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I had this interesting conversation with my ex-boss where I was working with him as an SEO specialist about 6-7 years back.
It was a home-grown photo book company and I was scaling their traffic via SEO before spearheading a team to launch a new product category.
They were doing well in SEA, in fact, traffic has grown probably 10x in several countries but when I try to dissect how their US competitor (Shutterfly) is doing over the years, the result is shocking.
Shutterfly has grown significantly well and probably hold the share of traffic for all top 3 photobook players combined in the US.
To understand how traffic growth works, we first need to dissect
how typical SEO specialists approach SEO.
It is very common that technical stuff like On-page optimization, link building and acquisition is their top priority and the end goal is definitely keywords ranking.
However, the actual growth is not chasing after direct-keywords ranking but knowing what are the audience that might be interested in the product while searching for something else.
This is an example of how Shutterfly did it very well.
The content team at Shutterfly is doing a superb job.
To be fair, a photo book is not just a product but it's creating beautiful memories and shared among family and friends. It takes a journey and the journey begins when people are celebrating something.
Therefore, the smart move by Shutterfly to create content around celebrating birthdays, anniversary and important occasions allowing them to get brand exposure and data for the retargeting campaign.
Not only this is a smart move, this open ups to a whole new source of traffic that no other product based company would want to target, or probably have not figured it out yet.
In terms of keyword difficulty, since there isn't much keyword monetization value to other products this has been extremely easy to rank compared to other keywords.
Imagine, by knowing your customer journey and ability to target them when they are still in the early stage will allow you to outgrow your competitor easily without strong competition.
Let me take another good example of how to reverse the journey and capture them before any competitors are doing it.
This content strategy I did on my agency business dojolab // , where I ranked for more than 200+ organic keywords and driving a good amount of leads and inquiry.
Most decision-maker for mid-sized eCommerce business is usually marketing managers who are doing the research for the company.
Probably, the very first few terms that they search on Google will be "facebook cost per clicks", "Facebook Ads banner size" or "Facebook text ratio guideline".
These search terms compared to direct keywords such as "Facebook Ads Agency" have very different positioning.
However, the downside with such content is that you get mixture results - people who are seeking for technical knowledge or, bigger client prospect who believe in your content and trusting your agency will do a great job for them.
By understanding how content marketing works, any businesses can tap into content marketing as marketing acquisition and grow their business enormously.
However, content is just one part of the equation. It's not just about writing and publishing good content but also strategy to promote the content.
If you are managing a team of SEO or having an outsourced SEO agency, you'll have a better understanding of what is the growth strategy besides SEO.