The nurture tracks need you

June 28, 2021
📓 Article

A lot of companies send nurture tracks to new users or new leads (or both). These email campaigns are sent automatically by machines on a pre-defined timeline, and often include tips on how to use a product, what content resources are available, why you’d want to talk to a sales rep, and so on.

It’s like living in the future!

Except that, in our experience, most nurture tracks are lovingly crafted and then ignored for months or years on end.

Which is a shame because, depending on your company, this might be thousands (or even millions!) of users who you could be seeing all your brand new content. And it doesn’t take all that long to take a red pen to those email tracks and make sure you’ve got the latest stuff in there.

🏄 What you can do

Talk to your demand gen team. Graciously. Ask them about the nurture tracks. You might say:

When was the last time we looked at the nurture track? If it was a while ago, I’d love to take a look at it.

Let them know what you have to offer:

  • Update content links in the emails
  • Add additional emails with more resources
  • Refine the email copy
  • Remove the lowest-performing emails and replace them with better ones

You might even add “nurture track” as one of your distribution channels. Every time something new gets published, see if you can include it in an onboarding or nurture flow.

(Too many nurture track emails? Start segmenting them, by persona, by company size, by buyer stage, and so on.)

Great marketing is about creating shared value

June 28, 2021
📗 Field Note

We recently read a LinkedIn post that inspired a lot of great conversations on our team.

Last week, Sarah Colley wrote about one overlooked benefit of adding expert quotes to her content: When you quote someone for a piece, they’ll probably share that piece with the world.

How does this benefit your content distribution?

It’s social proof, which every content distribution channel (and its almighty algorithms) depends on.

  • Google loves backlinks
  • LinkedIn loves content that’s shared by more people
  • Good old fashioned word-of-mouth increases when interesting people join in

More importantly, great marketing is about creating shared value.

Sarah’s tactic is a great example. Expert quotes benefit everyone involved with the content:

  • Customers get more thorough content
  • Experts expand their reach and esteem
  • Marketers have an easier time writing

🧨 So here’s a challenge for you

Ask yourself: how can you make current content projects more valuable by including others? Extra credit question: How can you do this with your product?

Thanks, Sarah, for inspiring us with your post.

Clean up your Javascript

June 28, 2021
📓 Article

Have you ever gone to a website, and suddenly everything on your computer slows down? And the fan on your computer gets really loud? And your Zoom interlocutors ask, “Should you really be talking to us while flying a vintage prop plane?”

That’s JavaScript, baby!

Websites use JavaScript to do pretty much anything that involves any kind of processing – animations, various widgets, some types of form submissions, and, best of all, tracking your every move.

Some JavaScript can be useful. But too much JavaScript will slow down your site, frustrate your visitors, and hurt your rankings and conversions.

🏄 What you can do

If your company uses Google Tag Manager, it should be fairly easy to take a look through and pause tags that aren’t needed. (Without GTM, you might enlist the help of your web dev.)

Remove outdated or unnecessary trackers from third-party services:

  • That analytics service you tried out 3 years ago
  • A/B testing tools that only need to run on the pages you’re conducting A/B tests on
  • Advertising pixels for channels you’re not using anymore

Or ask your analytics manager to add “triggers” for just the correct set of pages where appropriate.

Google Tag Manager, Schmoogle Tag Manager

June 10, 2021
📗 Field Note

This question has come up in a few client meetings. Maybe you’ve been asking it too.

What is Google Tag Manager? Should I care, as a content marketer?

Google Tag Manager is a way of putting JavaScript tags on your site – and managing them – more easily.

It’s not weird for a site to have dozens of these tags for various purposes, with wide-ranging effects on analytics and site performance – both things that you probably care deeply about as a content marketer!

Tag Manager simplifies crucial web dev work:

  • Add analytics tags when and where you need them
  • Remove analytics tags when you don’t need them anymore – or only fire them if they’re needed – which makes your site faster
  • Manage and troubleshoot analytics tags that are causing problems with the site.

That means more time for adding new functionality, implementing new features, and other things that are more obviously helpful to users.

What should you do?

Ask some questions of your web dev: Is your team using GTM? Who is managing it? If you’re not using Google Tag Manager – or if nobody’s looked at it in a while – there can be some quick wins there for site performance and tracking.

What is "share of search"?

June 10, 2021
📗 Field Note

Your brand and product marketing teams might be really excited about this metric we’re running into called “Share of Search”.

It’s simple to understand: who do people search for the most in our category?

And it’s easy to calculate, too – get the monthly search volume for your brand, and see what percentage that is of all brands in your category. For example:

  • If you have 10,000 searches a month, that’s 10,000 searches for you, and…
  • Your 5 competitors all have 5,000 each, that’s 25,000 searches for them, then…
  • Share of search is about 30% – your searches (10,000) over total searches (35,000)!

(A quick and very rough way to get a similar analysis is Google Trends, so start there if you don’t feel like doing a lot of math right now.)

Share of search is cool for a few reasons.

  1. It’s meaningful. The more present you are in search, the more you can expect to sell.
  2. To put it another way, share of search predicts share of market.
  3. It’s easy to calculate, understand, and validate. You can track it easily over time.

But most importantly, it helps you make the case for visibility in organic search – and therefore, in investment in content – in a way that should get your colleagues excited. (Or depressed? But then maybe resolute.)

How to get started:

  • Go in and explore Google Trends. Type in your name, and your competitors’ names. Adjust the time range.

  • Compare your competitors. If that didn’t work, tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs will usually have the data even if Trends doesn’t deign to include it.

You can take this one step further by seeing what your share of search is for certain topics.

You’ll need a tool for this, but look for a tab called “Competitor Analysis” or something similar, and enter the topics that are most important for your brand.

Share this data with your comms and product marketing teams.

Core Web Vitals are slightly delayed

May 26, 2021

Google had planned to roll out its new Core Web Vitals ranking criteria this month. (We went into detail in a previous newsletter).

But now Google has decided to delay the rollout to mid-June, gradually, completing the rollout in August. So you’ve got a little more time to get the optimization process underway.

In anticipation of the rollout, they’ve released a new Page Experience report, designed to give you a more nuanced view of page performance across your site.

You’ll need to set up Google Search Console to use the report. If you haven’t used Google Search Console, it’s well worth your time to get it set up. Very, very well worth your time.

Search Console will give you access to tons of Google’s internal information about your site, including whether Google views it as a good experience for users, how much you’re showing up in (not just getting traffic from) search, and much more.

Ask your dev team how they’re preparing for this page experience shift. Send them a link to the Page Experience report and ask them if it’s pointing out any unforeseen avenues for optimization.

Why keywords need a relevance metric

May 10, 2021
📗 Field Note

This question has popped up a few times this month. Maybe you’ve been asking it too.

Can I build a keyword strategy on search volume and competition metrics alone?

Determining the relevance of a topic to your brand is a core marketing skill, and it’s overshadowed these days by big data metrics like search volume and competition.

All of them are important – but they should all work together.

You might ultimately choose a keyword that’s easy to win and has high volume even if it’s not the most relevant. Sometimes this makes sense. But if you’re not tracking relevance every time, you’re setting yourself up to chase keywords that won’t ever convert because your brand doesn’t speak to them.

Track volume, competition, relevance for any keyword, and weight each metric accordingly in your calculations. We give you more detail on how to do it in our keyword strategy guide.