meetup in an open space—often a beer garden, if the weather is good.

SEO Benelux Meetup PhotoSEO Benelux Meetup Photo

SEO Benelux started in 2018 as a Facebook community for Dutch and Belgian SEO specialists. The meetup grew into the largest in the Benelux region, with more than 3,000 members.

There are four meetups each year, two in Belgium (Ghent and Antwerp) and one in the Netherlands (mostly Amsterdam). Each meetup attracts 70–90 people and features three speakers.

If you don’t live in a big city, it may be difficult to find a good meetup, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any in your local area.

Here are my tips to help you find new meetups near you.

Tip 1 – Use Google’s advanced search operators to uncover new meetups

As new meetups pop up all the time and often without notice, it’s worth doing some digging to see what’s out there.

You can just do a regular ol’ Google search, but we’re SEOs—so let’s use some advanced search operators and spice it up a bit.

In this example, I searched for the phrase “meetup” in the title, plus my location and my favorite SEO tool, and it managed to uncover Tim’s tweet on our London Meetup.

Advanced Google Search Operators ExampleAdvanced Google Search Operators Example

This is just a very basic example, and you could use any website or location, but it shows how you can uncover information about new meetups with a little research.

Tip 2 – Trigger the Events SERP feature

By searching for events or events near me, you can trigger the Events SERP feature. In the example below, I found a few SEO-related events by prepending “SEO” to the search.

Triggering the Events SERP Feature ExampleTriggering the Events SERP Feature Example

Once you’ve triggered the feature, scroll down until you find an SEO meetup that catches your eye.

Tip 3 – Use Meetup to find an SEO meetup

If you can’t find anything on Google then it’s a good idea to run a quick check on a specialist community platform.

One of the most popular platforms is Meetup. It allows you to find events near your location on any topic.

Meetup.com screenshotMeetup.com screenshot

Over the years, I’ve attended a lot of smaller meetups through this website, and they have always been interesting and a place to make new connections.

Tip 4 – No SEO meetup in your area? Start your own!

I started my own mini-meetup in 2018 on WhatsApp with some former colleagues, imaginatively titled #seodrinks.

#SEOdrinks meetup logo#SEOdrinks meetup logo

It started from humble beginnings in a room in a small pub in London, and it’s still in a room in a small pub—somewhere in London. (If you want an invite, let me know on LinkedIn.)

We only have semi-regular meetups in London and a small group, but every meetup has to start somewhere.

If you want to start your own SEO meetup, platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram are the best free places to start, but if you want a more specialized paid option, you could try Meetup or another similar platform.

Final thoughts

You don’t always have to attend a big SEO conference to meet other amazing people in the industry. Some of the smaller meetups I’ve been to have resulted in making more contacts than the bigger conferences.

As such, SEO meet-ups are one of my favorite ways to meet people who are just as interested in SEO and marketing as much as you are.

Did I miss an SEO meetup? Add your SEO meetup here, or let me know on LinkedIn.



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How to Combine SEO and Content Marketing (The Ahrefs’ Way)

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How to Combine SEO and Content Marketing (The Ahrefs’ Way)

SEO and content marketing are different marketing channels. But you don’t have to choose between them. They’re complementary.

In fact, you should combine them for greater effectiveness in your marketing.

Two main reasons:

1. Content marketing and SEO are like peanut butter and jelly—they work well together

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content to attract and retain customers.

Here’s how SEO helps content marketing:

The web's largest traffic referrersThe web's largest traffic referrers

SEO is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engines to get more traffic.

Here’s how content marketing helps SEO:

  • It helps you get more search traffic — If you want more search traffic, you need to rank for more keywords, which requires you to make more content.
  • It makes SEO more effective — Thought leadership content acquires backlinks, gated content generates leads, and sales enablement converts traffic into sales.

2. The same amount of investment in effort, money, and time can generate results for both content marketing and SEO

We’re the perfect example. Our content ranks high on Google and generates hundreds of thousands of monthly search visitors:

Ahrefs blog trafficAhrefs blog traffic

It also attracts links and shares on social media because we make sure each piece is unique and not just regurgitation or “AI content”.

LinkedIn comment on how we blended an SEO-friendly term with a contrarian point of viewLinkedIn comment on how we blended an SEO-friendly term with a contrarian point of view

Finally, each piece of content introduces visitors to our product and educates them on how to use it to solve their problems. (Keep on reading and you’ll see it in action too!)

Example of how we introduce our product in our contentExample of how we introduce our product in our content

It hits all content marketing and SEO goals at once:

  • Acquires search traffic ✅
  • Builds thought leadership ✅
  • Attracts links ✅
  • Generates sales (over the long-term) ✅

How do we do what we do? Believe it or not, there’s a method to the madness. Here’s one line that summarizes our entire SEO content marketing strategy:

We create and maintain high-quality, product-led, search-focused content about topics with business potential and search traffic potential.

Let me break down how we combine SEO and content marketing:

If you want to acquire search traffic, you need to target topics that your potential customers are searching for.

The easiest way to find these keywords is to use a keyword tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer:

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter a few broad keywords related to your site or niche
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. Filter for keywords with traffic potential (TP)
Matching terms report in Keywords ExplorerMatching terms report in Keywords Explorer

Sidenote.

Traffic Potential is the estimated monthly organic search traffic to the top-ranking page for a keyword. Since pages tend to rank for many keywords, Traffic Potential is a more reliable estimate than search volume.

Go through the report and pick out the keywords that are relevant to your site. For example, if I were an ecommerce store selling coffee equipment, this could be a potential keyword to target:

The keyword "best coffee grinder"The keyword "best coffee grinder"

A keyword’s business potential is how easy it will be to pitch your product while covering a certain topic. It’s our ‘trade secret’—it’s why we can easily introduce our product and its features in every piece of content we create.

Here’s how to score a topic’s business potential:

Business potential scoring chartBusiness potential scoring chart

So, taking the above example, the topic “best coffee grinder” would score a “3” (provided we sell coffee grinders) whereas a topic like “does decaf coffee have caffeine” would score a “1” or even a “0”.

You should prioritize topics that score high on business potential, i.e. a “2” or a “3”.

What does all of the jargon mean? Let’s break it down.

Search-focused

Part one of being ‘search-focused’ is finding keywords that people are searching for. Part two is to figure out why they’re searching for those particular keywords. This ‘why’ is known as search intent.

Given that Google’s goal is to always rank the most relevant content, we can look at the search engine results (SERPs) to uncover search intent. Take your target keyword, enter it into Keywords Explorer, scroll down to SERP Overview, and click Identify intents:

Identify intents feature in Keywords ExplorerIdentify intents feature in Keywords Explorer

So, we can see that searchers looking for the keyword “best coffee grinders” want detailed reviews and expert recommendations on the best coffee grinders. Not only that, we can also see that searchers want a list that is fresh.

Identified search intent for "best coffee grinder"Identified search intent for "best coffee grinder"

If we’re targeting this topic, making it search-focused means matching this search intent—we’ll need to create a list of the best coffee grinders for the current year.

Product-led

Product-led means ensuring you’re not just creating content for the sake of it; you’re also ‘selling’ your product. You want to be aware of which use case, feature, or service you want to weave into the narrative. Naturally, of course.

Scoring a topic’s business potential would have done 90% of the work here. If you’re creating content about a topic that scored a “3”, then your product pitch would be natural. For example, we could easily add links back to our coffee equipment store after covering the best coffee grinders. Or, if we make our coffee grinders, we could pitch them as one of the best. (That’s why I say the business potential score is our secret ingredient.)

The challenge comes when you’re covering topics that score a “1” or “0”. It’s not impossible, but you’ll need to be creative.

For example, I recently covered the topic “SEO specialist”. It had a business potential of “1” and was tough to include a product pitch. Fortunately, I noticed that some job listings asked for experience with different SEO toolsets (including us.) It was the perfect segue to introduce our product and certification course.

An example of how I managed to pitch Ahrefs in a post with a business potential of 1An example of how I managed to pitch Ahrefs in a post with a business potential of 1

High-quality

This is subjective. Everyone’s standards are different. But here’s how we think of quality:

  • Accurate — No hype, no lying. Every statement we make should be as accurate as possible.
  • Clear — No fluff—delete all unnecessary words and sentences. Use jargon only when needed. When necessary, create illustrations to expand on ideas and concepts.
  • Helpful — Being product-led is important but the content should not just be aimed at pitching. The content should be focused primarily on helping visitors solve their problems, while creatively weaving our product into the context.
  • Unique — One way to make your content unique is to have skin in the game—conduct experiments, run data studies, and write from personal experience. If having skin is difficult, then interview practitioners. Focus on did, not could.

The deterioration of your content is inevitable:

  • Search-focused — Your rankings may drop because of competitors. Or you didn’t even rank the first time round. Or your target topic’s search intent changed (e.g., the word corona’s search intent changed during the void years of 2020-2022.)
  • Product-led — You may have new features, services, or use cases to introduce. Or your team has depreciated certain features or abandoned some services.
  • High-quality — Statements may become inaccurate over time. Or your unique idea was so successful that everyone else copied you (and outranked you.) Or you might have better ways to reword sentences and paragraphs. Or just simply the ideas, screenshots, and content has become outdated.

That’s why you don’t build a train track and disappear. You have to actively maintain it to keep it working. (I’m looking at you London tube.) Same goes for your content.

The way to maintain your content is to conduct regular content audits. We do this every quarter—Each writer on our blog team goes through their portfolio of articles and selects at least three pieces to update. Each writer may also choose a couple to do a full rewrite.

I highly recommend going through our content audit template so you can see what went wrong with your content and what to do with it next.

Final thoughts

SEO and content marketing may be different marketing types, but that doesn’t mean you need to do one to the exclusion of the other.

Both channels are highly compatible and as you see above, can be designed as an entire strategy that hits all important marketing objectives.



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